Depression is a very important word in our society. Not only is it a frequent topic of conversation, but it has a large semantic range. For example, a person whose pet recently died might describe themselves as depressed. The person still goes to work, still pays the bills, still attends the children’s events and functions on a normal level. In this case, depression is very close to sadness. However, depression is also a category used when a person has essentially shut down their life. They no longer function in their daily routine and seem paralyzed, unable to perform even the simplest of life functions.
An even larger question is where should individuals seek help and what type of help is most appropriate. Below is a conversation between one man, whom I know fairly well (Bob Kellemen) and another man (David Murray) who I have never had the privilege of meeting. Both men are pastors and educators. But, as you see in this interaction, how they pastor, how they counsel, and how they educate is different … at least with respect to depression.
Let me say to start that David and Bob share many beliefs. Thus, their positions are not as different as they could be. However, if we are going to pursue those things that are excellent (Phil 1:9-11), then we must not simply discern the difference between right and wrong, but also between good and best. We are called to be discerning and to have the wisdom that comes from above, for all other wisdom is earthly, at best.
I hope that the links below will provide helpful information on how we should conceptualize depression and how best to help. In an effort to also be discerning, please keep the following questions in mind as you read the interactions:
- Which position, Murray’s or Kellemen’s, is more dependent on the resources Jesus provides?
- Which position, Murray’s or Kellemen’s, results in declaring the praises of Jesus?
- Which position, Murray’s or Kellemen’s, would you believe is most accurate to the Word of God?
It is helpful if you read through the articles in order.
- “I’m Thinking about Going to the Doctor for Depression Meds”—What Is a Compassionate, Comprehensive Response?
- David Murray and Bob Kellemen Interact about Depression
- Can an Unregenerate Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist Be Christ-Centered?
- Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy the Same as Biblical Mind/Heart Renewal?