BOOK REVIEW: “Moving Forward” moves forward clumsily …

One of the worst places to be is stuck in your past, wallowing in guilt and unable to forgive yourself. Any helpful guidance in moving forward from the ugly past is usually welcome, and for that reason there’s a new book out that you might gain some benefit from.

“Moving Foward: Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself and Breaking Free from the Past” is the latest book by professor and psychologist Dr. Everett Worthington, Jr. (published by WaterBrook Press). Because Worthington is a leading researcher on the topic of forgiveness, the six steps to “breaking free from your past” that he expounds on can be helpful to those who need to move forward in their lives.

But because he is a leading researcher on forgiveness — and because I’ve read some of his other writings — I expected something better from Worthington. At least, as far as the writing style is concerned.

The greatest weakness I found with the book is a lack of conciseness. Worthington tries to illuminate what he has to share by telling a personal story of struggling with forgiving himself during a difficult time in his life. The problem is that, instead of telling his story, he stretches it throughout the entire book. That story is woven in with the six steps he tries to teach, while also pointing out various research studies, and tossing in a Bible verse here and there.

The result is an odd mix that made the points of his writing less concise. He would tell a snippet of his story, bring up some research findings, mention something from scripture, and still try to explain a point. The outcome was the writing was too busy. Just make the point!

I was surprised at what seemed to be an excessive desire to mention research findings, even when the research was not very significant, which made the exercise of raising the research seem irrelevant. It was almost as though Worthington didn’t feel comfortable making a point without establishing some clinical evidence for it. But not everything of value has to have clinical validation, especially if the Word of God establishes a truth.

Regardless of the clumsy style, there are points made in this book that are of value. If you’re struggling with how to move forward from your past, you could gain some benefit from this book. But because of its clumsiness, it’s not the first book I would recommend on the topic of learning to forgive yourself.


I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as
part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required
to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are
my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal
Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use
of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”