Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Christian Counselor's Commentary: Proverbs

by Jay E. Adams
1997 / 231 pages

I grew up with a set of Calvin's Commentaries at my disposal for any Bible study essays I might have to write. That was quite the blessing, because Calvin's thoughts were reliable and insightful. But they weren't all that readable; these were not books you would pick up and read from front to back. For the longest time I thought that was just the way commentaries were – formal, and formidable – but when I came across this series I learned different. The author is solidly Reformed, his insights reliable, and his commentary on Proverbs readable enough that this could be used for personal devotions.

I also appreciated that the full text of Proverbs is included, which allowed readers to take just the one book with them – no need to also take a Bible – if they want to do a little study at the local coffee shop or park. This portability is a nice bonus.

Adams is best known as the "father of biblical counseling." Forty years ago he reminded the church that God has equipped us to look after our spiritually weak and wounded, and that this is not a task to be handed off to secular psychologists and psychiatrists. Proverbs is a book of particular value to this work; it is in some ways the "owner's manual" for mankind. Adams ably shows how much wisdom, how much love God has packed into each one of these proverbs. Help can be found here, and helpers equipped. I highly recommend this to elders, and also to anyone who wants a readable, reliable, Reformed commentary.

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