A Theology of Biblical Counseling
Since the beginning of the biblical counseling movement in 1970, biblical counselors have argued that counseling is a ministry of the Word, just like preaching or missions. As a ministry, counseling must be defined according to sound biblical theology rather than secular principles of psychology.For over four decades, biblical theology has been at the core of the biblical counseling movement. Leaders in biblical counseling have emphasized a commitment to teaching doctrine in their counseling courses out of the conviction that good theology leads to good counseling…and bad theology leads to bad counseling.A Theology of Biblical Counseling is a landmark new book that unpacks the core theological convictions that underlie sound counseling, and practical wisdom for counseling today. Dr. Heath Lambert shows how biblical counseling is rooted in the Scriptures while illustrating the real challenges counselors face today through true stories from the counseling room.   A substantive textbook written in accessible language, it is an ideal resource for use in training biblical counselors at colleges, seminaries, and training institutes. In each chapter, doctrine comes to life in real ministry to real people, dramatically demonstrating how theology intersects with the lives of actual counselees.

A Theology of Biblical Counseling Details

TitleA Theology of Biblical Counseling
Author
ReleaseApr 5th, 2016
PublisherZondervan Academic
ISBN-139780310518167
Rating
GenrePsychology, Counselling, Religion, Theology, Christian, Nonfiction

A Theology of Biblical Counseling Review

  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.First some background. As I have mentioned in a few other reviews, I am a Baptist, head deacon at my church, and spend a lot of time studying the Bible in preparation for presenting sermons. My church operates a free seminary, Beth Haven Baptist Seminary, with a primary focus on Biblical counseling. Obviously, this book appealed to me in that I wanted to see what perspective others had about Biblical counseling./>I 3.5 starsI received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.First some background. As I have mentioned in a few other reviews, I am a Baptist, head deacon at my church, and spend a lot of time studying the Bible in preparation for presenting sermons. My church operates a free seminary, Beth Haven Baptist Seminary, with a primary focus on Biblical counseling. Obviously, this book appealed to me in that I wanted to see what perspective others had about Biblical counseling.I’ve read many of Heath Lambert’s sermons online, so I am familiar with his writing style, as well as his theological stance on several topics. Primarily, he’s a dichotomist, someone who believes that man is divided into TWO parts: body and soul. This, I believe, is contrary to the Bible, which says that man was created in God’s own image, which is three-in-one (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). This means that man was created in three parts, as well: body, soul, and spirit. Without getting too deep into scripture, there are many instances in both the Old and New Testament that bear this out. Because of Dr. Lambert’s skewed view on man’s makeup, his view on biblical counseling is potentially skewed, as well.The first line in the book sets his thesis: “Counseling is a theological discipline.” While it may not seem contentious, this is the dividing line between biblical counseling and Christian counseling. Basically, biblical counseling is based on the thought that the Bible is wholly sufficient as a resource for all of life’s troubles, while Christian counseling follows the thought that along with the Bible, out secular resources and techniques must be used to help the one being counseled.Dr. Lambert sets a foundation early in chapter one about the sufficiency of scripture in regards to counseling. From there he offers some interesting insights into the application of the bible for counseling, but some of the examples are over simplistic. For example, he cites an example of a man whose son died and whose wife left him for another man. Lambert basically counsels the man that he simply needs to let go of his anger and get over it right now. Obviously, this is something that man will be dealing with for years and years, and it’s not something easily overcome.The other impression I got of Dr. Lambert is his “I’m completely right, and if you don’t believe what I believe about biblical counseling, you will always be wrong.” I can’t cite specific instances I which he says this, but that’s the impression I got.Overall, this is not a bad book by any means. If you are even somewhat interested in the counseling field, this a good starting point to understand the theology and background in biblical counseling.
