A Christian Carol (or, Living in the Spirit Present)

a guest post by Tim Davis

Moses Guiltersleeve was dead. There was no doubt about that.

How then did his deep, condemning voice still speak from the stone-carved doorknocker?

“Ebenezer Skewed, Ebenezer Skewed! In death I am your partner!”

Eben bowed his head in shame. Of course Moses was right, Eben was as good as dead—that he knew full well. He had certainly been reminded often enough. Continue reading “A Christian Carol (or, Living in the Spirit Present)”

A better motivator for Christian service than gratitude

It’s the season of Advent, and I’m enjoying wonderful songs about the birth of our Savior; this season it’s ones like Lauren Daigle’s “The Light of the World” and Francesca Battistelli’s “You’re Here.” These songs increase my deep joy and gratitude for our Lord Jesus Christ’s willingness to descend to earth and accomplish our great salvation for us, freeing us from sin and death and calling us to Himself. I sometimes stand stunned with gratitude at the outpouring of His grace.

But this gratitude is not my motivator to serve Him. Continue reading “A better motivator for Christian service than gratitude”

Encouraging thoughts on forgiveness and grief

Back in September I published a post called “Here’s an abuse survivor’s plea about nouthetic ‘Biblical’ counseling.” You can see it here.

In that post, the anonymous writer gave some astute words about the demand for forgiveness that’s so common in nouthetic/”admonishing” counseling. She said she was told she needed to forgive the childhood sexual abuse perpetrated on her before she even understood what it was she was forgiving.  

The Lord tells us we should forgive, yes. But in cases of great betrayal, it takes time even to understand what it was that has occurred. 

Continue reading “Encouraging thoughts on forgiveness and grief”

Getting help with an “angry husband,” according to “Biblical counseling”

Note: The “Biblical counseling” being critiqued here is actually nouthetic/admonishing counseling. There are many people who counsel Biblically who do not counsel this way.

This is the third and final installment in a series of articles of commentary on Caroline Newheiser’s lecture “Lving with an Angry Husband,” which you can listen to at this link here (and I especially encourage you to listen to it if you think I may be misrepresenting what Caroline says).

Part One of this commentary series is here (link) and Part Two is here (link).

In her lecture, Caroline Newheiser explains the “right way” for a woman to ask for help with her angry (cruel) husband, and how church people should help. Continue reading “Getting help with an “angry husband,” according to “Biblical counseling””

Don’t be a martyr, but do suffer in your marriage to an angry husband (and other “Biblical counseling”)

Yesterday I applied Caroline Newheiser’s lecture “Living with an Angry Husband” (link) to the wife of Devin Patrick Kelley, the man who shot and killed 26 people in a Texas church on November 5, 2017. It is a lecture that sounds a very uncertain call to the church, with contradictory counsel.  You can read that Part One commentary here (link). Continue reading “Don’t be a martyr, but do suffer in your marriage to an angry husband (and other “Biblical counseling”)”

Should Texas church shooter’s wife have gotten “Biblical counseling”? #churchtoo

Note: I put the term “Biblical counseling” in quotation marks not because I believe it’s wrong to counsel with the Bible. (Just the opposite is true, in fact.) But rather, because a certain group of people (nouthetic/”admonishing” counselors) have co-opted this term to apply to their style of counseling, when other counseling that uses the Bible (sometimes called “Christian counseling”) could also be called Biblical counseling.

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Recently I listened to a lecture from Caroline Newheiser from the Institute of Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD) summer 2017 conference (link). I wanted to hear it for two reasons: In this talk Caroline was teaching other “Biblical counselors” (that is, nouthetic/”admonishing” counselors) how to counsel on the topic “Living with an Angry Husband” (link), and this information is pertinent to my interactions. And also, Caroline is the wife of Jim Newheiser, who is now the Director of the Christian Counseling Program at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC (about whom I’ve heard some interesting things) and a respected teacher in her own right. Continue reading “Should Texas church shooter’s wife have gotten “Biblical counseling”? #churchtoo”

Grandma, can I tell you about my rape? A message to kind Christian grandparents #youtoo

Note: This post was born not because I have any particular grandparents in mind, but simply from the fact that so many young people are speaking to me about their rapes. I wish they could speak to you.

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You love your granddaughter. You may be wondering what’s been wrong with her lately, why she’s having all those physical problems, or why she suddenly seems to be going off the cliff in her bizarre behavior, or why her parents won’t say much to you about her, or why she’s suddenly avoiding you. Continue reading “Grandma, can I tell you about my rape? A message to kind Christian grandparents #youtoo”