Our Affirmations

 DEFINITION OF BIBLICAL COUNSELING


I.  True knowledge about people and counseling practice

  • We affirm that the Bible is God's self-revelation in relation to His creatures, and, as such, truly explains people and situations.
  • We affirm that the Bible, as the revelation of Jesus Christ's redemptive activity, intends to specifically guide and inform counseling ministry.
  • We affirm that wise counseling requires ongoing practical theological labor in order to understand Scripture, people, and situations.  We must continually develop our personal character, case-wise understanding of persons, pastoral skills, and institutional structures.
  • We affirm that the ideas, goals, and practices of counseling must cohere explicitly with the historic creeds, confessions, hymns, and other wise writings that express the faith and practice of the church of Jesus Christ.

II.  The givens of the human condition and the scope of biblical truth

  • We affirm that human beings are created fundamentally dependent on and responsible to God.  People can only be understood when these realities control the counselor's gaze.
  • We affirm that evil, done by us and happening to us, is the fundamental and pervasive problem in living.  Our own sin, in all its facets and dimensions, is primary and self-generating.  The circumstances that happen to us provide both provocative context ("trials and temptations") and just consequences ("reap what you sow") for our moral response, but do not determine the quality of our moral response.
  • We affirm that the Scripture defines and speaks to the gamut of problems in living for all people in all situations.

III.  The solution to the sin and misery of the human condition

  • We affirm that the Bible teaches, invites, warns, commands, signs, and tells the solution for what troubles humankind.  In the good news of Jesus Christ, God acts personally.  In word and deed, He redeems us from sin and misery through the various operations of His past, present, and future grace.  God uses many means of grace, including the face-to-face conversations of wise counseling.

IV.  The nature and means of change

  • We affirm that the Bible explicitly teaches the fundamental of counseling method by precept and example.  Through speaking the truth in love, we act as tangible instruments of God's grace in the lives of others.

VI.  God's providence and the interplay between His common grace and the intellectual-practical effects of sin

  • We affirm that a commitment to secularity distorts disciplines and professions fundamentally and pervasively.  People who do not think and practice in submission to the mind of Christ will misconstrue the things they see most clearly, and will miscarry in the matters about which they care most deeply and skillfully.
  • We affirm that the personality theories are essentially false theologies, and the psychotherapies are essentially false forms of the cure of souls.  Even the more descriptive and empirical psychologies are significantly skewed by secular presuppositions, and their findings need to be reinterpreted by the biblical worldview.