While this theory that he lays out is quite interesting, there are a few particular aspect that I find to be…well…wrong. Adams tells his readers that we must avoid the temptation to adopt the rationalistic systems of men (Ellis) and others that will appear on the scene. Why is Ellis’ A-B-C Theory so wrong? That is a good question.
If Adams’ theory is correct, why is it not acceptable to examine it in a rational way? If something is correct, it not remain intact under the examination? He never explains himself. Perhaps that if it is thoroughly examined in a rational way, the idea the Scripture is all that is required when counseling will be proved not to work. That instead of change, the end result of nouthetic counseling could be that you are left with clients who still have self-esteem issues, still are grieving over their lost wife or husband, and cannot see any way out. However, now they know Scripture.
Adams’ call for his readers to step away from rationality is a bit misdirected. Instead, why not move towards rationality and incorporate Scripture when it is applicable rather than attempting to get something out of the Word of God that is not really there; in this instance, a counseling textbook.
Honestly, I wholeheartedly believe that Jay Adams has the best of intentions. He loves God and wants nothing more than to see God’s people restored. However, his view of the Bible containing all you need to counsel is simply just too naive to have any kind of practical application.