Do people grow just by knowing biblical content? Does memorizing biblical facts and hearing lectures alone prepare a person for ministry? Does just hearing content sanctify? Does knowing a lot about the Bible naturally lead to maturity? If training is more than knowing content, then what are the other ingredients? What are the dangers of just giving people content?
As one who has been around the Church for 59 years and been actively involved in the spiritual growth of the Church both at the local church, academic, and international level for 37 years, these questions have intrigued, haunted, pestered, and even plagued me. Continue reading
Vision of Hope (VOH) is a residential program for women ages 14 and older struggling with eating disorders, addiction issues of all types, self-harm habits, and unplanned pregnancies. With loving pastoral oversight and church family support based upon relationship-building among residents and church members, VOH is intricately woven into the fabric of Faith Church. A few years ago, VOH launched an “upcycling” thrift store called Reclaimed Hope. Some spiritual metaphors of the thrift store and the program itself come to mind. Continue reading
Perhaps the greatest privilege and joy of involvement in the personal ministry of the Word is leading others to the green pastures of safety and security where Jesus, the Good Shepherd, never fails to care for them. Understanding and believing in Jesus as the only Lord and Savior is only the beginning, not the end, of their relationship with God and, therefore, only the beginning of our ministry to them. Yes, the Christian life begins with repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as one’s sin-bearing Savior; however, it continues and thrives most fruitfully as disciples learn to walk humbly with our God by following the Good Shepherd. Therefore, meditating on the loving care of the Good Shepherd for His sheep builds up our faith and equips us to more tenderly care for those to whom He calls us to minister His grace and truth. Listen to how Jesus describes Himself. Continue reading
Josh Stephens is Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Alliance. Find out about how the BC Alliance started and what they are doing. Josh will also demonstrate great resources from their online resource center that are available to members of the BC Alliance. Continue reading
Admittedly, this post will be as uncomfortable as its title. But, then again, counseling is about very uncomfortable things. The concern I want to discuss is the tendency to assume that biblical principles like those found in I Corinthians 10:13 mean that all our struggles carry the same weight. The unintended consequence can be that abusive relationships receive the same counsel as garden-variety arguments and instances of low impulse control receive the same guidance as manic episodes.
In October of 1517, Martin Luther began a recovery of the gospel of Jesus Christ that would change the world. In October of 2017, ACBC wants to invite you to join us at our Annual Conference as we celebrate, and as we continue, this Protestant Reformation. Continue reading
Martin Luther is famous for his Ninety-Five Theses which launched the Reformation. So, I thought I would collate my favorite 95 Martin Luther quotes from my new book: Counseling Under the Cross: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Daily Life (released yesterday, August 14, by New Growth Press). Continue reading
A recent workshop on revival pressed me to think deeper about the place of Scripture memorization and meditation in the biblical counseling process. Professor John Woodbridge, Research Professor of Church History at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, spoke about common aspects that were regularly part of revivals. He co-authored the book, “A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir.” One aspect regularly found among people experiencing a revival was “daily Scripture-saturated living,” which includes “memorizing and meditating on Scripture.” Since this has been such an important, common aspect of revival, Professor Woodbridge was interested in knowing if any of the churches represented in the audience had intentional programs of Scripture memorization and meditation. I was able to affirm that our church did, since it is an essential part of our biblical counseling ministry. He and others expressed appreciation for the comment. Continue reading
Dave and Stacey Hare join us for this episode of 15:14. They are currently on furlough after spending five years in Cameroon, Africa learning the culture and the language of a people group with no Bible. This interview explores the challenges faced not only in this culture but in others which have no written Bible to point people to as you seek to disciple them. The Hares share about the need for Scripture in the sanctification process as well as counsel that missionaries need to hear from their pastors back “home.” Continue reading
There are certainly many, many illnesses that cause suffering and misery, but none like age-related dementia and its evil twin, Alzheimer’s. These conditions slowly steal memories and abilities away from a person as the plaques and tangles make their way through the brain. Otherwise active, healthy people lose their ability to function in life. They first lose their short-term memory, then their long-term memories, then their ability to accomplish the most basic of tasks. They become, in many ways, babies in an adult body. Continue reading