Saturday, December 18, 2010

Speaking Truth in Love: Counsel in Community

by David Powlison
New Growth Press, 2005, 202 pages

With more than half as many passages in the Scripture Index at the back as the book has pages, this is a book on counseling that is solidly grounded in the word of God. Powlison writes in the conviction that 'On the face of it, Scripture is about counseling' (page 175), both by pastors and by every member with the other members.
This is a book to help those in the church who must counsel - first of all pastors, then other officebearers, then congregation members. It is a book about opening ourselves up to the searching truth of God's word, first in our own lives and then in the lives of others. Powlison
  • describes the beauty of Psalm 119's revelation of a living relationship with not the Law but the Lawgiver;
  • shows us how the gospel not only justifies, but also sanctifies and liberates us from the idols in our hearts;
  • demonstrates the power of metaphor and story in counseling;
  • ponders the tension between counseling based on the Word and counseling coming from a secular perspective;
  • considers when secular psychologists may be needed for certain specialized purposes, and the alternatives;
  • looks at the type of prayer a life concerned with growth in Christ will promote;
  • explores the unique and common perspectives and value of men and women as counselors; 
  • argues forcefully for the value of gaining training in counseling at a seminary; and finally
  • sets out a series of "Affirmations and Denials" that show the difference between Biblically grounded counseling and other perspectives, and
  • exhorts his readers to seek to promote the counseling that is grounded in Ephesians 4 and following in the church.
A book that will instruct and challenge anyone who believes that God heals souls through His word.

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