18/02/2007

The Healthy Alternative (by John Houghton)

'The Healthy Alternative', written in the mid-80s by John Houghton, is a fictional look at two different worldviews and their methods of finding greater health and wholeness. One of the main characters is a Christian, another a New Ager. They're taken to various places by someone known as The Courier, and frequently accompanied by an angel.

They attend some lectures and observe some of the worst side of life towards the end of the 20th century, agreeing that many people are less than healthy, and that materialism is not the answer to anything. Both the Christian and the New Ager tend to eat balanced diets and look at some alternative medicine as well as conventional, and both acknowledge that the world is not merely what we see and touch.

But of course they diverge when it comes to finding a solution to mankind's problems. Each chapter looks (basically) at one facet of health, and compares the different approaches.

It was probably a good idea at the time although reading it 20 years later, I didn't find anything new. Possibly useful to someone (like another of the characters) who is dissatisfied with conventional medicine, and finds the church unhelpful, as there are warnings against some of the more occult forms of alternative healing. On the whole I thought the Christian worldview was presented fairly and in a reasonably balanced way, although no doubt people from a Pagan or New Age background would disagree!

Out of print in the UK, and not available at all in the USA.

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