Journal of Biblical Counseling

The mission of the Journal of Biblical Counseling (JBC) is to develop clear thinking and effective practice in biblical counseling. We seek to do this through publishing articles that faithfully bring the God of truth, mercy and power to the issues that face pastoral ministries of counseling and discipleship. See subscription options here and Kindle editions here.

Vol. 29, No. 1  |  Purchase Individual Issue

Editorial

More Than a Proof Text

By: David Powlison

In this free editorial, David Powlison introduces our new column: “More Than a Proof Text.” These short articles demonstrate how a Scripture passage becomes a personalized message, how ministry engages a person. These are not Bible studies. Though careful study and accurate exposition reside in the background, these articles illustrate ministry happening in the foreground. Each connects the dots between a person’s complex struggles and a simple truth that bids to rearrange that person’s reality in a vivid and relevant way.

Page count: 5

Featured Articles

Struggling through Singleness

By: Jayne V. Clark
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Many single brothers and sisters in the church long for the companionship and friendship of marriage. In this article, Jayne Clark offers her hard-won wisdom on what it looks like to wrestle well with the Lord about the desire for marriage. Along the way, Clark clears up the meaning of the familiar phrase “the gift of singleness” and why marriage is not the answer to loneliness. 

Page count: 12

Entitlement: When Expectations Go Toxic

By: Darby Strickland
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A sense of entitlement is a serious problem that can plague relationships. Darby Strickland shows how a person’s self-centered desires can become adamant, rigid demands that destroy love and mutuality. She identifies the key beliefs of an entitled person, provides a biblical framework for understanding the problem, and offers counseling strategies to help bring the entitled person to a renewed relationship with Christ and others. 

Page count: 15

How to Talk with Someone about Sin

By: Ed Welch
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Though we tend to avoid talking with others about their sin, God has called us to encourage one another by speaking the truth in love. Ed Welch prepares us to move toward fellow sinners graciously by examining ourselves, learning to see the good in others, and acknowledging hard circumstances. He then gets specific about how to engage with people directly and winsomely. 

Page count: 14

Ten Questions to Ask before Starting a Counseling Ministry in Your Church

By: David Powlison
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This article is for church leaders who are thinking about starting a counseling ministry. Rather than a “how to” guide, Powlison offers ten questions to help a church gain a better understanding of itself and its context. Each question is followed by a short discussion that further orients leaders as to what to consider before moving forward.

Page count: 14

Sermon

Why Is This Sordid Story in the Bible?: Four Reasons to Read about the Rape of Tamar

By: Matthew C. Mitchell
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Adapting a sermon he preached on this passage, Mitchell walks us through the violent and shameful details of 2 Samuel 13. These include evil scheming, rape, murder, a banished son and a passive king. It’s easy to want to avoid this story, but there are good and important reasons why it is in the Bible.

Page count: 9

Counselor's Toolbox

More Than a Proof Text: “You Are Dust—And God Gets That”

By: Lauren Whitman
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Have you ever thought to use Psalm 103:13–14 to encourage those who struggle with perfectionism? Probably not. But Lauren Whitman shows how these verses can comfort and motivate by bringing home how we are inanimate dust—always in need of animating power from outside ourselves. This reality evokes a joyful dependency.

Page count: 2

More Than a Proof Text: “Men—Treat Women as Sisters”

By: Michael Gembola
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There are many passages in Scripture that speak against sexual lust, but Michael Gembola uses 1 Timothy 5:2 to recast the vision for how men are to view women. By tapping into the power of a God-given incest taboo, Gembola offers hope to men that, in Christ, they are able to view women as they would female family members.

Page count: 3