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.


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”

Here’s an abuse survivor’s plea about nouthetic “Biblical” counseling

Yesterday I published a synopsis of and response to “Helping Women with Child Sexual Abuse in Their Past,” by Zondra Scott, a teacher of nouthetic counselors (going by the name “Biblical counselors”) whose husband Stuart taught “Biblical counseling” at  John MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary and who currently teaches it at Southern Seminary (SBC) in Louisville, KY. I wrote this in light of the way “Jane” from The Master’s University says she was counseled after having been raped.

I emphasized that their style of counseling is one that they called “Biblical” but I’m calling “nouthetic” since that was its original name and there are other styles of counseling that are equally Biblical and arguably more so.

Though the details of “Jane’s” so-called counseling experience were of course unique, the overall picture looked eerily familiar to me. Continue reading “Here’s an abuse survivor’s plea about nouthetic “Biblical” counseling”

If “Jane” from TMU were to seek “Biblical counseling”

As Providence would have it, when “Jane’s” account of rape in the environment of The Master’s University went viral last week (link), I was barely aware, because I was cleaning bathrooms and listening to lectures on abuse. One of them was “Helping Women with Child Sexual Abuse in Their Past,” by Zondra Scott, whose husband Stuart coincidentally was formerly on the faculty of the Masters College and Seminary in the area of “Biblical counseling.” Her lecture can be heard here (link).

As I then read the original post about Jane with its many comments and then read a number of follow-up posts about Jane, I thought about Jane’s situation Continue reading “If “Jane” from TMU were to seek “Biblical counseling””

Dear sister I read about on the CBCMoscow blog post

I don’t know you, but I’d like to reply to the letter you wrote asking for counsel, which was published on this blog post, with a troubling reply. Here is your letter:

Dear Pastor,    

You’ll never believe the terrible state of my marriage. I was raised in a Christian family. My father and mother never fought. I wasn’t rebellious as a teen and my husband and I went through all the “proper” courtship process before getting married. Now, five years later, everything has fallen apart.    

Roy, my husband, who was so loving and kind in the beginning has become rude, surly, and angry all the time. The good thing is that he doesn’t hit me or the children (one boy and two girls), but he gets really quiet and spends a lot of time in the basement. Every once in a while, he does blow up and wowser, what a blow-up. He curses, yells, calls us all kinds of names, and throws things.   

We never know when he’s going to blow and what is going to cause it. We’re all walking on egg shells all the time.   

Can you fix him? Can you help us?   

Hurt & Confused    



A man who says he’s a counselor offered a reply here. But I’d like to offer an alternative reply:

First, I want to tell you that I get being hurt and confused. I’ve never been in your situation, but because of many friends of mine that I’ve listened to at length, I’ve tried to imagine what it must be like to think you were getting a loving and kind husband, but then realize he’s a completely different person, a scary person, and you don’t even know who he is. Hurt and confusion are appropriate responses.

You may have counselors giving you unhelpful advice along the lines of “What were you expecting, a bed of roses?” But Continue reading “Dear sister I read about on the CBCMoscow blog post”