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Biblical Counseling Coalition: Grace & Truth

15 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2014

15 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2014

A Message from the BCC Staff: This post was originally posted at Bob Kellemen’s RPM Ministries site, which you can read here.

If you are a counselor, pastor, student, one-another minister, small group leader, or spiritual friend, you want to know the most helpful books about the personal ministry of the Word—about using God’s Word for helping hurting people. Here, in alphabetical order, are the top 15 books published in 2014 about biblical counseling or important to biblical counselors. I’ve selected these books on the basis of their biblical depth, relevance to life, practicality for one-another ministry, faithfulness to the sufficiency of Scripture, application to progressive sanctification, and by surveying what leaders in the biblical counseling world are saying about them.

The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship by Jonathan Holmes, Cruciform Press

In The Company We Keep, Jonathan Holmes develops a four-fold model of Christlike and Christ-honoring friendship, using the 4 “C’s” of constancy, candor, carefulness, and counsel. This model of biblical friendship provides a robust and relevant GPS for intentional and vulnerable gospel-centered friendships. Spiritual friendship is biblical counseling as it was meant to be—in our real and raw daily interactions with one another in the Body of Christ. The Company We Keep is an extremely helpful resource for any individual or group wanting to move from shallow friendship to a vision of friendship offered in Scripture and modeled by Christ. In The Company We Keep we learn that true friendship finds its origin, purpose, and power in Jesus. Our human friendships then must be shaped by this life-changing truth. Biblical friendship is deep, honest, pure, transparent, and liberating. It is also attainable. Dig into this book, and learn how your friendships can embody this amazing and wonderful reality.

Faith Speaking Understanding: Performing the Drama of Doctrine by Kevin Vanhoozer, Westminster John Knox Press

In this exhaustive volume, theologian Kevin Vanhoozer introduces readers to a way of thinking about Christian theology that takes the work he began in the groundbreaking 2005 book, The Drama of Doctrine, to its next level. In Faith Speaking Understanding: Performing the Drama of Doctrine, Vanhoozer provides an in-depth, comprehensive biblical theology of progressive sanctification. Faith Speaking Understanding answers the question: “What does it look like to build a theology of practical sanctification upon the grand redemptive narrative of the Bible?” And he embeds personal sanctification in corporate sanctification—in the corporate life of the church as we perform life together—as we live out the script outlined in the Scriptures.

Good News for Weary Women: Escaping the Bondage of To-Do Lists, Steps, and Bad Advice by Elyse Fitzpatrick, Tyndale House

In Good News for Weary Women, Elyse Fitzpatrick builds the case that the gospel has been forgotten when it comes to how and where women are getting their advice for how to live and please God. She accounts for this from the pressures from the media, things we watch and read, and even from the church. These pressures have led women to have a warped view of “success” as if “success were a Christian construct or our sanctification depended on anyone other than Christ” (p. xvii). Every concept in every chapter points us to the gospel as the answer to a woman’s weariness—and Christ as the Person in whom women (and men) find rest.

Gospel-Centered Counseling: How Christ Changes Lives by Bob Kellemen, Zondervan

Since I am the author of Gospel-Centered Counseling, I’ll allow other leading biblical counselors and pastors to speak to the relevance of this book. Elyse Fitzpatrick explains, “Bob Kellemen understands grace and the gospel in ways that are profound, beautiful, and astonishing. I love Gospel-Centered Counseling and the gospel that is so beautifully portrayed here where the rubber meets the road, in our daily lives, in our struggle to believe and to live in the light of all Christ has done.” Pastor Jonathan Dodson writes, “Gospel-Centered Counseling is an immense help to both counselors and counselees. Bob frames every counseling issue within the drama of redemption and in the hope of the gospel. The result? A book that belongs on every pastor’s shelf. I felt loved and understood by Bob, the sign of a good counselor. It is deep, broad, compassionate, and most of all, it is true—imparting the hope of Christ into the heart of people—‘Behold, I am making all things new!’” Gospel-Centered Counseling builds on the foundation of the written Word and provides a gospel-centered resource for understanding people, diagnosing problems, and prescribing biblically-based solutions. It applies to our lives and ministries the classic doctrines of systematic theology by addressing them in the form of eight ultimate life questions that every person asks and every biblical counselor must answer.

