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The Biblical Counseling Movement after Adams Paperback – November 2, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Having been a part of biblical counseling for some twenty-five years, I greatly appreciate and whole-heartedly endorse Dr. Lambert’s incredible work. He informs the novice, the veteran, and the critic on how the great heroes of the biblical counseling movement have built upon one another. He shows how an understanding of the movement must proceed from both historical and biblical contexts. And, as he reflects on the past one hundred years of church history, Lambert contributes a clear perspective on present day biblical counseling by demonstrating its strengths and weaknesses. He does this work in a way that leaves readers challenged, more unified, and strengthened in their faith and resolve concerning the sufficiency of the Scriptures.”
Stuart W. Scott, Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, The Exemplary Husband; co-editor, Counseling the Hard Cases

“Like any significant church movement throughout ecclesiastical history, the biblical counseling movement has been subject to many changes and considerable growth. It has become a worldwide, multi-cultural agent of change for the Church of Jesus Christ. Heath Lambert has written an amazing account of key influences that God, in his perfect sovereignty, has brought about in this movement. This factual account is an important contribution to understanding how and why the biblical counseling movement has had such a profound and lasting impact. It is a must read for anyone who desires to understand this movement.”
John D. Street, Chair, MABC Graduate Program, The Master’s College and Seminary

“This book is an excellent resource for explaining the history of the biblical counseling movement, including the successes and failures along the way. Heath Lambert presents a great framework for all who want to grow and advance biblical counseling.”
Dennis Lee, Program Manager, Hebron Center Addictions Recovery Program

“A thoughtful analysis of the development of a growing discipline, The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams offers a careful assessment of the intriguing history of the biblical counseling movement. Dr. Lambert goes to great lengths to help the reader understand the rich heritage of biblical counseling, transitions in its development, and wise recommendations for its future. Definitely an insightful read!”
Jeremy Lelak, President, Association of Biblical Counselors 

“I deeply appreciate the impact Jay Adams’s teaching has had on my life, writing, family, and ministry. His emphasis on progressive sanctification, of continually growing and changing as followers of Christ, has been especially meaningful. This volume is a fascinating story of how Jay’s students, building on his remarkable foundational work, have caused the biblical counseling movement to grow and change for God’s glory. Thanks, Heath!”
Randy Patten, Executive Director, National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC)

About the Author

Heath Lambert (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Executive Director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and is the Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church Jacksonville, FL. Lambert is also a visiting faculty member at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is the co-editor of Counseling the Hard Cases: True Stories Illustrating the Sufficiency of God's Resources in Scripture (B&H, 2012), and author of Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace (Zondervan, 2013), co-author of Transforming Homosexuality: What the Bible Says about Sexual Orientation and Change (P&R,2015), and A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry (Zondervan, 2016).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (November 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433528134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433528132
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having taken a number of biblical counseling courses in seminary through the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) and having read quite a bit of literature produced from biblical counseling figures like Powlison, Tripp, Welch, et al., I was highly anticipating receiving my advance copy from Crossway to read for this review. I was not disappointed.

The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams has six chapters. The first chapter focuses briefly on the history of "soul care." Lambert points out that the care of souls was exclusively the domain of the church up through the mid nineteenth century, and for various reasons, the church gradually abdicated this activity to secular purveyors. Jay Adams is then presented as the pioneer of the biblical counseling movement in the late 1960's. Lambert shows his genuine appreciation for Adams in his groundbreaking work, while also making clear that Adams and his perspective were not without flaws. Adams' views on biblical counseling are defined as the "first generation" of biblical counseling.

In chapters two through five, Lambert shows how a "second generation" of biblical counselors, led by David Powlison of CCEF in the late 1980's, "advanced" the movement in the specific areas of how biblical counselors think about counseling (chapter 2), how they do counseling (chapter 3), how they talk about counseling (chapter 4), and how they think about the Bible (chapter 5). In the final chapter, Lambert sets forth his own proposal for an area where biblical counseling is still in need of further advancement.

Having read (and enjoyed) David Powlison's recent book, The Biblical Counseling Movement (New Growth Press, 2010), I was not quite sure how this new book with a similar title would compare.
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Format: Paperback
During a recent presentation at the Evangelical Theological Society, I was reminded that well-informed Christian leaders continue to hold stereotypes about "biblical counseling." During the Q/A time after my paper on A Theologically-Informed Approach to Sexual Abuse Counseling, one attendee stated, "That's a more robust and relational approach to biblical counseling than I've heard before. Previously, I would not have referred a victim of sexual abuse to a `biblical counselor' because I assumed they would simplisticly and heartlessly quote Scripture at them, and not empathetically grieve with them."

Heath Lambert's, The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams, addresses whether that was ever an accurate depiction of "first generation biblical counseling"--Jay Adams's nouthetic counseling. It also explores whether it is an accurate portrayal of "second generation biblical counseling"--the focus of Lambert's work.

Understanding the Historical Context

From the outset, Lambert clarifies several important misconceptions. First, he notes that "counseling is ministry, and ministry is counseling. The two are equivalent terms" (p. 21). Second, Lambert explains that "if counseling is equivalent to ministry, it means that it must be informed by the Bible and that those who do it are theologians" (p. 21).

He notes that even conservative, Bible-believing, Christ-exalting ministers of the gospel fail to grasp that counseling is an essential part of ministry. "They demonstrate the misunderstanding every time they say things like, `Oh, I don't counsel people; I'm a preacher.' Or, `Counseling takes too much time way from my other ministries.' Or, `I don't think the Bible has anything to say about this problem; you need to see a professional'" (p. 22).
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Format: Paperback
Allow me to make several introductory remarks regarding this "review." First, it's not going to really be a critical review in the sense of evaluation because I simply am totally out of my league here. My theological training did not include a lot of work related to counseling... just the basic MDiv equivalent. Second, I am not familiar enough with the different perspectives related to the subject of Christian counseling to recognize the weaknesses and strengths of differing views. Readers interested in studying that subject may be interested to reading either Psychology & Christianity: Four Views or Perspectives on Family Ministry: Three Views. Third, because of these issues, this review will largely be related to what I thought of the book as a literary contribution.

The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams is written by Heath Lambert (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary). As this is based on his PhD dissertation, the reading is not necessarily poplar level, though I'm quite sure it does not retain as much of the technical jargon, and if so, it defines it. Regardless of the level of writing, it flows well and transitions forward at a pleasant pace.

First, the book provides an evaluation of Jay E. Adams. Adams essentially spearheaded the "biblical counseling" movement in the 20th century. As a decidedly Reformed Christian, Adams has been extremely influential in the circles associated with Reformed Theological Seminary and specifically Westminster Theological Seminary, where he was a professor. It's obvious that Adams was the primary person that got nouthetic counseling (pastoral counseling based on Scripture alone that largely addresses the sin problem) off the ground. Lambert seems to both honor Adams and yet also have significant criticisms of his work.
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