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.

Most Recent Issue  |  Vol. 27, No. 3  |  Winter 2013


Changing Seasons (Free Editorial)

By: David Powlison

In this brief editorial, David Powlison provides a personal update and introduces the articles in this issue. 

Page count: 4

Featured Articles

A Gallery of Gossips

By: Matthew C. Mitchell
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We’ve all been guilty of talking about others. Stories about other people titillate us, tempting us to pass the story on to the next person. Matt Mitchell helpfully identifies five common types of gossips. He explores the potential motivations of each, and pinpoints how the gospel of Christ provides an escape from the temptation to gossip. Come at this article humbly, as you just may see yourself in one (or more!) of these types of gossips.

Page count: 10

Lessons from Proverbs: Not Just a Collection of One-Liners

By: Joshua Blount
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Josh Blount identifies a problem all minsters struggle with: how do the big truths of the gospel connect to the daily details of a person’s life? Blount finds help for this question in the book of Proverbs. He traces the connection between the larger story of redemption and those succinct, practical bits of wisdom in Proverbs and offers advice for pastors and counselors about how to help others live out their faith in the everyday.

Page count: 11

Words of Counsel – Part 2: Letting Words Work

By: Pierce Taylor Hibbs
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In Part 2 of “Words of Counsel,” Hibbs provides practical helps and guidelines for how counselors can “let words work” when writing to those who are hurting and struggling. Even if you don’t see yourself as a writer, you still offer written words to those you help—even if only in an email—and Hibbs will help you do that in increasingly thoughtful 

Page count: 10

Revisiting Idols of the Heart and Vanity Fair

By: David Powlison
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David Powlison’s article “Idols of the Heart and Vanity Fair” has had a long shelf-life and has often been cited. Over the years, we have heard of how people understand and apply this article helpfully—and we’ve also encountered ways that people misunderstand and misapply it.  Powlison has now written a companion commentary to address these misunderstandings and to offer you a reading strategy. It is included here along with the original article.

Page count: 32

Counselor's Toolbox

When Should Counseling End?

By: Alasdair Groves
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Our Counselor’s Toolbox articles provide practical help that counselors can immediately  use in their own counseling. This offering aims to answer the recurring question, when should counseling end? Alasdair Groves lays out a simple framework to help counselors answer this question, and he walks out implications both for vocational counselors and pastors. 

Page count: 10

Lives in Process

When It’s All Up to You

By: Anonymous
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We continue our Lives in Process series with a story of a woman who suffered from anxiety due to unrealistic expectations for helping others. Recognizing her limits enables her to still care deeply for others, while learning to trust that God truly will take care of the rest. 

Page count: 4

Flawless? A Perfectionist Humbled by a Perfect God

By: Lauren Tapscott
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This Lives in Process testimony comes from a young woman who, since childhood, was tempted to both devise and pursue her own standards of perfection. Lauren Tapscott offers us a keen look into the dynamics of her struggle with perfectionism. She captures how God is helping her to grow by becoming more concerned with loving him and others than by attempting to be perfect.  

Page count: 4

Book Reviews

The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams By Heath Lambert

Reviewed By: Winston Smith

This book from Heath Lambert offers a helpful review of the work of Jay Adams, who was instrumental in starting the modern biblical counseling movement. Lambert then discusses the second generation of biblical counselors and calls on those in the field to be part of its continued development, though he and reviewer Winston Smith differ in part as to the direction that development should take. 

Page count: 5

Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality By Wesley Hill

Reviewed By: Ed Welch

This intense, but biblically conservative book, gives voice to the painful and lonely angst of same sex desire, while offering a biblical pattern of thought and life for the struggle. Reviewer Ed Welch finds value here for both those who wrestle with same sex desire and those who do not. He cautions that the book’s intensity may be challenging for some readers, and he raises a concern about one of its doctrinal positions. 

Page count: 3