Subscribe now

Speaking Truth in Love: Counsel in Community

By David Powlison
February 2011 | Review by Gwyn Davies

Synopsis

Speaking Truth in Love is a blueprint for communication that strengthens community in Christ. The principles outlined in this pivotal work are specific to counseling, yet extend to marriage, family, friendship, business, and the church

  • Publisher: New Growth Press
  • ISBN: 978-0977080717
  • Pages: 203
  • Price: £12.49
Buy this book »

Book Review

Another day; another book on counselling! This book, however, is more reliable and helpful than many other offerings of recent years. The author teaches practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary and edits the Journal of Biblical Counselling.

It is his commitment to the importance of truly biblical counselling that distinguishes this volume from all the self-help and pop-psychology texts that have flooded into so many bookshops.

As an introduction to biblical counselling, much of the content is helpful. There is a valuable emphasis on the importance of listening, and a balanced analysis of the roles of the gospel and prayer, together with a wariness of non-Christian psychology – including when it is practised by Christians!

The list of affirmations and denials with regard to counselling faith and practice establishes a solid framework for anybody working in this field at whatever level. The author is particularly concerned to encourage an awareness of the importance and benefits of counselling within the life of the church.

However, the experienced counsellor would no doubt appreciate a more detailed critique of current theories and practices, while the pastor under pressure would probably welcome a greater number of case studies to which he could relate real-life situations.

Despite references to the Puritans, the book does not devote much attention to the puritan model of applying biblical principles to pastoral care. There is also a suspicion at times that the author is in danger of being swept away by his enthusiasm for his subject – as reflected, for example, in his interesting but not entirely convincing analysis of Psalm 119 as an exercise in biblical counselling.

This book is not the last word on counselling issues, but it would certainly be a good place to begin, for individuals and churches requiring an introduction to a subject that is so often beset by confusion.

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Christian and Technology
John V. Fesko

Even the most hardened Luddite will find himself using a satnav, mobile phone, or email on occasion. But John Fesko urges us not to reach for the latest gadget without thinking carefully about how it might shape our minds, relationships,…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Christ Victorious: Selected Writings of Hugh Martin
Hugh Martin

Hugh Martin (1822–1885) was one of those 19th century Scottish theologians whose published works have stood the test of time. With good reason, for his works are consistently sound, reverent, edifying, and challenging to mind and heart. This is a…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
God’s design for women in an age of gender confusion
Sharon James

Is our belief in male headship culturally outdated, and should we see alternative ideas of marriage as ‘progress’? Is it possible to be born into the wrong body, and is sexual freedom good for women? Does Scripture show us a…

Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…