Blog Tour: Counseling One Another

Counseling One AnotherCounseling One Another by Paul Tautges

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The sufficiency of God’s Word for discipling and counseling one another is the key theme throughout this excellent, well-written book. Written at a lay level, throughout the book we are pointed back to the Bible for help in coming alongside our fellow believers to encourage growth in sanctification. Discipleship happens as we walk alongside one another and point each other back to what God’s Word teaches us in how we are to live.

Secular humanism and psychology have come into the church through the ideas of self-love and self-esteem. This book counters this ideology by pointing us back to what the Bible says we are: depraved sinners who already love ourselves and our sin and are hostile to God and His ways. The Bible teaches that we are to deny ourselves, not to love ourselves more. Counseling from the Bible exposes our sinful hearts and points back to Jesus Christ as the way of salvation from our sin.

The author starts off with our call to make disciples and how that is done. He then continues by explaining conversion and the call to godliness. Growth in discipleship happens in community. The subtitle of the book is “A Theology of Interpersonal Discipleship”. And this book then proceeds to describe what that looks like.

This is one of those books that I wish every Christian would read. It is succinct, well-written, easy-to-read (though convicting!), and powerful. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter, which make it easily used as a discussion book for a small group study.

Some quotes to ponder:

“Believers in Jesus Christ must be taught and trained to be richly indwelt with the Word of God, to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit, to be driven by the gospel, to express dependence on God through prayer, to be motivated by love for God and neighbor, and to be moved with compassion to help one another make progress in the ongoing work of sanctification. This is authentic biblical counseling.”

“Biblical counseling is an intensely focused and personal aspect of the discipleship process, whereby believers come alongside one another for three main purposes: first, to help the other person to consistently apply Scriptural theology to his or her life in order to experience victory over sin through obedience to Christ; second, by warning their spiritual friend, in love, of the consequences of sinful actions; and third, by leading that brother or sister to make consistent progress in the ongoing process of biblical change in order that he or she, too, may become a spiritually reproductive disciple-maker. This definition describes the aim of biblical discipleship and supports the underlying principles of this book. Biblical counseling is helping one another, within the body of Christ, to grow to maturity in Him.”

And many more – I could probably quote half the book – it was so good! So I encourage you to read it for yourselves.

*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher Shepherd Press as part of Cross-Focused Reviews in exchange for my review.

 

The Benefits of Scripture Memory

Solid Food Ministries

Memorizing whole chapters and books of the Bible has many benefits. Memorizing single verses, while helpful, can often take the verse out of context and be misunderstood. There are a lot of great resources out there for aiding in Scripture memory. One that I find incredibly useful is ScriptureTyper. But when memorizing Scripture it is important to be doing it not just as a rote exercise, but to actually be thinking about what it is these verses are saying.

  1. In memorizing Scripture, we are putting God’s truth into our minds and hearts. As we go about our day, it becomes a useful tool in shaping our attitudes and actions. For example, in the book of Philippians there are some very practical exhortations such as “Do everything without complaining or arguing,” and “Do not be anxious about anything,” as well as “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit…

View original post 362 more words

1 Peter by Jen Wilkin

1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ - Bible Study Book1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ – Bible Study Book by Jen Wilkin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

I received a copy of this Bible study guide for review from Lifeway. One thing that was disappointing is that it is set up to be done with a dvd teaching curriculum, which I don’t have. I felt like I was missing part of the study by not having the teaching to go along with it. However, I went ahead to review the study without the dvd curriculum.

One of the great things about this 9 week study is that at the beginning of each week, on day 1, we are to read through the whole book of 1 Peter. This is an important part of Bible study, getting the full context of the book. I was quite pleased that this was made a part of the study. The full text in the ESV is also included in the back of the study guide.

Bible study is much better done in community, so I did not get the full impact of this study as I likely would if doing it with a group. But I found the questions were good at asking what the text was saying and what it would have meant to the original audience, as well as looking at cross-references to broaden the understanding of a concept (such as holiness). This is not a “fluff” Bible study like so many that are out there that tend to focus on feelings. This study asks questions and digs into the text for a better understanding of God’s Word. Having read Jen’s book Women of the Word and its excellent explanation of how to study the Bible, I expected this study guide to be well-written and it was.

I hope to be able to do this study in a group with the dvd teaching at some point to benefit more from it. In the meantime, I think it is a great study for women to do in better learning not only about 1 Peter, but also how to really study the Bible. There are group discussion questions at the end of each lesson to help facilitate the group study.

*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review.