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  • Chad Warner
    January 1, 1970
    Explains the role of theology in biblical counseling, and briefly explains 10 areas of theology, with examples showing how the principles are applied to specific counseling cases. It explains what biblical counseling is, and how it can be done by those with and without formal expertise. Lambert says, "The goal of this book is not merely that counselors care about theology, but that theologians care about counseling."According to Lambert,Counseling is a conversation where one party with questions, probLambert,Counseling Explains the role of theology in biblical counseling, and briefly explains 10 areas of theology, with examples showing how the principles are applied to specific counseling cases. It explains what biblical counseling is, and how it can be done by those with and without formal expertise. Lambert says, "The goal of this book is not merely that counselors care about theology, but that theologians care about counseling."According to Lambert,Counseling is a conversation where one party with questions, problems, and trouble seeks assistance from someone they believe has answers, solutions, and help.andThis is what we do in counseling. We take what we know from the truths of theology, and we apply it to people who are suffering under the weight of all the kinds of pain this world has to offer. We apply biblical truth to struggling people for the purpose of building their hope and increasing their joy in truly knowing Christ in this life and ultimately in the life to come.Lambert is the executive director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).NotesCounseling and Theology: A Crucial IntroductionYou don't need formal expertise to counsel."Christian counselors" (Christians who rely on secular counseling and are called integrationists, Christian counselors, Christian psychologies) believe Bible is necessary for counseling but not sufficient for it.Modern biblical counseling movement began with Jay Adams, particularly his book Competent to Counsel.Biblical counselors aren't opposed to science, psychology, psychiatry, just to bad science based on "humanistic philosophy and gross speculation."Some problems are physical and require medical treatment.ScriptureMany argue that [Scripture] is not sufficient for science, philosophy, or even ethics. … Certainly, Scripture contains more specific information relevant to theology than to dentistry. But sufficiency in the present context is not sufficiency of specific information but sufficiency of divine words. Scripture contains divine words sufficient for all of life. It has all the divine words that the plumber needs, and all the divine words that the theologian needs. So it is just as sufficient for plumbing as it is for theology. And in that sense it is sufficient for science and ethics as well."Material sufficiency in the general sense means that God has told us everything we need to know about his perspective on every single topic we could consider.""Counselling is not primarily about an exchange of highly technical information developed by neuroscientists. It is an exchange of wisdom about life's problems."Common Grace3 categories of common grace1. Divine moral provision: God restrains evil so that humans don't do all the evil they could do (Gen 4:15; 11:6-9; 20:6; 2 Thess 2:7).2. Divine physical provision: God provides for physical needs of humans (Matt 5:43-45). God is kind to believers and unbelievers by sending sun and rain.3. Divine intellectual provision: God allows believers and unbelievers to have access to accurate info, knowledge, worldly wisdom (1 Cor 1:26).Christ"In counseling, the only hope and help that matters in the long term is that which Jesus Christ brings." Other approaches don't bring real, lasting change.HumanityImage of God consists of human rationality, morality (Rom 2:12-16), relationality (Matt 22:35-40), dominion over creation (Gen 1:26).Fall marred but didn't destroy image of God in man (Gen 9:6). Image is broken in all the ways we fail to represent God as we should. Christ, the perfect image bearer, can restore the image in man.Purpose of counseling is to facilitate restoration of image of God in counselee.Bible uses many terms to refer to soul, including words translated soul, spirit, will, mind, conscience, heart.Counseling problems can be physical, spiritual, or a combination.Gal 3:28 ("there is no male and female") doesn't mean there's no distinction between men and women, but that both have equal access to Jesus as Savior and Lord.SinYou can't counsel an unbeliever, because renewal of God's image is only possible for believers. Gal with speaking to unbelievers is to get them to repent and trust in Christ for forgiveness, before beginning to counsel them.We should forgive only when offender asks for our forgiveness, because we're to forgive as God forgives (Col 2:13), and He only forgives those who humbly confess and seek forgiveness (1 John 1:8-9). We should have an attitude of forgiveness (not being bitter) (Eph 4:31) even when offender's lack of confesion prevents our forgiving them.SufferingIn NT, those who cast out demons are limited to a small group directly commissioned for the work, including Jesus, apostles, 72 (Matt 10:1, 8; Mark 3:14-15; 6:7, 13; Luke 10:17-20; Acts 5:12-16). Bible emphasizes that Christians respond to demons not by exorcism but by faith in Christ (Acts 26:18; Eph 6:16; Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 5:9).Jonathan Edwards said that just as sun is direct cause of light and heat, but indirect cause of darkness and cold by withdrawing light and heat, so God is direct cause of goodness and holiness, but indirect cause of evil and sin by withdrawal of goodness and holiness.Suffering is good for us (Rom 8:28; 5:3-5; Heb 12:7, 11).Our suffering is good for others (John 9:1-3; Phil 1:12-13; 2 Cor 1:3-4).Suffering glorifies God (2 Cor 1:8-9; 12:9-10).SalvationVerses about election: Rom 9:10-21; Eph 1:4.Verses about effective call: Rom 1:6-7; 11:29; 1 Cor 1:9, 24; 7:18; Gal 5:13; Eph 4:4; Phil 3:14; 1 Thess 5:23-24; 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 1:9; Heb 3:1-2; 9:15; 1 Pet 2:9, 21; 5:10; 2 Pet 1:10.Our moral effort isn't involved in regeneration or justification (they're monergistic), but our moral effort is involved in our sanctification (it's synergistic) (2 Cor 10:5; Eph 2:10; Col 1:10; 2 Thess 1:8; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:2; Jas 2:26). Yet it's divine grace that makes our moral effort possible (Phil 2:13; 1 Cor 12:6; 15:10; 1 Thess 5:23; Heb 13:20-21; Jude 24).Verses about perseverance: John 10:27-29; 6:38-40; Eph 1:14; Phil 1:6; 1 Pet 1:5.Biblical counselors can offer effective counsel to unbelievers because biblical counseling points people to faith in Christ to address all their life problems, and that counsel applies to believers and unbelievers. The counselor calls the unbeliever to faith unto salvation (evangelistic call) and calls the believer to faith unto sanctification (discipleship call).Statement from the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors Regarding Mental Disorders, Medicine, and CounselingWhile some of the disorders listed in the DSM are medical in nature, many others are not. Even when the problems in DSM have a physical component, the spiritual and Godward elements of humanity are not addressed by the DSM, which biblical counseling must take into account.The Standards of Doctrine of the Association of Certified Biblical CounselorsDoctrine of Common Grace:God extends his goodness to all people by making provision for their physical needs and granting them intellectual gifts. This goodness, also known as common grace, is what grants unbelievers the ability to apprehend facts in science, for example, and is why believers can affirm the true information that unbelievers come to understand.See Matt 5:44-45; John 1:9; Rom 1:18-23; Col 1:21.
