Friday, May 20, 2005

Powlison on Counseling

In response to the question What are the differences between biblical counseling and various other approaches to counseling that are popular in the church? David Powlison suggests some thoughts on the distinctions, and then suggest some questions to ask in order to build some basic skills in discernment. “The following four questions enable you to fairly and accurately test any of the mixed multitude of counseling approaches. If you know how to engage any model discerningly, you will be able to size up the strengths and weaknesses of those particular approaches to counseling that become popular in your church circles.”

The questions are:

1. How is God portrayed?

2. How is human nature interpreted?

3. How are circumstances weighed?

4. How are the goals and activities of counseling conceived?

“Four simple questions to build discernment… so much discernment needed! But I think you will find that as you learn to think well within these truths, fine things will happen. You will grow wiser as a biblical counselor worthy of the name: a wise shepherd of sheep and curer of souls. You will also find that you grow more insightful into whatever worldly wisdoms cry out for your ear, your vote, your loyalty, your ministry, your people.”

For further explanation and elaboration, see the whole answer.