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David Powlison

Is the Adonis Complex in Your Bible?

Journal of Biblical Counseling 22:2

In this article, David Powlison addresses how biblical counselors should approach human problems that seem to be novel or brand-new. Powlison uses the example of the label “Adonis Complex” (also known as reverse anorexia, bigorexia or muscle dysmorphia). It is characterized by a fixation with having the perfect male physique. Powlison argues that men with this cluster of characteristics increasingly focus on their physical appearance and become distressed when excessive exercise and steroids do not give them the physique they desire. Powlison concludes that unusual problems are normal in the light of Scripture and that God’s mercy reorients a person whose lusts of the flesh control their lives.

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