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  • Jon
    January 1, 1970
    This book is particularly helpful for those desiring to gain a better understanding of biblical counseling. It covers fundamental Christian gospel beliefs while revealing how they are used to counsel others by giving specific examples in his own counseling experiences. I found that each chapter gives enough meat to be meaningful and engaging. However, there's much more to be said about each topic covered which he acknowledges. Overall, it gives a great overview of the theology behind the current This book is particularly helpful for those desiring to gain a better understanding of biblical counseling. It covers fundamental Christian gospel beliefs while revealing how they are used to counsel others by giving specific examples in his own counseling experiences. I found that each chapter gives enough meat to be meaningful and engaging. However, there's much more to be said about each topic covered which he acknowledges. Overall, it gives a great overview of the theology behind the current beliefs in biblical counseling and ultimately exalts our triune God and gives Him the glory only He deserves.
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  • Scarlett Elsik
    January 1, 1970
    This is an incredible overview on biblical counseling. Each overview of theology was well written and defined. I personally loved his overview of theology of God and theology of suffering. Wether going into pastoral counseling or coffee with a friend these truths are applicable to navigating tough questions and hard conversations. Appreciate the book and will definitely be referencing it again in the future.
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  • Luke
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent! Worth rereading.
  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Heath Lambert is concerned with “establishing what God has revealed about counseling” (13). As a biblical counselor, he believes that the goal of counseling should be solving mankind’s main problems. In his view, the Bible both claims to be and is sufficient for accomplishing that. On the front end of the book, he declares these presuppositions, spends some time differentiating them from other approaches and then begins to develop their implications. One of Lambert’s principal conversatio Heath Lambert is concerned with “establishing what God has revealed about counseling” (13). As a biblical counselor, he believes that the goal of counseling should be solving mankind’s main problems. In his view, the Bible both claims to be and is sufficient for accomplishing that. On the front end of the book, he declares these presuppositions, spends some time differentiating them from other approaches and then begins to develop their implications. One of Lambert’s principal conversation partners in the first half of the book is the field of Christian Counseling. For the Christian Counseling world, the goals of counseling are more varied than merely mankind’s major problems, allowing them to isolate narrow issues that seem to require the use of extra-Biblical resources (such as secular psychology). Lambert frames his disagreement with them as a debate over the sufficiency of the Scriptures. According to him, the Bible is not necessarily sufficient for all of mankind’s questions and problems, but it is sufficient for the issues that it claims to be sufficient for. Lambert’s assertion is that the Bible does claim to be sufficient for the issues with which counseling is concerned. This is the heart of the debate between biblical and integrationist counseling. Lambert represents the completely other end of the spectrum from Christian integrationists. This sets Lambert up for a form of circular argumentation. (Not all circular arguments are vicious, but some are and this one might be.) I agree with Lambert that “the Bible [is] about the problems we face and God’s solutions to those problems” (52). We are also in agreement that the work of counseling is primarily concerned with the kinds of problems that the Bible is about. (He rightly avoids calling them “spiritual” problems because all problems involve our bodies and our souls - we are a psychosomatic unity. They’re just human problems.) However, in the first several chapters of the book Lambert repeatedly assumes that counseling is (or should be) only concerned with those kinds of problems. I kept waiting for him to argue for it in something resembling a syllogistic manner. Either I wasn't paying attention, or he never actually does it in that way. He comes close to arguing for it when he states that “counseling is not primarily about an exchange of highly technical information… [but] an exchange of wisdom about life’s problems” (56). His argument could be greatly improved if he established, by argument, that any counseling conversation that moves beyond the sharing of information is immediately found in moral and spiritual territory, where science has to serve other masters. Such an argument would sharpen his break from the integration approach of Christian counseling and would clarify the informing approach that he attempts to chart (“contributions from unbelievers can inform the work of biblical counseling”, 79). The most commendable feature of Heath Lambert’s book is his emphasis on faithfulness and obedience to the Word of God over the supposed “evidence” that we have empirically about what works and what doesn’t. Shepherding human souls requires supernatural help that cannot be proven or deduced by the natural man. As Lambert takes his reader through fundamental tenants of systematic theology and applies them to counseling, walking by faith and not by sight is required. He rightly guards us from seeing man as an animal or a machine. We do this even in the metaphors we use for people (“how we are wired”). Even as Christian believers, with a supernatural metaphysic, a Triune God and a real human soul, we can subconsciously adopt naturalistic patterns of thought with regards to helping people. Lambert helps us step back and realize that God is relevant and God is involved in the lives of the people we love and are trying to help. When God reaches out to help people, he doesn’t just send us a list of variables (in their body or their environment) that we need to tinker with. When it comes to systematic theology, again, the book could use some precision. Lambert relies on Grudem & Ware's understanding of eternal subordination of the Son, criticizes the Puritans for a misunderstanding of regeneration, and introduces some minor theological categories that are unfortunate at best. These do not detract from the solid Reformed foundation that he builds upon throughout most of the book, but they would definitely make a systematician raise questions. Overall, if the reader is aware of the above reservations, the book can be a good introductory resource for biblical counseling.
