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Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL COUNSELING – Vol. 31 · No. 1

This year we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the JBC (1977-2017).In his editorial, JBC’s senior editor David Powlison recounts how it was also forty years ago that he had first direct exposure to biblical counseling practice. He observed as John Bettler (CCEF’s co-founder) counseled a young man. “I was won over,” Powlison says, “by witnessing how skillfully, lovingly, and relevantly biblical counseling could touch a struggler.” Hear more about this experience and how CCEF continues to be persuaded that conscious Christian faith, deftly applied, is what makes our counsel faithful.

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ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE

David Powlison

After a three-and-half-year hiatus, this article is the finale to the three-part series, “How Does Sanctification Work?” Powlison wraps up the series by emphasizing that sanctification is God’s will for us. He reminds us that we are travelers on the road home whose center of gravity is shifting outside of ourselves as our trust becomes more childlike and our love becomes wise. Sanctification, then, is not a self-improvement project. God is making you into a person who is more connected to others: joined to Jesus Christ and to your brothers and sisters.

 

Andy Farmer

A common problem saints face in sanctification is laziness. In this article, pastor Andy Farmer describes how laziness ensnares people and wastes potential, resulting in a life of unrealized dreams and disappointed loved ones. Farmer has faced this in himself, and he outlines a path to freedom. He describes how the Bible reframed his understanding of laziness and how key passages in Hebrews and Romans helped direct him.

 

Pierce Taylor Hibbs

Author Pierce Hibbs was surprised at how shaken he felt by the death of a childhood friend. Reflecting on the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11, he discusses two questions: Why does death rattle our sense of security? And, how can we shore up our faith when death threatens? His insights lead us to cling to Jesus, the One who has overcome death, and to remember all he has said and done.

 

J. Alasdair Groves

If you are nervous about confronting others when they sin, this article is for you! Alasdair Groves gives guidance on how to confront in gentleness and love. First, he lays out a framework for how to decide whether to cover an offense or raise it. He then offers nine ways to speak about sin with the people in your life.

 

Robert D. Jones

The question of how to biblically counsel those who do not profess faith in Christ is always relevant. Bringing his extensive experience as a pastoral counselor to bear on this question, Robert Jones argues that the best approach is two-fold. You offer help for the issue that the help-seeker raises. You also help the person understand an even greater need—to come to Christ, receiving his forgiveness and finding a new life in a redemptive relationship.

 

Andrew Nicholls

This sermon tackles a question faced by many churches: Should we really find ways to keep going with people who need long-term care and support? Caring for strugglers is time intensive and many won’t ever be able to make an active contribution to the body. So, is it worth it? Using 1 Corinthians 12 to answer this question, Nicholls passionately calls the church to demonstrate honoring care to all members of Christ’s body.

 

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ABOUT THE JBC

For 40 years, the Journal of Biblical Counseling of CCEF has provided a forum for biblical counseling’s development and application. The mission of the 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.

Senior Editor David Powlison writes, “CCEF works and prays to restore Christ to counseling—and to restore counseling to the church. The Journal of Biblical Counseling serves this mission as a publishing ministry of CCEF. We believe that true, life-explaining insight into people necessarily involves thinking Christianly. Loving, lasting help necessarily involves practicing ‘counseling’ as one aspect of consciously Christian ministry. The deeper you gaze into what actually goes wrong with people—the weight of our sins and sorrows—the more clearly you see that Jesus Christ is essential to making it right.”

The journal includes articles and reviews from CCEF faculty like David Powlison, Ed Welch, Michael Emlet, Winston Smith, Julie Lowe, and more. It also includes other authors in the field including Paul Tripp, Jay Adams, John Piper, Tim Keller, Tim Lane, and more.

The Journal of Biblical Counseling (JBC) is currently published three times per year, available in both print and digital subscriptions. The JBC was published as a print journal from 1993-2007 (Issues: 11:2–25:3). From 1977-1992, it was published as The Journal of Pastoral Practice (Issues: 1:1–11:1).

EDITORIAL STAFF

Senior Editor: David Powlison
Managing Editor: Kimberly Monroe
Assistant Editor: Lauren Whitman
Proofreader: Bruce E. Eaton

MORE JBC LINKS