“Christian” Counseling

This is bound to offend many but I thought I would throw it out there.

Certainly, Scripture does not claim to be a thorough textbook on medicine, or physics, or any of the sciences. But psychology differs from these in two important regards. First, psychology is not a true science…. Second, and most significant, psychology, unlike medicine and physics, deals with matters that are fundamentally spiritual. In fact, the word psychology literally means, “study of the soul.” What are the deep psychological needs if they are not the spiritual issues the gospel is concerned with? And Scripture certainly does claim absolute sufficiency in addressing those needs: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, emphasis added). “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul” (Ps. 19:7). Scripture itself promises believers the most comprehensive spiritual resources: “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).

–John MacArthur

In other words, while the Bible was never intended to be a textbook for disciplines such as math or physics, it does claim to be an all-sufficient guide for godly living. Therefore, if the goal of Christian counseling is godliness in the life of the counselee, the counselor need not look beyond the wisdom found in the pages of Scripture to be equipped for his task. For if the counselee’s problem is spiritual in nature, Scripture is sufficient to meet the demand. On the other hand, if the problem is the inability to bake tasty muffins, a cookbook might be a better place to look.

–Matt Waymeyer

2+2=4 and the Sufficiency of Scripture

Jay Adams is an author of books that deal with true Christian counseling. If you look at the table of contents (PDF file) of his book A Theology of Christian Counseling among others you’ll find that it’s about spritual maturity through Biblical principles.

4 Responses to ““Christian” Counseling”

  1. 1 Esteban Vázquez

    Hooray for Jay Adams and nouthetic counseling!

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    You’re always making me look up new terms (not a bad thing). I didn’t know there was a term for that. This may help people who need counseling to choose a counselor.

    What is Nouthetic Counseling?

  3. 3 Esteban Vázquez

    Well, you know, I\’ve always considered it my job to give other people homework. 😉

    To clarify a little more my comment above, while I don\’t believe that the nouthetic counseling movement is right in every respect, I greatly appreciate that it challenges us to take a serious look at Scripture and to what it has to say to counselors about their work–which, as we all know, is intimately connected to what Scripture says about the human predicament and its Solution. So very often Christian psychologists and counselors behave like practical atheists in their disciplines! But in this, of course, they\’re no different than the rest of us.

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks for the homework, I think.

    I must say that I’m not intimately familiar with nouthetic counseling. I just feel strongly that if couseling be done, it should be thoroughly Biblical. I’ve been in counseling in the past and have found regular old spiritual maturity to be far more beneficial to anything else. Although I haven’t read any of Jay Adam’s books, they look to be exactly that.

    I’ve found that people like Charles Spurgeon, Oswald Chambers and D. Martin Lloyd-Jones to have had pretty remarkable insight into what I would call “real psychology” (study of the soul without the psychobabble).

Comments are currently closed.

%d bloggers like this: