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Competent to Counsel Hardcover – June 20, 1986


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Product Details

  • Series: Jay Adams Library
  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 2, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310511402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310511403
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

%This is a classic in the field of Christian counseling. It has helped thousands of pastors, students, laypersons, and Christian counselors develop both a general approach to Christian counseling and a specific response to particular problems.

%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

From the Author

Dr. Jay E. Adams is Director of Advanced Studies and Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, California. He received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, his B.D. from the Reformed Episcopal Theological Seminary, his S.T.M. from Temple University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. In addition to having served as a pastor and then a Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Dr. Adams has been the Dean of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation, Laverock, Pennsylvania, since its founding in the early 1970s. He has written over fifty books, translated the New Testament into English (The Christian Counselor’s New Testament), and lectured throughout the world. His books deal with many aspects of pastoral ministry and counseling as well as Bible study and practical Christian living

Customer Reviews

Holy Spirit is the principal person!
alexandra mihaila
Moreover, the author then provides a Biblical Exposition of Counseling with practical tips and guidance on how to provide sound Biblical Counsel.
Steve Carlock
This book really offers more insights than other readings.
Chan Chun Man Philip

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mike Parks on July 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone that wants to grasp what nouthetic counseling is should read this book. Adams does a nice job of laying out the book so his readers can comprehend his position. He dedicates the entire 4th chapter to defining, "What is Nouthetic Counseling?" He states, "Nouthetic counseling in its fullest sense, then, is simply an application of the means of sanctification p.73" (I.e. helping others grow in Christ). People often accuse Adams of equating everything to sin, but he clearly makes a distinction between biochemical problems and non-biochemical. If you are an integrationist, Adams work will help you understand the "other side" of the debate. If you are completely a non-integrationist this may be your "pillar text" concerning counseling. Either way, if you are a person trying to help hurting people, this book will help equip you, even if you do not fully agree with Adams approach.
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117 of 154 people found the following review helpful By K. Eames on October 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book by Dr. Adams is remarkable because it opened the debate among Christians about the practice of counseling. Adams goes after some easy targets, namely Freud and Rogers. He invites the Christian to examine the sufficiency of Scripture for providing counsel in times when wisdom is needed. He identifies important passages in Scripture that certainly encourage us to counsel one another in love and truth.
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.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My review has very little to do with the author, but more to do with the material offered. I am studying to become a counselor and this book has helped me to understand the current principles introduced by Freud and others and why they DO NOT HELP the counselee.
The book clearly offers both sides of the picture so that the reader can be informed of current psychiatry and biblical counseling. I believe God's word is sufficient to help ANYONE in ANY form of health. C2C helps us to understand how to apply it and the role that the Holy Spirit plays in counseling.
A must read for pastors and Christian Counselors alike!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By In Process on May 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What if you suddenly found yourself counseling a friend on a problem they are facing? What would be the basis or foundation for your advice? Would you quickly do a "google search" to find the latest self-help book on the subject? Would you go to the library and consult a Psychology journal for the latest theories on behavior modification?

If you are a Christian, your answer should be "No! The word of God!" The Bible is the Christian's basis for wisdom in living. The Bible addresses the most fundamental issues of mankind. The Bible has the answers for life's most perplexing problems. Therefore, Christian counseling must be BIBLICAL counseling. In this book, Jay Adams provides a general introduction to this topic of Biblical counseling. I found this book to be a helpful introduction to the subject with many "golden nuggets" of practical advice.

Sadly, many pastors and other leaders have ceded ground to Psychology and Psychiatry. Under the guise of "mental illness," these theories attempt to shift responsibility from the counselee and blame outside influences (pg 1-19) (By this assessment, I am NOT including legitimate "organic" problems, such as brain or chemical damage). Freud's principles are based on the belief that religion is invented to fulfill man's needs. Furthermore, his views "encouraged irresponsible people to persist in and expand their irresponsibility...and made it respectable." (pg 17). Christians, on the other hand, understand that the basic problem in man is SIN (Romans 3). Only the Bible provides the solution to the problem of sin - the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible's message is that all people are utterly sinful and deserve judgment and hell.
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More About the Author

Jay E. Adams (PhD, University of Missouri) is a former director of advanced studies and professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, as well as a retired pastor. He has written over fifty books on pastoral ministry, preaching, counseling, Bible study, and Christian living. His books include Competent to Counsel, The Christian Counselor's Manual, and Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible.

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