Book Review: Counsel from the Cross, by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson

Review by Deepak Reju | 9Marks Journal: Book Reviews on the Mission of the Church | 10.27.2010

These authors understand that the proper context for spiritual growth is a local church and not our own individualistic endeavors.

Discipling Men vs. Discipling Women

By Deepak Reju | 9Marks Journal: Pastoring Women | 07.01.2010

How should the Bible’s teaching about men and women inform my pastoral work?

What’s wrong with the therapeutic model of counseling?

In short, “the therapeutic” borrows a wonderful metaphor from medicine—“healing”—but reduces counseling problems to one aspect of a more complicated problem. Just as doctors aim to heal people, counselors speak of counseling in the same terms. But the problems which enter the counseling office are more complicated than that, involving not just the physical aspects of a person, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual. More importantly, the spiritual is always primary.

What are the advantages of church-based counseling?

Church-based counseling places the counseling process into the context of leaders and people who are already responsible before God to watch over your soul. If you have a choice between (i) seeing someone who knows nothing about you and has no obligation to you outside of counseling or (ii) seeing someone who will give an account to God for how well he has watched over your soul (e.g. Heb. 13:17), who would you choose?

How is church-based counseling different from typical Christian counseling?

It’s more community-driven than individualistic. Most Christian counseling is purely individualistic. One counselor counsels one counselee. Most Christian counselors talk about relationships but remain wholly disconnected from the other person’s life apart from scheduled, one-on-one meetings in the counselor’s office. On the other hand, church-based counseling is a team effort (Prov. 11:14, 21:26).

What is church-based counseling?

Church-based counseling is an attempt to draw “counseling” into the general discipling work of the local church. It’s practicing counseling by equipping members and leaders to meet one another’s counseling needs rather than referring people “out” to experts.

How should biblical theology inform pastoral counseling?

A pastor should apply all of Scripture to his people’s lives in light of the gospel. Biblical theology teaches a pastor how to do this. And this enables Christians to draw comfort, encouragement, and hope from all of Scripture, even parts of it that seem more distant from our lives.

What is wrong with the therapeutic approach to counseling?

By David Powlison | 03.01.2010

The essential logic of the therapeutic gospel is this: your personal problems arise from being acted upon.

What Distinguishes Biblical Counseling from other Methods?

By David Powlison | 02.26.2010

Just what is “biblical counseling” anyway?

Cultivating a Culture of Counseling and Discipleship

By Tim Lane | 9Marks Journal: Counseling in the Church | 02.26.2010

When we live as children of light, we live a persuasive lifestyle that gets the attention of the non-Christian.

What Questions Does a Biblical Counselor Suggest We Ask?

By David Powlison | 02.26.2010

In discipling somone, I am doing nothing more than pursuing the same line of questioning and reasoning that I myself need.

Where Does Your Congregation Turn For Help?

By Deepak Reju | 9Marks Journal: Preaching | 02.25.2010

If you neglect to teach your people biblical application you have failed to shepherd the flock adequately.

Five Advantages of Church-Based Counseling

By Deepak Reju | 9Marks Journal: Counseling in the Church | 02.25.2010

I want to argue that there are distinct advantages to doing specialized counseling in the context of one’s local church, and I would even propose that it should be the norm.

Counseling and Discipleship

By Deepak Reju | 9Marks Journal: Counseling in the Church | 02.25.2010

Every Christian should either be discipling someone else, be discipled by someone else, or be doing both.

Sorting Out the Spiritual and the Physical

By Michael Emlet | 9Marks Journal: Counseling in the Church | 02.25.2010

In my counseling training, I began to see that the Scriptures provide this overarching view to any problem of life.

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