The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life, Connecting Christ to Human Experience by Jeremy Pierre

Jeremy Pierre, Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written in The Dynamic Heart a comprehensive, one might say intense, textbook designed to aid God’s people (pp. 9, 101, 105).  The author states early, “These pages are dedicated to showing how God designed people with dynamic hearts to experience the world fully only when connected to Christ” (p. 2).  Faith is the key in the process: “Faith is the means by which the gospel is received; thus, faith is at the center of heart transformation…Faith is how God restores his design for the human heart so that people can commune with him and reflect his character…faith allows people to think differently as they receive the knowledge of God from his Word” (p. 3).  With this in mind Pierre’s goal is to give “a theological vision of how faith in Christ restores the dynamic human heart and…

Men Counseling Men, A Biblical Guide to the Major Issues Men Face, General Editor John D. Street (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, 2013), 442 pp., paper $19.99

John Street, chair of the graduate program in biblical counseling at the Master’s College, is the general editor of Men Counseling Men. Twenty-two authors contributed a chapter each on various subjects pertinent to Christian men. Most, if not all, of the contributors have or are pursuing a master’s degree in biblical counseling (MABC) from Master’s College. As might be expected there is a unified understanding among the authors that men’s real problems stem from sin which must be dealt with forcefully through the appropriate use of the all-sufficient Word of God. Most chapters apply the normal methodology found within the biblical counseling movement, which is the put off/put on/renewal-of-the-mind principle. This approach, drawn from the epistles, especially Ephesians and Colossians, teaches one to put off sinful habits, replace them with biblical habits and virtues, and renew the way one thinks through careful study and application of Scripture. This volume is…

Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling: Changing Lives with God’s Changeless Truth, Gen. Ed.James MacDonald; managing ed. Bob Kellermen & Steve Viars

When I first heard about Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling I was not excited. The list of contributing authors was long and most of them I had never heard of. More importantly, some of the contributing authors are associated with groups that are of concern to many in the area of the sufficiency of Scripture. Even so, I tried to approach the book objectively. There are godly men for whom I have love and respect who have joined the Biblical Counsel Coalition (BCC) and are included in the long list of authors. Though I still have some concerns with the BCC, I trust the discernment of friends who support the BCC and have contributed to this work. The BCC has created a sound doctrinal statement and an excellent confessional statement that all members must sign. While it is true in today’s world that people sign statements with little or no regard for…

Anatomy of the Soul, by Curt Thompson, M.D., (Tyndale: 2010). 282 pp., paper $14.99

The subtitle explains what Curt Thompson, a psychiatrist, is attempting to do in this volume: “Surprising connection between neuroscience and spiritual practices that can transform your life and relationships.” The author believes that life can be transformed by the renewing of your mind that can lead to the wholeness God intends. This includes a new way of understanding and experiencing life with God, using the language of neuroscience and attachment (pp. XVI, 2). With this thesis undergirding Thompson’s approach to renewing the mind, he subsequently offers a variety of ideas, theories and methods to accomplish his goal. They include Scripture, science, psychiatry, spiritual disciplines, exercise, and theology. Sadly, at every turn Thompson’s offerings are questionable at best and completely off-base and unbiblical much of the time. Below is a quick overview: · Science, especially neuroscience: While Thompson is providing the latest research dealing with the brain, he overreaches when he…

TheoPhostic Counseling (Divine Revelation? Or Psycho Heresy?) by Martin and Deidre Bobgan

TheoPhostic counseling is a Christianized form of psychotherapy developed by Dr. Ed Smith in 1996.  Smith claimed that he received his system as a direct revelation from God apparently given in February of that year (pp. 7-8).  Its success rate, according to Smith, is nothing short of astounding.  Much of the burden of the Bobgans’ book is to challenge these claims, but first what is TheoPhostic counseling?  This brief description is given:  Present problems are due to past (usually early-life) events, early interpretations of those events (“lies”), and their accompanying emotions.  The “lies,” which drive present thinking, feeling, and behaving, are embedded in early-life memories, located in the “dark room,” which must be accessed through “drifting” into the past in search of early “memory pictures” that feel the same as the negative feeling accompanying the present problematic situation.  During this search, the client is encouraged to find Jesus and describe…

Psychology Debunked by Lisa and Ryan Bazler

The main author of this book, Lisa Bazler, is a trained psychotherapist, who after receiving Christ began to discover gaping incompatibilities between psychology and Scripture. This ultimately led to her leaving the world of psychotherapy and to expose its error to others. Psychology Debunkedis an attempt to do actually that—and she does it well. Those well-versed in the anti-psychology literature, which traces its roots back to at least the early writings of Jay Adams, will find little new here. The value of the work for them will be in the review of what they already know. So the real strength of the book will be for those just exploring these issues and in need of a clear, straight-forward, easy to read “debunking” of psychology’s claims. Psychology Debunked will be one of the first books that I will hand to such people.