We had FUN doing this podcast!

And it’s a hands-on podcast, too. We’re going to walk you through how to tell if the marriage/parenting/sex books on your bookshelf are healthy or not.

So grab a couple of books and a cup of coffee or tea, and let’s get started!

Oh, and for those of you watching on YouTube, I meant to mention my shirt, but I never did. We had these shirts made for a woman who was attending the American Association of Christian Counselors. It has our book cover on the front, and “ask me about a study of 20,000 Christian women” on the back. We’ll make them more widely available soon if anyone else wants one!

Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:

Timeline of the Podcast

0:30 How to figure out if you can trust a book
4:30 There should be basic standards
7:00 Footnotes 101
18:00 Anecdotes should MATCH the teaching and caveats
23:45 The Steps to Check if a Book is Healthy
46:00 Interview with Neil Schori on how to approach your pastor

Main Segment: A Litmus Test for whether or not Christian resources are healthy

We’re drawing on yesterday’s post on my two tests for how to tell if a book/teacher is healthy or not.

We look at:

  • Do they use peer-reviewed research?
  • What counts as good research?
  • Do they understand basic statistics?
  • Do their anecdotes line up with their explicit teaching? (If not, the anecdote reveals what they really think)
  • Do they change their advice when research changes?
  • Do they go back and correct old stuff?
  • Do they platform people that we know are harmful?

It may sound intimidating–but I promise it’s not! And we show you how to look at these things in the books that you likely have on your bookshelves.

And don’t forget to download our rubric for healthy sexuality teaching! Apply it to the marriage and sex books on your shelf!

Interview with Neil Schori: How do you approach your pastor about a problematic book/speaker?

Neil Schori is an amazing pastor with a heart for domestic violence and abuse victims. He was unwittingly thrust into the nation’s spotlight when a woman he was counseling–Stacy Peterson–was murdered by her husband Drew. That started he and his wife on a big journey of learning more about abuse dynamics. 

He answers a reader question today about how to approach a pastor who is using a book you know is harmful for a book study, or recommending it from the pulpit, or inviting a problematic speaker in to speak. 

Neil Schori is the lead pastor of The Edge Church in Aurora, IL. Neil Schori’s passion for assisting victims of domestic violence was fueled by the tragic disappearance of Stacy Peterson in 2007. Over the past 10 years, Neil has served full-time in several pastoral roles ranging from family care and counseling to community groups and assimilation. As the lead pastor of The Edge, with a Master’s degree in counseling from Lincoln Christian Seminary, Neil has actively promoted the church’s role of assisting victims of intimate partner violence for the past several years.

In 2008 Neil Schori and Susan Murphy-Milano devised a tool that would give victims of domestic violence a voice. At that meeting, the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit© was born. Murphy-Milano subsequently wrote the book, Time’s Up: A Guide on How to Safely Leave an Abusive Relationship with explicit instructions and blank forms for victims and advocates of domestic violence to use. These forms provide individualized safety plans, which document the abuse in the form of witnessed, notarized and video-taped testimony should she/he go missing or become incapacitated.

Neil and his wife, Brandi, reside in the Chicago suburbs with their beautiful daughters Hannah, Mia, and Ava.

Be sure to watch Neil Schori on Dateline coming up in the next few months!

Neil Schori

Lead Pastor at the Edge Church, Spiritual Director and Domestic Violence Prevention Coach

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Things Mentioned in This Podcast:


How to Tell if a Christian Book is Harmful: Podcast
Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find BIBLICAL, HEALTHY, EVIDENCE-BASED help for their marriage. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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