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  • Yoni Esterman
    January 1, 1970
    This review is provided by my wife, since her current academic pursuits are related to life coaching and she holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling.Please note: this book is geared toward a Christian audience. The content of biblical counseling, however, is excellent and can be applied to both secular environments as well as alternative faith formats.There is need for people to step in the place of persistent helper, compassionate listener, and wise counsel in the This review is provided by my wife, since her current academic pursuits are related to life coaching and she holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling.Please note: this book is geared toward a Christian audience. The content of biblical counseling, however, is excellent and can be applied to both secular environments as well as alternative faith formats.There is need for people to step in the place of persistent helper, compassionate listener, and wise counsel in the world today. These are the foundational elements of biblical counseling. This book is designed to help counselors, pastors of all theological doctrines, and even the layperson who find themselves in the position of counseling, equipping them with biblical wisdom and truth to succeed. Using systematic theology, the author shows how biblical truth and wisdom can help counselors and pastors bring change and healing to their client’s lives.The author uses a clear and understandable tone to his writing. While there are technical terms and concepts throughout the book, it is still easy to follow the flow of his thoughts and to take in what he is conveying. This book is packed full of great information and how it applies to counseling. The examples used will help counselors practically apply biblical lessons and wisdom to their own lives and well as to the lives of those they help. This book was an enjoyable and educational read. I would recommend this book to everyone who finds them consistently in the position of counseling others, regardless of they are a counselor or not. The author breaks down what a counselor is in the first chapter; a counselor is really everyone in one way or another. With the information this book provides, one can gain knowledge about helping others while at the same time gain knowledge about helping themselves. Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post. This product is reviewed based on content and quality in consideration of the intended audience. Review or recommendation of this product does not solicit endorsement from Reviews by J or the reviewer.
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  • Hudson Christmas
    January 1, 1970
    When one thinks of a counselor, what first comes to the mind? Maybe an older individual with spectacles, two PhDs in theology and Biblical counseling, and a vast library of books that span a century of subjects corresponding to the areas of counseling and psychiatry. Most people would never consider themselves able to counsel others, let alone be considered a counselor. However, in "A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry," the author, Heath Lambert ma When one thinks of a counselor, what first comes to the mind? Maybe an older individual with spectacles, two PhDs in theology and Biblical counseling, and a vast library of books that span a century of subjects corresponding to the areas of counseling and psychiatry. Most people would never consider themselves able to counsel others, let alone be considered a counselor. However, in "A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry," the author, Heath Lambert maintains the opposite. According to him, the act of counseling consists of a conversation between two people where one comes to the other for assistance and advice. No PhD's required. And in this book, Lambert explains the basics of Biblical counseling and how a proper theology drives proper Biblical counseling.This is an incredible book. Lambert has written a guide for normal, everyday believers on how to approach counseling others. The book is devoted to showing how the Bible is sufficient to handle counseling cases with no need from modern psychology. Lambert's book functions as both an incredibly simple and yet brilliant argument for the sufficiency of Scripture and a demonstration of how theology deeply affects the counsel of others. Lambert's writing is easy to understand and deeply encouraging, pursuing subjects from the work of the Holy Spirit to the process of salvation in a believer while relating each subject to its assistance in counseling others."A Theology of Biblical Counseling" is a masterfully simplistic and yet deeply theological. This is a book that should be read by believers everywhere, as it is both an incredible aid, and a deep encouragement to anyone's spiritual growth. It is the kind of book that I will take off my bookshelves after a couple of years, to read it again so that the spiritual truths within its pages can again assist me in my desire to follow Christ and assist others to do the same.
