Theology and counseling. What do these two words have in common? For one, many people tend to relegate both to professionals. Secondly, most people unknowingly engage in both, regardless of what type of formal training they have (or have not) received. Virtually everyone holds some sort of belief about God, and almost every person gives counsel at some point in his/her life.
Of theology, Josh Harris says:
Yes! Theology matters. The study of this personal God and how He relates to His creatures makes a substantial impact on how one lives life. The authors of Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling understand and are committed to this truth. So much so, that Part I of this book begins with an introduction to the classic doctrines found in a systematic theology, laying a theological foundation for Christian living and preparing the reader for the practical implications found in Part II. The contributors to Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling do an excellent job demonstrating the relationship between theology and counseling. The theology is Biblical, readable, and relevant to daily life. Furthermore, the material serves to whet one's appetite for further study of God's Word and His work.
But what of counseling? Does counseling matter? In Part II, Mark Dever and Deepak Reju contend that "Counseling is a subset of discipleship and deals with the more problematic and difficult aspects of life to handle..." (pg. 251). If that is the case, counseling is part of what is commanded in Matthew 28 when Jesus instructs His followers to go and make disciples of all nations. You see, “counseling” is meant to encompass ministering the Word to one another and disciple-making, which makes a book like Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling important and helpful for all Christians.
Dever and Reju rightly recognize that:
"Every believer is expected to disciple someone and to be discipled, and is capable of doing so without any formal training. All they need is a willing spirit and a Bible. On the other hand, members may not know how to care for Christians who are stuggling with more severe problems. Even if they are willing to help, they may not know what to do, what to say, or where to go in the Bible for help. While everyone has the ability to disciple or be discipled, counseling might require more guidance from pastors and counselors" (pg.251).
Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling is available to offer further guidance. Bob Kellemen and Steve Viars write that the goal of Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling is to equip the reader to equip others "so that we bring Him glory through our individual and corporate growth in Christlikeness" (pg. 19). This book is a helpful means to that end.
For more information, you can read the Quotes of Note; a Free Sample Chapter by John Piper, the Foreword by David Powlison, and the Table of Contents ; and/or an interview with Managing Editor, Bob Kellemen.
Thank you for all of your entries! A winner has been selected via Random.org and has been contacted.
*Many thanks to Harvest House Publishers for sending me two free copies of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!