Mindscape: What to Think about Instead of Worrying
by Timothy Witmer
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"No Worries?” We lob the phrase at others, but lie awake at night ourselves. Ebola, the economy, our kids, our parents, our future. We struggle to pull our thoughts away from our worries, fears, and frustrations.
When we get stuck, it's not exactly easy to fixate on “whatever is true, noble, right and pure.” We are profoundly aware that our worries have negative consequences for our bodies, minds, and relationships. But like most real people with real problems, our thoughts keep swirling around the same old issues.
Mindscape builds a practical action plan for changing your mental landscape—and your life—based on Paul’s rich exhortation in Philippians 4:8. Author Tim Witmer draws from thirty years of experience in helping worried people apply Scripture to their lives to present a clear, biblical, and deeply pastoral guide to replacing worry with a new way of thinking.
Mindscape is not a self-help book or an academic tome on behavioral theory. It is a real-world guide to the transformation that Jesus works in us as we go to him in faith and ask for his power to change, to listen, and to think differently.
Chapter-by-chapter application questions make Mindscape perfect for personal reflection or small group use.
Timothy Z. Witmer, MDiv, DMin is Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary where he serves as Coordinator of the Practical Theology Department and Director of Mentored Ministry and Master of Divinity Programs. He has also served for thirty-five years in pastoral ministry, most recently completing twenty-seven years of service at Crossroads Community Church (PCA) in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, and having been designated Pastor Emeritus. Tim is the author of The Shepherd Leader and The Shepherd Leader at Home. He and his wife Barbara have three children, four grandchildren, and reside in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
"A must-have, must-read, must-share book. Dr. Tim Witmer, a seasoned soul-physician, calmly enters his consulting room. It is full of anxious people. Many have been dosing themselves on narcotic or toxic prescriptions or self-cures but continue to experience personal and relational meltdown. His diagnosis is superbly clear; his prescription is powerful. His prognosis is honest. Even his instructions are a pleasure to read. Plus, his medicine works. Try Mindscape—a great book!"
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Author; Professor of Systematic Theology, Redeemer Theological Seminary , Dallas, TX
"I worry. In fact, I worry a lot. Tim Witmer's biblical and practical book is refreshing for someone like me. He reminds me of the truth and of the rest, joy, and life at the center of the truth. I'll probably still worry, but I'm going to be a lot better because of this book and you will be too. Read it and be glad!"
Steve Brown, radio broadcaster; professor (emeritus), Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, author of Three Free Sins
"Our culture breeds anxiety, anger, and escapism. 'Anxious about our relationships, we are alone together.' To counter this multi-headed hydra, Tim Witmer gives us a tour of the truly beautiful mind, the biblical mind, that returns us to the sanity of 'my Father's world.'"
Paul E. Miller, Director of seeJesus; author of A Praying Life and A Loving Life
"We worriers often see ourselves as victims of the unseen future's threatening possibilities. With pastoral wisdom and grace-grounded transparency, Tim Witmer summons us to resist anxiety proactively. Paul's famous directive to replace worry with thankful prayer (Philippians 4:6–7) is just the beginning of God's agenda to free us from our fears (4:8–9). Christ's Spirit can refurnish our 'mindscape,' replacing preoccupation with what might go wrong with concentration on the Savior, who makes all things gloriously right."
Dennis E. Johnson, PhD, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary, California; author of Him We Proclaim; coauthor of Counsel from the Cross.
"As colleagues, Tim Witmer and I probably spend a fair amount of time worrying about the same things. It is thus a pleasure to see that he has spent considerable time reflecting on this problem from a biblical and practical perspective. This book is both a work of demolition, as Tim dismantles the myths we tell about ourselves, and of construction, as he focuses the reader's mind on the great biblical truths that give us both a foundation in, and perspective on, our place in the universe. This is a straightforward pastoral book, which addresses a very real need in the anxious times in which we live."
Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
"To be human is to worry. It's something we all do. You can't avoid it. With that in mind, Tim Witmer introduces you to Paul while he is in jail in Philippi. Each chapter rivets the reader's anxious mind on better things to think about. If you find yourself overwhelmed and filled with worry, read Tim's book. It will give you some wonderful things to think about as well as a gracious Savior to talk to in the midst of it all."
Dr. Timothy S. Lane, President, Institute for Pastoral Care; coauthor of How People Change
"Mindscape is a helpful guidebook for any of us who have ever thought wrongly about the issues of life. With pastoral warmth, Dr. Witmer shows us how we can change the way we think and apply the gospel. Mindscape shows us that a new way of thinking can lead to a new way of living."
Scott Thomas, Associate National Director, C2C Network; coauthor of Gospel Coach
"Do you ever worry? If so, this book is for you. In an age of self-help manuals, theology-lite, and moralistic preaching, Mindscape is truly refreshing. Indeed, if carefully read and inwardly digested, it is life-changing. Tim Witmer proclaims a fully sovereign, yet truly comforting God who intervenes in the midst of very real affliction from without and persistent sin from within. He brings the simplicity and depth of the seasoned pastor to the reader. And the gospel of grace is on every page."
William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics and Boyer Chair in Evangelism and Culture, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
"Our culture thinks about human problems by focusing on the pathological extremes: panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and the like. But Mindscape, like Scripture, starts at the other end of the spectrum. It focuses on those normal 'pathologies' that beset all of us who ever feel worried, fearful, or apprehensive. This book is full of good sense because it is full of God and his ways. Wherever you land on the anxiety spectrum, take Mindscape to heart. You will become a wiser human being, guaranteed!"
David Powlison, Executive Director, CCEF; author