Review of ‘A Theology of Christian Counseling’ by Jay Adams

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A Theology of Christian Counseling‘ is an excellent introduction to the topic of counseling from a purely Scriptural lens. This book should be called “Theology of Biblical Counseling” as the term  “Christian Counseling” is usually descriptive nowadays of the integration model of counseling, combining psychology with Christian teaching. However, this book was first published in the 70’s, where perhaps the terms were not fully established.

Adams is passionate about relying solely upon the authority of Scripture in addressing the needs of counselees, rather than turning to worldly, and mostly unbiblical counsel from psychology. He says, “The Bible’s position is that all counsel that is not revelational (Biblical) or based upon God’s revelation, is Satanic.” (Ch 1, p.4). There is a strong emphasis, therefore, on the importance of the counselor knowing the Word of God, and studying it thoroughly in order to be able to counsel from the Word in a way that is practical and directly  applicable to the issues that the counselee is facing.

The book can tend to be a tad disjointed at times, as Adams will touch on subjects briefly and then cross-reference the other books he has read on that subject. However, I still thought it was an excellent read and one that was mostly easy to follow for a theology book. I found that it clarified some questions that I had, and reshifted my perspective in places. I appreciated his down-to-earth teaching on the Bible. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to grow in their understanding of Scripture and how to give good counsel, whether in a formal or an informal setting.

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