The Gospel for Real Life Booklet Series by Brad Hambrick
The BCC Author Interview Q & A with Brad Hambrick
As part of our BCC vision, we want to help you to get to know gifted Christian authors and their books. This week’s interview is a bit different, as we’re interacting with Brad Hambrick, the Series Editor for a new series of booklets entitled The Gospel for Real Life (GRL). This series is a joint production of P & R Publishing and The Association of Biblical Counselors.
BCC: “Brad, thanks for sitting down with us to help us introduce our BCC readers to your new booklet series. Tell us about the focus of the GRL series.”
BH: “This series seeks to uphold three core values:
- The Necessity of the Gospel: No set of ideas or propositions are capable of adequately addressing the human experience of sin and suffering. Only the Gospel contains the power to transform a life by bringing freedom from sin and giving meaning to suffering. It is for this reason that the GRL booklets continually call readers to embrace the central truths of the gospel in deeper and more significant ways that impact the nuances of each subject addressed.
- The Sufficiency of Scripture: The Gospel is revealed through the Bible. God prepared His people to understand the Gospel (Old Testament). God also provided a clear definition and application of the Gospel (New Testament). Based upon this conviction, GRL booklets rely upon Scripture as their foundation and authority to speak to life’s struggles.
- The Centrality of the Local Church: Power (Gospel) and truth (Scripture) are meant to be lived out in a place (the church). Even non-believers admit that “no man is an island,” but too often counseling literature provides guidance as if community were secondary to change. The GRP series continually calls readers to meaningful involvement in their local church as the place of strengthening and encouragement for lasting change.”
BCC: “How do the booklets translate these values to daily life issues?”
BH: “The GRL series takes these lofty ideals and applies them to ‘real life.’ We want to be excellent missionary-pastor-counselors who speak to the people of our day in the language of our day. That means we engage the experiences and even the diagnostic language of our day for the purpose of advancing the Gospel.”
BCC: “Please introduce our readers to the titles, authors, and main focus of the first booklets released in this series.”
BH: “In the first six booklets, we begin this effort by addressing the following subjects:
- Abuse: Finding Hope in Christ (at Amazon and at the ABC) by John Henderson. What does the Gospel have to say to us when we are victims of evil? How do we love and help men and women who have suffered under various forms of abuse? This booklet looks at one couple, one counseling session, and one Psalm, asking the Lord to help us behold the depth of His wisdom and love that we may live triumphantly in the wake of abuse.
- Anxiety: Anatomy and Cure (at Amazon and at the ABC) by Bob Kellemen. This booklet provides readers with a Christ-centered and compassionate portrait of anxiety. It empowers them spiritually, socially, mentally, volitionally, and emotionally to move from fear to faith and from a focus on self to a focus on God and others. It provides a theologically robust and relationally relevant approach to victory in anxiety.
- Borderline Personality: A Scriptural Perspective (at Amazon and at the ABC) by Cathy Wiseman. Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder experience profound depression or rage resulting from perceived abandonment. Their distorted perceptions, impulsive behaviors, and lack of identity can mangle relationships, yet God offers hope and healing. This booklet describes the biblical diagnosis that provides a cure.
- Cutting: A Healing Response (at Amazon and at the ABC) by Jeremy Lelek. Self-mutilation is a means of dealing with deep, complex emotional turmoil by disfiguring the body with knives, razor blades, or needles. The sufferings of Jesus Christ, however, and the finished work of the Cross, offer hope, security, and healing. This booklet illustrates how those struggling with cutting can apply the Gospel (death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ) in practical ways to their issues of cutting.
- God’s Attributes: Rest for Life’s Struggles (at Amazon and at the ABC) by Brad Hambrick. Do you have a balanced understanding of God? Do you seek to emulate Him? Are you able to rest in His attributes? This booklet explores 16 different attributes of God, categorized under love, essence, wisdom, and power, providing tools for reflection and correcting lopsided views.
- Vulnerability: Blessing in the Beatitudes (at Amazon and at the ABC) by Brad Hambrick. To love is to risk hurt. Yet Jesus blessed the vulnerable: the poor in spirit, the meek, the mourners. This study of the Beatitudes examines the idea of healthy vulnerability and unpacks practical ways to prayerfully implement it in relationships.”
BCC: “Brad, what are others saying about these initial booklets?”
BH: “After reading these booklets, many prominent pastors, counselors, and theologians are offering their enthusiastic endorsement. For example:
- Series: ‘The Gospel isn’t just an ethereal idea. It’s not a philosophy and it’s not static. It moves and shapes and transforms the lives of those who by God’s grace alone put their faith in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. I am grateful for ABC’s work of letting the Gospel bear its weight on these real life sorrows and pains.’ Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor at The Village Church and author of The Explicit Gospel
- Abuse: ‘With the heart of a pastor, John Henderson helps us to see how Scripture really does make a difference in life’s most difficult hurts, pains, and sorrows.’ Deepak Reju, Associate Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.
- Anxiety: ‘So many trembling souls will thank God for the peace they will experience through reading this incredibly helpful booklet. I can’t believe how good this is. I learned a ton about myself, about my Bible, about my God, and about how to help others. I feel calmer already!’ Dr. David P. Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
- Attributes: ‘A.W. Tozer famously said that what we think about God is the most important thing about us. Brad Hambrick has provided the church with a deeply theological, yet practically helpful tool for exploring the attributes of God, helping us see Him more clearly and living in proper response. The cycle of ‘rest’ to ‘emulation’ model he proposes is pure gold. This is a life-changing study.’ J. D. Greear, Lead Pastor of the Summit Church and author of Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
- Borderline Personality: ‘Cathy Wiseman... has a high standard of excellence for all of her work in biblical counseling. This helpful booklet is no exception... Theologically sound and utterly practical at the same time.’ Lynnora Ratliff, PhD, Licensed Psychologist
- Cutting: ‘Demonstrates that even in the most complex of situations, we have a profound message of hope in Christ.’ Mike Wilkerson, Mars Hill Church
- Vulnerability: ‘Vulnerability in relationships is important yet dangerous. Brad Hambrick, using the familiar Beatitudes of Christ, helps us to learn how to do it wisely and intentionally.’ Leslie Vernick, Christian counselor and author of the best-selling book, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship”
BCC: “Brad, what is your hope for the impact of this series?”
BH: “We are excited to offer this series to God’s church. Our prayer is that these testimonies will be joined by a countless number of hurting individuals and families who come to understand the life transforming power of the Gospel in the midst of their ‘real life’ struggles because of the GRL series. We hope the GRL series becomes a trusted tool in your ministry endeavors.”
BCC: “Thank you for your work in overseeing this new series and for introducing our readers to it and these six initial booklets.”