As the Biblical Counseling Coalition’s Executive Director, one of my privileges is to serve as editor for our BCC books. It was a joy to serve in that capacity for our first book: Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling.
Over the past year, twenty-two co-authors have been working on the BCC’s second book: Scripture and Counseling: God’s Word for Life in a Broken World. Jeff Forrey and I are now editing the book for submission to our publisher—Zondervan. The book is scheduled for release in 2014.
Here’s the working draft of the Preface to Scripture and Counseling.
We face a tremendous weakening of confidence in the Bible as central to life. This is true for the pastor ministering to struggling people in the congregation, for the counselor in the counseling office, for the person in the pew talking with a struggling friend at Starbucks, and for the small group leader unsure of what to say to a hurting group member. Scripture and Counseling encourages each of these individuals to regain their confidence in God’s Word for real life issues and equips them to grow in their competence in using God’s Word to tackle the complex issues of life.
Is God’s Word profoundly sufficient, necessary, authoritative, and relevant to equip God’s people to address specific, complex issues in today’s broken world? Scripture and Counseling does more than answer with a resounding “Yes!” It communicates a way of viewing God’s Word to address life in a broken world—a robust theology of the personal ministry of the Word. And it presents a way of using God’s Word to minister to broken people—a practical methodology of the personal ministry of the Word.
The “sufficiency of Scripture” has become an oft-debated buzz word in academic circles. However, this issue has vital ramifications well beyond professorial debates. The failure to understand, develop, and implement a wise and practical approach to the sufficiency and necessity of God’s Word for the personal ministry of the Word has weakened the Church’s ministry of the Word and the Church’s impact in the world.
Scripture and Counseling focuses on a positive and practical presentation of scriptural authority, relevancy, necessity, profundity, and sufficiency for daily life. With real-life seriousness it addresses the vital question:
How do we view and use the Bible to help one another to deal biblically with the complex issues of suffering and sin?
Scripture and Counseling does not simply communicate, “Please stop going to the self-help section of Amazon to find answers for your problems.” Instead, Scripture and Counseling communicates, “Here’s why and how to develop a robust biblical approach to the personal ministry of the Word.”
The subtitle—God’s Word for Life in a Broken World—guides every chapter contributor. With every word they penned, they have asked, “How can my chapter encourage and equip pastors, small group leaders, biblical counselors, one-another ministers, and spiritual friends to trust God’s Word and to use God’s Word to minister to broken people?”
Our prayer for you as you read Scripture and Counseling is the same as Paul’s prayer for the believers in Philippi. Persecuted because of their faith (1:29-30), struggling with fears and anxiety (1:28; 4:6); experiencing relational conflicts (4:2), and battling against temptations toward selfishness (2:2-4) and self-sufficiency (3:1-11), they needed to hear the same Christ-centered message we need to hear today:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (1:9-11).
We pray that Scripture and Counseling will encourage you 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 pray that Scripture and Counseling will provide you with a robust, loving, best-practice guide so you will gain competence in using God’s Word to address the real-life issues of people in a broken world. And we pray that the result will be the Bride of Christ growing in Christlikeness to the glory and praise of God.
Join the Conversation
Without writing an entire book, in summary fashion, how would you begin to answer the question: “How do we view and use the Bible to help one another to deal biblically with the complex issues of suffering and sin?”