This paradigm-shifting book helps believers understand the process of being transformed by God's grace and truth, and challenges them to be a part of the process of discipleship in the lives of their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Counseling One Another biblically presents and defends every believer's responsibility to work toward God's goal of conforming us to theThis paradigm-shifting book helps believers understand the process of being transformed by God's grace and truth, and challenges them to be a part of the process of discipleship in the lives of their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Counseling One Another biblically presents and defends every believer's responsibility to work toward God's goal of conforming us to the image of His Son—a goal reached through the targeted form of intensive discipleship most often referred to as counseling.All Christians will find Counseling One Another useful as they make progress in the life of sanctification and as they discuss issues with their friends, children, spouses, and fellow believers, providing them with a biblical framework for life and one-another ministry in the body of Christ....
|Title||:||Counseling One Another|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||195 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Counseling One Another Reviews
Earlier this year, I received a free copy of this book from a friend in South Dakota. I had seen an earlier edition of this and hoped to one day get through it but put it off until this past week or so. The book is a very good read about the ministry of counseling within the local church body. I appreciated the emphasis upon the discipleship relationship that is found woven throughout the pages of this book, as well as, the sound theology that is explained within the pages of the book. The author does a great job of explaining a sound theology that is at the core of true Biblical counseling and how critical solid preaching is for effectiveness in a counseling ministry. The author also does a great job of pointing to the power of Christ, the power of the gospel, and the power of the Word of God to bring about change in the lives of people. I believe Tautges (the author) provides a solid foundation for anyone who would read this book and would want to build a counseling ministry that would honor and exalt Christ and His Word, and would do so, within the context of Biblical Discipleship and a Biblical local church.
Straw Men and the Napalm PolemicA Review of ‘Counseling One Another: A Theology of Interpersonal Discipleship’ by Paul TautgesI wish I knew what this book was supposed to achieve. I’ve tried to think of an audience or a situation for whom it would be helpful and I can’t think of one. This is particularly frustrating as I wholeheartedly share the author’s fundamental concerns about counseling in the church, which include the common relegation of Scripture and real discipleship behind secular psychology, felt needs and the pursuit of a humanistic self-esteem. Judging by both the title and sub-title I had imagined that this book would address the need, opportunity and challenge for Christians to be counseling each other, but they are incidental to what is essentially a diatribe against sub-Biblical counseling methods. In his desire to create an enemy to spend the book attacking, Tautges recognises that he must first create a clear working definition of Christian counseling. He does that early on when he says, “counseling will be presented as a targeted form of discipleship, an intensely focused and personal ‘one-another’ ministry aimed at the serious development of serious disciples” Except then he gives David Powlison’s definition of counseling as “intentionally helpful conversations”.But then he immediately decides that a much longer and different definition is in order:“The definition that I will develop and defend throughout this book is as follows: Biblical counseling is an intensely focused and personal aspect of the discipleship process, whereby believers come alongside one another for three main purposes: first, to help the other person to consistently apply Scriptural theology to his or her life in order to experience victory over sin through obedience to Christ; second, by warning their spiritual friend, in love, of the consequences of sinful actions; and third, by leading that brother or sister to make consistent progress in the ongoing process of biblical change in order that he or she, too, may become a spiritually reproductive disciple-maker.”In seeking to add clarity Tautges then states, “we must consciously use the terms ‘counseling’ and ‘discipleship’ interchangeably”…except he quickly contradicts that by saying, “discipleship is at the very core of counseling”. That’s like saying we must use the terms ‘apple core’ and ‘apple’ interchangeably. Maybe one day he’ll ask me for an apple and I’ll oblige by handing him what’s left after I’ve