Book Write-Up: Decoding Your Dreams, by Jennifer LeClaire

Jennifer LeClaire. Decoding Your Dreams: What the Lord May Be Saying to You While You Sleep. Emanate Books, 2018. See here to purchase the book.

Jennifer LeClaire was the editor of Charisma magazine and has written over twenty-five books. She leads prayer networks and believes that she is a “prophetic voice.”

This book is about the interpretation of dreams. For LeClaire, God can speak to people through dreams. LeClaire examines what the Bible says about the topic. She also offers possible interpretations of motifs that appear in various dreams. In so doing, she considers what the Bible says about a given motif as well as what the motif means in different cultural contexts: a motif in one cultural context may bear a meaning that it does not bear in another. Moreover, LeClaire offers advice as to how Christians can respond to their dreams.

One may legitimately inquire what qualifies LeClaire to interpret dreams. Personally, if I wanted to know what my dreams meant, I would consult a trained psychologist. Whether one finds LeClaire’s book to be helpful is a personal decision. LeClaire brings to the table some of her own experiences with dreams that she believes were from God. To her credit, this book is not overly dogmatic, for it sifts through different options and draws from scientific insights about dreams. LeClaire is probably a little more critical of dreams in which dead relatives appear than secular psychologists might be, on account of biblical warnings against consulting familiar spirits. At the same time, even this discussion ends rather tentatively, after exploring alternatives. Her discussion of deja vu is also enlightening, as she interacts with scientific and conservative Christian proposals about what it is.

And perhaps some of her interpretations overlap with what secular psychologists would say. She consults the Bible, and Jung would not dismiss the Bible as irrelevant but would see it as one manifestation of the human collective consciousness. LeClaire brings a distinctly Christian perspective into her discussion, however, in that she believes that God can use dreams to instruct and to guide people as to how they are to act in response to situations that they and others are experiencing. But could even that overlap with Jungian views on synchronicity?

The book perhaps would have been stronger and more authoritative had it drawn more from secular psychology. Identifying parallels between psychological insights and Christianity would have been impressive, but noting her areas of disagreement with it would have been interesting as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers. My review is honest.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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