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New Age Medicine: A Christian Perspective on Holistic Health [Paperback]

Paul C. Reisser , Teri K. Reisser , John Weldon
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Format:Paperback
The Reissers and Weldon write on a subject that is storming the health care system; "alternative" medicine. It's all over the place, and there's plenty of people in my church who dabble in it or actually make a living as "alternative doctors" with no idea whatsoever that they're involved with something that isn't Christian in origin, and is likely at odds with a Christian worldview (depending on what they're doing).

The Reissers and Weldon work through the underlying worldview behind much of what falls outside of the "western medicine" veil and explain how little there is in common between the eastern and western worldviews from which their corresponding medical views and practices arise. They work through the main common denominators of much of the eastern worldviews (namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Tribal Shamanism and their various sub-groups) and they explain what the 'doctor' is doing (in the context of the worldview from which the practice emerges) when they wave their hands over you, put needles into you, tell you to meditate, etc. They examine things like Applied Kinesiology and Touch for Health, Qi Gong, Acupuncture, Biofeedback, Therapeutic Touch, Homeopathy, Jin Shin Do, Iridiology, Psychic Healing, Rolfing, Eastern Meditation, Kirlian Photography, Orgonomy, Palmerian Chiropractic and various forms of oriental massage (Do'in, Shiatsu, etc.).

The Reissers and Weldon comment extensively on the various systems of thought and are quite well read. They don't over simplify, but this also isn't a medical textbook. They explain things as straightforwardly as they can (though much of most eastern worldviews are dramatically foreign to any unfamiliar westerners) and give a good amount of commentary on the empirical verification for many "alternative medicine" systems and practices.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on a Subject that most people are CLUELESS about... Nov. 3 2009
By Lyndon Unger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Reissers and Weldon write on a subject that is storming the health care system; "alternative" medicine. It's all over the place, and there's plenty of people in my church who dabble in it or actually make a living as "alternative doctors" with no idea whatsoever that they're involved with something that isn't Christian in origin, and is likely at odds with a Christian worldview (depending on what they're doing).

The Reissers and Weldon work through the underlying worldview behind much of what falls outside of the "western medicine" veil and explain how little there is in common between the eastern and western worldviews from which their corresponding medical views and practices arise. They work through the main common denominators of much of the eastern worldviews (namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Tribal Shamanism and their various sub-groups) and they explain what the 'doctor' is doing (in the context of the worldview from which the practice emerges) when they wave their hands over you, put needles into you, tell you to meditate, etc. They examine things like Applied Kinesiology and Touch for Health, Qi Gong, Acupuncture, Biofeedback, Therapeutic Touch, Homeopathy, Jin Shin Do, Iridiology, Psychic Healing, Rolfing, Eastern Meditation, Kirlian Photography, Orgonomy, Palmerian Chiropractic and various forms of oriental massage (Do'in, Shiatsu, etc.).

The Reissers and Weldon comment extensively on the various systems of thought and are quite well read. They don't over simplify, but this also isn't a medical textbook. They explain things as straightforwardly as they can (though much of most eastern worldviews are dramatically foreign to any unfamiliar westerners) and give a good amount of commentary on the empirical verification for many "alternative medicine" systems and practices. Theologically, they connect worldviews with their outflows (i.e. religious systems with medical beliefs), knowing that most eastern cultures don't compartmentalize life like we do in North America. This means that they evaluate the practices on the basis of their own explanations for them, and offer suggestions to steer clear of systems that become non-systems when the religious element is removed (i.e. if you don't believe that your body is an illusion made by your mind and all disease stems from problems related to 'energy' flow in your 'illusory' body, then any form of 'correcting' that flow becomes utterly meaningless). They work through Christian implications for interacting with eastern religious practices masquerading as "medicine" and caution the believer to no dabble in the mystical and ultimately satanic.

But, the Reissers and Weldon also don't throw the entire "alternative medicine" enterprise under the bus. They recognize that there is lots of health related possibility with vegetables, fruits and various compounds that are unfamiliar to North American medicine. They recognize that western medicine has become increasingly obsessed with simply treating disease and not promoting any form of holism at all. They recognize that some of the sketchy "alternative" practices possibly work, but they also engage the subject from a biblical worldview that recognizes pragmatism doesn't rule supreme.

If there's a weakness to this book, it's two fold:

1. It's fairly short (165 pages of content, not counting end notes).

2. It's from 1988 (and a LOT has changed in "alternative medicine" since 1988). I WISH they would put out a second, updated version that was triple the length and dealt with some of the 'new comers' to "alternative medicine" (like Reiki).

Either way, if you're like me and had a friend recommend you or a loved one to a "doctor" who practiced a form of therapy you've never heard of and made conspicuous promises regarding effectiveness, you definitely need to get a copy of this. It's definitely worth the $10, and it'll connect you with other sources and authors who will help you make a biblically educated decision on pursuing whatever alternate treatment has been recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars A REVISION AND EXPANSION OF AN EARLIER WORK ON HOLISTIC HEALTH June 14 2011
By Steven H. Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This 1987 book is an expansion of their 1983 book, The holistic healers: A Christian perspective on new-age health care. The authors wrote in the Preface, "The focus of our original book ... reflected in part the activities of the holistic health movement in the late 1970s. At that time, many of the movement's prominent speakers and writers proclaimed that holistic health would, within the next few years, make a dramatic impact upon the entire health care system of the Western world. Needless to say, these expectations have gone unfulfilled. During the past decade, the practice of medicine has undergone significant changes---but not because of New Age thinking. The primary forces of change have been economic... It is in response to these trends in our culture and the Christian community that 'New Age Medicine' has been published. This book contains the entire text of 'The Holistic Healers,' along with additional material..."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"We (the authors) wish to state at the outset a most important presupposition of our own. We view the Old and New Testaments as authoritative in all matters of life, including physical and spiritual health. Much of our critique of the current holistic health movement will therefore be derived from biblical principles." (Pg. 13)
"The crucial question is not just whether objective (or subjective) healings actually take place, but what they mean. If a patient feels more relaxed after a session of Therapeutic Touch, is it because prana has been unruffled or because the healer's voice and manner were soothing?" (Pg. 48)
"Here the issue is not so much whether a miracle occurred, but whether we accept the healer's explanation for the results, if any. Unless one has bought into the New Consciousness, there may be no particular reason to believe anything the healer says without some compelling evidence." (Pg. 124)
"For those who desire wellness, Scripture offers even more than prevention of the physical and mental illnesses caused by violating God's standards of behavior." (Pg. 164)
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