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Counseling the Hard Cases: True Stories Illustrating the Sufficiency of God's Resources in Scripture Hardcover – June 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stuart Scott is associate professor of Biblical Counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He also authored The Exemplary Husband and is a board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.

Heath Lambert is associate professor of Biblical Counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and its undergraduate institution, Boyce College. He also serves as pastor of Biblical Living at his church overseeing the counseling and marriage ministries.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 366 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433672227
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433672224
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By KenBobPDX on June 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book illustrates the effectiveness of Biblical Counseling. In chapter one Stuart gives us a short history of the Biblical Counseling movement and explains the differences between secular, Christian and Biblical Counseling. The following chapters are examples of extremely difficult counseling cases that were resolved through the caring, compassionate, effective application of God's Word and Biblical counseling technique.

As a Biblical Counselor myself, I found it refreshing and encouraging. I highly recommend this book if you are thinking about entering the field of counseling or are already involved in counseling. In my opinion it ranks among the top "must read" books for Biblical Counselors. It should be on the shelf of every Biblical Counselor along with "Competent to counsel" by Jay Adams and "Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands" By Paul Tripp.

I have found that Biblical counseling is more effective and provides more hope and healing than any other form of counseling, period. This book explains the reasons I can make such an audacious claim.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kevin S. on December 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In recent years, some of the hottest debates among Christian academics have been contested over counseling theory, specifically the relationship between Scripture and secular psychology. The biblical (or nouthetic) counseling position advocates that every tool necessary for effective counseling may be found in the Bible (i.e. it is "sufficient") and that counseling should focus on underlying "heart issues." Unfortunately, this position has been often mischaracterized and misunderstood. The recent book Counseling the Hard Cases, edited by Stuart Scott and Health Lambert, should help clarify how biblical counseling theory translates into practice and affects the lives of real people. Scott and Lambert, both professors at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, have brought together ten case studies demonstrating how practitioners of biblical counseling have counseled real individuals with difficult and complex personal issues. The book is well written and often quite moving, and it will serve as a useful resource for theorists, students, and practitioners on the front lines of Christian ministry.

SUMMARY

The first chapter, written by Lambert, provides an introduction to the case studies that follow. Lambert reiterates that the distinguishing feature of biblical counseling is its contention that Scripture is "sufficient" for counseling. This belief in scriptural sufficiency is brought to bear in several ways. First, biblical counselors avoid "secular diagnostic categories" (7) and attempt to reframe problems in biblical categories and terms. Second, they pay careful attention to the biblical text and seek to apply its principles and prescriptions to counselees' personal problems.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Matthew McKay on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Counseling the Hard Cases is a collection of ten counseling case studies drawn from the experience of ten biblical counselors. Some of these case studies were conglomerations of multiple counseling cases, while others were specifically related to one particular case. The unifying attribute of each case was that each was considered "hard." The goal is to show the sufficiency of Scripture in counseling even the most difficult of situations.
Summary
"Authentic biblical counseling is simply biblical wisdom, properly applied by spiritually mature counselors." (ix) With that overriding principle stated in the foreword the rest of the book sets out to show how that Biblical wisdom was applied in ten specific situations. To overview the book the preface states, "This is not only a book about people with problems; it is also a book about how God uses his Word to guide his people to become instruments of grace in the lives of those with very serious problems, bringing restoration, hope, peace, and healing to them." (xi)
The first chapter sets the stage for what will occur throughout the rest of the book. In order to properly understand what is going on in the different Biblical counseling cases one must first have an understanding of what Biblical counseling is and how it came to be. Heath Lambert states the case for Biblical counseling as a question, "Is Scripture sufficient to inform all the possible counseling situations in this fallen world?" (2) Those who contributed to this book believe the answer to be a resounding, "Yes!" How that question stirred the hearts of Jay Adams, Ed Welch, and many more Biblically minded individuals to pursue change in how counseling would occur amongst believers is mapped out in the rest of the first chapter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ross on April 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The word “counseling” conjures up a plethora of images in peoples’ minds. Some might think of the classic scene where a patient is reclining on a leather couch while their psychiatrist asks probing questions. Others might picture a pastor’s office where a spiritual leader gives a congregant a few bible verses and offers some sparse encouragement before sending them on their way. In the midst of a variety of counseling methods stands one that seeks to bring scripture to bear on all of life - biblical counseling. What is one to make of this method? Should pastors stop referring their congregants to secular counselors and seek to lead them from Scripture instead? Is Scripture truly sufficient to deal with the more extreme cases such as anorexia, bipolar disorder, and post-partum depression? These are a few of the questions Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert address in Counseling The Hard Cases.

Lambert opens the book up with a case for biblical counseling. He seeks to answer this question: “Is Scripture sufficient to inform all the possible counseling situations in this fallen world?” (2). After tracing the history of the biblical counseling movement and engaging with modern secular approaches, he concludes that the “large, dynamic, adaptable, comprehensive, God-breathed worldview presented in the pages of Scripture is precisely what makes the Bible sufficient to engage the particulars of numerous and complex problems” (23). Despite a strong argument for biblical counseling, this book does not intend to make the argument “in the abstract” (23). Lambert and Scott have arranged numerous contributors to write about their personal experience with biblical counseling, particularly showcasing how it has proven sufficient in the hardest of cases.
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