When you hear the word “biblical counseling”, what comes to your mind? Too often the concept of biblical counseling is limited to professionals. In reality, the truth is we all give counsel. The question we face is not “Do we counsel?” but “Is our counsel biblical?”. There is a need for both formal and informal counseling. There is a need for both crisis counseling and ongoing counseling. Most of all, it is essential this counseling is biblical. In Biblical Counseling and the Church, we are introduced to a vision of biblical counseling that encompasses the whole church. Simply put, Biblical Counseling and the Church is a comprehensive and communal work on Christ-centered and church-based biblical counseling.
Comprehensive and Communal
With Bob Kellemen as General Editor and Kevin Carson as Managing Editor, numerous respected ministry leaders and biblical counselors bring a communal feel to the book. From pastors to academicians, Biblical Counseling and the Church is a great work from a grand team of Christian leaders. These Christian leaders put together a comprehensive effort. Their vision emphasizes the centrality of the local church, chapters 12-16 specifically showing what biblical counseling looks like in different contexts. Not only is the local church emphasized, but the authors calls for every believer to be a biblical counsel (Kellemen and Carson 18), calling upon churches and partners of the church to equip biblical counselors. The vision, then, is to train others to counsel but to also train others who will train others. This is only part of the vision, though. There is a missional component to the vision of biblical counseling (Part 5). Biblical counseling provides an opportunity to outreach and to reach unbelievers with the gospel. Chapter 17 refreshes the reader and hopeful biblical counselor to take care with ethical and legal issues within this framework.
So much more could be said because Biblical Counseling and the Church is such a complete book.It is comprehensive, yet whets your appetite for more. It is communal, representing a unified voice under the authority and sufficiency of the Word. The Christ-centered and church-based focus directs leaders, readers, and counselors to a true understanding of biblical counseling. I wholeheartedly recommend this work to Christian leaders and laypeople alike.
I received this book for free from Zondervan via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.