Archive for the ‘jay adams’ Category

Here are two reviews of biblical counseling booklets that I read and used recently.

Problems: Solving Them God’s Way

Problems Jay Adams

Jay Adams. Problems: Solving Them God’s Way.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, September 2nd, 2012. 32 pp.

This is a short booklet ideal for Pastors counseling a member in his congregation.  I enjoyed this booklet since it lays out the principles for dealing with problems in general; there are place for specialize books and booklets for counseling but sometimes it is important to step back and ask what are sound biblical principles for various situations.  To that end I appreciated this book since the author Jay Adams provides an eight point procedure in addressing issues.  These are God-centered and practical.  He gave a few examples of the eight point procedure being applied to concrete examples.  The biggest take away for me was how Jay Adams taught that there are problems we are meant to solve and other problems that are beyond our control and are not meant for us to solve.  This was helpful. Equally helpful was the booklet making the distinction between the two kinds of problems we are supposed to solve:  Those that we brought upon ourselves and those that was thrust upon us.  This would be a good book to have a counselee go through in working on the bigger issue of problem solving and not just a specific problem.

Purchase:Westminster | Amazon


Conflict: A Redemptive Opportunity

Conflict Timothy Lane

Timothy Lane.  Conflict: A Redemptive Opportunity.  Greensboro, NC: New Growth  Press, July 1st, 2006. 20 pp.

I had our church’s couple’s group go over this booklet.  I appreciate the author’s attempt to construct a biblical view of conflict that approached conflict as a redemptive opportunity.  I feel often times counseling booklets are either really good or they were okay but weren’t necessarily that profound or life changing.  During my first reading I felt this booklet would be in the category of being biblical but wasn’t as profound.  After I went through this booklet again and reviewed what I highlighted I think it was much more helpful than I first thought.  I thought the best part of this booklet was the author’s discussion of how to properly diagnosed what one’s problem truly is in a conflict; and secondly I thought the discussion of three ungodly strategies towards conflict to be helpful.  I think this booklet would be a great asset for counseling or discipleship, including pre-marital counseling.

Purchase:Westminster | Amazon


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westminster theological seminary biblical counseling

Westminster Theological Seminary has no doubt been tremendously impactful in churches across the world beyond the Conservative Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC).  Besides Reformed Theology, the Seminary has also also introduced to the church at large in other denomination Presuppositional apologetics (as systematized by their professor Cornelius Van Til) and also Biblical Counseling through Jay Adams who taught there from 1963 through 1983.  Westminster Seminary also houses the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) which has been training people in Nouthetic Counseling since 1968.  Many professors in Biblical counseling in other seminary do have their doctorate work done at Westminster.  No doubt it would be appropriate to see what resources WTS has made available to the Public.  The Seminary has free audios available of lectures concerning Biblical counseling over at Itunes University!

Here are the topics the lectures covered:

1.) Dynamics of Biblical Change

2.) All Theology is Practical Theology

3.) When People Go Insane

4.) Command: Resist the Devil

5.) Dealing with a Person’s Past

6.) Union With Christ: Dynamic for Change

7.) Temptation

8.) Homosexuality

9.) Union With Christ: God at Work

10.) A.D.H.D Diagnosis

11.) Therapy and Faith: Integration or Inundation?

You can access the audios at ITunes University by clicking HERE.

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Two years ago we posted, “Christmas wish list in Presuppositional Christian Apologetics” followed by last year’s “Christmas Gift Book Lists on Christian Worldview and Apologetics Discipleship 2011.”  I still recommend those books as great Christmas gift books for Christians to grow in their discipleship of having a solid worldview and apologetics so what follows here are other books I would add to this list!

Stay tune for the next couple of weeks on this blog as I add book reviews of these books.

1.) Lit!

Hands down the best book I read this year–think of it as a Christian theology of reading–that’s also practical and insightful.  I find that it can be an uphill battle to cultivate Christians to read deeply.  Discipleship of a believer’s in a Christian worldview would be hard to implement if someone’s not reading or do not actively understand how to read, so this book is pretty foundational for everything else that follows.  My review of it can be found here.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

2.) Who Gets to narrate our world?

I like how this book takes “worldview” and understand it as a metanarrative.  I review this book here.

Purchase: Amazon

3.) The Grand Demonstration

Takes the “Ex Lex” approach to the problem of evil, though it does not come out and call it that.  I think this is the Christian solution to the problem of evil in light of the realities of Reformed Theology.  My recommendation and review of it can be found here.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

4.) If there’s a God, Why are There Atheist?

In essence, a biblical theology of unbelief is presented in this work, my review of it can be found here.

Purchase: Amazon

5.) Hollywood Worldview

A good introduction to Christian worldview discernment when it comes to film.  My review found here.

Purchase: Amazon

6.) Meaning at the Movies

This was the best Christian film analysis book I’ve read thus far.  Review can be found here.

