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A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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"The knowledge of God--theology--is like dawn for the human heart. Lambert wakes us up early and takes us outside to see this light flood the landscape of human life. A fine overview of how key Christian doctrines relate to counseling, this book will be on my required reading list."
-Jeremy Pierre, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling& Chair of the Department of Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"I thank God for Heath Lambert and this book. Heath has ministered biblical counseling to me personally, to my family, and to the church I serve as a pastor. I praise God that more people than can encounter Heath face to face will have the benefit of his ministry through this book."
-Dr. James M Hamilton, Jr., Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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. He is also a visiting faculty member at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Lambert 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 The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams (Crossway, 2011), Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace (Zondervan, 2013), and co-author of Transforming Homosexuality: What the Bible Says about Sexual Orientation and Change (P&R, 2015).
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Over the years we've all been Dobsoned to believe that counseling is something that can only be done by Christians wearing special gloves.This book restores counseling to it's rightful domain, and does so decisively.
All practitioners, whether Christian or not, will eventually need to reconcile where they stand on the basis of this book. All Christians, whether practitioners or not, will need to understand how much ground they've yielded to other sources of proposed healing, comfort, and help.
" The goal of this book is not merely that counselors care about theology, but that theologians care about counseling".
I would say Lambert accomplished his goal quite well.
Edit in response to other reviews: Lambert does not state psychologists only come to false conclusions. He simply states that what true insights they have spring from biblical truth into their own constructs. Biblical counsellors do not feel obligated to adopt these constructs. Does this mean they see psychology as having no truth in it? No. It means they feel no obligation to a middle man whose priorities are not the same.
Lambert also stresses that counsellors not take the role of physicians and encourages medical examines where appropriate. He does not say that Scripture speaks to every area of life. For example there is no manual in Scripture on how to respond to unfair and unhelpful Amazon reviews, but it does speak to how we can deal with such issues, like speaking the truth in love.
These Vine reviewers do not seem to have read carefully, objectively, or even completely (I'm not convinced they all read the whole book). I pray they saw the gospel expounded and applied and are brought nearer to Christ regardless. If you read this book with humble attentiveness, I'm sure you will be sharpened as I was.
In this book, Lambert argues the basic claim of the BCM. Counseling is a theological task and where one person seeks to provide help to another person facing the problems of life. The Bible speaks with authority on every issue it addresses and the Bible addresses the issues of life and how to live faithfully before God. The Bible is therefore a sufficient resource for counseling.
Two of the highlights of this book were the distinction between categories of Biblical sufficiency arguing that Material Sufficiency (The Bible says all we need it to say to live Godly lives) is of greatest implication to the discussion of counseling.
Lambert's critique of integration is devastating to Christian Integrationists and is the most effective I've read. I also gained new insights in his discussion of the relationship of the body and the soul and have new confidence in the soundness and application of a dichotomist perspective.
This is a theological work with attention given to the application of theology to counseling. It is a theological work but not a method. There are basic counseling insights and a few shallow case studies. The case studies had the effect of showing general application of a principle but some readers may find these unsatisfying. Its best to view this work not as a method but as a defense of the theological nature of counseling. There is little or no discussion of homework or process. For a quick primer on method, I recommend The Pastor and Counseling: The Basics of Shepherding Members in Need (9Marks) which I thought was fantastic and immanently practical.
I'm grateful for Lambert's leadership at the ACBC and in the BCM and am happy to recommend this book to any Biblical Counselor or any Christian with a high view of Scripture seeking to help others. For Christian integrationists, I think you must seriously grapple with this case for the sufficiency of Scripture in counseling. I hope many books like this will follow and I expect Lambert's pen to keep moving.