Have you experienced the heartbreak of sincerely sharing a passage of Scripture with a loved one who is suffering, only to find the connection falls flat? As people seeking to love God and love others well, we feel the weight of these missed connections, and want to grow. Proverbs captures the dynamic we long for: “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply, and how good is a timely word!” In a roundtable discussion, David Powlison, Mike Emlet, and Darby Strickland brought their collective decades of counseling experience and considered how we can grow in “giving an apt reply,” and speaking “a timely word” to others.
Darby is a faculty member and counselor at CCEF, where she has served since 2003. She has a master of divinity with a counseling emphasis from Westminster Theological Seminary. Darby brings particular passion and expertise in helping the vulnerable and oppressed, especially women in abusive marriages. She has contributed to Church Cares and the PCA Domestic Abuse & Sex Assault church training materials. She has counseled in a missionary church setting and has also held leadership roles in women’s ministry. She is the author of Is it Abuse? (P&R, 2020), has written a handful of minibooks, and has contributed to several other books.
David Powlison served as CCEF’s executive director (2014-2019), a faculty member, and senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. He held a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary. David wrote extensively on biblical counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology. His books Seeing with New Eyes and Speaking Truth in Love probe the implications of Scripture for how to understand people and how to counsel. The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context explores the background and development of CCEF’s mission. David is survived by his wife Nan, their three children and spouses, and seven grandchildren.
Mike is a faculty member and counselor at CCEF, where he has served since 2001. He holds a doctor of medicine from the University of Pennsylvania and a master of divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. Prior to joining CCEF, Mike worked as a family physician for eleven years. He has particular interests in working with ministry leaders and with those who struggle with anxiety, depression, and OCD. He has published numerous books, including CrossTalk (New Growth Press, 2009), Descriptions and Prescriptions (New Growth Press, 2017), and Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners (New Growth Press, 2021).