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John F. Bettler

Counseling and the Problem of the Past

Journal of Biblical Counseling 12:2

In this article, John Bettler addresses the need for confessional statements in biblical counseling to define crucial counseling questions, such as the role of the past in relation to current problems. Bettler argues that the past raises questions for counselors: people’s struggles have a history; the culture is preoccupied with the past as determinative; psychotherapy’s challenge to the biblical world view often turns on the interpretation of the past. Bettler continues by observing that the Bible tells us the past is important, is to be remembered, is the context for the person in the present. He concludes that the most significant way to approach the past in biblical counseling is to uncover the person’s “manner of life,” the habitual lifestyle both internal and external that God intends to change.

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