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Number of Pages: 240
Publication Date: 2012
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Counseling Under the Cross: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Daily LifeBob KellemenNew Growth Press / 2017 / Trade Paperback$15.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 6 Reviews
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Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental IllnessMatthew S. StanfordInterVarsity Press / 2017 / Trade Paperback$14.99 Retail:
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God & Soul Care: The Therapeutic Resources of the Christian FaithEric L. JohnsonIVP Academic / 2017 / Hardcover$29.49 Retail:
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Elyse Fitzpatrick (MA, Trinity Theological Seminary) is a counselor, a retreat and conference speaker, and the author of over 20 books, including Because He Loves Me, Comforts from the Cross, and Found in Him.
Dennis E. Johnson (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of practical theology at Westminster Seminary California and associate pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of several books and contributed to the ESV Study Bible. Dennis and his wife, Jane, live in Escondido and have four children and sixteen grandchildren.
contemplativereflections4 Stars Out Of 5Book Review: Counsel from the CrossOctober 5, 2017contemplativereflectionsQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0In "Counsel from the Cross," Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson aim to help Christians rediscover the beauty and glory of the gospel and its implications to our daily lives. The book is intended to introduce Christian counsellors, pastors, and laypeople to counselling others and themselves through the good news of Jesus Christ. Fitzpatrick and Johnson point out that many Christians try to frame their lives based on the obligations and imperatives of the law instead of laying hold of the declarations and promises found in God's grace. The result is that we easily succumb to the dangers of either seeing ourselves as being much more lovable than we ought to or viewing ourselves as being completely unlovable at all. Although the two views seem distinct opposites, they are both forms of self-righteousness that puts our own works as the means to attain God's love. On the contrary, the authors argue that we need to constantly reflect and contemplate on the person and work of Christ as He is the One who have given us new identities as redeemed, forgiven children of God. We can confidently face every trial and temptation by relying on the righteousness of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Christians are not free from sin and failure but we can cling on to Christ who will surely keep and sustain us to the end. The latter chapters of the book are immensely practical with real-world examples of how a Christian who embraces the grace, hope, and love found in the gospel can find comfort, mercy, and motivation to grow in holiness. The concluding pages include four helpful appendixes of which Appendix 2 is particularly helpful as a list of Bible passages applicable to a host of common topics encountered during counselling.
I recommend this book to all Christians who are struggling to embrace the freedom and power of living in the gospel. The authors provide an accessible framework to help readers understand how biblical counsel is effective only when one views all of life in light of the gospel and the Bible. The good news of Jesus not only saves us from sin, Satan, and death, but also energizes and empowers us to live holy lives to God's glory. When habitual sins overcome us and make us despair, we are forgetting our identity as forgiven sinners lavished with His unchanging, everlasting love. It is not up to our feeble efforts to keep us holy but it is entirely through Christ and His Spirit that we find assurance for our justification and progress in our sanctification. When we encounter those who are in despair or disappointment over their sins, we can confidently point them towards the cross as the enduring symbol of God's love and grace that not only saves us but sustains and empowers us to live for Him.