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Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling Interview

February 13, 2013

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Author Interview Q & A with Bob Kellemen

BCC Staff Note: The BCC is excited about the February 18, 2013 release of our book Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling: Changing Lives with God’s Changeless Truth. Published by Harvest House, you can pre-order a copy at the BCC Bookstore at 35% off by clicking here. Copies will begin shipping on by February 18, 2013.

Our BCC Executive Director, Bob Kellemen, served as one of the managing editors, and we’ve asked Bob to share with our BCC readers more about Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling.

BCC: “Bob, thanks for joining us. For people who may read this Q &A, but are not too familiar with the BCC, please introduce them to the Biblical Counseling Coalition.”

BK: “The Biblical Counseling Coalition exists to encourage collaborative relationships and to provide robust resources related to biblical counseling, Christian living, and local church ministry. Our Passion Statement says it well:

Promoting Personal Change
Centered on the Person of Christ
Through the Personal Ministry of the Word

Here’s what’s so exciting: Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling beautifully fulfills our BCC mission and vision. We’ve brought together 40 authors (collaborative relationships) to provide a wealth of wisdom for life and ministry (robust resources) that focus on Christ-centered change (our Passion Statement).”

BCC: “That is a great tie-in and lead-in to the book. In a paragraph, what is Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling all about?”

BK: “The purpose of Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling is to equip God’s people to understand how to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth. The goal of the book is to increase people’s confidence in the richness and relevancy of God’s Word to address real-life issues. Just as there is currently an encouraging return to gospel-centered preaching, Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling seeks to be a catalyst for the return of God’s people to gospel-centered one-another ministry.”   

BCC: “The roster of authors is quite remarkable. How did you go about selecting the chapter authors?”

BK: “You’re right; we’re thrilled with the forty men and women who contributed to the book. We were looking for leaders in biblical counseling who had solid theological backgrounds combined with years of practical experience in ministering God’s Word to hurting people. For a complete list of the authors and the chapters they contributed, readers can visit Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling: A BCC/Harvest House Book. What we’re most excited about is the pairings in each chapter. Over three-quarters of the chapters were co-authored. Readers benefit from chapters co-authored by Sr. Pastors and their Counseling Pastors such as John Piper and Jack Delk, Mark Dever and Deepak Reju, James MacDonald and Garrett Higbee, and Steve Viars and Rob Green. We have chapters co-authored by colleagues in ministry like Justin Holcomb and Mike Wilkerson, Lee Lewis and Michael Snetzer, and Brad Bigney and Ken Long. Readers also will enjoy chapters co-authored by pastors and professors, such as Ernie Baker and Jonathan Holmes, Robert Cheong and Heath Lambert, and Robert Jones and Brad Hambrick.”

BCC: “Who are these readers you envision benefiting from Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling?”

BK: “Picture a committed Christian sitting at Starbucks with her best friend and fellow church member. Her friend has finally opened up to her about the fear and anxiety she experiences daily. We’ve written Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling to help this committed Christian and thousands like her to know how to lovingly and carefully relate God’s Word to struggles like fear and worry.

Picture a pastor in his office with a couple who have already seen the divorce attorney. The pastor is secretly thinking, ‘They taught me how to preach in seminary, but not how to help a struggling couple to change.’ We’ve written Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling for this pastor and thousands like him.

Picture a Bible college or seminary student in his only course in pastoral counseling. He’s  thinking, ‘I’m confident in God’s Word, but how do I grow in my competence in using God’s Word?’ We’ve written Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling to help this student and thousands more to understand a biblical theology and methodology for helping hurting people to find hope and victory in Christ.

Picture the Christian counselor who loves the Lord and His Word, but wants to know how to use God’s Word confidently and competently in counseling rather than relying on psychological resources. We’ve written Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling to help this counselor and thousands of others to appreciate the richness and robustness of the Scriptures and to learn how to use God’s Word relevantly, relationally, and powerfully in counseling.”

BCC: “So, when the committed Christian, the pastor, the student, or the counselor picks up Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling, what do they find?”

BK: “We choose each chapter author according to his or her specialty and we asked the authors to picture the committed Christian, the pastor, the student, and the counselor during the writing process. They then focused their chapter on applying truth to life by blending theological wisdom and practical expertise.

For example, John Piper and Jack Delk write about the goal of counseling—which is the glory of God. This foundational purpose provides a fundamental mindset shift for anyone offering one-another ministry. Ernie Baker and Jonathan Holmes explore the power of the Redeemer—helping readers to understand that change is not through a program or a philosophy but through a person, the Person—Jesus Christ. Jeff Forrey examines a biblical understanding and treatment of emotions, while Laura Hendricksen probes the complex mind/body connection and its impact on counseling and Christian living.

For the entire Table of Contents readers can visit Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling: A BCC/Harvest House Book.” 

BCC: “As you think about this book on counseling compared to other books, what will readers receive that is unique?”

BK: “First, there are many excellent books available on biblical counseling. In fact, the BCC loves highlighting those book at our Book Review site. That said, we’re seeking to address some unique goals through Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling. We want readers to:

  • Receive a robust, loving, best-practice guide not only for why our authors love biblical counseling, but why the reader 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 times of suffering and relational conflict and the most distressing battles against besetting sins.

We designed the book to:

  • Refute the stereotype that biblical counseling is harsh (unloving) and simplistic (unrealistic in the real world). We pray that it will become the remedy to the insufficient ‘take-two-verses-and-call-me-in-the-morning’ method and the antidote to a ‘one-verse-one-problem-one-solution’ approach to people helping.
  • Challenge the teaching that we need Christ plus something else, that the Bible is an insufficient guide to effective relational living and to encourage readers to use God’s Word in their church and para-church ministries as people helpers.”

BCC: “What are others saying about Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling?”

BK: “We’ve been encourage by the endorsements by a wide cross-section of leaders. For example, Nancy Leigh DeMoss shares:

‘Those of us who are seeking to help needy, hurting people find hope in Christ, owe a great debt of gratitude to those who contributed to this rich resource. It will make us more biblically grounded in our counsel and inspire us to believe that He really can transform lives!’

And Pastor Matt Chandler has this to say about the book.

Christ-centered Biblical Counseling is a much needed resource that will set a frame of reference for your existing biblical counseling ministry or deepen a paradigm that might already exist in your church. It is vital that the church take seriously the call to disciple their own through Christ-centered counsel.’

For additional endorsements readers can visit Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling: Endorsements.” 

BCC: “Bob, how can readers learn more about the book?”

BK: “At the Biblical Counseling Coalition we’ve created a Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling tab here. Visitors will find:

  • A PDF of the Foreword by David Powlison.
  • A PDF of the Table of Contents with chapter titles and authors.
  • A PDF of the first chapter by John Piper and Jack Delk: The Glory of God: The Goal of Biblical Counseling.
  • Endorsements for the book.
  • Links to previous posts about the book.
  • As they become available, links to reviews of the book.
  • Order information.

To pre-order Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling at 33% off, readers can visit the BCC Bookstore Order page. Copies will ship beginning February 18, 2013.

BCC: “Thanks, Bob, for introducing our readers to Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling.”

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