For Counselors: Biblical Change and Insight

What is the nature of Biblical change and how do we help those we counsel gain insight?

As Christians who counsel, we need to understand the distinction between Biblical change and insight. Christians who seek counseling will have some degree of insight into their lives, enough to know that something is amiss, either in their interactions with others or how they react to daily life. They might not know what is going wrong or why it’s going wrong, but they know something is not right.

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Counseling: What is Our Foundation for Faith and Practice

– Our foundation and practice for counseling is our faith in Christ and Scripture.

If our counseling practice rests on our foundation, what is the end goal for those we counsel? How are we practicing out our foundation in our counseling? How does our foundation show up in the language of how we counsel? These kinds of questions should be part of our counseling thought process.

In many Christian circles, the field of psychology is often assumed to be neutral objective truth, with many often comparing it to the medical field. However, it is well known that not all doctors interpret objective medical truth the same way, specifically concerning why human bodies break down. There are a plethora of medical opinions about why this breakdown occurs but these opinions are often void of a Genesis 3 framework. Some medical opinions and diagnoses are indeed based on objectivity, especially if there are lab tests to confirm or reveal a clear diagnosis, but for the most part, there are various degrees of subjectivity even when objectivity is present. For example, the medical sciences have recently started to recognize the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) in adult health, even though many who have personally experienced various degrees of chronic childhood trauma have always known something wasn’t right with their overall health. Up until the 1980’s/1990’s San Diego study that linked various expressions of adult physical illness with childhood trauma, historically doctors have never been able to figure out the underlying causes of those illnesses. The crucial objective link between chronic childhood trauma and physical and neurological activity is just now starting to be understood.

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Common Grace: Historical Context (Part 2)

This is a short series on Common Grace in respect to Critical Race Theory. Part 1, Saving Grace Before Common Grace is HERE.

The term “common grace” as a formal designation is often believed to be a Reformed doctrine. Many attribute Abraham Kuyper (1837-1902) and Herman Bavinck (1854-1921), both Reformed theologians, to have been the most influential in its formal doctrinal development, with Bavinck stating that it is “based on Scripture and its main principle was discovered in the Reformation, notably with John Calvin“.1 However, it’s important to know that Calvin never actually used the term gratia communis (common grace) in his written work. There are four instances where Calvin connected the adjective communis with the noun gratia, two of those times when speaking specifically of saving grace.2 For the most part, Calvin’s overall contribution to the concept of common grace is evident in the way he expounded very basic general principles of God’s neutral favor towards unsaved people, neutral in the sense that it does not provide salvation, but not insignificantly neutral. The question that common grace conjures up is defining what exactly that favor entails.

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Saving Grace Before Common Grace (Part 1)

Many Christians are declaring that “all truth is God’s truth” in an attempt to affirm or embrace certain aspects of Critical Race Theory (CRT) or other sociological solutions and arguments that have no Scriptural basis. When Christians attempt to refute these “solutions” or question any viable validity in using them to analyze society, they are quickly reminded that “common grace” allows us to accept them. One example that has been used to declare “all truth is God’s truth” under the umbrella of common grace is validating a medical doctor’s prognosis and treatment, even though the attending doctor is not a professing Christian. Since the Bible does not give answers to cure a particular disease or illness, the argument states that we can receive guidance on scientific non-Scripture related issues, like medical advice, as an extension of God’s common grace, given to both believers and unbelievers alike, which is a fair analysis.

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Part 1: Ideas Have Consequences: The Roots Behind Critical Race Theory

It’s a popular mantra for many social justice advocates to say “speech is violent”. However, a more accurate rendering of that sentiment is “ideas have consequences”, as in the case of the ideology that paved the way for Critical Theory, Critical Legal Theory, and eventually, Critical Race Theory.

When the word “critical” is in front of the word theory, it is used to explain a critique, an assessment, while at the same time, offer some kind of reflective direction. It’s akin to the idea of literary criticism, which has been around since man has put pen to paper. The basic concept of literary criticism is to formally debate and critique literature from various views based on time period, morality, structure/form, or what the writer could be saying about humanity, society, politics, religion, gender, or sexuality, to name just a few directions a critique can take.

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