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Biblical Counseling Series: Exploration of Caring for Souls

Harry Shields and Gary Bredfeldt wrote this book that expresses some concern of having Biblical counseling and secular humanistic counseling combined. In Caring for Souls Chapter 1, Shields and Bredfeldt explored three different historical perspectives of how reason and faith collaborates with one another. These three different historical perspectives include: Reason Corrupts Faith, Reason Supports Faith, and Reason Establishes Faith. The third historical perspective, promoted by Thomas Aquinas, is erroneous because humanistic reasoning cannot establish faith instead biblical reasoning can establish faith because biblical reasoning uses scripture alone to figure out the problems of the world. Sola Scriptura is the battle cry of some biblical counselors. Humans cannot figure out the truth without divine illumination. Romans 1:20-21 backs this up. Romans 1:20-21 (NASB) states:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities––his eternal power and divine nature­­––have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

This passage is illuminating the fact that even though God’s invisible qualities have been clearly seen.

Shield and Bredfeldt noted that God should be at the center of a counseling and that true biblical counseling occurs only when the counselors truly understand the concept of Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura comes from Latin that means “Scripture Alone.” Scripture alone can serve as a map that leads towards Christlikeness and helps counselees make biblically change and renew their mind towards Christlikeness. Romans 12:1-2 states:

“Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is our spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Some Christian counselors believe that Counseling and Secular Psychology can intertwine; this is “reason supports faith” approach. This approach is erroneous and can be led to the misinterpretation of the Word of God.

References

Adam, J. (2018). “What is ‘Nouthetic’ Counseling?” Nouthetic Studies. Accessed August 24, 2020. http://www.nouthetic.org/about-ins/what-is-nouthetic-counseling

Evans, L.(1982). Covenant to Care. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Shields, Harry and Gary Bredfeldt. (2001). Caring for Souls: Counseling under the Authority of Scripture. Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

Langham, Dr. R.Y. Ph.D. (April 19th, 2019). “Christian Counseling.” Therapy Tribe. Accessed August 24, 2020. https://www.therapytribe.com/therapy/christian-counseling/#:~:text=Christian%20counseling%2C%20also%20known%20as,you%20deal%20with%20life’s%20challenges.

Lisle, Dr. J. (October 1, 2010). “Faith vs. Reason.” Answers in Genesis. Accessed August 24th, 2020. https://answersingenesis.org/apologetics/faith-vs-reason/

Zuckerman, Ph.D. P. July 28th, 2014. “What Does ‘Secular Mean?” Pyschology Today. Accessed August 24, 2020. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-secular-life/201407/what-does-secular-mean#:~:text=To%20be%20secular%20is%20to,non%2Dreligious%20groupings%20or%20associations.

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