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Biblical vs. Christian Counseling: the History

David Powlison, of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, has written a book (The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context) that seeks to explain the growth of the Biblical Counseling movement over the past few decades. It is important to understand in light of the many "Christian Counseling" practices that uphold man-centered truths and methods in place of God-centered Truth and methods when seeking to advise the hurting. "What Is Biblical Counseling? In principle, Christians believe that knowing Jesus Christ is the original and abiding "cure of the soul." But in practice, the church’s provision of personalized care and counsel has often been unthoughtful and unskillful. Psychiatry and psy- chotherapy (transliterations of two Greek words for "cure of the soul") claim to offer the deep truth that explains a human being. Beginning in the late 1960s, a biblical counseling movement sought to reclaim counseling for the church and provide a Christian alternative to mainstream psychiatry and psychotherapy. The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context is an informative and thought-provoking account of that movement. This book is an invaluable resource for those who want to understand the biblical counseling movement." - Publisher's Description This video is a short interview with David Powlison about his book. “It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this book. The ‘counseling wars’ of the past half century have ignited passions often characterized by labels rather than by careful analytic thought. This is the first broadly comprehensive history of these developments. Although Powlison is one of the important players, he takes extraordinary pains not to misrepresent those with whom he disagrees. Above all, while trying to be open to truth and insight whatever their source (after all, the reaches of common grace are vast), Powlison faithfully argues that the Christian faith must play a constitutive role in building a robust model of Christian counseling. Amen and Amen.”- D. A. Carson, Ph.D., Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; author of The Gagging of God, Christ and Culture Revisited, and An Introduction to the New Testament “I have watched with much interest the developments in Christian counseling over the past forty years. The issues discussed here are still very important, and this book is a good introduction to them. Even readers already familiar with this movement will learn new things. David’s book is entirely judicious, careful, and balanced in its treatment of Adams, his opponents, and the events affecting the biblical counseling movement. I hope the book attracts a large readership.”- John M. Frame, D.D., Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; author of The Doctrine of the Christian Life HT: Justin Taylor

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