Reviewing books on Amazon

One of our readers, The Persistent Widow, has been busy reviewing books on Amazon. You might like to visit her reviews and vote on whether you find them helpful.

David Powlison’s booklet Domestic Abuse.

Jay Adam’s Competent to Counsel

Lou Priolo’s booklet  Divorce

John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage

And here is a review by another one of our readers:

Patricia Evans’ The Verbally Abusive Relationship

There are many books on Amazon that are relevant to Domestic Abuse and Christianity which our readers might like to review. If you get a review published on Amazon, let us know in a comment on this thread, so that others can vote on it if they wish.

When adding comments below, please give links to books and reviews, to make it easier for everyone. If you are giving a link to a review, make sure you give the permalink (click on the word ‘permalink’ at the end of each particular review on Amazon’s website, and it will take you to the permanent URL for that review).

In addition to the books that our readers above have already reviewed, here are some books which might bear reviewing. To create your own review on Amazon, go to the Amazon page for the book that you want to review, click on the ‘Reviews’ link next to the star rating, then click on the little box that says “create your own review”.  If you have further books to suggest for the list below, feel free to do so in a comment in this thread.

And for those who want to review our own books on Amazon, here are the links:

And here are links to Dr George Simon’s books. We would love our readers to review his books, as that is one way we can show gratitude to him for writing guest posts for this blog. And it will help spread the word about how good his books are. The more  pastors, counselors and supporters of victims read George Simon’s work, the more victims will be shepherded to safety rather than sent back into the mouths of the lions. (Note: these three links are Amazon Affiliate links)

When writing a review on Amazon, you can add a product link to any book that you are mentioning within the body-text of your review. For example, if you are writing a critical review of a certain book, you might want to mention that another book is better than the one you are criticizing. It’s easy to add a product link for the book you more strongly recommend: just look for the little grey box that says “insert a product link” and follow the prompts.


UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

31 thoughts on “Reviewing books on Amazon”

  1. well I made the mistake of clicking on Piper’s book and perusing the reviews — now I feel like I need a barf bag.
    As long as Piper and his worshippers stay over THERE and don’t get to close to me I guess I will manage. 🙂

    1. I spared myself, I dont have a barf bag handy, plus I didnt want to soil the sink or toilet.

      1. Understood.
        And for those who don’t want to write a review of any of those books because getting that close to the material would be triggering or nauseating — you might want to go in and click the ‘like’ button on some negative reviews of those books that other Amazon users have already written. And you can always write or like a review of Jeff’s book or my book 🙂

    2. I made sure I didn’t read any of the other reviews, just voted on Widow’s. But I did feel the need to do that at least; Piper makes me so very angry. My dad loves him. I can imagine what all the positive reviews say, entirely too well.

      1. You might like to vote on the reviews of The Judas Syndrome too. One of them is written by Ps Jeff Crippen, and there are three others as well that are all favourable towards the book. We really want to express gratitude to Dr Simon for his work for us, and this is one way we can collectively do it.

  2. Barb, Thanks for bringing attention to the reviews. I think that it is an effective way to alert people to the dangers these books pose for victims of domestic abuse. Many pastors stock their libraries with these books, and consult them when abuse victims come for help. If this at least makes them view the teachings from these books critically, and realize the damage the teachings are having on people, we all stand to benefit. Also, it is likely that the authors themselves read the reviews. Some of these authors have been hard to reach personally, maybe the only way for them to consider our position is on these reviews. I think that reviews stand out like a big picket sign, and are an effective way to protest the harm that these books do. Maybe someone will stop and think because of them.

    I found it interesting how many people voted my reviews ‘not helpful to the discussion.’ That it telling. Obviously, the people who love these books would rather not discuss the possibility that people are suffering as a result of them. I can understand that they might not like my review, but to say that it adds nothing to the discussion is dishonest. Even more interesting is the response from the pastor’s wife to the This Momentary Marriage review. It really sums up the Piper position, how tragic.

    1. that was the review that made me reach for the barf bag — what a sick lady that pastor’s wife is. Another case of “Sucks to be you” gospel.

