Saturday, March 16, 2013

Christ Centered Biblical Counseling.

    This book is a necessity for every Christian, Pastors especially but not exclusively. We all need to study counseling. I knew from the introduction that this was going to be an excellent book.  John Piper's beginning chapter "The Glory of God: The goal of Biblical Counseling" was pure gold. Dr. Piper defines Christ centered counseling for us and sets a high standard that the rest of this 480 page book maintains. "Biblical counseling is the God-centered, Bible-saturated, emotionally-in-touch use of language to help people become God-besotted, Christ-exalting, joyfully self-forgetting lovers of people." Pure Gold.

Listen to a sampling from the rest of this volume: "Our role as biblical counselors is to remind broken people of the Gospel script. We're soldiers in a battle standing back to back as spiritual friends speaking God's truth in Love. We provide grace narratives with discernment, using the weapon of truth to take down enemy lies and take captive enemy plans."  

"It doesn't matter if we have helped people feel better emotionally or improved some aspect of their situation if they are no closer to Christ when the process is concluded." 

"(What our counselees need) is to be formed into the image of Jesus. He needs to learn to abide in Christ so that the life of the Savior flows through and empowers everything he thinks, says, and does. He needs all kinds of things, but fundamentally, he needs to learn what it means to walk in a life giving relationship with Jesus." 

"Dependence must be on the Divine relationship, not on any human one. As a counselor, you must demonstrate this explicitly by your dependence upon the LORD. Let the people you counsel hear frequently of your dependence upon the Lord for wisdom and your confidence that He alone grants it out of His abundant generosity."  

"Biblical counselors serve others well by leading them to the throne room."

"(Counseling) Should reflect the price paid by Christ, God's work in building a Holy temple, and an awareness of the Holy Spirit's presence for, with, and in this counselee."

We must love those we counsel with "An awareness of the unity shared between family members in God's household-which of course should reflect the unity of the Trinity."

"As a Biblical counselor, how do you view your counselees? A well rounded approach is to consider each believer a Sinner, Sufferer and Saint." 

"We join them in acknowledging with candor that life is bad. We listen to their earthly story. We enter deeply and personally into the reality that the world is fallen and it often falls on us..."

"Sustaining says, 'Its normal to hurt.' Healing says 'Its possible to hope.' Sustaining provides empathetic permission to grieve. Healing offers encouragement to grow. Sustaining faces the fact that life is bad. Healing reminds people that God is good. Sustaining listens to the earthly story. Healing listens together to God's eternal, heavenly story...We should listen with both ears: One to our friend's temporal stories of hurt, and the other to our Father's heavenly stories of hope. Biblical counseling resides in both worlds." 

All of authors who gave of their wisdom for this volume are respected pastors and/or counselors, and there is so much truth to chew on in this book.
 Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling is a book is well worth reading. I am so grateful to Harvest House for sending me this book to review. 

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