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Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture (Resources for Changing Lives) Paperback – October 31, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Powlison is the editor of The Journal of Biblical Counseling, teaches at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) in Glenside, Pennsylvania and at Westminster Theological Seminary, and counsels at CCEF. He is the author of Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare; Competent to Counsel?: The History of a Conservative Protestant Anti-Psychiatry Movement; and numerous articles on counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology.

Powlison earned a Ph.D. in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Harvard (A.B.). He is a board member and fellow of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors.

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Product Details

  • Series: Resources for Changing Lives
  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing; First edition (October 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087552608X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875526089
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DAVID POWLISON, M.Div., Ph.D., is a faculty member at CCEF and a counselor with over thirty years of experience. He has written many counseling articles, booklets, and books including Seeing with New Eyes; Speaking Truth in Love; and Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By M. Teresa Trascritti on October 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an effort to bridge psychology of counseling with "moral-spiritual" issues (249). Powlison believes that "sinners sin instinctively," and though external factors such as having a dysfunctional family or experiencing childhood abuse can contribute to sinful desires or actions in adulthood, his contention is that "sin is its own final reason" (206). People have sinful thoughts or do sinful acts because they are focused on themselves rather than God (230).

Powlison points out that "secular psychology" views "human problems" simply as "things that are not working right," this is because the Bible was not utilized to understand the core issue of all humans, which is their "alienation from God" (192). He explains that if sin is seen as a "willed action" then "complex inner troubles" will be classified under "other categories" (194). In fact, psychiatrists will not explain that a paranoid schizophrenic is yielding to sin, but rather he or she is experiencing a psychosis. Powlison states that paranoid schizophrenia is a "defensive behavior" and actually refers to it as the personification of "powerful unconscious defensiveness" (193). Powlison explains that the underlying issues for schizophrenics are pride and "hiding" (195).

Powlison admits that biblical counselors are seen as "bizarre spiritualizers" because they rely on God, repentance, and faith as their main focus in counseling (251). He speculated that the premise of Jay Adams (the founder of Nouthetic counseling movement) was not fully understood when he said, "to be feeling-oriented is the central motivational problem in people" (215).
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on September 18, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Seeing with New Eyes" is the first volume in Powlison's proposed three-volume set on Christian counseling. This first volume he sees as providing the theological foundation for understanding psychological issues from a spiritual, biblical perspective.

The "new eyes" are the eyes enlightened by faith in Christ and restored to sight by confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture to explain life and relationships. "Seeing with New Eyes" offers a theological-intellectual defense of "Nouthetic Counseling" as a biblical counseling model seeking to understand truth about God and humanity through God's eyes as revealed in Scripture.

It is an excellent introduction by perhaps the leading theologian in the Nouthetic Counseling movement. However, the book is also a compilation of many previous articles by the author. Thus at times it reads more as a string of excellent artilces than a tightly woven and thematically consistent book. That aside, Powlison is to be commended for his articulate explanation of the human condition through the lens of Scripture.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and the forthcoming "Beyond the Suffering: The Story of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Steve Carlock on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Powlison provides a solid analytical expository perspective on counseling that is helpful and insightful. I personally found the last 200 pages much more motivating than the first 58 pages. His exposition of Ephesians 5:21 through 6:9, several Psalms, and Luke 12:22-34 is excellent. Similarly, his annotated list of X-ray questions (chapter 7) is the best I have seen. His biblical analysis of defense mechanisms is extremely helpful as are his chapters on "Love Speaks Many Languages Fluently" and "Biological Psychiatry". To write this book Mr. Powlison patched together a series of articles that he had previously authored. Unfortunately, his book ends up coming across as just that, a patchwork of articles that lack a uniform purpose other than the general theme of Biblical Counseling. If you have an interest in two or three of the topics I have highlighted this book is probably well worth the purchase.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By James John Hollandsworth, M.D. VINE VOICE on July 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
The title really says it all with this book: we really do need to see ourselves and others with new eyes, with both an accurate paradigm and with individual insight that can only come from Scripture. In this challenging book Dr. David Powlison examines how our "old eyes" tend to see, both through our natural fallen selves and through the warped and inadequate psychological theories that permeate our current cultural (and often "Christian") milleau.

The book speaks to both the reader's personal walk with God and to how we can accurately see and minister to others. Each chapter is on a specific theme, from comfort to worry to God's love to "defense mechanisms." In each Dr. Powlison shares warm and rich insights that are both Scriptural and practical. There are dozens of quotable passages to deeply think through, such as:

Many of the people we counsel live inside a black hole of self-will, misery, and confusion. They need God to break in on their shadowland from which sin has erased the light of the personal and living God.

Seeing With New Eyes is a volume to read, and read again, to fully absorb its God-saturated wisdom and to be changed by it.
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