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  • Peter LeDuc
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent. A systematic theology to reinforce your biblical counseling! Lambert makes the case that you are not ready to think about counseling, let alone practice it, until you have thought long and hard about theology. The goal of theology is not to accumulate interesting information, but to know the one true God and to minister those suffering in a broken world with the profound truths that he has revealed regarding Himself in the Scriptures. Using real counseling cases and delineating the tr Excellent. A systematic theology to reinforce your biblical counseling! Lambert makes the case that you are not ready to think about counseling, let alone practice it, until you have thought long and hard about theology. The goal of theology is not to accumulate interesting information, but to know the one true God and to minister those suffering in a broken world with the profound truths that he has revealed regarding Himself in the Scriptures. Using real counseling cases and delineating the traditional divisions of theology in a fresh and relevant way, Lambert provides the biblical counselor an approach to counseling that is Word-saturated, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, God-exalting, and compassionate.
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  • Drake Barnhill
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent foundation for how to counsel people. Counseling is fundamentally theological, because the work of a Biblical Counselor is to give the doctrines in Scripture concerning God that heal people. Apart from these doctrines, nothing can be done that gives the peaceful fruits of righteousness that is found only in Biblical Counseling.
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  • David Monreal
    January 1, 1970
    Overall SolidDepending on your level of theological background this book may seem basic and obvious. But I think is targeting those who have less of a theological background and more of a clinical one or perhaps someone new to the idea of biblical counseling.
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  • John
    January 1, 1970
    There was really nothing much wrong with his theology, but his case against an integrationist approach was underwhelming. A much better book in my view is one by a man Heath Lambert attacked-- Eric Johnson's God and Soul Care.
  • Craig Hurst
    January 1, 1970
    “Counseling is a theological discipline” – Heath LambertWith the explosion and growth of the various psychotherapies and counseling techniques developed within the last few decades by secular psychology, there has been an ever growing tension within the Christian community as to how the Christian counselor should use, if at all, these new therapies.The divide between Christian counseling/psychologists/integrationists and Biblical counseling and lies in (1) how or whether “Counseling is a theological discipline” – Heath LambertWith the explosion and growth of the various psychotherapies and counseling techniques developed within the last few decades by secular psychology, there has been an ever growing tension within the Christian community as to how the Christian counselor should use, if at all, these new therapies.The divide between Christian counseling/psychologists/integrationists and Biblical counseling and lies in (1) how or whether or not to utilize secular counseling methods for Christian counseling and (2) how relevant/helpful Scripture is to counseling. So questions arise such as, “Does Scripture have a primary role in Christian counseling”, “Can Scripture speak to all counseling needs,” or “Do secular counseling approaches help or hurt the counseling process?”Seeking to answer these questions and more, Heath Lambert has written A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry (Zondervan, 2016). Lambert is the executive director of The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, serves as an associate pastor and professor, and is on the editorial board of The Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He is the author of The Biblical Counseling Movement after Adams and Finally Free.Scripture’s Foundation for CounselingThe first line of the book, as stated above, is the most contentious part – counseling is a theological discipline. It might not seem immediately apparent that this is contentious but this is the dividing line between Christian counseling and Biblical counseling. “Whether it is necessary to use secular counseling techniques” and “whether the Bible is a sufficient counseling resource” is what divides them.The fundamental claim Lambert is making as a Biblical counselor is that Christians who are counselors are not required to utilize secular counseling techniques/methods or sources of information outside of Scripture but should use and view Scripture as necessary to Christian counseling as the primary source of information for dealing with ones problems; though it does not always have to be the only source.The reason for this belief is found in the opening sentence of the book; if, as the author argues, counseling is a theological discipline then the use of Scripture in Christian counseling is not only helpful but necessary. If the goal of counseling is to answer questions, offer solutions to problems and help in troubled times, then Scripture must be a part of that. Thus, counseling is theological because it is based on Scripture.In the second chapter of the book Lambert lays out a doctrine of Scripture as the foundation for why it is sufficient for counseling. Of the four areas of sufficiency that he explores, material sufficiency is where the disagreement lies. This “refers to the actual contents of Scripture and means that the Bible tells us everything we need to know from God about any topic.” (48) This means that everything that God wants us to know from Him through special revelation has been said and is contained in the Bible.The net effect of this statement is that though the Bible is not particularly about dentistry or business, it does give enough information and guidance as to how to carry out these vocations in an ethical and moral way that glorifies God. However, in a general sense we understand that the Bible is not a dentistry guide but generally addresses many other things more specifically. It may not deal with business practices directly but it does address issues that relate to how to carry out ethical business practices.God has spoken enough in Scripture to give us a starting place when counseling people.Theology’s Dance with CounselingThe bulk of the book spends eleven chapters showing the relationship between ones theology of various topics and how that works out in Biblical counseling. This is where Lambert’s main message hits home and shines as the reader is able to see his thesis in action.Each chapter opens with a real life counseling situation, moves into a discussion of the doctrine at hand, and then closes by showing how a biblical understanding of that doctrine informs the problems in the counseling situation.What these eleven chapters give you is a short but packed systematic theology of every major doctrine along with examples of how that doctrine can, and does, apply to counseling. If you are not sold on Lambert’s thesis in the first chapter then reading the rest of the book ought to convince you of its validity.ConclusionA Theology of Biblical Counseling is Jay Adams’ Competent to Counsel 2.0 for to the 21st century. This is a solid book that every pastor and Christian leader who engages in counseling should read and learn from. Though this is not the first book of its kind, it is definitely the most comprehensive and up-to-date.I received this book for free from Zondervan for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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  • Timothy Ward
    January 1, 1970
    Dr. Lambert is a fantastic teacher for biblical counseling. I hope he does more topical books like Finally Free. This was a great resource, but is more entry level information.
