Category: The Gospel and the Ministry

What Biblical Counseling is NOT: Sin-Obsessed

What Biblical Counseling is NOT: Sin-Obsessed I have been looking at some of the characterizations of Biblical Counseling over the last several weeks. There are many to consider, but I have limited myself to the most serious and most common. This critique today argues that Biblical Counseling is just focused on sin, or “sin-hunting” as some say. In truth, a multi-paradigm approach directs the individual-specific counsel that we seek to give. “Counselors don’t treat problems; they care for people.” That’s my hyperbolic way of communicating to myself, and my students, that Biblical Counseling isn’t formulaic. We don’t just place...

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Biblical Counseling Is Not Anti-Medicine

I am a biblical counselor. I spend most of my day working with others to evaluate their problems, strategize for change, and seek wisdom from God’s Word. I love what I do, but what I do is different from many of the dominant models of counseling. Biblical counseling’s emphasis is on the first of those two words: the Bible. This emphasis has led many to draw all kinds of reductionist conclusions about this model of care and make all kinds of accusations against it. In this series, it is my hope to communicate a more detailed picture of biblical...

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Strategic Issues in Counseling: Consider the Personality of Your Counselee

God has given to each of us a unique personality, an essential component of the way we express ourselves. Personality tests attempt to categories us, but each of us is at some level unique. This individuality requires counselors be sensitive and attuned to the person they are caring for. Effective counselors know that since personality shapes a counselee’s responses they must pay careful attention to that unique personality. Tim and Jinny were very different people and over the years of marriage, those differences had become increasingly more pronounced. Tim was a talker. When there were unresolved issues between he and Jenny...

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Three Ways to Let the Fire of the Sermon Warm Your Own Heart

I have preached a lot of sermons. I may only be 36 years old, but I have been preaching for fourteen years. Over those years I have preached multiple sermons per week. It is safe to say I have logged some significant preaching hours. One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the years with preaching is that I must ignite my heart’s affections with the truths I intend to proclaim. If I stand up and say true things, but I do not say them with the passion and conviction the truth merits, my preaching will suffer. Preaching...

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Strategic Issues in Counseling: Consider the Context of Your Counselee

When Sarah’s mother passed away, it stirred up in her all kinds of fear and anxiety. She had been living with her mom now for almost thirty years and depended on her for a lot of things. Suddenly she was going to have to be responsible for her whole life. I could have pointed out her failures to be prepared for this moment, I could have indicated that she needed to grow up a long time ago, but none of that really seemed helpful at the time. She was anxious, but her anxiety seemed more related to suffering and...

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