Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Biblical Counseling Movement

The article I chose is part two on the discussion of a movement called the “Biblical Counseling movement” (BCM). In the article, the writer summarizes that the positive and negative sides of the BCM. The BCM only uses the Bible to counsel people and does not encourage the use of science when counseling people. The writer lays out the foundations of the BCM and then describes why it is not good to “divorce science from the faith”. The writer explains this reasoning by breaking it up into four sections. The first section is how BCM fails to recognize “natural theology” and “general revelation” as a way God can speak to us and through us by using those revelations. Through those revelations we learn about ourselves, our relationships, nature, human conscious, and history.  The second reasoning of why the BCM approach is not the best is because “wrongly assumes that the Bible is the sole source of all values and prescriptions, when in reality God is, and the Bible is one of the ways God communicates the values and prescriptions He has ordained for human behavior”. The writers describes the third section as by presenting a “false restrictive and dichotomized view of science and faith, and, consequently, of human nature and of the parameters of psychology as science”. The writer describes that it actually limits “Gods supremacy” because God’s truth extends beyond the material and immaterial and that it is never safe to separate science from faith because humans are both “spiritual” and “physical”. The fourth section is on how it is not wise to limit Godly wisdom to the Bible alone.
        This can be applied to the field of counseling for many reasons. One of those reasons is because it stresses that we should be aware of the “spiritual” and “physical” (immaterial and material) sides of humans and how those two things are “knitted together in the image of God” therefore the “physical” should not be overlooked or dismissed because it may fall in the category of science. The writer  describes a counselor as being “Armed also with the full complement of God’s special revelation and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, the believer is in the best position possible to test, discover, and apply truth in any course of study, including science, history, and human relations”. The writer describes how the counselor, being aware of material and immaterial, can be used in counseling with this statement “Godly counseling coupled with godly science can both distinguish between sin and immaturity (such as the difference between laziness and nail biting), and also prescribe appropriate corrective action (such as confession and repentance for laziness and foul-tasting nail polish for nail biting)”. This article teaches counselors to “recognizes that one cannot divorce God’s presence from any successful pursuit of truth because God’s sovereignty extends throughout all reality, material and immaterial”. Counselors can better help their clients when they recognize the immaterial and material aspects of their clients. Counselors need to have knowledge of general revelation. It is important in the counseling setting because it still convicts us of our sin which can lead to change in the counselee’s life which can heal them and bring them closer toward their goals.
       One of the many things I learned was just exactly how the immaterial and material work together. I like how the writer combines and knits the spiritual and physical together by saying: “The Christian should understand that humans are not essentially physical nor essentially spiritual, but instead are both physical and spiritual, the two natures creatively knit together in one rational person created in the image of God” after reading that quote I feel like I have a better understanding of the theology of the “spiritual” and “physical” parts of humans. I further understood the importance of being able to realize general revelation in these areas: “through reason, the material universe, social history, and conscience” and just how powerful Gods revelation is to the human and the conseling process.


  1. Nicole,
    Throughout your entire blog, I did not read the article name or the author who you continually refer back to during your discussion.
    I do like how the author explained a "rational" person as including both aspects of the physical and spiritual realms. The physical is in the temporary body of each human being. Since the fall, the outer body has been infested with the sinful nature that entered the world at that time. Our bodies are flawed and slowly fading as time, stress, and disease attack it. Although this may seem distressing, it can be in fact hopeful. The hope is in Christ Jesus because His death, burial, and Resurrection gave us the opportunity to look forward to the eternal side of this life where the spiritual side of our humanity will live forever.
    That is where the immaterial/spiritual side of the discussion is brought up. We have a spiritual dimension of ourselves; a "God-shaped" hole in our inner selves. People of all nationalities are faced at some point with the question of how they will fill this void. People may decide to fill this with anything besides Jesus Christ, in which they will be left feeling empty. Although other "things" may qualify as being spiritual they are not true and eternal. Jesus Christ is the only answer.
    The image you chose to conclude your blog is very fitting. Psalm 19:1 is a perfect example of general revelation.

  2. Hi Nicole. I really enjoyed your summary but I like a fellow student was also questioning your source. My question is, “What is godly science?” Here is the quote you provided:

    “Godly counseling coupled with godly science can both distinguish between sin and immaturity (such as the difference between laziness and nail biting), and also prescribe appropriate corrective action (such as confession and repentance for laziness and foul-tasting nail polish for nail biting)”. Science is science, to me, so what is the difference between secular science and godly science?

    Godly counseling is Biblical counseling, which you made clear. It hit home for me when you said to separate faith and science when viewing people especially from the counseling perspective is like trying to separate the spiritual and bodily persons, in my own words of course. This is so true, and I could not find a way to explain why I disagreed with Jay Adams, in particular, so much until I read this. (Jay Adams scarred my idea for decent Biblical counseling.) You mentioned that in the fourth section that we shouldn’t just turn to the Bible for wisdom. The Bible also says that nature reveals God’s complexity and character so no disagreement there either:

    Romans 1:19-20 (Complete Jewish Bible) “19 because what is known about God is plain to them, since God has made it plain to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the universe his invisible qualities — both his eternal power and his divine nature — have been clearly seen, because they can be understood from what he has made. Therefore, they have no excuse;”

    Thanks for summarizing that article. Please post the article because I would be most interested in reading it also.

  3. Nicole! I really enjoyed reading your post. One of favorite parts about this particular 507 class has been the discussion of how the immaterial and material work together. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on how they can be combined and connected with one another. I would really like to read the article so maybe you can add it! I too believe that the Lord reveals himself through things such as social history, the material universe, reason, and the conscience. This information is very helpful as I study to be a future Christian counselor. Thank you so much for you time in this!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.