First off, wow, thanks for all the comments and discussion from my opening post. Blogging is way more beneficial (and fun) when there are comments and mature discussions, so keep ’em comin’. I once heard that asking the right questions is a sign of intelligence. I stink at asking questions. So, I value any questions you ask for my own training and edification.
Wow, seminary is difficult. It easily consumes my day and I don’t even have a job or kids. By this time next week I’ll need to read David Powlison’s Seeing With New Eyes and The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis in their entirety, read about 90 pages of Grudem’s Systematic Theology, not to mention probably 5 other chapters from other books. For those interested I’ve put our required reading list for this class at the end of this post. I’ve also realized that 88 credit hours is not the typical amount of hours for a masters degree. That’s like, 3 masters degrees.
In one of our first lectures, we learned what biblical counseling is by first looking at what it is not. There are many false assumptions about biblical counseling (some I had in my own mind). Some of these false assumptions are that biblical counseling is simplistic, superficial, anti-science and anti-medicine, harsh, and that people’s problems are all due to their sin.
So, let’s look at what Biblical Counseling is not…
- it’s not a separate ministry from the local church
- it’s not an optional ministry
- it’s not reserved for experts
- it’s not integrating secular psychology with Biblical truths
- it’s not dealing only with outward behaviors
- it’s not ignoring or trying to remedy proven medical issues.
- it’s not separate from discipleship
In fact, discipleship counseling is a helpful way of thinking about biblical counseling. Sometimes things happen in our walk that totally take us out and we need some intense discipleship to bring us back to gospel effectiveness. This could be any number of issues with any number of causes.
So, that’s a lot to think about. Tons of questions come to mind. This was an eye-opener to me. I find myself always looking at things through the context of the local church, as well as a local church in a completely foreign culture. I think for both, the implications can be profound.
Next time, we’re going to try to flesh out what biblical counseling IS, as well as looking at the sources of our knowledge. Also, I have a memory verse quiz over Psalm 1:1-3, Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 5:14.
For those curious of what I’m reading, here is the reading list for the class:
Teaching to Observe – Jay Adams
Competent to Counsel – Jay Adams
Counseling and the Authority of Christ (Free PDF download, basically a statement of Southern’s view on Biblical counseling and the changes that have taken place here over the years) – Russell Moore
Seeing With New Eyes – David Powlison
Transformed Into His Likeness – Armand Tiffe
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands – Paul David Tripp
~ Isaac ~