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.
Current Issue - Vol 27:2
Salvation Stories (Free Editorial)
In this guest editorial, Kevin DeYoung reminds us that we live our lives according to whatever salvation story we believe. And whether we realize it or not, as counselors we offer that salvation story, that same way of making sense out of life, to a person seeking our help.
Teach Your Children About Sex
In “Teach Your Children About Sex,” Julie Lowe and Lauren Whitman get down to earth on a topic that can make parents squirm. Their thesis is that someone will teach your children about sex, whether or not that person is you. What children pick up will be either very helpful or very harmful. The best person for giving children a positive, godly understanding of sex is a parent willing and able to talk candidly and constructively.
The Unpardonable Sin: Two Pastoral Applications
Even if you’ve never struggled with it yourself, in the course of pastoral ministry you will certainly talk with people who do struggle with the fear that they have committed the unpardonable sin. Tim Lane and Ed Welch give us different takes on the pastoral application of Jesus’ teaching about it. Because they consider different kinds of human struggles, they bring different questions to the passage. These differences may be helpful to your ministry, as pastoral application is never a one-size-fits-all proposition.
How Does Sanctification Work? Part 2
This is the second in a three-part series on sanctification. Powlison emphasizes that the pattern in how God works in people’s lives is different from the single-stranded answers we are tempted to offer to those around us. Through a series of stories, he draws out the common themes that actually do play out in our lives.
Words of Counsel – Part 1: A Biblical-Theological Foundation
We naturally think of “counseling” as happening when two people get together for a candid conversation. But effective counseling can also take place through written words—the Bible is indisputable evidence for that! This is the first of a two-part series by Pierce Hibbs about how wise and well-written notes, emails, letters, articles, books, and other literary ways of counseling can work. This first installment gives the theological big picture of how God has designed words to work.
The Power of Words
This “toolbox” article nicely follows-up on “Words of Counsel.” In fact, both pieces begin with the same core insight: Words have power. Tripp gives you lucid, simple, portable truth. Give this to someone you are counseling, and make it a talking point.
Lives in Process
Numbing My Emotions
This testimony is from a woman tempted to seek escapist solace from life’s pressures. She turns to food and magazines in order to medicate distress. Her insight into the dynamics of her experience of stress is as significant as her insight into how Christ intercepts escapist mechanisms.
Facing My Contempt
This is the story of a woman convicted of her tendency to look down on other people, judging them with contempt. She nicely captures how growth proceeds in small and often halting steps, not in one dramatic moment.
The pervasive availability of pornography creates an explosive, era-defining problem. John Freeman brings decades of ministry with sexual strugglers to his review of Tim Chester’s Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free. He notes with appreciation both the depth and the comprehensiveness of Chester’s approach.
Because Jesus is the gospel, the way he treats people in the Gospels is of crucial relevance. The theological meaning of his crucifixion and resurrection is inseparable from his interpersonal interactions. Discipleship and counseling must reckon with both. Joshua Blount reviews Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller, which traces often-neglected implications of how Jesus lived.
Calvin’s Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536–1609 By Scott M. Manetsch
The intrinsic role of counseling within overall pastoral ministry is a key theme in Scott Manetsch’s Calvin’s Company of Pastors. Reviewer Chris Carter draws our attention to how sixteenth century pastors integrated public proclamation with “intensive, personal interaction.” The JBC’s mission is to help churches regain this wholistic vision for ministry of the Word. A rich historical precedent is a welcome ally in that mission.