If I’m a Christian, Why Am I Depressed? by Robert B. Somerville, Xulon Press

Some people say that Christians should never be depressed. Biblical counselor Bob Somerville takes issue with that. Bob writes from the Scripture and out of his own soul in If I’m a Christian, Why Am I Depressed? With courageous candor and aching honesty, Bob explains that the gospel does not exclude the committed Christian from stumbling into the miry pit of dark emotions. However, he further demonstrates that God’s Word contains wise guidance and heart-transforming hope even while we face the pit of despair. If you’re struggling with depression or walking alongside someone who is, then Bob’s words, saturated by a rich understanding of God’s Word, will greatly encourage you and equip you.

Is It My Fault?: Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence by Lindsey A. Holcomb and Justin S. Holcomb, Moody

Is It My Fault? addresses the horrific issue of domestic violence with the powerful and transforming biblical message of grace and redemption. It deals with this devastating sin honestly and directly without hiding its prevalence today. Of this book, Paul Tripp writes, “Specific, tender, concrete, compassionate, bold, understanding, wise, and dyed with the gorgeous gospel of grace that is ours in Christ Jesus. I love this book! It unpacks the experience of the victim without ever feeling coldly analytical. It gives you important things to consider and clear steps to take without ever pushing you. Read it and you’ll feel loved, understood, and helped, but best of all you’ll rest in the love of Jesus more than you have before.”

New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp, Crossway

Mornings can be tough. Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren’t enough. Offering more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp wants to energize you with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the gospel. Forget “behavior modification” or feel-good aphorisms. Tripp knows that what we really need is an encounter with the living God. Then we’ll be prepared to trust in God’s goodness, rely on His grace, and live for His glory each and every day. In the words of Nancy Leigh DeMoss: “Each morning for years, Paul Tripp has served fresh-brewed wisdom and encouragement through his pithy, thought-provoking tweets, reminding us again and again of the all-sufficiency of Christ and His grace. New Morning Mercies offers more of the same (without the limitation of 140 characters)! These devotional readings will strengthen, nourish, and recalibrate your heart, and open your eyes to behold God’s fresh mercies at the dawn of each new day.”
On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse by Deepak Reju, New Growth Press

On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse needs to be in the hands of every pastor and ministry leader in every church. This candid, compassionate, and comprehensive manual provides exactly what the church desperately needs to protect children and to protect the reputation of Christ and the Bride of Christ. Replete with biblical wisdom principles and practical real-life policies and procedures, On Guard equips the church to take the lead in proactively protecting the most precious and vulnerable among us. It offers churches eight strategies for preventing child abuse and three for responding to it, helping to move church staff and leaders beyond fearful awareness to prayerful preparedness.

Paul the Counselor: Counseling and Disciple-Making Modeled by the Apostle Paul by Mark Shaw and Bill Hines, Focus Publishing

We can look to many biblical sources to develop an approach to biblical counseling. Paul the Counselor looks to the apostle Paul as an authoritative and relevant model for our one-another ministry today. Paul had a passion to help Christians grow spiritually and apply biblical principles to the everyday challenges they encountered and that we face today. In this sense, Paul taught the same lessons that biblical counselors teach today. We are all called to counsel and disciple one another dependent upon Christ’s gospel of grace contained in Christ’s all-sufficient Word of life. In this multi-authored volume, leading biblical counselors explore Paul’s ministry to discuss topics such as Paul’s model of change, Paul’s lessons on temptation, renewing the mind, women in ministry, leaving the past behind, and much more.

