BCC Staff Note: David Murray has been reviewing each chapter of our Biblical Counseling Coalition book, Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling. With his permission we often link to his chapter reviews. Today we are providing David’s review of chapter eight, The Influences on the Human Heart. You can also read the review at David’s Head Heart Hand site.
A Review of Chapter 8: The Influences on the Human Heart by Jeff Forrey and Jim Newheiser
The authors of this outstanding chapter discuss the physical and social influences upon human choices and behavior. They tackle the social and genetic determinism that is so often used to excuse sinful attitudes and actions, but they do so in a beautifully balanced way. I’d describe this chapter as:
Honest: Jim discusses his own counseling journey, moving from a classically nouthetic view to a much more holistic view of our human nature, our problems, and the solutions to them.
Compassionate: A sincere acceptance and description of the impact of social history and bodily factors. A recognition that the body can affect the soul and vice versa.
Biblical: While accepting genetic and social influences, rejecting the idea of them as determinative of human behavior.
Constructive: Five scriptural principles that help us interact with people who struggle with bodily weaknesses PLUS five scriptural principles that help us deal with people who have difficult relationship influences.
Encouraging: Both counselors and counselees should be greatly encouraged by the way the Bible frames and interprets genetic and social factors in such a way that promotes both loving sympathy and strong hope for strugglers.