Our View of Counseling

The Sufficiency of Scripture

We firmly believe that the truth revealed in Holy Scripture is entirely sufficient to meaningfully and relevantly address and fulfill every person’s spiritual needs in every situation, in every period of time.

Due to its inspired nature, Scripture is “living and active” and therefore able to discern “the thoughts and intentions of the heart” of every living person (Hebrews 4:12).  Whenever evil intentions are discerned by the Word and properly confessed and turned away from, the Spirit revives and makes that human heart wise with truth contained in the Scriptures(Psalm 19:7).[1]

This wisdom is applied specifically to each person in association with the general purpose for which mankind was created:  the glorification and enjoyment of God.  God is glorified and enjoyed by each person as he/she seeks to fulfill all of his/her positions and roles in accordance with Scripture.

Because the authority of Scripture has been brought into question by those who profess to be Christians in these perilous times in which we live, we believe it is necessary to declare what we believe concerning God’s Holy Word itself.  This declaration will be followed by statements indicating what we believe about its sufficiency to address man’s spiritual needs, as well as its ability to serve as a “lens” to evaluate various propositions of truth (knowledge) propagated within counseling-related fields.  The essence of the statements which will be shared are not wholly original[2] or exhaustive.

Declaration Concerning the Authority of Scripture

  • We believe that each of the 66 books which comprise the Canon of Scripture are verbally inspired by God in their entirety. Holy Scripture is therefore infallible[3] and inerrant.[4]
  • We believe that all of the teachings and promises contained within Scripture are altogether true and without fault. They are completely trustworthy and are therefore a sure, safe, and reliable guide in all matters.
  • We believe Scripture represents God’s authority and viewpoint in all of the matters it touches upon, including its literary origins, God’s acts in creation, the people spoken about within its pages, and the events of world history. It is entirely faultless and trustworthy in all its assertions.

Transitional Statements

  • Holy Scripture can only be inwardly authenticated and believed in human hearts, as well as properly understood and applied to any matter, through the work of its Divine Author, God the Holy Spirit.
  • Special revelation (Scripture) and general revelation[5] are of divine origin.
  • The Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of the universe spoke everything into existence in the span of six days. He sustains and governs all things by His Word of decree, including the progressive insights He allows mankind to individually and collectively gain concerning His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence as expressed through the created order.
  • No human being can properly understand the things revealed in general revelation without the aid of the Holy Spirit and the proper use of His divinely inspired instrument,[6] the Holy Scriptures.[7]

Statements About the Sufficiency of Scripture

  • Holy Scripture is entirely sufficient to meaningfully and relevantly address all of man’s spiritual needs in every situation in every period of time.
  • Holy Scripture is the only sufficient means whereby a comprehensive system of counseling principles and practices that can affect genuine change in the human heart can be derived.
  • Holy Scripture is sufficient to be used as a lens to discern truth from error in all of the fields of knowledge.  The “Spectacles of Scripture” alone provide for the human mind a world and life perspective which will enable one to think correctly about and critically evaluate information and actions from any human source, whether that be a thought or a system of thought derived from an individual or a collective entity.
  • Scriptural truth is timeless and comprehensive in wisdom and is therefore sufficient in its ability to aid the regenerated mind in understanding, ordering, and applying all truth in all places at all times.

Concluding Statements about God’s Truth as it Specifically Applies to Biblical Counseling

  • All knowledge [8] from the realms of special and general revelation comes from God. Knowledge from the realm of special revelation is of a different nature than knowledge from general revelation, because it is Truth.[9] Since it is Truth, we can use it as a lens to discern what is ethical and valuable in the realm of general revelation, and appropriately apply[10] knowledge from both realms to counseling-related endeavors in a meaningful and effective way.
  • Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and the member of the Trinity in Whom all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are revealed (Colossians 2:3).  Biblical counselors are utilized by Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to bring the truth of Scripture to bear in the lives of counselees for their regeneration,[11] edification, and particularly sanctification.  God is glorified through the truth of special revelation as counselees respond to it by faith and are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
  • Biblical counselors are used by Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to bring applicable truths from general revelation to bear in the lives of counselees, in order to minimize the effects of sin and the Fall and/or restore the bodily components or capacities associated with various aspects of the Internal Dominant Domains.  Such work can and often does positively affect the regenerated person’s soul, thereby enabling it–along with his/her body–to be more productive in service to God.

[1] “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple…” Psalm 19:7 ESV.
[2] Some of the statements in this section are modifications of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and the Biblical Counseling Coalition’s Confessional Statement.
[3] Infallible signifies the quality of being incapable of erring or leading someone into error.
[4] Inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all error.
[5] “General Revelation refers to God making Himself known in creation, providentially orchestrated history, and conscience” (i.e., in conjunction with the moral law). Erickson, Millard J., Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985), p. 154.
[6] The proper use of Scripture involves using sound principles of interpretation. The historical background as well as the context and the grammatical rules of literature must be considered before rendering an interpretation.  Sound interpretation also involves taking words for what they mean in their normal or plain sense (literal) and interpreting according to context as well as comparing Scripture with Scripture.
[7] “…Empty is the man in whom there is not the knowledge of God, whatever other learning he may possess; yea, the sciences and the arts, which in themselves are good, are empty things, when they are without this groundwork.”  JohnCalvin, Commentary on the Book of Romans.

[8] Knowledge: “A clear and certain perception of that which exists, or of truth and fact; the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of our ideas.” (Webster’s Online Dictionary 1828, Online Edition)

[9] John 17:17: “Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth.”  If something is genuinely true, it does have its basis in God, Who is Truth. Scripture–God’s Word–is the source of Truth and the only standard by which any science, philosophy, or other knowledge can be tested. The wisdom of man is by no means equal to Scripture, nor should it ever be elevated above Scripture. 

[10] Wisdom: “the right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice. If wisdom is to be considered as a faculty of the mind, it is the faculty of discerning or judging what is most just, proper and useful, and if it is to be considered as an acquirement, it is the knowledge and use of what is best, most just, most proper, most conducive to prosperity or happiness. wisdom in the first sense, or practical wisdom is nearly synonymous with discretion. It differs somewhat from prudence, in this respect; prudence is the exercise of sound judgment in avoiding evils; wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good. Prudence then is a species, of which wisdom is the genus.” (Webster’s Online Dictionary 1828, Online Edition)

[11] The counseling venue is excellent for evangelizing the lost.