The best way to learn how to do counseling is by giving and receiving counseling in the context of real relationships. Often times some people think that the best counseling is learned by reading a book (which is good regarding learning the how to) but learning to counsel well is more than that. To learn to counsel well, we must also have good examples. We must see how to counsel well by those who do it well. In Gospel Conversations How to Care Like Christ part of the Equipping Biblical Counseling Series, Robert Kellemen gives four compass points for biblical counseling. First: Sustaining: It’s Normal to Hurt.” Second, Healing: “It’s Possible to Hope.” Third, Reconciling: “It’s Horrible to Sin but Wonderful to Be Forgiven.” Finally: Guiding: “It’s Supernatural to Mature.”

As the author proceeds throughout his book, he builds on these four points just mentioned by offering twenty-one relational competencies to help readers navigate any counseling situation. This book is designed not as a textbook though it could be used as one, as a practical training manual that can be used for lab and small-group interaction. The first book in the Equipping Biblical Counseling Series, Gospel-Centered Counseling helped provide biblical insight into life’s eight ultimate questions so biblical counseling can change lives with Christ’s changeless truth. Gospel Conversations seeks to build on that framework by providing a comprehensive relational training curriculum for the local church.

Gospel Conversations is a very helpful book that I believe will help biblical counselors learn how to care for people like Christ. I loved how this book emphasized the relational nature of counseling. In my experience, counseling books are so theoretical that we can miss out on the fact that the best counseling we can offer people isn’t from our heads but in the context of real relationships with people. While this may seem like a small point, people may enter into the counseling office for help, but they want to know they are cared about and will be helped. This is best done in the context of relationships with people. People might tell you all about the details of their lives, but they will listen to someone they trust. This is where the relational aspect of counseling comes in.

Gospel Conversations How To Care Like Christ by Robert W. Kellemen is an excellent book that will help readers learn the relational aspect of counseling. I highly recommend this book to Bible college and seminary students learning about how to engage in counseling. This would also be an excellent book for those who are engaged in counseling but want to expand their knowledge and ability in counseling.

I received this book for free from Zondervan Academic and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”