Picture Perfect: When Life Doesn’t Line Up by Amy Baker, New Growth Press

Perfectionism is a crushing burden that can leave us angry, anxious, and paralyzed. But the quest for perfection will never transform a heart. In Picture Perfect, Amy Baker examines the root and purpose of the longing for perfection to show how God’s grace transforms the aching not enough of perfectionism into the overflowing abundance of faith. Pastor and biblical counselor, Brad Bigney, recommends Picture Perfect with these words: “I’ve been a pastor and counselor for over twenty-five years now and this is a book I’ll be handing out! Christians sing about amazing grace, but too often still live by the law of their own hard work and perfectionistic striving. Amy’s done a great job tackling an issue that flies right in the face of the Gospel and God’s grace, but seldom gets addressed head-on or with the insights that Amy brings to this subject. This book brings you back to the only perfect person our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Barbara R. Dugiud and Wayne D. Houk, P&R Publishing

Inspired by the Puritan classic The Valley of Vision, Barbara Duguid and Wayne Houk craft prayers developed for both personal devotions and church use. Confessing our sins might seem like a gloomy business—God already knows about them, so what’s the point of dwelling on failure? But confession is more celebratory than we think. It does not simply remind us of our guilt, but points us to our great Savior, who has atoned for us and lovingly pursues us despite our wandering. These prayers in Prone to Wander open with a scriptural call of confession, confess specific sins, thank the Father for Jesus’ perfect life and death in our place, ask for the help of the Spirit in pursuing holiness, and close with an assurance of pardon.

Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How People Change by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer, B&H Books

Recovering Redemption, written with a pastor’s bold intensity and a counselor’s discerning insight, takes you deeply into Scripture to take you deeply inside yourself, discovering that the heart of all our problems is truly the problem of our hearts. But because of what God has done, and because of what God can do, the most confident, contented person you know could actually be you—redeemed through Jesus Christ. This is a book, like Gospel-Centered Counseling, that changes our thinking from “how people change” to “how Christ changes people.”

Running on Empty: The Gospel for Women in Ministry by Barbara Bancroft, New Growth Press

We tend to write and read many books about men in ministry, but far too few like Running on Empty: The Gospel for Women in Ministry. Of Barbara Bancroft’s book, Scotty and Darlene Smith write, “Running on Empty is simply the best book Darlene and I have ever read on the raptures and ruptures of vocational ministry, and the radical implications of God’s grace for wives and women who are seeking to serve Jesus.” Positive without being cliché, Running on Empty presents the realities of vocational ministry with humor and hope. Barbara draws from her experience as a missionary woman and pastor’s wife to demonstrate how the gospel must be our message to ourselves as well as others.

Scripture and Counseling: God’s Word for Life in a Broken World by Bob Kellemen and Jeff Forrey, Zondervan

Scripture and Counseling is the second multi-authored book produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition (the first being Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling). Given that I was one of the editors and co-authors, once again I’ll allow others to introduce you to this book. Of it, Pastor J.D. Greear writes, “Scripture and Counseling is both theologically robust and pastorally helpful. On its pages you will find a lively discussion that will bring you up to speed on the conversation taking place among contemporary biblical counselors.” John Street writes, “Because we live in a culture that considers the Bible to be at best irrelevant, or even ridiculous, there has been a growing question even among serious Christians as to its sufficiency, especially for counseling the serious problems of the soul. Scripture and Counseling provides the framework for a profitable discussion of this issue and helps us appreciate the richness of God’s Word in helping people who are hurting.”

Second Forgetting: Remembering the Power of the Gospel During Alzheimer’s Disease by Benjamin Mast, Zondervan

Through the personal stories of those affected and the loved ones who care for them, Dr. Benjamin Mast highlights the power of the gospel for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Filled with helpful, up-to-date information, Dr. Mast answers common questions about the disease and its effect on personal identity and faith as he explores the biblical importance of remembering and God’s commitment to not forget His people. In addition, he gives practical suggestions for how the church can come alongside families and those struggling, offering help and hope to victims of this debilitating disease. Dr. Daniel Akin writes of Second Forgetting, “My mother, one the godliest people to ever walk on this earth, died from Alzheimer’s. The debilitating effects of this disease were almost more than we could bear. A book like this would have been worth its weight in gold! I cannot commend highly enough what a gift it will be to families everywhere.”

Join the Conversation

Of the books highlighted above, which ones impacted your life and ministry the most? How and why?

What additional books, published in 2014, about biblical counseling or important for biblical counselors, would you recommend?

