Recommended Reading List on Depression

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the Concordia Deaconess Conference on the topic of depression and how to care for those suffering from mental illnesses of various types.  Below is the reading list I prepared for this wonderful group of ladies.  If I have missed anything that you might consider important, please let me know!  I’d love to revise and update it along the way here.  Thanks!  -DMR

Bibliography for Deaconess Conf

Recommended Reading List on Depression

On Depression

Greene-McCreight, Kathryn. Darkness is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2006.

Hart, Archibald D. Unmasking Male Depression. Thomas Nelson, 2001.

Karp, David A. Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness. Oxford University Press, USA, 1997.

Peperkorn, Todd A.  I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression. St. Louis: LCMS World Relief and Human Care, 2009.

Rogers, Matt. Losing God: Clinging to Faith Through Doubt and Depression. IVP Books, 2008.

Solomon, Andrew. The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression. Scribner, 2002.

Stryker, William.  Visible Darkness: A Memoir of Madness.  New York: Random House, 1990.

For the Families of Loved Ones

Karp, David A. The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope With Mental Illness. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2002.

On the Theology of the Cross

Floysvik, Ingvar. When God Becomes My Enemy: The Theology of the Complaint Psalms. Concordia College, 1997.

Forde, Gerhard O., and Martin Luther. On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 (Theology). Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997.

Lewis, C.S.  A Grief Observed.  San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1961, 2001.

Schulz, Gregory.  The Problem of Suffering: A Father’s Thoughts on the Suffering, Dead, and Life of His Children.  Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1996.

On Pastoral Care

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Spiritual Care. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1985.

Eyer, Richard C. Pastoral Care Under the Cross: God in the Midst of Suffering. Concordia Publishing House, 1995.

Eyer, Richard C. They Will See His Face: Worship and Healing. Concordia Publishing House, 2002.

Kleinig, John W. Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today. Concordia Publishing House, 2008.

On Pastoral Burnout

Hoge, Dean R., and Jacqueline E. Wenger. Pastors in Transition: Why Clergy Leave Local Church Ministry (Pulpit and Pew Series). Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005.

Preus, Robert D. “Clergy Mental Health and the Doctrine of Justification.” Concordia Theological Quarterly 48, no. 2 & 3 (1984): 113-23.

Prayer and Devotional Works

Bansemer, Richard. Forced to Pray: God’s Chosen Under Pressure. New York: American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, 2008.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1974.

Burke, William.  Protect Us From All Anxiety: Meditations for the Depressed.  Chicago: ACTA Publications, 1998.

Deffner, Donald L. Prayers for People Under Pressure. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1992.

Gerhard, Johann. Meditations on Divine Mercy: A Classic Treasury of Devotional Prayers. Concordia Publishing House, 2003.

Kinnamon, Scot, ed.  Treasury of Daily Prayer.  St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2008.

Lewis, C.S. Reflections on the Psalms (Harvest Book). Harvest Books, 1964.

Luther, Martin. Reading the Psalms with Luther. Concordia Publishing House, 2007.

Lutheran Book of Prayer. Rev. ed. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2005.

Lutheran Service Book. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006.

Reardon, Patrick Henry. Christ in the Psalms. Conciliar Press, 2000.

Steinmann, Andrew E. Is God Listening: Making Prayer A Part of Your Life. Concordia Publishing House, 2004.

Rev. Todd A. Peperkorn
The Nativity of St. John the Baptist, 2010
Concordia Deaconess Conference
Concordia University Chicago, June 23-26, 2010

3 thoughts on “Recommended Reading List on Depression”

  1. Have you ever read "Pressed Down but Not Forgotten" by H. Curtis Lyon & John Juern (Northwestern Publishing House: 1996)? It's in NPH's "Christian in Crisis" series. I've found it helpful in ministering to members dealing with depression. Maybe it could be included on your list. Here's a link…

    Thanks for the recommended reading list and God's blessings!

  2. I am very familiar with the book. The reasons I didn't include it are: 1. it is out of date in terms of the medical information included. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with medications. In 1996 Prozac was still the new thing, and the landscape has changed dramatically since that time.

    Second, and more importantly, if I go to find a book that is published by a Lutheran publishing house, I expect the Gospel to predominate (call me Waltherian). While there is some good stuff in there, I don't believe that the lines are drawn well in terms of pastors and counselors, and simply put the answers that they provide are generally secular. While much of what they suggest is good, it doesn't hold up the role of the forgiveness of sins, the spiritual dangers inherent with depression, and really doesn't put Christ forward where he belongs.

    This is obviously simply my opinion. This book was actually one of the reasons why I wrote mine, because I think that the gaps in it are too huge to be ignored.

    Anyway, my $.02. Thanks!


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