Against Biblical Counseling: For the Bible

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My third question is, "When you feel detached from God, what else are you attached to? To feel far from God doesn't mean that you now live in a vacuum or that God is far off. The human soul never lives in a vacuum; we always attach to something. What is the something that you are preoccupied with that is not the one true God?

Biblical Counseling v. Psychology

Answering that question opens a wide door to significant self knowledge and to grasping the real mercies of God in Christ. Sin includes high-handed things, but runs far deeper into who we are.

It is the perverse inner bentness that erases God from his universe and skews all our perceptions, purposes and choices. But sin is not the only factor at work in people's deep struggles and troubles.

Our bodies undermine us e. Our social situation besets us e. These things matter, yet the person never reduces to the interplay of physiological and social factors. For example, take the classic "nature-nurture" reductionism as applied to the etiology of eating disorders : "The body loads the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger.

Biblical Counseling

Instead, I believe that body and culture may be significant factors, but you pull the trigger. Something about who you are-the sin-distortion in a person's values, desires, fears, aspirations-is decisive. Let me use a pictorial image to capture the interplay of five change agents that work in concert. Imagine a child's simple drawing of a house: floor, two walls, roof, the room inside.

The floor and foundation is God's personal hands-on mercy and power.

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God is the underlying agent of true change. The roof is what God says. Scripture is his word to us, and we change when we listen and take to heart his message. One of the two walls represents the influence of wise, constructive people. We can be change agents with each other, hence friendship and counseling. The other wall is difficult life experience. People grow either better or worse! Finally, the person himself or herself is the room inside the house. People are always responsible agents in the change process. A person awakens, turns, changes: "repentance and faith working out into love" is the classic formulation.

All five elements of the house matter. What is the most difficult part of practicing psychotherapy while maintaining your beliefs? Let me reframe the question slightly. That said, I would reword the question, "What is the most difficult part of practicing cure of souls in a way that is faithful to your beliefs? God has given us such a rich, comprehensive, and active truth in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

It is very difficult to handle such life-searching depth and life-renewing breadth. I tend to get stuck on some piece of the whole, seeing half-truths or quarter-truths. I tend to grind an ax, focusing on what's familiar, or what has been personally significant, or what was helpful to the last person I talked with. May God be merciful to us all. I get the privilege of watching another human being grow wiser, more trusting, more loving, more courageous. A mind owned by confusion, fear , hostility, immorality or despair or all of the above becomes increasingly organized and oriented.

I am grateful for this privilege, that my interaction, by God's mercy, played a small part in another person's flourishing-and was part of my flourishing.

The Biblical Counseling Database

It is a great delight to see relationships sweeten, to see movement in the direction of what is good, true, beautiful and imperishable. Interested in psychotherapy and religion?

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Check the table of contents or like my facebook page to catch up and keep up to date. What a great article, I enjoyed reading this concise comparison between the cure of souls and dominate psychological perspectives today. I think the series should follow up with the influence of a humanistic worldview and look at the logical conclusions to these therapeutic approaches.

I've read David Powlison's material for years and have spent time with him personally. His insights into the workings of the human soul in light of a holy and loving God who has revealed himself to the world in Jesus Christ are both refreshing and life-transforming. I appreciated this interview and couldn't recommend his writings highly enough. If you have doubts about whether or not the Bible speaks specifically and hopefully to the struggles of life, check out more of Powlison's articles, books, and podcasts. Bob, like yourself I have read Powlison for a number of years and highly promote his work.

Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. A Simple Key to True Belonging. Making Sense of Nutritional Psychiatry. Submitted by Mike Parks on October 27, - am. Post Comment Your name.

E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted. All comments. If we believe that God is Holy, then we can trust that what God has allowed is for good Romans , Genesis because He is totally separated from sin and there is no evil in Him 1 John If we believe that God is Just, then we can trust that when we are wronged by others, we do not need to take revenge but leave that to God Romans Since God patiently withheld judgment and showed us mercy and patience 2 Peter when we rebelled, His indwelling Spirit gives us the patience to extend mercy to those who have hurt us Matthew Since Jesus was motivated to suffer on the cross for our sin Romans by a love that we did not deserve, we can joyfully extend grace to those that cause us to suffer unjustly.

Matthew ; Romans , But in practice they live as if they only have a Savior and not a Lord. We teach counselees how to live out what they claim: to have a Lord as their Master Matthew and they as His slave.

Secular Counseling

Our counseling has a methodology: there is a beginning, middle, and end. It is not open-ended, where we throw out Scripture to the counselee and pray that it works. But rather we roll up our sleeves and come alongside counselees Galatians to help them become doers of the word James Typically, biblical counseling lasts ten to twelve sessions. The first sessions are used to overcome the initial problem s they come into counseling with, and the latter sessions are used to teach them how to counsel themselves from the Bible through the Holy Spirit for all future problems. Biblical counseling is part of our church ministry.

The only costs you may incur would be books your counselor recommends as part of your counseling.

Become a biblical counselor. To request information about our biblical counselor training programs please email counseling tbbfchurch.