The church’s role in healing the alcoholic.

Dying for a Drink, by Anderson Spickard, Jr., and Barbara Thompson (Word Books, Inc., 1985, 192 pp.; $12.95). Reviewed by Terry Muck, editor of LEADERSHIP journal.

It was late Sunday morning and Paul Taylor dragged himself out of bed with a groan. He was sick to his stomach, his head hurt, and his hands were shaking. He wished he hadn’t had so much to drink the night before; and he was looking forward to a strong cup of coffee.

Walking downstairs, he was surprised to find his wife and children sitting in the living room with the family doctor and the vice-president of the insurance company where he was a salesman. The doctor explained to Paul that they were there to talk with him about his drinking problem.

It was Paul’s wife who spoke first, her voice noticeably shaking: “Paul, last Tuesday we went out to dinner for our anniversary, and you got drunk. You poured a bottle of champagne on yourself and made a lewd remark to a woman who passed our table. When the maître d’ asked us to leave, you took a swing at him, and then passed out on the floor. A busboy helped me put you in the car.”

Paul stared at his wife incredulously as she went on to describe in detail three other similarly embarrassing incidents of the past year. He could not imagine why she was saying such things in front of his boss and doctor—but he was too surprised to respond. When she had finished, Paul’s employer began to describe his slipping work habits.

Paul’s teenage son followed with stories of parental abuse. And Paul’s doctor explained in graphic detail what drinking was doing to his physical health.

Then came the horror stories from his 17-year-old daughter. And finally, in a relational coup de grâce, Paul’s shy, ...

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