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by Neil T. Anderson and Michael Jacobson


328 pp., Ventura, CA: Regal, 2003, $ 18.00, paperback.


Review: Anderson, EdD, and Jacobson, DO, have produced a helpful book examining complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) from a Christian perspective. The book is divided into four parts, with part one proposing that all health therapies should be evaluated through the grids of history, faith, wholism, science and spiritual discernment. This approach is thorough and helpful, although the grids of history and faith could have been included within that of spiritual discernment.

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Part two uses the five grids to evaluate medical systems like conventional medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and homeopathy. The evaluations are concise and thorough. Part three, along with some of part two, examines specific alternative therapies, such as reflexology, applied kinesiology and magnets. These again are concise and useful, with additional details from scientific studies in appendix B, which is particularly helpful for health care professionals.


The limitations with any summary become apparent in the discussion of herbs. Strengths and weaknesses of herbal remedies generally are given, but then the authors simply list many herbs as having research support. Numerous qualifications were needed here, but unfortunately those would have required another book!! Not recommending specific herbs would have been preferable.


This book usefully examines CAM from a biblical perspective. While the authors undoubtedly value science and conventional medicine, some statements were more critical than appeared warranted. For example, the authors describe the strengths of conventional medicine but add that in some cases it "is better spurned for a more effective approach" (p. 140). Very specific examples are needed here, especially as "spurning" connotes dismissing, not one leading to working together. A few errors were also made, one an important one. The authors note that a Congressional report found that controlled trials support the effectiveness of only 10-20 percent of medical procedures, and that "much of the research was seriously flawed" (p. 85).The authors failed to note that this report was published in 1978, based on a 1963 survey of 19 British physicians (see The Lancet, September 1995, pp. 837-38). Its reproduction here only furthers this myth that is used to denigrate conventional medicine. Overall, though, Anderson and Jacobson have provided Christians with a very useful resource.-Donal P. O'Mathuna, PhD, Dublin City University



by Dora Kunz with Dolores Krieger


262 pp., Rochester, VT: Bear & Company, 2004, $16.00, paperback.


Review: In this book Therapeutic Touch (TT) co-founder Dolores Krieger, using DoraKunz's (1904-1999) original writings and lectures, offers their personal insights about the spiritual dimension of TT. Kunz and Krieger believe in an ordered universe where anyone can be a healer simply by coming to understand a "universal healing field that touches all people" (p. 8).The spiritual dimension of TT is this unseen, spiritual world and healing energy, which Krieger states has nothing to do with any religious belief system but rather is a contemporary interpretation of several ancient healing practices (specifically Eastern and Hindu). Krieger describes universal order as, "The order of the individual relates to the well-regulated and tranquil rhythmic progressions of natural processes in the universe. The rhythm of birth, life and death of the physical body is reflected in the farthest star, the whole orderly universe participating in the process of constant renewal" (p. 48). She explains TT, stating, "What you are doing in TT is bringing order, through the healing energies, to the healee [horizontal ellipsis] You (the therapist) have in some sense an expansion of consciousness, even a small one, because you have been an instrument, and you have touched another person at different levels of consciousness. That puts you more in touch with the natural order of the universe" (p. 49). Krieger says that because TT requires sustained centering on the part of the healer, reaching into deeper and expanded levels of inner consciousness, the use of TT over time "can give the therapist conscious access to profound realms of her own inner self" (p. 3).Therapists are taught to focus on centers of various subtle kinds of consciousness within the person, known as chakras in Sanskrit (Hindu). A primary focus is on the heart chakra because "it is closest to being the center of consciousness of the inner self in the physical body, so psychic sensitivity also has its center here" (p. 136).

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It becomes clear reading Kunz and Krieger's beliefs about the greater universe and healing energy that Therapeutic Touch contradicts a biblical understanding of the universe and the spirit world (see editorial, p. 1). TT is about achieving a transpersonal, elevated spiritual state completely through one's own efforts, ignoring the need for a personal Savior in Jesus Christ. It delves into a spirit world that has nothing to do with God but credits spiritual power to an impersonal, universal energy and one's ability to reach expanding levels of inner consciousness. TT embraces "a greater universe than is apparent, of which peace and order are characteristic" (p. 8), denying the existence of Satan, universal evil in our fallen world (Gen 3:17, Rom 8:19-22), and the realization that human hearts are deceitful (Jer 17:9) and under the power of sin (Rom 3:9-18). At its core, TT denies that God made the world and everything in it, and it is in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:24-28).-KSS






Acting Editor, Victoria Peterson-Hilleque


Annual Subscription: $30.00 US, $39.00 International


Brief: Priscilla Papers is a scholarly journal published by Christians for Biblical Equality, an international organization whose mission is to communicate the biblical truth of gender equality. Articles address biblical interpretation, church history and other academic disciplines as they relate to men and women offering mutual service in the Christian community and family. Can be ordered online at or phone CBE at (612) 872-6898.

