Book Review: When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch

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Some writers have an exceptional ability to write about a familiar subject in a refreshing, thought provoking way. With his book, When People are Big and God is Small, Ed Welch does just that.


Ed Welch is a counselor at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Pennsylvania. Unlike many counseling centers today, CCEF is thoroughly biblical in its approach to man’s problems. You will not be disappointed as you read Welch’s book.

In his desire to make this book readable and understandable to those familiar with psychobabble, Welch uses commonly used terms like peer pressure, codependency, and self-esteem to introduce his topic. Yet by the end of the book, the reader will begin assigning the biblical term, a fear of man, to such new fangled problems.

Welch divides his book into two parts: How and Why We Fear Others and Overcoming the Fear of Others. In the first section, Welch probes the minds of those who fear man more than they fear God. You will be surprised as you read how the fear of man ensnares the minds of Christians. He exposes the fear in all of us. In the second part, Welch amply supplies biblical principles so that one can eradicate the fear of man and develop a fear of God.

The strengths of this book are many, but at least this should be stated. Unlike the majority of self-help books, Welch does not merely state his opinions, he uses Scripture profusely. The bulk of the book (over two-thirds) is devoted to fixing man’s problems. He does not simply bemoan the fact that people fear man more than they fear God. He gives biblical solutions.

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