The Wisdom of God and the Healing of Man
An Introduction to an Unusual Book
The author of this book believes so. He began a counselling career in a Japanese prison camp where he observed his fellow-men under unusual conditions. Having recourse both to the Bible and non-biblical counselling literature, a scheme of counselling had its origin, and its foundations well laid.
This was later implemented by theological training, parish pastoral ministry, and vast opportunities for counselling in a ten-year missionary period, in decades of being a Principal in Bible Colleges, visiting missionary campuses, and in constant personal pastoral ministry in teaching work.
It is true that nothing quite like the materials contained in this book have been included in other biblical counselling systems, but Geoffrey Bingham himself has gained much from many others of his own ilk.The structure of the book makes it easy to absorb the principles he enunciates, and a reading of the whole material should be of great value to all who read it. Professionals will gain new and valuable insights, and all will be encouraged to read the Scriptures with a new and deeper understanding. It will also be most helpful to those who find they have personal relational problems.
The Compilation of this Book
To date I have written a number of books on biblical counselling, as distinct from what might be called 'secular counselling', although that is not a good term. Some of the books were written to cover counselling courses which were given at the New Creation Teaching Centre.
In this present volume we are trying to put together what we consider to be the most useful material from all the books. That really makes for a composite volume, and therefore there must be a certain weakness in such a compilation. We had to opt for a particular format-the one set out in the index-that is, Part One of the book is composed of what was A Biblical Way of Counselling, and Part Two is essays. The first sets out to give something of a structure to counselling-firstly the theology of Christian counselling, and secondly the way of applying it. The second is a series of essays, some of them amplifying the materials dealt with in Part One, but easier to read because they are not fortified with numerous biblical references. Because some of the essays repeat material from Part One, and even some of the subject matter of other essays, it might seem to some to be excessively repetitive. I plead your tolerance, but point out that since 'repetition is the soul of teaching', what has happened fortuitously might, in fact, turn out to be a blessing.The Important Matter of Counselling
This book seeks to set out the matter of 'biblical counselling'. The term 'Christian counselling' is also in vogue, but there can be a difference between the two. 'Biblical counselling' calls for a demonstration that the principles adduced and set forth can be substantiated by the Scriptures, and that they are indeed the very essence of them. 'Christian counselling' is a cover title for a vast variety of counselling methodologies, many of them varying radically in their theology and practice. Our first chapter takes up this matter, so I will not discuss it here.
What I would like to raise here are the terms 'biblical' and 'secular' which I have already used. Both terms can be misleading. The word 'biblical' might seem to infer that all that is not biblical is inferior to it, whilst 'secular' may seem to infer that extra-biblical counselling is 'unspiritual' and even less effectual. Both terms tend to be sectarian. Certainly they ought not to be opposed one to the other.
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