  • Christopher J
    January 1, 1970
    Love this bookExcellent text that connects what one believes with the heart they have been given by God to be a people-helper, especially to those of the household of faith.
  • Irene Heimark
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful introduction, clear and informative as well as inspirational for further study of the field.
  • Heidi Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. I need to read it again with paper and pencil in hand. So much great information.
  • Terri
    January 1, 1970
    In a nutshell, Biblical counseling, a.k.a. Nouthetic counseling, is counseling that relies on the Bible- ONLY the Bible for its guide in counseling. As opposed to Christian counseling that relies on the Bible and gleans from secular psychology where helpful.This book is Heath Lambert's valiant attempt to convince that Bilblical counseling is the only solid counseling that provides real help, real healing. A good bit of that convincing lies in his proof of the sufficiency of Scripture In a nutshell, Biblical counseling, a.k.a. Nouthetic counseling, is counseling that relies on the Bible- ONLY the Bible for its guide in counseling. As opposed to Christian counseling that relies on the Bible and gleans from secular psychology where helpful.This book is Heath Lambert's valiant attempt to convince that Bilblical counseling is the only solid counseling that provides real help, real healing. A good bit of that convincing lies in his proof of the sufficiency of Scripture and he uses 4 categories of sufficiency as proof:*Progressive sufficiency- "the amount of revelation that God's covenant people have at any point in redemptive history is sufficient for them for that particular time."*Completed sufficiency- Completion of God's work of redemption, the culmination of revelation was the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.*Formal sufficiency- "Scripture contains everything essential for its own interpretation."*Material sufficiency- "The Bible tells us everything we need to know from God about any topic."Wow, "material sufficiency" would limit my desire to undergo surgery. Everything we need to know from God about any topic?Ultimately this sort of counseling and the way Lambert writes of it sounds wooden. For example, suffering. "We need to trust God and his plan when we suffer." Lambert seems to gloss over the actual suffering, the pain, the heartache and zip straight to quoting verses about immediately "getting over it." He uses Paul as an example. And he uses the real life situation of a man whose son has died and whose wife has left him for another man. Glossing over the pain and heartache, Lambert zips on to the "Sean lost his wife but he came to know Jesus Christ," "the loss of Sarah is permanent but he longs for the day when she would confess her sin and he could call her sister in Christ, which is better than calling her his wife." Actually, no. Losing his wife, losing his son is hard and painful and the process to healing is not always to quickly get to the ideal state.Lambert delivers a case for Biblical counseling- only Biblical counseling- but there remained for me some holes in his thinking.Lambert insists on using the Bible as THE source for counseling and glosses over the fact that there has been so much discovery in every area of life for thousands of years; the medical world is astounding, the electronic world amazes, we have walked on the moon. In real time God has given us the ability to see and know things we never thought possible. And Lambert's insistence that this, THIS area- counseling- is the area of finite and limited knowledge, that it is not possible that God might do further work in the area of counseling for His glory. I just don't believe that.
