Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Biblical Counseling

Anonymous said:

Know what would be a helpful list? A list of quality books on the subject of psychology/counseling.

I've heard Powlison's recent material is very good. And Steve has mentioned Jay Adams in the past. But what about a more complete list?

6/18/2007 10:50 PM
Jay Adams was the pioneer back to Biblical counseling. Adams was to counseling like Luther was to the Reformation. But like Luther, he would need other reformers to come along and help refine and apply the progress that he had made.

Steve has written a critical review of Adams in the past. Personally, I have found many of Adams’ works helpful. You just need to weed out some of his more hyperbolic or simplistic statements. But generally, I find guys like Welch or Powlison more helpful.

I’ve mostly read works put out by the Christian Counseling Education Foundation. So my list will reflect that. But there may be other solid, biblical works out there, and feel free to notify us to them if you know of any.

Counseling Method:

Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp
Seeing With New Eyes by David Powlison
Competent to Counsel by Jay Adams
Speaking the Truth in Love by David Powlison
How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp
Psychology and Christianity: Four Views by David Powlison, et al

Counseling Family Issues:

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp
War of Words by Paul David Tripp
Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Tim Lane and Paul David Tripp
The Peacemaker by Ken Sande
The Case of the “Hopeless” Marriage by Jay Adams
Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

Counseling Specific Needs:

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave
by Edward T. Welch
Depression: A Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welch
When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper
Spiritual Depression by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Medical Ethics by John Frame
Blame It On the Brain? by Edward T. Welch
Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem by Robert Jones
Lost in the Middle by Paul David Tripp
When People are Big and God is Small by Edward T. Welch
Step by Step by James Petty

...Also, check out these CCEF booklets.


  1. Another useful book is Healing & the Scriptures by Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

  2. To add to what Steve said, the MLJ book, which has been published under a couple of different names, is available online here. However, the one that's available online isn't as complete what's in Healing & the Scriptures, so if you can find it, it'd be better to buy the book.

  3. Also, this might not be directly relevant to the topic, but I've found reading certain Puritans to be very helpful (e.g. Richard Sibbes' The Bruised Reed).

  4. Jay Adams was the pioneer back to Biblical counseling. Adams was to counseling like Luther was to the Reformation.

    Ha Ha. You're kidding right?

    Wow. You really are off the wall.

    All truth is God's truth, silly. Sheesh. It has to be if God exists.

    You might as well ignore all of the findings of linguistics and just say language developed at the Tower of Babel debacle.

    That's right. Ignore all other knowledge. Trust an ancient book written by superstitious people. Beat your children. Tell suicidal people they are right, life is depressing and try to convert them (if you don't then they go away even more depressed--that's Jay's advice ya know).