Topics: Biblical Counseling, Book Reviews, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: ,

Friday’s 5 to Live By

Friday's 5 To Live By

Each Friday our BCC staff links you to the top five biblical counseling and Christian living blog posts of the week—posts that provide robust, rich, and relevant insights for living.

The Celibate Gay Christian Movement: What Do We Think About It?

Denny Burke offers balanced, introductory thoughts on The Celibate Gay Christian Movement: What Do We Think About It? 

David and Jonathan’s Love Was Pure, Not Erotic

Continuing to keep you aware of Evangelical writings on the issue of same-sex attraction, Owen Strachan shares his insight at David and Jonathan’s Love Was Pure, Not Erotic.

10 Principles for a Theological and Practical Response to Gay Christianity

Whether one agrees or disagrees with any or all of the 10 principles that Owen Strachan proposes in this post, his post provides foundational issues that all Christians must think through from a biblical perspective. Read his thoughts in Gay Christianity: Toward a Theological and Pastoral Response.

Wheaton’s Gay Celibate Christian

Here’s the article from World Magazine that prompted the previous blog posts highlighted today’s Friday 5: Wheaton’s Gay Celibate Christian.

Homosexuality: Compassion, Care, and Counsel for Struggling People

The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) will focus on the issue of biblical counseling and homosexuality during their 2015 annual conference. View Heath Lambert’s video about the conference at: Homosexuality: Compassion, Care, and Counsel for Struggling People.

Join the Conversation

Which post impacted you the most? Why? What blog posts have you enjoyed this week that you want to share with others?

Topics: Five To Live By, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , ,

3 Questions for Biblical Counselling

3 Questions for Biblical Counselling

BCC Staff Note: Our astute readers will note the spelling of “counselling” in our title—the two L’s representing the European style. That’s because today’s post is by Steve Midgley, a BCC Council Board member and the Director of Biblical Counselling UK and Senior Minister of Christ Church, Cambridge. Steve first posted this blog at the Biblical Counselling UK site which you can read here. Biblical Counselling UK champions Christ-centred change, enabled by the Spirit, through the ministry of the Word, in the local church through training, resources, local groups, conferences, and video & audio resources.

Suspicions about “New Things”

Most of us are suspicious of new things. Rightly so. If we’ve managed fine without this new-fangled idea for years, why would we need it now?

In the UK, biblical counselling is new and I hear a fair bit of suspicion. This can be helpful. It’s good to question. It enables us to work out if we need this new thing or not.

Here are three questions I’ve heard recently…

Question 1: Isn’t biblical counselling taking pastoral care in a professional direction?

To which my answer is: sort of… but not really.

Sort of… because biblical counselling certainly is serious about doing pastoral care well. In the UK we have come late to this party. Many of us struggle in personal ministry. Many of us find it hard to connect biblical teaching with broken lives in ways that are intentional and helpful. There’s a lot of catching up to do, a lot to learn.

But if professionalising pastoral care means making it business-like and clinically detached, then the answer is a resounding “No!” Pastoral care in the Bible is passionate and personal. Look at Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8:

“Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”

Or take a look at Jesus speaking tenderly to the woman at the well in John 4. Biblical counselling sees this passion. It sees this whole-life perspective and is committed to nothing less.

Question 2: Isn’t biblical counselling always banging on about sin, sending people on idol hunts and lobbing Bible verses like hand grenades of truth?

To which my answer is: sort of… but not really.

Sort of… because growth does come through repentance. There is nothing more loving you can do for me than show me, once again, that I am a sinner who needs a Saviour; a sheep who is straying and needs to be led. When you do that you help me mature.

But does that mean biblical counselling coldly dispenses judgement and acts all holier than thou? No, no and no again! When Paul writes transforming words he almost always mixes passion and agony. In 2 Corinthians 7:3 he writes,

“I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you.”

He is beside Himself with concern for the very people he has just had reason to rebuke.

Those who impart biblical counsel must love no less. Christ-like care must course through our veins.

Question 3: Isn’t biblical counselling simply too American? It just doesn’t fit in the UK.

To which my answer is: sort of… but not really.