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  • Spencer Cummins
    January 1, 1970
    A Theology of Biblical Counseling by Heath LambertDispensing wisdom, giving good advice, listening to a friend in need, these are all situations where we are all counseling, so says Heath Lambert in his new book, A Theology of Biblical Counseling. Heath, no stranger to counseling, The difference for Heath in his book is this, “Every vision of reality about counseling with be theological. The only question is whether a counselor adopts a theological vision of reality that God believes A Theology of Biblical Counseling by Heath LambertDispensing wisdom, giving good advice, listening to a friend in need, these are all situations where we are all counseling, so says Heath Lambert in his new book, A Theology of Biblical Counseling. Heath, no stranger to counseling, The difference for Heath in his book is this, “Every vision of reality about counseling with be theological. The only question is whether a counselor adopts a theological vision of reality that God believes is faithful – or unfaithful (17).” This kind of counseling vision is what steers every part of this book, and steers people toward Christ and His Word.In the second chapter, Heath offers a distinction between those who see the Scriptures as necessary for counseling but not enough. He writes, “They often thing that the Bible is necessary for people who need counseling, but even then do not believe the Bible is enough. They think the Bible is a book about how to get saved and walk with Jesus but is not focused on offering insight to the most serious counseling topics (38).” This kind of difference is what leads Heath to really delve into the Scriptures, especially Psalm 55 with Trenyan, a young woman dealing with anger, the failure of her parents, and deep wounds. He writes, “It was so encouraging for her to know that there were words in the Bible that gave expression to her sorrow (62).” Beautifully, Heath sets to expression what I have thinking about for years, namely the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of people. He writes, “For counseling to be successful, the Holy Spirit must take the words of our biblical counsel and press them into the hearts of people, convicting them in a way only people can (163).” Conviction and judgment will reap good harvests as the Spirit does the work of changing the heart of the people we counsel. Further, Heath makes a good distinction later in the chapter that is worth mentioning concerning the filling of the Spirit. He writes, “I believe Paul is not asking us to seek more and more of the Spirit, but rather is asking us to depend on the Spirit more and more like Christ (171).” The goal is in concert with a Trinitarian view of God, as we depend more on the Spirit our we are made more into the likeness of Christ, thereby obeying God the Father and his will. Lastly, Heath gives the reader a very good admonition when counseling fails, such that we pray to God the Holy Spirit for direction, wisdom, and a powerful working in the lives of those we meet in the counseling chair each day.Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews and Zondervan for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nathan Moore
    January 1, 1970
    Lambert has provided a clear and articulate view of the Biblical Counseling movement. In my mind, it is utterly persuasive. The BCM still feels very new, though I suppose you could say it is nearing its 40th year, and so much important work needs to be done. This book is a large step in the right direction. In this book, Lambert argues the basic claim of the BCM. Counseling is a theological task and where one person seeks to provide help to another person facing the problems of life. The Bible s Lambert has provided a clear and articulate view of the Biblical Counseling movement. In my mind, it is utterly persuasive. The BCM still feels very new, though I suppose you could say it is nearing its 40th year, and so much important work needs to be done. This book is a large step in the right direction. In this book, Lambert argues the basic claim of the BCM. Counseling is a theological task and where one person seeks to provide help to another person facing the problems of life. The Bible speaks with authority on every issue it addresses and the Bible addresses the issues of life and how to live faithfully before God. The Bible is therefore a sufficient resource for counseling.Two of the highlights of this book were the distinction between categories of Biblical sufficiency arguing that Material Sufficiency (The Bible says all we need it to say to live Godly lives) is of greatest implication to the discussion of counseling.Lambert's critique of integration is devastating to Christian Integrationists and is the most effective I've read. I also gained new insights in his discussion of the relationship of the body and the soul and have new confidence in the soundness and application of a dichotomist perspective.This is a theological work with attention given to the application of theology to counseling. It is a theological work but not a method. There are basic counseling insights and a few shallow case studies. The case studies had the effect of showing general application of a principle but some readers may find these unsatisfying. Its best to view this work not as a method but as a defense of the theological nature of counseling. There is little or no discussion of homework or process. For a quick primer on method, I recommend The Pastor and Counseling: The Basics of Shepherding Members in Need which I thought was fantastic and immanently practical.I'm grateful for Lambert's leadership at the ACBC and in the BCM and am happy to recommend this book to any Biblical Counselor or any Christian with a high view of Scripture seeking to help others. For Christian integrationists, I think you must seriously grapple with this case for the sufficiency of Scripture in counseling. I hope many books like this will follow and I expect Lambert's pen to keep moving.
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  • Floyd Cryer
    January 1, 1970
    This century has surely been a time to be cautious about what you are reading and applying in your life Biblically. Secular Practices have been popping up everywhere in the Christian Church giving the devil his foot the inch in the doorway that he has been wanting since the Reformation.Heath Lambert has gone the distance in this book by explaining in detail the Christians who rely on the counseling of secular people, (Integrationists, Christian counselors, and Christian psychologists This century has surely been a time to be cautious about what you are reading and applying in your life Biblically. Secular Practices have been popping up everywhere in the Christian Church giving the devil his foot the inch in the doorway that he has been wanting since the Reformation.Heath Lambert has gone the distance in this book by explaining in detail the Christians who rely on the counseling of secular people, (Integrationists, Christian counselors, and Christian psychologists, etc.). Lambert goes into great detail with examples and explains the whys and why nots of each case. Lambert also describes areas where biblical counselors agree with each other in Christian counseling as well as in disagreeing in a case.As a Reverend myself I found that this book gave me some new insight where I needed it and gave me direction where I had none. This book was a long read for me but was worth every minute of it. I was given a free copy of this book for an honest review of this book and my honest opinion of this book is that every Christian Ordained Minister should read this book for the insight it will give you before you begin to Minister to your Flock... An Invaluable Volume of Information!