      1. It is possible that pastor’s wife is not ‘sick’ but just massively ignorant about abuse. Most pastors don’t get any training about domestic abuse. It is just not on their radar (and no wonder, when abusers work so hard keeping it OFF people’s radar). That, I think, explains some at least of the damaging and dangerous advice that Christian leaders give to victims. They don’t know how to screen for abuse. They don’t know how to recognize it. They misunderstand it and often believe the myths about it that perpetrators are constantly circulating.

        I know and fully understand the anger and pain that most of our readers have about having been hurt by terrible counsel from pastors, pastor’s wives, bible study leaders, elders, Christian counselors, etc. — and I don’t want to blow that off for one moment. But I believe that if we are going to bring change to the church, we need to recognize that many Christian leaders cannot be entirely blamed for being clueless about this.

        Let us, as we are able, be mindful of this, and seek to invite and lead Christian leaders to a better understanding, even if it is only by baby steps. Yes, we must honor the anger and pain and all the other responses of victims, and be advocates for them in speaking the truth and pointing out falsehoods and dangerous teaching; AND let us try to educate the ignorant (but non-abusive) leaders with respectfulness and invitational gentleness. I know it is a balancing act, and it’s not easy, especially when we are triggered into remembering all the pain we have been through. And I’m not advocating that we be palatable to everybody. We must speak the truth about our feelings and our experiences, and we must denounce dangerous teaching. I guess the challenge is to be honest and denounce dangerous notions, without descending into name-calling. Correct me, or put my thoughts into better words, if I’ve said this wrong.

      2. Perfectly said Barbara.

        So hard to do well, though. Certainly a topic on which we must pray for much wisdom.

      3. this is why I won’t be the one leading the charge to educate people with gentleness – I find that pastor’s wife to be far too off the chain. Perhaps it’s the fact that she “gently” looks into the tearful eyes of victims and then “gently” explains that they need to continue in the suffering for Jesus.
        ok I wont post about this anymore because I’ll def need the barf bag again ;P

      4. Oh…wow….That pastor’s wife’s review….

        Barbara, you are right about the need to educate these people, but how do you do that with someone as far gone as that?

      5. I think you haven’t got much chance of doing it unless you can put aside your anger and engage them in some kind of discussion. This is how I would probably do it myself, but each of us is different so may way might not be your way. I would tell them that I minister in the area of domestic abuse and Christianity. I would see how they responded to that information. I might ask them if they have ever thought much about that issue, and what experience if any they have had, or issues they have had in dealing with it. I would tell them, kindly, not judgementally, that I know that most seminaries don’t cover that topic much (if at all) in the basic training they give to pastors.

        That kind of conversation would almost certainly reveal to me something about where this person was at on this topic, and whether they were open to learning a little more. If I had been calm and approachable and respectful enough in the conversation, they might actually be willing to have a deeper discussion about it. I’d ask them if they would like to have a meeting to discuss this topic more. If they say NO, I don’t get upset: at least I won’t have made that person more resistant to advocates like us. If they say Yes, the way I would go from there is arrange a suitable time for a meeting, and at the meeting ask them “How can I help you?” — that is, how can I help you learn more? how can I help you explore and think through some of the problems and issues that you might face when you are dealing with marriages where there might be domestic abuse? That kind of approach is invitational, not confrontational. Baby steps is the way to go.

        Of course, if the person comes out with what we think of as some kind of dreadfully victim-blaming pronouncement, I must not rail at them or blow green smoke. I have to gently say, “In regard to what you said about such and such, may I explain something to you?” And if they say I may, then I begin to explain to them why their idea is wrong, and why it will be damaging to victims, and what ideas are better:— how to better identify and define abuse, and how to respond to cases of abuse or suspected abuse.

      6. The pastor’s wife review made me quite angry as well. But, I can see that if I hadn’t gone through the experience of abuse, I may have felt the same way. I was such a legalist. Freedom from legalism is the amazing gift God has given me through this trial.