Sort of … because the main writers in biblical counselling have stemmed from the States. Many have been influenced by the more psychologised nature of American culture and, yes, it is high time we developed our own UK writers, speakers, and counsellors.

But the Bible transcends culture. We in the UK may be more reserved than our American brothers and sisters, but there is no escaping the fact that there is brokenness and pain here, too. Tears are being shed. There is a need for people to hear the hope that only the gospel can bring.

It’s biblical to express emotion. The apostle Paul was an emotional man ministering to emotional people:

“[Titus] told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever” (2 Corinthians 7:7).

Engaging with such expressiveness may not come naturally to those of us for whom the stiff upper lip is the norm. But it is a great path to tread.  Because when moulded by God’s transforming word it’s a path that leads to Christ-likeness.

Biblical counselling is new to us. It’s OK to be suspicious. There are questions to be asked.

Please do keep asking. I’m convinced the answers are worth having. I’m convinced that exploring biblical counselling is worth the effort. Because many in our churches are hurting. They need to hear the transforming words and see the sacrificial actions that biblical counselling can encourage us to bring.

Join the Conversation (Added by the BCC Staff)

How would you answer Steve’s three questions?

  • Question 1: Isn’t biblical counselling taking pastoral care in a professional direction?
  • Question 2: Isn’t biblical counselling always banging on about sin, sending people on idol hunts and lobbing Bible verses like hand grenades of truth?
  • Question 3: Isn’t biblical counselling simply too American? It just doesn’t fit in the UK.
Topics: Biblical Counseling, Cross-Cultural Ministry, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers, Theology | Tags: ,

14 Most Read BCC Book Reviews of 2014

14 Most Read BCC Book Reviews of 2014

A Word from the BCC Staff: It’s that time of year. Each year, near the end of the calendar year, we collate for you, with direct links, the most visited BCC book reviews, book lists, book author interviews, and book videos of the year. So, today, enjoy direct links to the 14 most read BCC book reviews in 2014.

  1. 10 Top Resources on Grief and Loss compiled by Jonathan Holmes
  1. Book Interview on Gospel-Centered Counseling authored by Bob Kellemen
  1. 20 Most Important Biblical Counseling Books of 2013, Part 1 compiled by Bob Kellemen
  1. 11 Top Resources for Overcoming Pornography and Sexual Sin compiled by Jonathan Holmes
  1. Book Review of Gospel-Centered Counseling authored by Bob Kellemen, reviewed by Jonathan Holmes
  1. 20 Most Important Biblical Counseling Books of 2013, Part 2 compiled by Bob Kellemen
  1. Author Interview on Scripture and Counseling authored/edited by Bob Kellemen and Jeff Forrey
  1. Book Review of What Did You Expect? authored by Paul Tripp, reviewed by John Henderson.
  1. Book Review of Equipped to Counsel authored by John Henderson, reviewed by Greg Wilson
  1. Author Interview on Good Mood Bad Mood authored by Charles Hodges
  1. Book Review of Uprooting Anger authored by Robert Jones, reviewed by Chris Boucher
  1. Book Review of Sexual Abuse: Beauty for Ashes authored by Bob Kellemen, reviewed by Robin Barnes
  1. Book Review of The Heart of Addiction authored by Mark Shaw, reviewed by Robin Barnes
  1. Book Review of Redeemed from the Pit authored by Marie Notcheva, reviewed by Julie Ganschow

Join the Conversation

Which BCC book review most impacted you in 2014 (either from the list above or any of our other BCC book reviews, book lists, book author interviews, book video)?

Topics: People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , , ,

14 Most Read BCC Resources of 2014

14 Most Read BCC Resources of 2014

A Word from the BCC Staff: It’s that time of year. Each year, near the end of the calendar year, we collate for you, with direct links, the most visited BCC free resources of the year. So, today, enjoy direct links to the 14 most read BCC resources in 2014.

