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In a January 2002 radio broadcast on Focus on the Family Walt Larimore, MD reported that $49 billion is spent on alternative medicine, practices, and products in the USA. Of that, Larimore claimed that more than half of that was spent by evangelical Christians! If these numbers are true (or even half true) it would seem that this interest in and commitment to alternative medicine would produce a lively interest in books written from the Christian perspective which discuss alt med. Perhaps it does --- but apparently not in books which examine with the light of discernment and reason turned on.

In the last decade hardly a single book which critically evaluated alternative medicine has been found to even gather dust on the shelves of Christian book stores across the country; not because of high demand, but more because people just did not want to read books that might make them think, that might make them have to consciously make a shift in their world view -- where natural was good and from God.

Paul Reisser, MD has to take the place of being the discerning and prophetic voice, so to speak, in the Christian community, as he published one of the first books about the “holistic health” movement from the perspective of a science based physician and a Christian.

His book The Holistic Healers (IVP) rose out of his encounters with the seeds of the “holistic health” movement in California in the late 1970s. His seminal articles published in the Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal of 1979 are impressive -- and more than a bit unsettling -- more than 20 years later (SCP Journal Holistic Health : The Marriage of Science & Religion). The Holistic Healers was revised in 1987 as New Age Medicine, and then was allowed to go out of print. Jane Gumprecht, MD (New Age Health Care, Promise) and David Sneed, DO, (The Hidden Agenda, Thomas Nelson) put out books without receiving much attention. Both are out of print, but available from CINAM.

John Weldon and John Ankerberg produced and excellent compendium, Can You Trust Your Doctor? (Wolgemuth & Hyatt) but that too disappeared after too short a time. (It may be available from The Ankerberg Show).

This dismal state of affairs has now been rectified by not one, but two books which arrived in late 2001.

Paul Reisser is back. His most recent work, Examining Alternative Medicine (IVP, 2001) is a cooperative effort with Dale Made, DO, a former alternative practitioner himself, and Robert Velarde.

A more detailed review is coming, but this is a good text for grasping a bigger picture of the alternative medicine movement in recent years, especially the world view and spirituality from which it arises and which it promotes. Dr. Mabe includes a brief description of his path into and out of alternative practice which is telling in a number of ways . In a cautionary tale he describes how his search for nutritional information led to his gradual immersion into New Age philosophy. This book is an even handed look at and compassionate challenge to