Stumbling Toward Wholeness: How the Love of God Changes Us

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Hartmann, a Professional Writing student at Taylor University in Upland, IN.


Title: Stumbling Toward Wholeness: How the Love of God Changes Us

Author: Andrew J. Bauman

Publisher: NavPress

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 169 pages


Stumbling Toward Wholeness takes a different approach on the story of the prodigal son and argues that everyone’s life moves through the phases of each character at one time or another. Bauman, a mental health counselor, provides his own personal journey and psychological insight to this familiar biblical story and encourages us to reread this story, paying closer attention, and applying it to our own lives.

This book wrestles with difficult topics and encourages readers to see how they have acted like both brothers in the story and how to move through that and become more like the father of the story who loves with unconditional abandon. Bauman explains that it is easy to love “guardedly” to avoid getting hurt, but he argues that on our messy journey to wholeness—to becoming more like God—we are called to love completely, without holding back.

While I think this book has a good message and good insights, I found it rather repetitive and stilted at times.


Rating (1 to 5)

3 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians interested in mental health and who want to learn how to apply the story of the prodigal son to their own lives.

Christian Impact

The story of the prodigal son has a lot more to teach us than the story many Christians grew up hearing.


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Stumbling Toward Wholeness: How the Love of God Changes Us

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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