March 05, 2008

I've Finished Reading "How To Help People Change"

I was given this book by a friend to read. Prior to reading it, I had never heard of Jay Adams or read any of his books. I had seen his name one time mentioned in another book I was reading on preaching, but other than that I was unfamiliar.

This is a good book. It's a quick read at 200 pages and you'll find yourself making good progress thorough it pretty easily.

The book is based off of 2 Timothy 3:14-17 where Adams sees the progression that Paul uses in that passage as the basic flow we should use in counseling folks. Before I get to that, this book is as much as defense of actually USING the Bible in counseling as it is a handbook on the process to use when using the Bible in counseling. Adams is unapologetic in the fact that in too many counseling circles the Bible has been abandoned altogether in favor of "newer" psychological methods etc.

And so I digress here with this little diatribe. If we aren't going to use the Bible to counsel someone, what exactly is the Bible for? Is it a good storybook? A good placeholder on the coffee table? A dust collector? If we're not going to use it for counsel, wisdom, discernment, etc when people come to us with their broken and hurting lives, when exactly are we going to use it?

Adams makes a much more impassioned plea for nouthetic counseling in the book and you really should read it but I agree whole heartedly that the Bible is sufficient, able, and complete in being able to deal with all peoples emotional, mental, spiritual, and life problems. There isn't one area that the Bible doesn't address and if we don't think we can go to the Word, then we have a defective view of God first and His Bible second.

Okay, moving on. The progression that Adams sees is this:

  1. Teaching
  2. Rebuking
  3. Correcting
  4. Disciplined Training In Righteousness

And he spends the entire book unpacking why this truly is the best process to follow along with various warnings, exhortations, and explanations for those who would be counseling others. If you think about how this process plays out, it really does make sense which isnt' surprising -- don't you think God would make sense sometimes?

Anywho, it's a good book and if you find yourself in a position where you are going to be counseling others on a routine basis, this must be an immediate read. But even if you're not an elder, pastor, or Christian counselor, you could benefit from reading this as I think it would equip you well in counseling friends who are going through hard times or who are having serious struggles.


Frank! said...

This looks like an updated version of a book of his I have called "what to do on Thursday". He's come highly recommended at the church I visist. It's pastored by Robert Morey. His men's group blogs at Check it out. He studied under Adams and remains friends with him. Well, they do disagree on infant baptism and the reality of demons-Adams doesn't think they're around anymore!

glory said...

I think we can go to the Word, then we have a defective view of God first and His Bible second.

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sy said...

Very nice book. I feel silent when i read this book. Very nice words. Those words are understandable.