Purchase: Amazon

7.) Art and the Bible

A book consisting of two famous essay by Francis Schaeffer on a Christian view of art.

Purchase: Amazon

8.) Presuppositional Apologetics Examines Mormonism

A unique book that applies Presuppositional apologetics to the cult of Mormonism.  My review is available here.

Purchase: Amazon

9.) Life Beyond the Sun

The subtitle explains this well: An Introduction to Worldview & Philosophy Through the Lens of Ecclesiastes.  Review might be delayed as I just got myself this book for “Christmas.”

Purchase: Amazon

10.) Inerrancy and Worldview

Takes the defense of inerrancy at a whole new level of worldview analysis.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

This is a book on the problem of evil that I fully agree with, though not many Christians even those who are Reformed are willing to accept readily. The only other book that I can think of that is in similar vein is Gordon Clark’s God and Evil. If you want to see a treatment of theodicy that takes God’s sovereignty into account and the issue of where does one get the standard of right and wrong from in the first place, this book is for you. The book does not appeal to the free will argument for the problem of evil which I feel is rather inadequate as a remedy (philosophically and biblically). Jay Adams also note how those who are Reformed sometimes stop short and appeal to mystery with the problem of evil when there are more that Scripture reveal on the matter. I’ve always thought Job 38-42, Romans 9 and Habakkuk have been underutilized in formulating a biblically centered theodicy. Focusing chiefly on Romans 9 (though there was mention of Job) the author points out that why God allow evil is really for a grand demonstration of His Holy wrath and also for the elect it is a contrast to demonstrate God’s mercy, grace and patience. Of course, Jay Adams picks up the Apostle Paul’s attack on humanistic autonomy which sets up it’s own standard against God such as those who wish to prohibit God from doing things that Scripture itself does not say God cannot do. Jay Adams notes from James 4:11b that if we judge the Law we are not living it. This work also explains the differences between fatalism and predestination in a clear and concise matter. Here are some notable quotes from the book:

“To begin with, the very fact that Paul indicates that this question will be asked proves that what I am teaching about the matter in this book is the same thing Paul taught. Paul says that whenever this truth is taught people will ask that question” (44).

“After all, what is fairness? And from where does your sense of fairness come? Fairness is based on a standard of right and wrong. But it is God, Himself, Who has given us that standard” (46).

Difference between decretive and directive will of God: “To speak of the decretive will of God means that the writer is telling us what God will do. One perspective has man in view as the actor; the other, God” (59).

Fatalists and Predestinarian distinguished: “Fatalists say, ‘If I’m going to be hit by a truck on the corner of Fifth and Main on July 5, 1992, it will happen—no matter what I do.” Que sera sera. But in stark contrast, predestinarians say, ‘If I’m going to be hit by a truck on the corner of Fifth and Main, on July 5, 1992, it will happen—because of what I do.’ It will be because you were watching that attractive blonde rather than the traffic. Fatalists say ‘in spite of’; predestinarians say ‘because of.’ The former view destroys responsibility; the latter establishes it” (68).

“God does not have to ‘overrule’ what man does in order to bring about His purposes (as Hughes supposes); rather, He works out these purposes by means of human beings who are ordained to freely choose and decide in a responsible manner” (68-69).

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Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

I know Veritas Domain talks a lot about worldview, theology and apologetics.  But I also believe that the Christian apologist in helping someone through doubt and intelluctual issues must also not be divorced from considering issues pertaining to the individual’s spiritual life.    In the ministry, I find that at times, those who struggle in their faith might also be struggling in other areas of their lives as well.  For instance, an individual might be struggling with the goodness of God in their lives–the equipped apologist can give an apologetic, but if the individual is swayed to think that God is not good because his own personal life at home and at work is a wreck, then it’s also important to address his life biblically and have the Word of God have a bearing in his problems.  Hence, the need for the apologist to be equipped to counsel and able to teach the individual to attain godliness through discipline and those who are Presuppositional in their apologetics should be the first to understand and see the importance of this need.  In this spirit, I recommend Jay Adam’s work.

They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover–and I say neither it’s size.  This is a worthwhile booklet to read in striving for godliness. I enjoy the author’s effort in communicating the biblical truth of how to be godly involves discipline and his clear illustrations.  Jay Adams, the father of biblical counseling, have written other works that have edified me and given me tremendous hope and paradigm shift when it comes to sanctification, living to please God and solving one’s problem with the power of Christ.  It is valuable to those who read this work to understand that godliness requires discipline, and one must have the right intellectual understanding that this require patience, and no matter what everyone is being “disciplined” or making a habit of something always–whether for sin or to please God.  I recommend that pastors and Biblical counselors use this work–as I have been using it recently with different members in our church, where I assign them to read the book, highlight key passages and then meet up to talk about it for the purpose of application.

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