Powlison Demonstrates How the Scriptures are Sufficient for Counseling
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 15 years ago
Although the chapters in the book were written as separate articles, the unifying theme of Scripture's sufficiency for counseling was clear and unmistakable. Whether it was a chapter which unearthed the truths of Scripture by thoughtful exposition and application of particular passages, or a chapter with a series of heart-searching, sin-exposing questions, Powlison creatively and persuasively demonstrates how Scripture truly is sufficient for counseling others. Powlison's interaction with psychological, physiological and biological theories of motivation, behavior, counseling and treatment was also very helpful and fair. Although the size and scope of this book required Powlison to often generalize and summarize people, theories and movements, one does not get the impression he is deceitfully stacking the evidence in his favor or guilty of misrepresentation; rather, in laying Biblical truth alongside of popular psychological theory, Powlison demonstrates how any human effort to determine the ultimate cause and solution for people's problems will always, in the final analysis, be insufficient. Finally, in the last chapter, Powlison encourages us toward simplicity. Although people's problems are often complex, the goal of counseling(Christlikeness) and our means of counseling (the truth of Scripture) remain simple. As Powlison points out, Jesus spoke "exceedingly simple words" (253). This does not mean, however, that we are to use the truth of Scripture simplistically. As we have already noted, people's problems are complex - the varieties of problems are as many as there are people in the world, and applying the truth of God's Word to specific people and situations is hard work. We need to be careful we do not turn "heart-searching and life-altering truth into a cookie cutter, pat answer formula and quick fix" (254). But the clear, simple truth of Scripture gives us words that "call to every person in every time and place," and a "simplicity [that] understands and redeems real complexities; [and] does not erase them, ignore them, or homogenize them" (254). Real Biblical counseling compassionately, thoughtfully and honestly brings the light of Scripture to bear on our sin and our problems, while weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice. This is an excellent book I trust will benefit any Christian who desires to grow in their own relationship with Christ and will be a trustworthy resource for those who are seeking to better minister the Word through counseling and personal relationships. I highly recommend it!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 15 years ago
Having read many books from the usual secular self-help and Christian counseling scene this book really shattered most of their half-truths and revealed the wonder of the cross in a totally different light. I don't think I've ever felt as challenged about my views and motives nor as in absolute awe of what Christ's death on the cross as was revealed by this book. Unlike many books this is not one big idea padded out, this is real meat as each chapter addresses different aspects of our psychology with the sharp blade of scripture. I just hate it when you're taught things at church and by well meaning Christian friends that are actually so against the beauty of the cross and our ongoing sanctification. I loved that Powlison addressed much of the popular advice and how their small presuppositions lead people off track on big matters. If there's anything this book will do it won't let you finish it with your pride intact. I would say if you want to know what counseling that is empowered by understanding the bible, God's character and our place in his scheme then this book is my suggested starting point. For the sake of your ministry, even if you're just a member of a church, please read this book!
An eye-opener that provides a new perspective.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 16 years ago
An excellent book that really provides a great sense of perspective. It's not just for counselors but for the layman that's struggling or that counsels friends/neighbors.
See others and yourself with new eyes...
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 17 years ago
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.
People, Problems, and Solutions
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
"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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