finished mine…And that’s where he lost me, because his long, working definition of counseling is so narrow – and misleading - as to be scarcely useful. It reduces a counseling to only one thing: the correction of a tolerance of sin in in the life of the believer. If he’d only stuck with his initial definition or Powlison’s and then written from that, but unfortunately the book really is a defense of his longer definition.He seems to miss the details involved in many other counseling situations, such as: • Working through grief • Dealing with abuse• Repairing a marriage broken by adultery• Living with AD(H)D• Disputes• AddictionScripture obviously speaks to ALL of those things and must form the basis of counseling on EVERYTHING, but Tautges is either being simplistic in thinking all you need are the Biblical headlines (e.g. forgive, trust in God’s love, worship God only) or in denial that such matters need help via counseling at all. Part of the art of Christian counseling is the application of godly wisdom to people in various situations – wisdom that doesn’t come via neatly packaged Biblical quotes but uses the principles within Scripture to provide actionable advice in various situations. Of particular concern, for example, is Tautges’ claim that “Instead of settling for the lesser hope of being a lifelong ‘recovering alcoholic’, the Bible enthusiastically offers the drunkard full deliverance from his or her sinful habit and a completely new life in Christ”. Is Tautges really unaware of the chemical elements of addiction? Does he believe nicotine is addictive or would he anticipate a simple ‘deliverance’ from cigarette smoking too? And what of depression that isn’t based on sadness but is similarly to do with a malfunction of the brain. Are such people simply to be told to cheer up because God is with them? But having created his straw man, Tautges then spends most of the book dropping napalm on that and a variety of other views that he disagrees with. Even youth work: “The most effective model for youth discipleship is not the modern paradigm of the youth group, which all too often becomes nothing more than a larger gathering of immature fools…” At that point I almost had to laugh because it was clear by then that this was his modus operandi: form a singular generalization, build a straw man with it, and then mercilessly napalm it. No hint of nuance, no thought that perhaps churches try to combine youth work other methods of discipleship. Why does he do that? A look at Tautges’ blog would seem to indicate he doesn’t really believe what he’s saying here. One blog post of his is entitled, ‘Regular exercise helps fight depression’. In it are zero Bible quotes because, well, the Bible doesn’t say that regular exercise helps fight depression…but it’s true. Which gives the lie to Tautges’ assertion that the words of God are the only thing you need to be of non-medical use in ALL counseling situations.Later in referencing the parable of the two builders, Tautges points out that some people get it wrong when they say the ‘rock’ on which the house of our life is to be built is Christ, whereas he knows that it’s really obedience to Christ. Except he’s very obviously wrong, because the rock is a static thing onto which the house is to be built, so the rock is either Christ or perhaps the words of Christ, and building on the rock is obedience to the words of Christ.As a piece of writing, I was left longing for more editorial input. Phrases like, “Please allow me to provide a brief, yet related, aside…”, prefacing most quotes with, “[quoted author] is correct when he says…” and the mountain of quotes underneath which the readability of the book – especially the first half - is crushed. The need to treat the Bible as God’s infallible Word in a counseling context is very real, and under great threat as the Bible seems to be valued less and less by Christians. The need for Christians to be counseling each other rather than merely standing back and hoping a ‘professional’ intervenes in difficult situations is a worthy cause to write about. But even though I feel like I’m on Tautges’ ‘team’ in this area, I didn’t feel like the book was something that helped confirm those beliefs, nor provide me with a useful tool with which to challenge those who disagree – it’s just too adversarial in tone. Which takes me back to my original concern: why and who is the book for? Not in a theoretical sense of who can be seen through the scope on Tautges' theological rifle, but who is supposed to read it? While I doffed my cap to Tautges’ background in pastoral work and counseling, I found myself wishing he’d written a very different book. One that would engage with the people Tautges targets, rather than eviscerate them in front of a friendly audience who could happily make do with a single blog on confirming for them what they...we...already know.[I was provided with a free copy of the book for the purposes of submitting a review.]
