I have been reading books by Jay Adams since 1987. At that time I was not quite aware of the impact of those books, and the great need for Biblical Counseling to those people in the church, let alone those removed from the church. I knew, however that pastoral counseling had to be purely Biblical if it was to be effective in the healing of people.
Several years ago, my interest in Jay Adam’s books was starkly rekindled to the point that I made a conscious attempt to purchase, and study every one of his books, along with all of his journals as an attempt to refine some of my counseling skills.
There is only one kind of Christian counseling. That kind is a counsel that comes exclusively from Scripture without any humanistic integration of any kind whatsoever. It is called “Nouthetic” Counseling.That means that those things that are “admonitions” in Scripture are to be exclusively used to redirect the attitudes and behaviors of the counselees.
Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Note how there is a particular admonition to put off certain actions and to replace them with the Biblical solution.
Nouthetic counseling is evangelical at its root. It points the counselee back to Scripture. For the unregenerate it sets forth Christ as the only answer to his or her problems. For the saint, it re-establishes the moral Law of God so as to correct certain misconceptions, ideas, attitudes and ultimately behavioral problems.
As I stated before, Nouthetic counseling is not an integrated concept or methodology. It is not Skinnarian behaviorism, nor Freudian, nor Rogerian. It is Christ Centered and Scripture Centered without any perversion whatsoever. It begs the counsel of the Word of God and the Power of the Spirit of God for all solutions.
One might imply that Christian counseling is a professional arena of study and practice. I disagree most vehemently. Nouthetic counseling must be learned by all who claim to be Christians. Since all saints are called to obey the Word, and to encourage one another with, and by the Word, all of God’s people must therefore be skilled in the Word. This is especially true for parents that are in the counseling arena daily with their children and with their relationship with one another. God’s Word, when applied to any of life’s problems, by definition is Nouthetic counsel.
The article below is an article by Jay Adams which appeared recently on his blog site. I encourage you to bookmark that site and begin reading it daily.
June 2, 2010 by Jay Adams