  1. Suicide Prevention and Grieving a Suicide provided by Paul Tautges
  1. Gospel Treason: What Does God Know about My Heart? provided by Brad Bigney
  1. Depression, Medication, and Biblical Counseling provided by Bob Kellemen
  1. 10 Top Counseling Mistakes provided by Garrett Higbee
  1. Toward a Theology of Emotions provided by Sam Williams
  1. A Biblical Model of Grieving provided by Bob Kellemen
  1. Secular Psychology, Christian Psychology, and Christian Counseling provided by Sam Williams
  1. The Biggest Challenge Facing the Church Today provided by Paul Tripp
  1. Worry, Fear, and Anxiety provided by Pam Gannon
  1. How to Be Mr. Incredible to Your Wife by Rick Thomas
  1. Mind Mapping provided by Rick Thomas
  1. Free Comprehensive Gospel-Centered Premarital Mentoring Program provided by Brad Hambrick
  1. 25 Ways to Provoke Our Children to Anger provided by Paul Tautges
  1. The Heart of Bitterness provided by Julie Ganschow

Join the Conversation

Which BCC free resource most impacted you in 2014 (either from the list above or any of our other free resources)?

Topics: People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , , , , ,

14 Most Read BCC Blogs of 2014

14 Most Read BCC Blogs of 2014

A Word from the BCC Staff: It’s that time of year. Each year, near the end of the calendar year, we collate for you, with direct links, the most visited BCC Grace & Truth blogs posted during the year. So, today, enjoy direct links to the 14 most read BCC blogs posted in 2014.

  1. 13 Wisdom Principles When Ending a Dating Relationship by Deepak Reju
  1. When Our Theology Stifles Our Compassion by Marie Notcheva
  1. 3 Principles for Asking for Forgiveness by Ken Long
  1. Are We Using the Word “Brokenness” Biblically? by Bob Kellemen
  1. Cutting to the Heart of Self-Injury by Julie Ganschow
  1. 3 Disarming Character Traits of the Biblical Counselor by Garrett Higbee
  1. Marriage Is Death by Eliza Jane Huie
  1. 4 Things Not to Say to Hurting People by Colin Mattoon
  1. Dumb Down Your Smart Phone by Deepak Reju
  1. Wisdom for Abused Women by Julie Ganschow
  1. Must We Argue Again? by Sherry Allchin
  1. Overcoming a Critical Spirit by Shannon Kay McCoy
  1. 14 Gospel Promises that Trump the Power of Lust by Luke Gilkerson
  1. Mental Illness and Faith-Based Counseling by Garrett Higbee

Join the Conversation

Which BCC Grace & Truth blog posts most impacted you in 2014 (either from the list above or any of our other 298 blog posts)?

Topics: People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , ,

Partner with the Biblical Counseling Coalition

Partner with the Biblical Counseling Coalition

The Biblical Counseling Coalition launched the BCC Partners to create a pathway toward connection with the BCC. BCC Partners have the opportunity to show support of, benefit from, and participate in our mission of collaborative relationships and robust resources.

BCC Partners have stated in writing that they are in agreement with the BCC Confessional StatementDoctrinal Statement, and Mission/Vision Statement. We are acknowledging that they have self-identified as aligned with the values and vision of the BCC.

Become an Individual BCC Partner

To become an individual BCC Partner, you need to state in writing your agreement with the BCC Confessional StatementDoctrinal Statement, and Mission/Vision Statement. You can do so either by using our quick & easy online form, or by downloading and mailing in a hard copy of our Individual BCC Partner Statement of Agreement.

Online Sign-up

You can click here to complete your online sign-up where you will be able to pay online the $30.00 annually renewable Individual Partner dues and complete online your BCC Partner Statement of Agreement.

Mail-in Payment

If you prefer to register by hard copy, please mail your signed and dated BCC Partner Statement of Agreement, along with a check for $30.00 for Partnership Dues (to be renewed annually), made out to the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Mail to: Biblical Counseling Coalition, C/O Heather Smith, 5526 State Road 26 East, Lafayette, IN 47905.