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General Editors, Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill


Groothuis, Contributing Editor, Gordon Fee


528 pp., Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004, $25.00, paperback.


Brief: Understanding what the Bible really teaches about gender is important as it affects so much of life. Twenty-six religion, philosophy and sociology scholars provide a fresh and practical discussion on the age-old controversy of gender in the church, ministry and marriage. In-depth discussions of Bible passages on gender are offered, along with logical, theological and cultural perspectives about gender issues. The authors offer a sound, reasoned case that affirms a complementarity of the sexes that doesn't require a hierarchy of roles.



By Linda L. Alexander, Helaine Bader, Judith H. LaRosa, Susan Garfield


631 pp., Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2004, $77.95, paperback.


Brief: This is a unique textbook in that it is not based on a medical model but provides an objective, data-driven comprehensive analysis of all contemporary women's health issues. It includes a comprehensive overview of all major aspects of women's health, presenting the latest data and discussion on historical, epidemiological, economical, clinical, legal, ethical, special population and psychosocial issues. The authors make a concerted effort to highlight the unique needs and considerations of women of all races and ages. A live website,, provides support for students and teachers.



Sheila Humphrey


192 pp., Minneapolis, MN: Fairview Press, 2003, $16.95, paperback.


Brief: Are herbal remedies safe for breastfeeding mothers and their infants? Is St. John's wort appropriate for postpartum depression? What natural remedies are effective for mastitis? Humphrey, an RN and Lactation Consultant, provides an integrative guide on herbs, dietary supplements and natural remedies for nursing mothers and babies.






97pp., Victoria, BC, Canada: Trafford Publishing, 2004, $20.00, paperback.


Review: Miller offers a framework for Christian nursing, based on her dissertation research, in a series of stained glass windows depicting aspects of the person, health and the parish nurse role. She suggests that nurses have had no specifically Christian theoretical framework to help them link faith and health in their practice, therefore she created her Faith and Health Framework. While no one has designed an intricate series of stained glass windows to depict Christian nursing, others have developed original Christian models of nursing that include definitions of major nursing concepts. (Two examples are: Nursing for the Whole Person, ORU Anna Vaughn School of Nursing, Tulsa, OK, and Called to Care: A Christian Theology of Nursing by Judith Shelly and Arlene B. Miller, 1999, InterVarsity Press.)

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The core of Miller's book is her definitions and interrelationships for the components and concepts of her framework: The Triune God, God's Personage, God's Purpose, Person/Parishioner, Dignity, Dependence, Health as Shalom-Wholeness, Stewardship, Nurse/Parish Nurse, Ministry and Community/Parish. She identifies four core concepts as central to parish nursing: love, gracious compassion, co-participation and spiritual care. I appreciate how she carefully founded all of her concepts in Scripture, offering extensive biblical and nursing references. While Miller offers sound definitions and explication of concepts for Christian nursing, she leaves the application of her model to the reader, which could be challenging for inexperienced nurses or new graduates. However, the book could be a helpful adjunct to any parish nurse's library, especially in trying to communicate the parish nurse role to the church community.-KSS




by NurseQuest


40 pp., Muncie, IN: NurseQuest, 2004, $8.50, card-stock.


NurseQuest has created a handy set of sturdy, business-size cards on a key ring, offering 40 prayers that nurse leaders can use in their quest to be godly, Christian leaders. Most of the prayers are based on Scripture and include Bible references, such as, "Remind me not to withhold good from someone who deserves it, when it is in my power to do something about it. Keep my eyes open and my heart responsive. Today, I will make time for_______(Prov 3:27)." Makes an attractive gift.





by Jeanna Bozell


160 pp., Muncie, IN: NurseQuest, 2003, $14.95, paperback.


Based on top reasons nurses leave their jobs, this book delivers a series of simple, compelling and inspirational messages to nurse leaders. This is a quick read with a big bang and a resource that can be turned to again and again.