No “digging up the past” allowed: a response to nouthetic (“Biblical”) counseling

Sometimes I talk with people who want healing and help from the Lord but are hesitant to “dig up the past” or who have counselors who don’t want them to “dig up the past.” For a while now, maybe over a year, I’ve been mulling over that pejorative expression.

“Digging up the past” to me conjures a picture of going to a graveyard to dig up the bones or even the rotting corpse of something that needed to be left underground to decompose the way it’s supposed to. A perverted and possibly very harmful activity. Continue reading “No “digging up the past” allowed: a response to nouthetic (“Biblical”) counseling”

Cleanse your guilty conscience, get grace, and other solutions to the noisy soul (a response to Jim Berg, Part 3)

Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here.

In Quieting a Noisy Soul, author Jim Berg declares that the cause of the noisy soul is your sin: your unbelief, your discontent, and your guilty conscience (and as it turns out, your pride and your stubbornness). Throughout his nouthetic counseling teachings (nowadays called “Biblical counseling”), he assumes that the situation or person the counselee would have thought was causing the noisy soul is not a legitimate concern, but is instead simply the catalyst for sin in the heart, “a lust for more.” Continue reading “Cleanse your guilty conscience, get grace, and other solutions to the noisy soul (a response to Jim Berg, Part 3)”

The Solutions to the Noisy Soul – a response to Jim Berg – (Part 2)

Jim Berg claims that this nouthetic counseling program Quieting a Noisy Soul presents the solutions to anxiety, despair, obsessive compulsive behavior, panic attacks, anorexia, bulimia, and other problems.

Part 1 of this series covered the Problem (the noisy soul) and the Cause of the problem according to Jim Berg’s nouthetic counseling: your sin, specifically, your unbelief and your guilty conscience. “Noisy souls,” says Berg, “are self-absorbed souls.”  Continue reading “The Solutions to the Noisy Soul – a response to Jim Berg – (Part 2)”

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”

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 The Master’s University 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 The Master’s University were to seek “Biblical counseling””