Individual BCC Partners: We’re excited to offer you…

  • The opportunity to state in your literature/on your website that you are “A Partner of the BCC in Agreement with the Confessional Statement, Doctrinal Statement, and Mission/Vision Statement of the BCC.”
  • The opportunity to be listed on the BCC website in an alphabetical listing of individuals who have BCC Partner Status with appropriate contact information.
  • The opportunity to sign up for the BCC Partner E-Source Connection. Periodically you will receive a BCC Partners-only email with direct links to free BCC resources organized by category, along with other information designed to equip you to promote personal change centered on the Person of Christ through the personal ministry of the Word.
  • Our permission to post our official Partner Badge on your website to show your support of the BCC.

Become an Organizational BCC Partner

To become a BCC Partner, your organizational leadership (as a church, school, or para-church ministry) needs to state in writing your agreement with the BCC Confessional StatementDoctrinal Statement, and Mission/Vision Statement. Click here for the Organizational BCC Partner Statement of Agreement. The annual Institutional Partner dues are $50.00.

Online Sign-up

You can click here to complete your online sign-up where you will be able to pay online the $50.00 annually renewable Individual Partner dues and complete online your BCC Partner Statement of Agreement.

Mail-in Payment

If you prefer to register by hard copy, please mail your signed and dated BCC Partner Statement of Agreement, along with a check for $50.00 for Partnership Dues (to be renewed annually), made out to the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Mail to: Biblical Counseling Coalition, C/O Heather Smith, 5526 State Road 26 East, Lafayette, IN 47905.

Organizational BCC Partners: We’re excited to offer you…

  • The opportunity to state in your literature/on your website that your organization is “A Partner of the BCC in Agreement with the Confessional Statement, Doctrinal Statement, and Mission/Vision Statement of the BCC.”
  • The opportunity to be listed on the BCC website in an alphabetical listing of organizations that have BCC Partner Status with appropriate contact information.
  • The opportunity for up to twenty members of your organization to sign up for the BCC Partner E-Source Connection. Periodically you/they will receive a BCC Partners-only email with direct links to free BCC resources organized by category, along with other information designed to equip you to promote personal change centered on the Person of Christ through the personal ministry of the Word.
  • Our permission to post our official Partner Badgeon your website to show your support of the BCC.
Topics: BCC Exclusive, Biblical Counseling | Tags:

Friday’s 5 to Live By

Friday's 5 To Live By

Each Friday our BCC staff links you to the top five biblical counseling and Christian living blog posts of the week—posts that provide robust, rich, and relevant insights for living.

The Legacy of a Disciple-Maker

Jonathan Romig at Gospel-Centered Discipleship shares encouraging words about The Legacy of a Disciple-Maker.

Alistair Begg on Providence

Find links to six messages from Pastor Alistair Begg on Providence

Wrong Thinking, Wrong Living

At Ligonier Ministries, they continue their blog series from their recent survey: State of Theology: Take It or Leave It?

Repentance and a Life of Mission

Trevin Wax discusses the link between Repentance and a Life of Mission.

“But It Helped!”

So what do you say to someone who says that “I went to a non-Christian counselor and it helped”? Jay Adams addresses this important question it “But It Helped!” 

Join the Conversation

Which post impacted you the most? Why? What blog posts have you enjoyed this week that you want to share with others?

Topics: Five To Live By, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Loss: Finding Hope That Lasts When Life Falls Apart

Loss--Finding Hope That Lasts When Life Falls Apart

BCC Staff Note: The mission of the Biblical Counseling Coalition is to advance the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. One of the ways we accomplish our mission is to use our Grace & Truth blog site as a megaphone to alert you to resources from biblical counseling ministries. In today’s post, we want to make you aware of and encourage you to consider purchasing the complete audio set from CCEF’s 2014 Conference, Loss: Finding Hope That Lasts When Life Falls Apart.

Visit the CCEF Resource Site here to purchase all 8 general sessions and all 27 breakout sessions for just $119. That’s 35 hours of equipping for less than $3.50 per session.

Topics: Conference, Megaphone Post, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , , ,

Don’t Get An Emotional Divorce Before You are Married: Dating Mistakes

Don’t Get An Emotional Divorce Before You are Married--Dating Mistakes

You are dating, and you really like each other a lot. You’re having a lot of fun. And you talk virtually every day. Most couples, even in the early stages of dating, will open up their lives, and start sharing a lot about themselves. You’re vulnerable early on, and you emotionally give yourselves to each other.

