Review: Counseling the Hard Cases

During my time in Australia, I’ve asked a number of Answers in Genesis staff members to contribute posts to my blog.

Today’s short blog post comes from Steve Ham, our director of outreach. Steve has a heart for the biblical counseling movement, and recently reviewed a book on the subject called Counseling the Hard Cases, edited by Dr. Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert.

I’ve included the introductory paragraphs of Steve’s review below.

Recently I had the opportunity to read and review the book Counseling the Hard Cases. This book places the biblical counseling movement on display as it reports the process and outcomes of real-life counseling cases. As a biblical creationist, I was continually encouraged to find the counselors’ dedication to the sufficiency of Scripture for helping real people with real problems. While preparing a review of this book as a graduate student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, I became even more aware of the consistency between the positions of biblical creation and biblical counseling concerning the authority of God’s Word and its sufficiency in the lives of all believers.

Biblical Authority and Medical Science

I noticed the strong correlations between biblical creationists and biblical counselors in the first chapter of Counseling the Hard Cases. Both positions face accusations revolving around the nature of authority and science. For example, many “Christian counselors” are convinced that the use of such treatments as hypnosis or psychotropic drugs are based on strong scientific research and analysis. Persuaded that this research comes from an authoritative source, they then integrate it into their counseling methodology.

Like most “Christian counselors,” trained biblical counselors typically take great care to refer counselees to doctors for necessary medical diagnosis and treatment of their physical ailments. However, for spiritual issues the biblical counselor seeks to ensure that Scripture is seen as the supreme authority and sufficient to help all believers deal with trial (suffering) or sin in their lives. Biblical counselors also should acquaint themselves with the research related to such things as medication, noting which recommendations are based upon repeatable, testable observations and which are based on assumptions influenced by a secular worldview. This is also why biblical counselors prefer to work in partnership with physicians who are Bible-believing Christians. . . .

Steve added the following:

Here is a link to the full review of this book that is posted to our website today.

Dr. Stuart Scott is associate professor of biblical counseling at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky Dr. Scott will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Answers for Pastors conference, to be held in Legacy Hall at the Creation Museum, October 8–10, 2013.

I urge you to register for this excellent conference.

– Steve

By the way, be on the lookout for podcasts hosted by Steve in the Answers Conversation series, with all kinds of interesting topics and guests. An upcoming episode will feature Steve’s conversation with Dr. Scott.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken