No More Secrets (Granbury, Texas: Swanberg Ministries, 2017).
Dennis Swanberg is no stranger to many Christians. He is well known for humorous presentations at conferences and Christian gatherings, and his “ministry of encouragement” has reached thousands over the years.
But in his book, “No More Secrets,” Swanberg addresses a serious topic, dealing with the pain and brokenness of addictions, secret sins and personal trauma that can afflict individuals, families and churches. Swanberg, who has also been a pastor in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, has a solid academic background, including a doctor of ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes with gentleness and understanding while addressing difficult and potentially uncomfortable topics.
The book draws on Swanberg’s ministry experience and also situations among his own family and friends. This is no cold, clinical treatise on phobias, fetishes and failures, but a warm, caring exhortation from a pastor’s heart to help those struggling with their own secrets or those who bear the burden of brokenness in others. He shows the value of letting go of painful secrets and finding peace that comes from forgiveness and reconciliation, sharing relatable stories about people he has known, including his grandfather and his own sons.
Swanberg’s characteristic humor shines through here and there, but this is a serious book. Yet the difficult issues it addresses from alcoholism, sexual immorality and other deeply devastating experiences are handled with grace and wisdom, and transparently show vulnerability in his own life. He repeats a question he asks at conferences: “What if any of us had the worst three minutes of our thought life projected on one of the large high-definition screens of the church sanctuary? Most of us would have to move to Australia at the fat end of the outback — and that does not mean a steakhouse.”
Dealing wisely with how to handle confession and treat people who need to be restored, Swanberg acknowledges that no individual, family or church is immune from problems. This book is short, easy to read, full of grace and hope.