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Book Title: Reading Paul Today Publication Date: January 7, 1980 Book Author: Hubert Richards Introduction Dr. Jay E. Adams received his formal training at Reformed Episcopal Seminary (B.D.), Johns Hopkins University (A.B.), Pittsburgh-Xenia Seminary, Temple University School of Theology (M.ST.), and the University of Missouri (Ph.D.). He pastored churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, served as a denominational official, a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, the director of the Doctoral program at Westminster Theological Seminary in California, and then as a church planting pastor in South Carolina. He is also the founder of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Philadelphia, the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors. He also is writer of several books. In his book Competent to Counsel he put forth an argument that seeks to highlight the failings and the inappropriateness of the use of modern phycology as a tool for counseling Christians. Dr. Adams purports a calling of Gods people back from their flirtation with unbiblical psychological theory of Sigmund Freud and others to a renewed confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit and the sufficiency of Gods Word to equip the man of God to help his people with problems of living and relationships. In his book he outlines arguments designed to persuade Christians that the bible has most of what is needed for counseling successfully. The writer indicates in his introduction that the conclusions in this book are not based upon scientific findings. He claims his method is presuppositional and is based on and the acceptance that holds the Bible inerrant as the Standard of all faith and practice. The Scriptures, therefore, are the basis, and contain the criteria by which he sought to make every judgment. Admittedly he states that he is aware that his interpretations and applications of Scripture are not infallible and do not wish to disregard science, but welcome it as a useful

adjunct for the purposes of illustrating, filling in generalizations with specifics, and challenging wrong human interpretations of Scripture, thereby forcing a student to restudy the Scriptures. However he went on to suggest that the area of psychiatry, science largely has given way to humanistic philosophy and gross speculation. Today his fervent advocacy has led many to have heeded his call and over the years a movement, both deep and wide, has developed, consisting of pastors and other Christian workers who have been trained in and are practicing biblical counseling otherwise called Nouthetic counseling. Literature review The main proposition of the Hubert Richards book Reading Paul Today is that the apostle Paul has been denied the admiration and praise that he is truly worthy of. The first charter of his book sets out to praise Paul just as the chapter title suggests which reads In Praise of Paul. The writer in this chapter seeks to show using many examples how many have mistaken Pauls writings in terms of their interpretation and understanding of whom the man was and his views. Richards in writing this chapter and the entire book indeed makes no excuse that he is a big fan of the apostle.

Christian has all he or she needs in scripture and this makes knowledgeable to counsel other Christians. He begins his arguments by given a brief history of modern psychology and the problems associated with it especially in relation to the popular Freudian approach. The use of statements and quotes from critics of modern psychology is used to back up his points. The data he uses can be easily verified as he names the sources in a deliberate way. This gave his reasoning some amount of credibility even if one disagrees with his conclusions. His writing style is conversational for the most part and forces an open reader to think even though his tone could be seen as harsh in instances. However this did not take away from the overall points he is putting forward as he seeks to enlighten his readers.

One main argument of disagreement Dr. Adams has with modern psychology is as he claims it to explain away sin attitudes. He brings to the fore various theories and discusses the results of the teachings of Sigmund Freud. Adams attempts to prove that what some in psychology calls mentally ill are not ill at all, but simply sinners trying to get a form of cover for their sins. He introduces the Holy Spirit as the effectual change agent in a Christians life, and focuses on factors such as the Holy Spirit is sovereign, the Holy Spirit works through means, and those means are the Word of God. This forms the basis of Adams arguments that Christians have the highest source of authority the Bible and therefore is competent to counsel. Dr. Adams shows how the Bible gives little flexibility to using ungodly world philosophies in psychology in the practice of counseling Christians. Adams goes on in his book to introduce us to the two Greek words that form he thinking of biblical counseling. They are nouthesis and noutheteo. Adams writes how these words found in the New Testament empower Christians to confront believers with their problems and sin. He refers to this as nouthetic counseling which consists of three stages. The three ideas found in the word nouthesia according to Adams are confrontation, concern, and change. Adams continues to explain the main conceptions of nouthetic counseling by stating and outlining the role of the pastor in counseling and contrasts nouthetic approach to counseling with Rogerian counseling. After defining nouthetic counseling, Adams provides the reader with practical applications, techniques and a methodology. He uses the bible passage James 5:14, Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord This verses allows Adams to explore the issue of, can sin cause sickness? He outlines humanity fundamental problems, how we try to cover up our sins, and how the counselor has to be both extensive and intensive with his or her questioning. Adams gives the counselor some principles such as leading the client to self-discipline, how to record a clients progress, and the use of team counseling where it may be benefiting. Communication was given much attention in his book. Dr. Adams stresses that the basis for the restoration of communication is reconciliation with God. He suggests the idea families use biblical communication in conflict resolution. In other words used example and general themes found in scripture in problem solving while guided by the Holy Spirit.

Adams in closing chapters ends his book by encouraging pastors, Christian workers, and every Christian, that they are all competent to counsel. He admits that some Christians are more competent than others but with discipline and study, more can be. In my opinion the book was very informative and was food for thought for all Christians, but just as the writer states his presuppositions I suspect that readers will have their own as well. At the end of the matter I believe that both the bible and psychology can be used to help in the counseling of Christians. I also share the view that the bible speaks to many of our issues as human beings and should not be shunned in the healing, nurturing, supporting and caring for our every need.

Bibliography Competent to Counsel by Jay Edward Adams Institute For Nouthetic Studies