The Biblical Counseling Coalition is excited to announce the release by Zondervan of our second book: Scripture and Counseling: God’s Word for Life in a Broken World. Co-authored by twenty-two leading biblical counselors, Scripture and Counseling helps us regain our confidence in God’s Word as sufficient to address the real life issues we face today.
To learn more about Scripture and Counseling click here.
To purchase a copy of Scripture and Counseling at 40% off, click here.
You can also purchase a copy of our first BCC book, Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling, here.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., authored the Foreword to Scripture and Counseling. Dr. Mohler serves as President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Mohler has been recognized by such influential publications as Time and Christianity Today as a leader among American evangelicals. In fact, Time.com called him the “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S.” In addition to his presidential duties, Dr. Mohler hosts two programs: “The Briefing,” a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview; and “Thinking in Public,” a series of conversations with the day’s leading thinkers. He also writes a popular blog and a regular commentary on moral, cultural and theological issues. All of these can be accessed through Dr. Mohler’s website. Dr. Mohler’s mission is to address contemporary issues from a consistent and explicit Christian worldview.
Foreword to Scripture and Counseling, by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
One of the most revolutionary aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the assumption that our main problem is inside of us and our only hope for rescue comes from without. In matters of counseling, the secular worldview, driven by the engine of therapy, says precisely the opposite—our problem is something outside of us, and the rescue we need is something that comes from within. This is the very antithesis of gospel proclamation. It is impossible to reconcile the doctrine of human depravity with the ethos of self-esteem. It is impossible to mix orthodox theology and secular therapeutic counseling.
Any attempt to reconcile these worldviews with the gospel subverts the gospel intentionally or unintentionally. Mixing secular psychology with the church’s theology makes the gospel something it is not. The history of secular counseling bears witness to this fact. Freud told us that our problem is in our subconscious and must be treated by therapy; Jung found the problem in the structures of the unconscious brain; Maslow told us that what we need is self-actualization; Bettelheim told us to get in touch with our stories; and the list goes on. These notions are all contrary to the Christian worldview. Yet one of the great tragedies of our age is that the average Christian bookstore is teeming with literature promoting the agenda of secular psychology. Sadly, much of this literature can succeed in the Christian market by barely camouflaging the secular worldviews it promotes.
This means that the task of biblical counseling must be undertaken with a sense of urgency. We are living in a time of tremendous cultural and theological confusion and this has led to a vast and dangerous infection of the church. Regrettably, many churches have embraced counseling that majors on the therapeutic. Marketable and pragmatic, this form of counseling orbits around the self and is theologically anemic. It lacks the transforming power of the gospel—a gospel that reminds us that the solution to our problems comes from outside ourselves, not from within.
In counseling, as in every area of life, the people of God must take their marching orders from the Word of God, committed to its authority and sufficiency. Believers are called to counsel one another with the rich truth of God’s Word in a way consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the center of this counseling ministry that we have to one another is the church—more specifically local churches marked by the truth, power, and authority of God’s Word and of the gospel (Matthew 16:13-20). The communion of the saints, ordered by the authority of God’s Word, is the center of biblical counseling.
Christ has richly lavished His grace on His church. As we minister, serve, and worship together we receive the vast riches of God’s counsel together. Part of the biblical counseling ministry of the church proceeds from the pulpit as church members corporately submit themselves to the Word of God. At other times a more personal ministry of the Word is needed as members counsel one another with respect to specific problems, looking at specific situations in the Scriptures.
The communion of saints exercises godly counsel through worship, preaching, the ordinances, and other means of grace. The communion of the saints is a communion of godly counsel givers. We are not merely individual Christians, loosely scattered throughout the world. Christians are members of the body of Christ, and our identity is bound up in the community of God’s people. As Paul reminds us, “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Therefore, congregations and churches must be theologically equipped to apply the Word of God to one another’s lives. In this way the church is equipped, the church is called, the church is exhorted, the church is encouraged, and the church is made into the likeness of Christ.
As a communion of holy ones, our aim is to conform one another to the image of Christ. In the words of Paul, each member is to work as God has gifted him such that the body “builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:16). Words of godly counsel are the natural discourse of a believing congregation. And counseling is part of the natural order of the church, as saints move toward faithfulness and maturity.
Preaching on Ephesians 6:14, Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “There can be no doubt whatsoever that all the troubles in the church today, and most of the troubles in the world, are due to a departure from the authority of the Bible.” The recent history of counseling ministries in evangelical churches has demonstrated the truthfulness of Lloyd-Jones’s words. As churches outsource counseling needs to the secular world or adopt the worldview of therapeutic psychology into their own ministries, they damage the church’s convictions about the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word and belittle the redeeming power of the gospel.
The contributors to this volume are men and women who faithfully uphold the Word of God as the church’s only resource for Christ-centered change. I commend their conviction in this Word, a Word that reveals how God has rescued sinners by turning them away from self to the cross and resurrection of His Son.
I am thankful for the Biblical Counseling Coalition’s commitment to promote counseling that is grounded in sound theology and rooted in the life of the church. And I am even more thankful that the BCC is producing the book that you are now holding in your hands. Scripture and Counseling: God’s Word for Life in a Broken World is representative of the type of theologically sophisticated and pastorally sensitive counseling literature needed in evangelical churches.