Counselling is big business in the Western World. Never has a people that has had so much materially suffered from such a range of psychological problems. Thanks to the work of groups such as CCEF, Christians have more access to solid, biblical counselling material than ever before. I was looking forward to this book, particularly as its subheading resonated with me: “Connecting broken people to the love of Christ.”
The authors have a simple proposition. “In the cross of Christ and in the surprising combination of ego-smashing humility and despair-smashing confidence . . . lies the power to set struggling people free.”
This book wants us to recapture our love of the gospel amid the “white noise” and distractions of our lives. This is a work that gets to grip with gospel basics and has a series of questions for further study at the end of each chapter. There are helpful illustrations of people struggling with sins scattered throughout. These give the reader a chance to reflect how the gospel can be brought to bear in different situations. The authors continually point us back to the love of God in Christ. “We did that for two simple reasons: we want you to believe in his love for you and then let that love impel you to love and obey him.” (p.73)
If you’ve got any experience of CCEF material (and I have) this is pretty standard fare (without meaning to be denigrating). Good gospel-centred counsel and advice. Time and again the message is rammed home: don’t forget the gospel, live in light of the gospel, let the truth of the gospel inform your mind, strengthen your soul, and lead to service and love.
We are constantly reminded to “give up our deadly doings” and rest in Christ alone. The book includes some helpful appendices at the end, including a rationale for gospel counselling, an index of problems and other biblical truths to dwell upon. It also includes a brief testimony from Elyse.
This is a good book. In my humble opinion there are better ones out there in the CCEF stable (Instruments In The Redeemers Hands & Seeing With New Eyes both spring to mind) but, still, a very good resource all the same.