This classic has helped thousands of pastors, students, laypeople, and Christian counselors develop both a general approach to Christian counseling and a specific response to particular problems.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
%Using biblically directed discussion, nouthetic counseling works by means of the Holy Spirit to bring about change in the personality and behavior of the counselee. As the author points out in his introduction. "I have been engrossed in the project of developing biblical counseling and have uncovered what I consider to be a number if important scriptural principles. Immediate problems been resolved, but there have also been solutions to all sorts of long-term problems as well.
%First published in 1970, this book has gone through over thirty printings. It established the bases for an introduction to an approach to counseling that is being used in pastors' studies, in counseling centers, and across dining room tables throughout the country and around --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
However, there are several notable shortcomings. First, Adams adopts a simplistic approach to mental illness - one that has potential to do considerable harm if misapplied. While he rightly differentiates between faux non-organic "illnesses" and bona fide chemical brain disorders, he neglects a significant in-between region that consists of deeply troubled individuals whose cognitive make-ups or personality organizations make responding positively to simplistic and direct confrontation unlikely. The nuances of relationship-building that are an important component of therapy and discipleship appear to be lacking.
Second, to say this is a reformed perspective on counseling appears to misapply the meaning of "reformed." Reformed theology acknowledges the Lordship of Christ in all things, including psychology and psychotherapy. To exclude some theories, practices, and methods simply because they are extra-biblical (not anti-biblical, just not in the Bible) denies the Christian's ability, even the command via the Cultural Mandate, to examine the truth in God's world and apply it in faith and wisdom. It is best embodied by Kuyper's insistence that there is not a square-inch of creation over which Christ does not say "mine!" Unfortunately, Dr.Read more ›
Dr. Adams shows a positive approach to what the Bible teaches on counseling. Most relationship problems arrive at our doorstep because sin entered the world ages ago. Many personal problems are a result of God's need to impose trials on His children to help them grow, or, to rebuke sin in His children's lives. This book addresses how to caringly work through such spiritual issues, one believer to another. In many instances, this is accomplished through simple encouragement-an art form and a responsibility often overlooked by the church today.
While modern "psychotherapy" is often grounded in doctrines of amoral values of humanism, Dr. Adams is careful not to disparage all psychology, the study of the human mind and human behavior. Actual illness needs to be referred to the appropriate medical doctor. But issues of sinful behavior patterns by professing Christians need to be handled by the loving care of fellow believers working through a biblical model of problem identification, repentance (where needed), and change.
Many have called this book groundbreaking. What has happened with Nouthetic Counseling since this book was first introduced is nothing short of revolutionary in the Christian church. The numbers of Christians who have been restored into a healthy relationship with God and the church as a result of this book are simply uncountable.
Read this book. Put the principles into action.