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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. 28, No. 2  |  Purchase Individual Issue

Editorial

The Personal God

By: David Powlison

The God revealed in the Bible is a person—in fact, “one God in three persons.” Because he is a person himself, he gets personal with each one of us. Powlison’s editorial recounts three stories that show God personally working in the lives of individuals.   

Page count: 7

Featured Articles

Does the Bible Say Women Should Suffer Abuse and Violence?

By: Justin S. Holcomb | Lindsey A. Holcomb
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The question posed by the title of this article might seem to be a rhetorical one. The answer of course is a resounding No, women should not suffer abuse and violence. But many women have been told to stay in abusive marriages and the Bible has been used to justify the advice. The Holcombs debunk this line of thought, unpacking biblical examples of proactive strategy and self-protective escape. They then offer concrete advice on how to minister to women in hostile marital situations.

Page count: 13

Ten Ways Ordinary People Can Help Those with Psychiatric Problems

By: Ed Welch
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The way we are to minister mirrors the way God ministers. This article shows how the normal, God-given ways of relating to people are the same ways we are to minister to those in the church who are deeply troubled, and often troublesome, due to psychiatric problems. Welch’s practical, field-tested advice can benefit every church by encouraging ordinary people to become inviting and helpful to strugglers and their families.

Page count: 17

Quietness: A Lost Virtue in a Loud World

By: Michael Gembola
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This article confronts a widely-accepted, rarely-examined social value—the “Extrovert Ideal.” Our society, and even the church, values and rewards those who are comfortable in the spotlight and gregarious by nature—and overlooks quieter, reflective types. But was this always the case? And is this value supported by the Bible? Gembola examines these questions and goes on to discuss some implications of both extroversion and shyness in interpersonal ministry.

Page count: 14

A House Built upon the Rock: Finding Our Identity in Christ

By: Pierce Taylor Hibbs
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People tend to base their identity (the essential “Who am I?”) on their feelings, thoughts and experiences. But Pierce Hibbs reminds us that the Christian faith builds on a different foundation. Our core identity—our essence—is defined by being in Christ, not by the sum total of feelings, thoughts and experiences. The world might think this restrictive, but it actually liberates and enables us to become who God made us to be.

Page count: 6

Redirecting the Church’s Drama

By: William R. Edwards
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The Apostle Paul had a sharp conflict with the church in Corinth and he wrote about in 2 Corinthians 7:2–16. In this article, Edwards likens Paul’s approach to a technique used in improv theater called “overaccepting” in which someone in the drama actively redirects the course of the story. By overaccepting, Paul carefully shifts the Corinthian church away from its preoccupation with the human problems and redirects the drama to God and his grace. Edwards offers some thoughts on how this can be used to help you to redirect drama in your church.

Page count: 11

Conflict in the Church: A Surprising Way to Build a Community

By: Steve Midgley
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This article takes the same passage in 2 Corinthians and shows how Paul’s faith guides his intensely emotional involvement with the Corinthian church. Paul’s response to the painful conflict is the furthest thing from “clinical detachment” because he is able to care openly in pursuing their welfare. Based on this model for ministry, Midgley offers reflections on how to examine your own approach to conflict.

Page count: 9

Counselor's Toolbox

How to Help Counselees with Psychoactive Medications

By: Benjamin Crawford
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Many counselees take psychoactive medications and many more consider it. This practical piece from Benjamin Crawford helps counselors support their counselees as they move through the decision-making process. He also suggests how to help a counselee monitor the effects of a medication, provides basic information on the most commonly-used psychoactive drugs, and lays out a few counseling implications.

Page count: 11