Kellemen wrote this book as a result of questions asked of him by his students. He identifies areas of biblical counseling that may be blind spots, needing assessment and correcting. This book is by no means a critique of biblical counseling but rather an encouragement to grow in the technique to be the best counselors possible.
I really like Kellemen asking counselors to not rush to use Scripture as an antidote before listening to one's whole story. He notes we are to be both parakaletic, coming alongside to help, and nouthetic, confronting sin out a concern for change. (595/1858) When a client mentions fear, for example, rather than jumping to the verse describing the faith cure for fear, listen to find out why the client has fear, such as a physically abusive spouse. God gave us emotions for a reason. They should not be ignored nor discounted out of hand.
I also like Kellemen's suggestion for a trialogue. Rather than just you and me in dialogue, we also include God's Spirit. We can both listen to the Spirit, the divine comforter and helper. The Spirit will come alongside, helping us to comfort others in their suffering rather than just focusing on correcting a sin or spiritual misconception or identifying an idol of the heart.
This is a good book for biblical counselors, encouraging them to take a look at their work and asses it and themselves. Kellemen adds great assessment questions at the end of each chapter as well as good examples of the problems and practical ideas to grow through them. There is a good deal of helpful information in this book for every biblical counselor to consider and implement in their counseling journey.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Bob Kellemen , ThM, PhD, is Academic Dean, Dean of Students, and professor of Biblical Counseling at Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana. He is also the Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries, through which he speaks, writes, and consults on biblical counseling and Christian living. He served as the founding Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and is the author of twenty books. He and his wife have two adult children and three granddaughters.
New Growth Press, 112 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)