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  • Josh
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, a very helpful book. Lambert argues that counseling is inherently theological - an assertion he recognizes may be the most controversial in his book. But he makes his case well, and then outlines the broad contours of a systematic theology of counseling. I found especially his distinction between common grace and general revelation helpful. General revelation is often appealed to as the grounds for a legitimate authoritative place for psychology. Lambert rightly argues that general reve Overall, a very helpful book. Lambert argues that counseling is inherently theological - an assertion he recognizes may be the most controversial in his book. But he makes his case well, and then outlines the broad contours of a systematic theology of counseling. I found especially his distinction between common grace and general revelation helpful. General revelation is often appealed to as the grounds for a legitimate authoritative place for psychology. Lambert rightly argues that general revelation is God's self-revelation in creation. It is common grace, rather, that lies behind the true insights unbelievers have about the world. But this means that their insights, unlike God's general revelation in creation, are not authoritative and do not constitute a morally neutral interpretation of the world.My one critique of this book would be in the discussion of forgiveness. Lambert argues that forgiveness is necessary and that counselees need to be led towards forgiving those who have wronged them. Agreed. But that assumes the sinful party is seeking forgiveness. Lambert addresses this second situation, but it's maybe a quarter of the length of the discussion of the necessity of forgiveness. Lambert has far more counseling experience than I do, but in my experience the people who have been sinned against need counsel for living in the more ambiguous world of this latter category. It felt like Lambert had a particular opponent in view here that perhaps led to an imbalance in his exposition.
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  • Chrys Jones
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great introduction to biblical counseling and the theology that sets it apart from other forms of counseling. Specifically, this is a miniature systematic theology with specific applications to how those important aspects of theology in counseling. I recommend this for anyone interested in biblical (nouthetic) counseling. I would also recommend this for those who are in Christian (intergrated) counseling as a reliable representative of the position biblical counselors take on theologi This was a great introduction to biblical counseling and the theology that sets it apart from other forms of counseling. Specifically, this is a miniature systematic theology with specific applications to how those important aspects of theology in counseling. I recommend this for anyone interested in biblical (nouthetic) counseling. I would also recommend this for those who are in Christian (intergrated) counseling as a reliable representative of the position biblical counselors take on theological and practical issues. There are some sections of this book which critics think Lambert goes overboard on or misunderstands the sufficiency of scripture, but I think he handles it adequately. Considering that secular psychology hasn't been around nearly as long as the bible, and people have needed counseling since the beginning of time, I think Lambert's arguments for scripture's sufficiency are extremely valid and useful.
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  • Russell Threet
    January 1, 1970
    Every pastor needs more understanding in the area of counseling. Not simply the practical ways in which they counsel, but the biblical basis for that counseling. In this volume, Dr. Lambert has given a resource to pastors that seek to counsel from a solid biblical foundation. This book also does a great job in explaining the different set of convictions held by Christian counselors as compared to biblical counselors. I highly recommend this to anyone seeking to firm up their views, practices, an Every pastor needs more understanding in the area of counseling. Not simply the practical ways in which they counsel, but the biblical basis for that counseling. In this volume, Dr. Lambert has given a resource to pastors that seek to counsel from a solid biblical foundation. This book also does a great job in explaining the different set of convictions held by Christian counselors as compared to biblical counselors. I highly recommend this to anyone seeking to firm up their views, practices, and foundations in the area of counseling.
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  • Blake
    January 1, 1970
    A very timely, well-written theology explaining the system of theology of the Biblical Counseling movement. Lambert uses practical counseling cases to demonstrate how our theology is critical for helping people with all of life's problems. He gives attention to many doctrinal issues and shows why the Biblical Counseling movement requires that if we are to counsel well, we must be good, Biblical, and Practical theologians. I highly recommend Lambert's book.
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  • Matt Smart
    January 1, 1970
    I hate that I rated it so low, it really is a fantastic book for its purpose. This would be the first book I hand someone about counseling who is completely intimidated and has read nothing else on the topic. Yet for someone who understands basic systematic theology this is a very redundant read. Great to skim because there's some fantastic insights among all the basic material, but overall it was not very helpful to me
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  • Bruce Williams
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent book for those involved in biblical counseling or considering a ministry in biblical counseling. The book covers topics such as, a theology of scripture, God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, humanity, sin, suffering, salvation and the church. Each topic is then explained at length and how that topic might be utilized within the counseling session.
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