In Counseling One Another: A Theology of Interpersonal Discipleship, Paul Tautges "counters the problem [of the acceptance of integrationism in the ministry of counseling] by replacing it with a biblical theology of discipleship that is truly God-centered," (Kindle location 200). He defines biblical counseling as "an intensely focused and personal aspect of the discipleship process, whereby believers come alongside one another...to help the other person consistently apply Scriptural theology...[to] warn their spiritual friend, in love, of the consequences of sinful action, and [to] lead that brother or sister to make consistent progress in the ongoing process of biblical change," (Kindle location 258).Shortly after his biblical counseling definition, Mr. Tautges goes to say that "[a]uthentic biblical counseling is nothing more, and surely nothing less, than the fulfillment of the Great Command [the Great Commission from Matthew 28:19] to make disciples of Jesus Christ by the delegated authority of God and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit," (Kindle location 289). This statement is at odds with his earlier definition of biblical counseling. The author conflates salvation and sanctification when he forces biblical counseling into the Great Commission: "the content of the Great Command demands a commitment to biblical counseling since discipleship is the very core of counseling...True biblical counseling is that which functions within relationships which exist as fruit of the ongoing command to make disciples of Jesus Christ by moving others farther down the road of obedience to His Word...Discipleship is helping another believer make biblical change toward Christlikeness--helping others in the sanctification process," (Kindle location 347). A person is not saved through biblical counseling, but through the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor. 1:21). The Great Commission involves the preaching of the Word of God to bring salvation to the elect of God. Biblical counseling deals with the sanctification of that person once he is saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). It does no good to counsel a lost person with the things of God; he is at enmity with God (Rom. 8:7) and the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to him (1 Cor. 2:14).In addition, Mr. Tautges's definition of sin is weak and very man-centered: "Sin is willful independence from God," (Kindle location 650), "Sin, in reality is self-worship," (Kindle location 663), and "Sin is more than a choice: it is also the powerful influence...which holds the sinner in voluntary bondage," (Kindle location 696). You cannot adequately counsel someone when you're not willing to identify the problem. In addition, if your talking to an unregenerate person, he can do nothing BUT sin; he is a slave to sin until the Holy Spirit regenerates his heart and gives him a new nature. From the Baptist Catechism, Question #17 What is Sin?: "Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God."Finally, here is an example of the author's conflation of salvation and sanctification when giving advice for biblical counseling: "It is clear that that warning in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is very useful in biblical counseling. All who practice these sinful lifestyles will not 'inherit the kingdom of God' (v. 10). Paul's point is that these sins will keep a person out of heaven because they are worthy of condemnation and therefore must be treated seriously and repented of as sin, not excused as 'sickness'," (Kindle location 931). However, a justified person is someone who has true saving faith; he will sin because he still has a sin nature, but he will work toward holiness through the sanctification process. This person will never lose their salvation because of sin. If he walks away from faith, then he was never truly had saving faith (1 John 2:19). On the other hand, if a person is not a true believer, then yes, sin will keep him out of heaven. Mr. Tautges is not clear as to which person is being counseled; therefore, his advice is confusing and not helpful in any counseling situation.Since I do not agree with the author's exposition of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, his definition of sin, nor his biblical counseling advice, I cannot recommend this book for any Christian.Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.***"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen," (Matt. 28:19-20).
The sufficiency of God’s Word for discipling and counseling one another is the key theme throughout this excellent, well-written book. Written at a lay level, throughout the book we are pointed back to the Bible for help in coming alongside our fellow believers to encourage growth in sanctification. Discipleship happens as we walk alongside one another and point each other back to what God’s Word teaches us in how we are to live.Secular humanism and psychology have come into the church through the ideas of self-love and self-esteem. This book counters this ideology by pointing us back to what the Bible says we are: depraved sinners who already love ourselves and our sin and are hostile to God and His ways. The Bible teaches that we are to deny ourselves, not to love ourselves more. Counseling from the Bible exposes our sinful hearts and points back to Jesus Christ as the way of salvation from our sin.The author starts off with our call to make disciples and how that is done. He then continues by explaining conversion and the call to godliness. Growth in discipleship happens in community. The subtitle of the book is “A Theology of Interpersonal Discipleship”. And this book then proceeds to describe what that looks like.This is one of those books that I wish every Christian would read. It is succinct, well-written, easy-to-read (though convicting!), and powerful. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter, which make it easily used as a discussion book for a small group study.Some quotes to ponder:“Believers in Jesus Christ must be taught and trained to be richly indwelt with the Word of God, to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit, to be driven by the gospel, to express dependence on God through prayer, to be motivated by love for God and neighbor, and to be moved with compassion to help one another make progress in the ongoing work of sanctification. This is authentic biblical counseling.”“Biblical counseling is an intensely focused and personal aspect of the discipleship process, whereby believers come alongside one another for three main purposes: first, to help the other person to consistently apply Scriptural theology to his or her life in order to experience victory over sin through obedience to Christ; second, by warning their spiritual friend, in love, of the consequences of sinful actions; and third, by leading that brother or sister to make consistent progress in the ongoing process of biblical change in order that he or she, too, may become a spiritually reproductive disciple-maker. This definition describes the aim of biblical discipleship and supports the underlying principles of this book. Biblical counseling is helping one another, within the body of Christ, to grow to maturity in Him.”And many more – I could probably quote half the book – it was so good! So I encourage you to read it for yourselves.*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher Shepherd Press as part of Cross-Focused Reviews in exchange for my review.