        I can’t find the specific post here, but a while back, there was a post by a counselor who was getting referrals from a local pastor. He counseled a victim to divorce her husband. The pastor was angry and stopped speaking to him and also stopped referring clients to him. One day, the counselor received a phone call from this pastor who was very humble, and asked him to counsel his daughter who was in an abusive marriage. The pastor didn’t “get it” until it was his own daughter who was being beaten.

  3. Finding Joy Again,
    I identify with your statement 100%. As we were going through the divorce, my ex-husband said, “Everyone agrees with me that you’re wrong.” At first I thought perhaps he was right.

    But then I finally call his bluff and said, “Name one.” He never could. Everyone knew who the innocent party was.

    Thank, Jeff and Barbara, for the list of books above. I commented on one and upvoted several of PersistantWidow’s comments.

    1. You know what? You know how these guys say if we allow divorce for abuse that will open the floodgates and everyone will get divorced (basically)? If this is what they think normal marriage is like, no wonder they think everyone would want out!

      But if that happened it wouldn’t be the fault of “extending” (tragically) the grounds for divorce to include abuse. It would be because these guys were doing such a horrible job teaching what marriage is supposed to be like to begin with!

    2. Paul Tripp is one of the co-authors of the Powlison Domestic Abuse book, first on the above list, along with Lou Priolo. I don’t know why it would take three authors to write an 18 page booklet, but the booklet is a real problem. It is sold in seminary bookstores where I believe it does its damage to influence pastors searching for information about abuse. Peacekeeper Ministries used to sell it at their online bookstore and recommend it for counseling. There appears to have been a shake up in the domestic abuse information at Peacekeepers, and the Domestic Abuse book was removed from their site recently, along with other faulty resources. We should be looking into Paul Tripp’s books — thanks for the information, Kathy.

  4. I didn’t read any of the other reviews but did read Persistent’s and voted them all helpful, which was true. 🙂

    I don’t own any of those books and Persistent convinced me I don’t want to!

  5. Thank you, Barb for this reminder. I just finished reading “In Sheep’s Clothing” and wrote a review yesterday. I hope I’m doing the permalink correctly. [note added by Barb: here is the the permalink to this review. Note added Nov. 18, 2021: This link is broken and no replacement could be found. Editors.]

    One thing that jumped out at me when reading the book was that it doesn’t matter why a manipulative person does manipulative things. Well, I had an epiphany this morning while driving home from dropping off my son at preschool. I found my mind wandering to our months in marriage counseling. I would go by myself very often and just pour my heart out to this man about my husband’s hurtful behavior. This was before I knew that it was abuse. And I would find myself racking my brain after the sessions as to why the counselor just didn’t seem to get it and obsessing over what I should say or do to make him get it. This morning, I was saying the same thing to myself. I was going in there sharing story after story of abusive incidents, and yet, the counselor never seemed to see that there was abuse. Why couldn’t he see it? Was he blind to it? Did he not believe me? Did he see it and just not care? And all of the sudden, it hit me, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHY!! The why is irrelevant. There was abuse in my marriage and the counselor didn’t acknowledge it. It was a very freeing realization.

  6. There has been a lot of interesting dialogue at the book reviews lately. The negative reviews at This Momentary Marriage, and Jeff’s book, A Cry for Justice [Affiliate link], have become an arena for debate. Our issues are coming to the surface, and everyone’s input is needed. Consider commenting yourself, or be sure to vote the appropriate reviews as helpful.
    Recently, a survivor wrote an excellent review of Barbara’s book here:

    Not Under Bondage [Affiliate link]

    I would encourage everyone to read it, and vote it as helpful. Thanks so much to the person who wrote it, and for sharing a great testimony that is certainly going to be an encouragement to others. Check out the other comments on Barb’s book, and vote all the appropriate ones as helpful, too. This activity is making some waves-make sure that your voice is heard.

    1. This was an excellent review of Barb’s book, and a clear reminder of why it is so important.

      Barb, I cannot stop thinking of the words of Mordecai to Esther,
      “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

      Such a time as this. People are hurting. I am so glad that you have not remained silent!

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