Amazing Gracenby Carl C. CurtisnThis Grace Given by David H.C.nRead, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.nIn the New College at Edinburgh inn1934, young divinity students stimulatednthemseKes by turning over old andnnew ideas: Calvinism, Barthianism, thenrole of the bod’ of Christ in the world,nthe form of the liturgx, the purpose ofnmissions—in other words, the samenissues that, mutatis mutandis, havensparked theological discussions sincenthe Church became flesh. At the samentime that these earnest young ministersto-benwere absorbing themsehes in thenfiner points of good Scots Presbyterianndoctrine, another group of youths seekingnto found a new order based on lessnancient assumptions were playing luridnpranks on some of their countrymennand singing drinking songs which, howeernsimilar musically to those of theirnfathers, contained lyrics.proclaiming anbright future in which “Jewish bloodnwould run in the gutters.” These twongroups, so symbolic of the clash of ideasnin the 20th century, hae at least onencommon denominator: David H.C.nRead, now pastor of Madison A’enuenPresbyterian Church in New York City,nwitnessed both. He has recorded hisnimpressions of the surrounding eentsnin his autobiographical This GracenGiven.nOne of the problems with contemporarynreligious books is that their authorsnfrequently ield to the temptation tonmake inspirational mountains out ofnmolehills. Because our communionnwith God invoK es the highest faculty ofnthe soul, writings concerning that relationshipnought to record nothing lessnthan our sublimest thoughts and greatestnwisdom. They rarely do. Show me anman who has perused more good thannbad “inspirational” biographies, and I’llnshow you a man without discernment.n-Happily, This Grace Given avoids thenpitfalls that make unreadable so manynof the equally sincere but inferior effortsnof other writers. One reason is Readnhimself. As a man, he emerges fromnthese pages wise, modest, and all in allndelightful. It may be true that a saintnBOOKSHELVESncannot hope to compete with a sinnernin the memoirs market (Xaviera Hollandernsells better than St. Francis Xavier);nyet Read is shll impressive and,nwell, readable.nSecond, Read’s experiences are interesting.nThe book begins pleasantlynenough with the author chronicling hisnScottish ancestry and his only occasionallynfitful pilgrimage towards the faith ofnhis fathers. These are lovely chaptersndepicting a happier world than oursnin which one senses Read wouldnhae been content to spend his daysnuninterrupted.nThat was not to be. After his theologicalnstudies at Marburg and other Europeannuniversities and a brief tenure asnminister of the Kirk at Coldstream andnEdinburgh, Read joined the army as anchaplain and took part in the disastrousnretreat at Dunkirk. Not among thenquarter of a million who escaped, henwas captured on the beach near St.-n’alery and spent the next five years in anseries of prisoner-of-war camps.nIt would be difficult to coney herenthe richness of Read’s account of thesenyears in confinement. Yet for me, certainnincidents — some comic, othersntragic, all poignant—stand out and revealnboth the times and the nature ofnthe men who lived through them. Oneninvolves an English officer who, becausenhe contemptuously threw away andish of baked beans served for breakfastnthe morning before his capture, wasndoomed to hungrily contemplate themnfor the duration—a minor crucifixion.nMany passages tell of the humanity ofnthose among the enemy who sharednRead’s faith. One of the most memorablenis of a young German soldier laconicallyntelling Read after his capture,n”Your days are oxer. The Church isnfinished. We are in a new wodd.” (Hownman times throughout the centuriesnhave “progressives” said this?) These arenevents the court historians overlook orndiscard as trivial but which tell morenabout the men who make history thannmore notable occurrences.nWhat emerges most from this short,nunpretentious, yet remarkably wise littlenbook is that men stripped of everythingncan either surrender to despair ornrise out of their anguish and boredom tondiscover “the unfathomable riches ofnnnChrist.” That so many men, often innspite of themselves, come away fromnsuch experiences spiritually richer insteadnof poorer suggests something thatnthe saints hae always known: that alln”new worlds” must sooner or laternweaken and crumble in the face ofnGod.nCarl C. Curtis is assistant professor ofnEnglish at Liberty University.nBarroom Psychiatrynby Gary JasonnThe Myth of Neurosis by GarthnWood, New York: Harper & Row.nPsychotherapy is big business. Americanemploys perhaps a half million professionalsnand paraprofessionals (psychotherapists,npsychiatric technicians,ndrug/alcohol counselors, clinical socialnworkers, clinical psychologists, psychiatristsnand psychiatric nurses, familyntherapists) in the field, and the talkntherapy industry as a whole is worthnabout $17 billion. Yet many scholarsnand laymen are uneasy at the sight ofnthe tower of psychobabble. Himself anpsychiatrist and philosopher. GarthnWood has written a fascinating book,nwhich is at once a critique of psychoanalyticntherapy (and theory) and a sketchnof an alternative form of therapy Woodncalls “moral therapy.”nTo help the reader see the differencenbetween real mental illness and phonyn”disorders” and “neuroses,” Wood providesna detailed appendix which helpsnyou decide whether or not you are trulynpsychotic. (As he notes, chances arengood that if you worry about beingninsane, you aren’t insane.) Moreover,nWood does not criticize all forms ofntherapy—he readily concedes thatnsome forms of behavioral therapy arenquite effective in modifying undesirablenbehavior. But he denies that eithern”talk” therapy (Freudianism and all itsndescendants) or drug therapy (“mindncandy”) are effective. His crihque ofnthose standard psychiatric therapies isnboth philosophic and scientific.nOn the scientific side. Wood lays outnthe evidence against psychotherapy andnOCTOBER 1386/37n