Two Examples of Theologically-Driven Counseling

November 5, 2012 by Bruce Ashford

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One of the primary aims of seminary is theological integration, and one of the best examples of such integration is our Biblical Counseling classes. In these courses, students are taught how Christian doctrine provides the framework for pastoral counseling. The doctrines of revelation, God, man, Christ, salvation, Spirit, church, and Kingdom are powerfully relevant to the pastor as he counsels members of his congregation.

Brad Hambrick, SEBTS prof and Summit Church pastor, has recently published two books that are exemplary pieces of theologically-driven counseling. Those books, God’s Attributes: Rest for Life’s Struggles and Vulnerability: Blessing in the Beatitudes, are published in “The Gospel for Real Life” series (P&R Publishing) for which he is also the editor. We asked Brad to tell us about each book. Here is what he told us:

God’s Attributes: Rest for Life’s Struggles

Holiness is not just about the degree of God’s purity but the perfect balance within His attributes.  As people seeking to be godly by grace, we must display a balance in our understanding of God’s attributes. This booklet looks at sixteen attributes divided into four headings: love (personal, grace, good, patient); essence (omnipresent, eternal and unchanging, beauty, blessed); wisdom (order and peace, truth, just omniscient); and power (free, omnipotent, sovereign, wrath and jealous).  The reader is challenged to examine whether or not he/she has a balanced view of God.  The goal for the reader at the end of the study is three-fold: (1) to correct any emphasis on certain attributes of God more than others; (2) to call the reader to rest in each attribute of God; and (3) to give the reader reflective tools to examine how they more effectively emulate God’s character.

Vulnerability: Blessing in the Beatitudes

To love at all is to take the chance of being hurt.  The definition of vulnerability for this booklet is, “an approach to life and relationships that is willing to disclose any life event or struggle when/if that disclosure can glorify God, edify a fellow believer, or assist in evangelizing an unbeliever.” This booklet looks at each of the Beatitudes (poor in spirit, mourning, meekness, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, mercy, purity of heart, peacemaking, and facing persecution) unpacking the relational significance of Jesus calling these characteristics “blessed.” With each Beatitude the reader will be taken through a five-part study: (1) defining the Beatitude; (2) examining the benefits of the beatitude for healthy vulnerability; (3) discussing possible methods of implementation; (4) questions to guide personal examination; and (5) a sample prayer for growth in this Beatitude. At the end of the study the reader is asked to consider the balance with which they exhibit these characteristics.

We encourage you to integrate your life and the lives of your neighbors and friends into the rich theological truths of Christ’s life and teaching. These two new books from Brad Hambrick will help you do so. Pick up a copy of each here.

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