Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling by James McDonald, Bob Kelemen, and Steve Viars

Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling is a comprehensive guide that will equip God’s people to use biblical truth to change lives. More than that, this book will increase people’s confidence in the sufficiency and relevancy of God’s Word to address real-life issues in a multitude of counseling situations. Readers of this book will:
  • Understand clearly why they should embrace biblical counseling
  • Be encouraged to trust God’s Word to provide rich insight for living in the midst of even the most difficult challenges
  • Enjoy the relevant, pastoral, and theological teaching they have come to appreciate from such noted authors as James MacDonald, John Piper, Mark Dever, and Elyse Fitzpatrick
The 28 chapters blend theological wisdom and practical expertise. The first half of the book emphasizes a practical theology of biblical counseling; the second half highlights a practical methodology of biblical counseling.
Though accessible to all Christians, the book will especially appeal to pastors and church leaders, counseling practitioners, students, and educators.

My review:
    I do not counsel anyone and most likely never will, but decided to review this book anyway. It doesn't hurt anyone to get a little understanding in how counseling can work, and could even help the average person better relate to someone who is dealing with a tough situation.

   I've reviewed other counseling books before that dealt with specific things to counsel people about. This book doesn't do that. It is more of a "how to" counsel overview from a Biblical point. The authors discuss the "why" of Biblical counseling before they tackle the "how." It isn't a boring book. Of course, it isn't like reading a novel, but it is easy to read and the authors do a great job of showing why we need Biblical counseling, and then how to go about it. They do cover the power of confession, repentance, and forgiveness and how they have a lot to do with people getting help in counseling.

  This book would make a great tool for Christians who counsel, and especially for pastors who may not have any formal counseling training but due to the job, end up doing a lot of it.

About the authors: 

James MacDonald is senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, a multisite church in Illinois. In addition, his Walk in the Word broadcast reaches more than three million people weekly. James’s ministry also includes a biblical counseling center, a training center for pastors, and a Christian school.

Visit his website at James MacDonald.com.

Bob Kellemen, ThM, PhD, is the executive director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition (www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org), the executive director of the Association of Biblical Counselors’ Center for Church Equipping, and the founder and CEO of RPM Ministries (www.rpmministries.org). Bob has pastored three churches and has chaired the MA in Christian Counseling and Discipleship department at Capital Bible Seminary for 17 years. Bob and his wife, Shirley (a kindergarten teacher), have been married for more than 30 years. They have two adult children, one daughter-in-law, and one granddaughter. Dr. Kellemen is the author of nine books, including Equipping Counselors for Your Church.

Visit his website at RPMMinistries.org.

Stephen Viars earned his DMin degree in biblical counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and has served as a pastor and biblical counselor for more than 20 years at Faith Baptist
Church and Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries in Lafayette, Indiana. He serves as the president of the board of the Biblical Counselors Coalition, the vice president of the board of National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, and is a frequent speaker at conferences, colleges, and seminaries in the United States and abroad.

Visit his website at faithlafayette.org.

Christ-Centered Counseling is available from Harevest House Publishers.
Thanks to Harvest House for the review copy.