At our church, we tend to be involved in discipling others, and I’ve found that the more you teach classes and disciple other people, the more messy lives that you run across. These messy lives need guidance, but who is the person who is to guide them? This is one of the many questions that Paul Tautges aims to answer in his book, Counseling One Another: A Theology of Interpersonal Discipleship. I was pleased t get the opportunity to review this book recently, and wanted share some of the insights that I’ve gleaned from this book.I had always grown up thinking, and continued to think as an adult, that dealing with messy lives is the job of a professionally trained counselor, someone who knew all the psychological issues that someone could suffer from and how to handle them. However, as I began to read Tautges book, I had a revelation from his writing. He begins by discussing Fuller Seminary and their doctrinal shift in their school of psychology. They began to feel that they could merge the worldly wisdom of counseling with the Biblical leadership that Christians are called to build their lives around. The result, tragically would be that the counseling program of their school would continually shift away from the gospel and more and more towards men’s wisdom.Tautges proposes a shift in thinking from the idea of Biblical counseling in being the role of the psychologist to Biblical counseling being the goal of every disciple maker. He spends the rest of the book why this could be the case. In the course of this study his creates an excellent exegesis of several passages in Corinthians and Peter as well as other verses. He explains masterfully how the conversion of our sin natures when we are saved creates a call to disciplined godliness and how, through God’s words and loving relationships with other believers, we can be continually sanctified. The final chapters discuss the why of combating against worldly psychology and how discipleship works in the community of faith.I found this book to be a very timely book as I’ve been trying to figure out what my responsibility is as a discipler and as a disciple, as a member of the church and as someone who teaches and deals with other people often. I was most impressed by the ideas that I encountered in this book, and often challenged. As a result of reading this book, I feel more confident in my role as a mentor to other women and youth and I feel that I will be able to better able to disciple others as a result of the ideas that I’ve processed in this book.Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Counseling One Another: A Theology of Interpersonal Discipleship written by Paul Tautges provides a theological and practical foundation for what Biblical Counseling looks like and is. The book is Christ-centered in its approach to Biblical Counseling quoting from appropriate Scriptures as well as respected church leaders throughout church history. And there is no feel-good, humanistic, psychological, secular reasoning presented in the book when it comes to Biblical Counseling. Jesus Christ and the Word of God are the source of all truth and practice relating to Biblical Counseling…and author Tautges presents such truth in a loving way that will benefit all who read it and apply what is taught in his book concerning Christian Counseling.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shepherd Press as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
In his book Counseling One Another, Tautges goes deep and really gets to the core of discipleship. He doesn't beat around the bush, but plainly lays out how the Word of God applies to us. Take this quote for instance:"As disciple-makers, we must realize that if we are not training believers to live to pattern their lives after Jesus Christ as revealed in the written Word of God, then we are not making disciples, no matter how many "decisions for Christ" we may encourage or even witness." (p. 32)At the end of each chapter was a short Bible study type section for further thought or group-discussion. I loved how these always took you directly to Scripture to hash out what the Bible really says. They weren't just food for thought type questions, but ways to think through God's Word and really apply it.Over all, I would highly recommend this book. Just know that it is definitely not light reading.Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.