Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JODT 17:52 (Winter 2013) p. 267
Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling: Changing Lives with God’s Changeless Truth edited by James Macdonald. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2013. 445 pp., cloth, $29.99.
First hearing about Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling did not create excitement. The list of contributing authors was lengthy and most were unknown to this reviewer. More importantly, some of the contributing authors are associated with groups that are of concern to many in the area of the sufficiency of Scripture. Even so, every effort was made to approach the book objectively. There are godly men who are loved and respected, yet who have joined the Biblical Counsel Coalition (BCC) and are included in the long list of authors. Though there are some concerns with the BCC, this reviewer trusts the discernment of friends who support the BCC and have contributed to this work.
The BCC has created a sound doctrinal statement and an excellent confessional statement that all members must sign. While it is true in today’s world that people sign statements with little or no regard for the meaning of the statements, one must practice biblical love towards these brothers and sisters in Christ (bears, believes, hopes, endures all things; 1 Cor 13:7) until there is sound reason to doubt. In the end, one can be pleased with the book, except for the cost. The book would likely get into more hands if it were more affordable, perhaps $20 instead of $30.
The goal of the book is “to promote authentic spiritual growth among God’s people in ways that are grace-based and gospel-centered, relationally and theologically robust, grounded in the local church, and relevant to everyday life and ministry” (pp. 11–12). The goal was accomplished throughout the book. The grace of God and the true gospel of Jesus Christ are highlighted in each chapter. True biblical counseling has Christ as its center, and the goal is to make others more like Him in the areas of life where they originally were not. The contributing authors understand this and clarified it well in their respective chapters. The editors emphasized this goal when stating, “It’s all about Him. As important as it is to develop collegial relationships that provide robust resources, if our focus is on us, then our focus is off base. Our prayer is that Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling will equip you to equip others also so that we bring Him glory through our individual and corporate growth in Christlikeness” (p. 19, emphasis in original). The other elements
JODT 17:52 (Winter 2013) p. 268
of relational and theological robustness, staying grounded in the local church, and staying relevant to everyday...
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