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Read Good Counsel to Be the Church

May 24, 2009

Here is an excerpt from my Resurgence Series on Counseling and Mission:

Nothing like regular time with unchurched, newly believing, broken and mature, redeemed sinners–the Church–will alert you to the need for gospel-centered counseling. For years I’ve been reading the materials put out by Christian Counseling Education Foundation (CCEF). I’ll never forget the first time I heard David Powlison speak with such measured wisdom at the Desiring God Conference in 1999. Since then, I have read The Journal of Biblical Counseling (JBC), followed Nouthetic literature, and started a certificate program in biblical counseling with CCEF. CCEF offers tremendous insight into human motivation and how the gospel applies to everything from addiction to garden variety idolatry. I highly recommend the Journal, their books, and distance education.

Westminster Bookstore carries all CCEF materials at heavy discounts and highlights Best Sellers of the Month. CCEF offers a host of articles on a whole range of counseling issues for free on their topical resource page. In addition, you can buy a CD ROM of all the JBC articles from 1977-2005. Add to these resources the fine work of Tim Chester, especially You Can Change and The Busy Christian’s Guide to Busyness. Tim and Steve Timmis are currently working on a Gospel-centered Life Series that will be a tremendous help to equipping us to counsel on mission. And very soon, I will be releasing a short book called Fight Club: Gospel-centered Discipleship.

Read good counsel, not only for you but for the church. Ground yourself in the wisdom, truth, and joy of the Lord by soaking up gospel-centered resources. Without counseling one another, the church becomes a hollow social community or disconnected spiritual event. Read good counsel to be the church. Share life and truth. Love one another in the grace of Christ and the power of the Spirit.

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