Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review - The Heart of Anger

I just finished The Heart of Anger, a book by Lou Priolo which is full of "practical help for the prevention and cure of anger in children".

Here are my thoughts.

The Worldview

The Good

Wow, what a joy to read a book that is so thoroughly Scriptural, in a blatant sense- Mr. Priolo makes no bones about his foundations being laid upon God's Word, and he denounces using man's wisdom as our guide for counseling.

The Bad

Mr. Priolo definitely doesn't come from the same perspective that I do in some areas. While we agree that Scripture is sufficient for all of life and Godliness- 2 Tim. 3:16- and this is huge!- I'd still suggest that some of the things that he accepts as normative need to be reformed in light of God's Word. Things like dating and public schooling are presented as normal in this book. I don't think that God's Word leads us to these things, so they're worth mentioning.

The Art

The Good

Mr. Priolo is fun to read and the book is quite accessible and understandable. The cookies are on the bottom shelf. He also uses lots of diagrams and illustrations that help with understanding.

The Bad

The grammar and editing in this book was less than perfect, and a bit disappointing. The cover design was a bit cluttered, too.

The Content

Was rich. Delicious. Highly recommended. Mr. Priolo covers many areas that need covered. He talks about manipulation- and how to deal with it, righteous and unrighteous anger, naming issues Biblically, house law (including the difference between Biblically directed rules and Biblically derived rules), idolatry and its implications for anger, and much more:

  • The appeal process: "The basis of an appeal is the presentation of new or additional information (preferably supported by a biblical desire and reasoning) that your child believes you as his parent have not considered in making a particular decision. Your child presents the new information along with its biblical justification/benefits (i.e. why the Lord might be pleased with a change of mind/decision) and without any further pressure allows you to reevaluate your decision. This process allows parents to change their mind without having to sacrifice parental authority. It also trains children to communicate desires biblically without resorting to disrespect, manipulation and other manifestations of sinful anger." (From Chapter 12)
  • What is manipulation? "To manipulate is to attempt to control. For a Christian, manipulation is using unbiblical means of controlling or influencing another person. More specifically, it is often an attempt to gain control of another individual or situation by inciting an emotional reaction rather than a biblical response from that individual." (From Chapter 9- after this quote, he goes on to give the example of Martha from Luke 10)
  • Diagnosing spiritual problems: "The only divinely-approved diagnostic manual whereby Christians may accurately judge thoughts and motives is Scripture. Christian parent, you must learn not only how to draw the thoughts and motives out of your child, but also how to diagnose those thoughts and motives; "not in words taught by human wisdom (i.e. defense mechanism, reaction formation, love hunger, codependency, etc.), but in those taught by the Spirit (i.e. pride, blameshifting, idolatry, bondage, etc.) combining (interpreting) spiritual thoughts with spiritual words." (1 Cor. 2:13)." (From Chapter 7)
His persistent use of Scriptural terms to diagnose spiritual- psychological- problems I found immensely refreshing.

I would highly recommend this book, to parents, parents-in-training, believers preparing to counsel other believers, or even to parents (or anyone!) struggling with their own anger issues. The Heart of Anger offers a wealth of Biblical advice on anger and what to do about it, and while it's specifically and practically applied to child-rearing, God's "commandment is exceedingly broad"(Ps. 119:96), and I'd be surprised if the principles and Scriptures expounded upon in this book didn't have a wealth of applications elsewhere.

Buy your copy on Amazon



Aubrey Hansen said...

Book reviews by Gabriel! I like this concept. Great review.

Mademoiselle Moriah said...

Very high in society review Monsieur Gabriel!

luv u 2 much! :)

Jamie T said...

I hope to read this book soon someday. :) Thanks for the review.

Moriah!!! You are text talking!!!! *Screams and faints from shock* :P

~Jamie Joyce

Rebekah said...

I think we own this book... somewhere around here. It sounds really good. Thanks for posting a review! :)

To the KING be all the glory!