A Word from Bob: As the Founding Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition (BCC), I had the privilege of serving, along with my lifelong friend, Pastor Steve Viars, as the General Editors of Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling (CCBC). First released in 2013 by Harvest House and the Biblical Counseling Coalition, an updated, revised edition was released in April 2021. So this is a great time to reintroduce you to this comprehensive, collaboratively-written biblical counseling resource—Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling: Changing Lives with God’s Changeless Truth.
- To order the updated edition of Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling you can visit: My RPM Ministries Store.
The BCC and CCBC
Here’s the launch Vision Statement of the Biblical Counseling Coalition:
The Biblical Counseling Coalition exists to encourage collaborative relationships and to provide robust resources related to biblical counseling, Christian living, and local church ministry.
And here’s the BCC’s initial Passion Statement:
Promoting Personal Change Centered on the Person of Christ Through the Personal Ministry of the Word.
Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling beautifully fulfills the BCC’s mission. The book brought together over three dozen leading biblical counseling authors (collaborative relationships) to provide a wealth of wisdom for life and ministry (robust resources) that focuses on Christ-centered change (Passion Statement).
The Why and How of Biblical Counseling
As the subtitle suggests, the purpose of Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling is to equip God’s people to understand how to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth. The goal of the book is to increase people’s confidence in the richness and relevancy of God’s Word to address real-life issues. Just as there is currently an encouraging return to gospel-centered preaching, Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling seeks to be a catalyst for the return of God’s people to gospel-centered one-another ministry.
We’ve organized Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling into two parts. In Part 1, you’ll benefit from a theology of biblical counseling—the Why:
- Why the Bible is sufficient and relevant for addressing the issues we face in daily life and relationships.
- Why biblical counseling is effective in helping people face life’s struggles in Christ’s strength.
In Part 2, you’ll enjoy a methodology of biblical counseling—the How:
- How you can lead struggling, hurting people to the hope and strength available only in Christ.
- How to counsel in a way that is Christ-centered, God-glorifying, relevant, and practical.
The Roster of Authors
We’re thankful for all the men and women who contributed to this book. They are biblical counseling leaders who have solid theological backgrounds combined with years of practical experience in ministering God’s Word to hurting people.
We’re especially excited about the pairings in each chapter—over three-quarters of the chapters were co-authored. Readers benefit from chapters co-authored by Sr. Pastors and their Counseling Pastors such as Mark Dever and Deepak Reju, Steve Viars and Rob Green, and John Piper and Jack Delk. Readers also enjoy chapters co-authored by pastors and professors, such as Ernie Baker and Jonathan Holmes, Robert Cheong and Heath Lambert, and Robert Jones and Brad Hambrick.
Our Audience: You!
Who are the readers we’ve envisioned benefiting from Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling? Folks like you.
Picture a committed Christian sitting at Starbucks with her best friend and fellow church member. Her friend has finally opened up to her about the fear and anxiety she experiences daily. We’ve written Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling to help this committed Christian and thousands like her to know how to relate God’s Word lovingly and carefully to struggles like fear and worry.
Picture a pastor in his office with a couple who have already seen the divorce attorney. The pastor is secretly thinking, “They taught me how to preach in seminary, but not how to help a struggling couple to change.” We’ve written Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling for this pastor and thousands like him.
Picture a Bible college or seminary student in his only course in pastoral counseling. He’s thinking, “I’m confident in God’s Word, but how do I grow in my competence in using God’s Word?” We’ve written Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling to help this student and thousands more to understand a biblical theology and methodology for helping hurting people to find hope and victory in Christ.
Picture the Christian counselor who loves the Lord and His Word, but wants to know how to use God’s Word confidently and competently in counseling. We’ve written Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling to help this counselor and thousands of others to appreciate the richness and robustness of the Scriptures and to learn how to use God’s Word relevantly, relationally, and powerfully in counseling.
There are many excellent books available on biblical counseling. For a list of over 1,000 such books, see The Annual Guide to Biblical Counseling Resources.
That said, we’re seeking to address some unique goals through Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling. We want readers to:
- Receive a robust, loving, best-practice guide not only for why our authors love biblical counseling, but why the reader should embrace biblical counseling.
- Be encouraged to trust God’s Word to provide rich insight for living in the midst of even the most difficult times of suffering and relational conflict and the most distressing battles against besetting sins.
We’ve designed the book to:
- Refute the stereotype that biblical counseling is harsh (unloving) and simplistic (unrealistic in the real world). We’ve prayed that it will be the remedy to the insufficient “take-two-verses-and-call-me-in-the-morning” method and the antidote to a “one-verse-one-problem-one-solution” approach to people helping.
- Challenge the teaching that we need Christ plus something else—refuting the idea that the Bible is an insufficient guide to effective relational living.
- Equip readers to use God’s Word effectively and confidently in their church and para-church ministries as one-another ministers and soul care givers.
What Others Are Saying
We’ve been encouraged by the endorsements of a wide cross-section of leaders. For example, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth shares:
“Those of us who are seeking to help needy, hurting people find hope in Christ, owe a great debt of gratitude to those who contributed to this rich resource. It will make us more biblically grounded in our counsel and inspire us to believe that He really can transform lives!”
Dr. Al Mohler adds:
“The rise of the biblical counseling movement is one of the most helpful and hopeful developments in the recent history of the Christian church. This movement has returned counseling where it belongs, in the church and in the Scriptures. In this massively important book, some of the leading figures in the biblical counseling movement set forth a wealth of wisdom. We have needed this book for a long time.”
People ask, “So, what’s new or different about this newly-released edition?” Primarily, three chapters have been re-written with new authors. This new content comes from Randy Patten (one chapter) and Robert Cheong (two chapters), and includes material that strengthens what the book has to offer. We’ve also stepped away from the book’s association with James MacDonald as one of the General Editors and as co-author of two chapters.
Join the Conversation
As you think about Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling, what are you most excited about?
If you’ve already benefited from the first edition, what has been most helpful to you in your life and ministry as you’ve applied Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling?