Seeing with New Eyes

22 June 2008

For those of you who last checked in with biblical counseling when Jay Adams was in his psychology-skewering heyday, you need to come have another look. The present generation of spokesmen for biblical counseling offers a more well-rounded, richer grasp of Scripture and a much more sober-minded tone. While there certainly was some justification for Adams’ jeremiads, the present generation seems to have rediscovered the value and utility of brotherly kindness, a mode of interaction sadly lacking in the early writings of the movement.

Of the present voices, one of the clearest and most articulate is David Powlison.

Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition through the Lens of Scripture is not a “counseling model” as such. It is to a counseling model what a list of mountaintop elevations is to a topographic map of the entire mountain range: it touches on the high points, and leaves the rest alone. But this seemingly incomplete way of teaching turns out to be surprisingly instructive.

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Open Secrets

11 June 2008

Six Secrets of the Christian Life by Zane Hodges is one of the shortest, easiest books you’ll ever read, which is a good thing, because you’re going to want to read it several times. In his inimitably brief way, Hodges takes readers on a guided tour of central truths of the Christian life: its miraculous and transformative nature, the need to be open to God’s truth and to pray for His revealed will, the importance of mindset and understanding our position in Christ.

If this sounds like the same old standard stuff, that’s because in some ways it is — but you should hear Hodges tell it. As is typical for him, Hodges does not philosophize; he doesn’t “develop doctrines” or “draw out principles” that are abstracted from the text of Scripture. Rather, he teaches through a careful reading of (relatively few) key passages. The result is that by the time you’re done, you will understand the Bible more clearly, and also understand more clearly how to walk with God.

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