Here is my warning: deep emotional intimacy should not be established in the early stages of a relationship. Often times, you’ll hear from Christians (especially your parents or pastors or Christian mentors) about the importance of having physical boundaries in order to maintain purity in a dating relationship. But a guy and a gal can go too far emotionally as well.

The modern idea of dating relationships is to test the waters of marriage by acting as much like you are married as possible. You are not actually married, but you take on some of the privileges of marriage before you make a commitment. This continues until you both decide what you want—either you get married, or one of you decides it’s not a good fit so you go through what feels like a divorce because you’ve been playing house.

A dating relationship should gradually and normally progress to a point where a boyfriend and girlfriend are emotionally attached and deeply fond of one another (especially when they get engaged!). But again, hear my warning:

Don’t let this happen in the early stages of dating.

Why do I say this? Let me suggest two principles to guide the early stages of dating:

 1. Don’t get an emotional divorce; rather, guard your heart.

There is so much uncertainty in the early stages, so it is not wise to let yourself get too emotionally attached. Or else you’ll run head-first into an emotional divorce. What’s an emotional divorce? If you’ve made yourself vulnerable, and you’ve let yourself get emotionally attached to someone, you’ll experience great pain and sadness when your two intertwined hearts are torn apart.

In the early stages of dating, you must guard your heart. Consider Proverbs 4:23, where Solomon writes to his son, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The Bible describes the heart as the center of your life. It is the most central or core part of who you are (Jonah 2:3; Matthew 12:40). From your heart flow your thoughts, feelings, and choices (Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:43-45). When you become emotionally attached to someone, you give him or her your heart.

Your heart is described as a “wellspring of life,” or source of life for you. Just as a wellspring is a source of water, (and water is a crucial commodity for daily living and survival) so also the heart is the source or fountain from which our life springs forth. Solomon wants his son to protect his heart because his heart is the fountainhead from which his life springs forth.

So also, in the early stages of dating, why would you give your source of life (your heart) to someone who has not committed to you yet? Why take that risk? Don’t give your heart away to someone who is still trying to decide whether or not they want to be with you.

An important caveat: I’m not encouraging cold or emotion-less relationships. Far from it! In a dating relationship, it should be normal for a couple to gradually and deliberately open up their lives such that they grow emotionally attached by the later stages. But what I’m advocating is pacing yourself; which means at the early stages of dating, you need to guard your heart.

2. Intimacy should not outpace commitment.

I admit that there is a delicate dance between building unhelpful emotional intimacy and having a relationship with an emotional component—I’m not encouraging emotionally detached relationships. But I’m also discouraging emotional attachment that exceeds commitment. That needs to be a guiding principle in your dating relationships: our intimacy should not outpace our commitment.

Rather, what you want is commitment to set the pace for intimacy. As commitment grows in the relationship, emotional intimacy can follow.

Dating can be fun and enjoyable, but it can also be hard. Sometimes we can make it even harder because we are not wise in how we conduct the relationship. So, be wise. Early on, guard your heart; and pace yourself in the relationship. Gradually and deliberately open up your life. Let commitment lead intimacy and not the other way around.

A Special Word to Women

Ladies, the next time you begin a dating relationship, if the guy tries to get you to open up and be emotionally vulnerable, graciously decline. Don’t give your heart away too soon. Guard your heart. Let him know that you want to get to know him, but giving over the most vulnerable parts of your life early on in the relationship is not wise. Tell him that will come with time, especially as commitment grows in the relationship.

Or maybe you are starting to date a guy, and you really dig him. Don’t give in to the temptation to give over everything because you really like the guy and you want the relationship to work out. That’s dangerous. If you give him everything, only to find out later that he is no longer interested, you’ll be left with a heart that is torn apart because you’ve let yourself get emotionally attached too soon. Some gals do this often, only to leave themselves with a trail of broken relationships, and broken hearts. And sadly, you torture your heart because you keep putting it through this process of growing close and then being torn apart.

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What words of “dating counsel” would you give to dating couples?

Topics: BCC Exclusive, Dating, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers, Premarital | Tags: ,

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