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Living in a Fallen World Interview

June 16, 2011

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The BCC Author Interview Q & A with Paul Tautges

As part of our BCC vision, we want to help you to get to know gifted biblical counseling authors and their books. This week we’re highlighting Paul Tautges who is the Series Editor for a series of biblical counseling booklets called Living in a Fallen World.

BCC: “You are the consulting editor of the biblical counseling booklet series published by Day One. How did the concept for Living in a Fallen World (LFW) come about?”

PT: “My involvement was quite unintentional. Day One had been gradually collecting small manuscripts on a variety of real life struggles, all of which seemed to address problems we suffer as a result of living in a fallen world. Once the series concept began to develop, I entered the picture as a prospective author who then committed to write two titles. Since I know a number of men and women committed to biblical counseling, I offered additional author and/or title suggestions to the publisher. Shortly thereafter, Day One approached me with the opportunity to serve in an editorial role. It was not a role that I had ever sought or even pondered. But I sure am enjoying it!”

BCC: “Tell us about the bitten apple logo.”

PT: “Of course the bitten apple takes us back to the Garden of Eden and, specifically, the Fall. As a result of our rebellion against God, we now live in an imperfect world whose inhabitants are universally affected by its curse. The Bible does not identify the fruit that Adam and Eve ate, but since an apple is typically what comes to mind, it serves as an effective and eye-catching logo that is consistent with the booklets’ message.”

BCC: “Some of the titles seem to address situations of suffering whereas others deal more with specific sinful practices. Could you comment on this?”

PT: “Every form of suffering that we experience is connected to sin—at least indirectly. However, not every one of our struggles is the result of specific, personal sin. What do I mean? Before sin entered the world, human life was perfect because perfect fellowship with God was constant. But following Adam’s rebellion, the curse that God pronounced upon man, woman, the devil, and the earth has far-reaching consequences. For example, all disease is a result of sin because before sin there was no disease. But not every disease that you and I suffer from is a direct result of our own personal sin. There are unexplainable ‘life struggles’ that come to us according to the sovereign plan of God and His desire to redeem sinners by His grace and conform us to the image of Christ. Then there are forms of suffering that we bring upon ourselves through our own sin, by means of the Law of the Harvest: ‘you reap what you sow.’ And, of course, there is the deepest issue of all: the powerful desires of our depraved hearts and our struggle against residual sin.”

BCC: “So, how does that influence the topics that are addressed in the series?”

PT: “Understanding that there is suffering that enters our lives according to the good, sovereign, and wise plan of God, but without any connection to personal sin, makes us intentional in our plan to address as many of these as we can. Additionally, since each of us also face on-going battles against the power of indwelling sin, we seek to include titles that will give biblical counsel to help us experience the power of God’s transforming grace over sin. Hence the reason each title begins with HELP!”

BCC: “What makes these booklets distinct from other counseling booklets?”

PT: “There are so many excellent counseling booklets available today, but there are four ways the LFW booklets are unique. First, they are more thorough in biblical content than most counseling-related booklets—almost double in size—and written for ‘the person in the pew.’ Second, they may be useful as an evangelistic tool in that, though addressed primarily to the believer in Christ, the salvation of the reader is never assumed. Therefore, each booklet contains a clear gospel call to repentant faith in Jesus. Third, each booklet contains Personal Application Projects that may be used by counselors, pastors, and small group leaders who wish to assign ‘homework’ to the people they help, or which may be used as discussion points. Fourth, in as many cases as possible, the booklets are written by men or women who’ve ‘been there,’ either by personal experience, or by significant ministry experience in the particular area in which they write.”

BCC: “How do you imagine these booklets being used?”

PT: “Every believer will benefit greatly from them, to counsel them in their own struggles, but also to equip them for ministry to others. Churches will find them very useful for their congregations. To aid this, a custom-designed display unit is being offered as a gift with quantity orders at great discount prices, making for discreet takeaway at a church facility (from the publisher’s website only).”

BCC: “How many titles are currently in the series?”

PT: “Currently, there are 16 titles in the series.

  • HELP! My Spouse Has Been Unfaithful (Mike Summers)
  • HELP! I Have Breast Cancer (Brenda Frields)
  • HELP! Someone I Love Has Cancer (Deborah Howard)
  • HELP! He’s Struggling with Pornography (Brian Croft)
  • HELP! She’s Struggling with Pornography (Rachel Coyle)
  • HELP! My Baby Has Died (Reggie Weems)
  • HELP! My Toddler Rules the House (Paul & Karen Tautges)
  • HELP! Someone I Love has been Abused (Jim Newheiser)
  • HELP! My Marriage Has Grown Cold (Rick Thomas)
  • HELP! I Can’t Get Motivated (Adam Embry)
  • HELP! I’m a Single Mom (Carol Trahan)
  • HELP! I’m a Slave to Food (Shannon McCoy)
  • HELP! I’m Confused about Dating (Joel James)
  • HELP! I’m Drowning in Debt (Dr. John Temple)
  • HELP! My Teen Is Gay (Ben Marshall)
  • HELP! My Teen Is Rebellious (Dave & Judi Coats).”

BCC: “Do you plan to produce other titles in this series?”

PT: “Yes, actually we have many titles planned and currently being written. Be sure to watch for them! And help us spread the word—to the end that many will come to experience the sanctifying grace of God and the obedience of faith.”

BCC: “Thank you, Paul. It has been very helpful to hear about this unique collection of biblical counseling booklets in the Living in a Fallen World series.”

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