CCEF works and prays to restore Christ to counseling and counseling to the church. JBC serves this mission as a publishing ministry of CCEF. Why is this mission important? Why does it take work to restore Christ to counseling and counseling to the church? Let me set the stage by describing the issues at stake.
Why restore Christ to counseling? The wider counseling world views Jesus as irrelevant to understanding and addressing people’s deepest personal and interpersonal troubles. He might as well not even exist. Whoever he is, whatever he did, whatever he is doing, whatever he will do, and however he does it—it’s all intellectually and practically insigniﬁcant. The Jesus Christ of the Bible does not appear in self-help books, in classrooms, or in the licensure of mental health personnel. He apparently has no traction when it comes to the problems that break down lives and break up relationships.
But we believe that true, life-explaining insight into people necessarily involves thinking Christianly. Loving, lasting help necessarily involves practicing ‘counseling’ as one aspect of consciously Christian ministry. The deeper you gaze into what actually goes wrong with people—the weight of our sins and sorrows—the more clearly you see that Jesus Christ is essential to making it right.
Why restore counseling to the church? The wider counseling world views the church as mostly irrelevant to resolving people’s troubles. At best, churchy communities and religious practice might offer auxiliary support services for clients who happen to be religiously-oriented. Churches can be only incidentally useful to someone else’s agenda.
But we believe that the message and life of the body of Christ connects to the core of what is going on in disturbed relationships and in disturbed, disturbing people. Christ’s church is necessary—life-or-death necessary—for all people, whatever their current religious or irreligious orientation. This doesn’t mean that churches are islands of paradise on earth. Sinners and sufferers inhabit churches. In fact, the better a church is, the more broken people will be drawn, and the more problems will be present! But Jesus came, comes and will come to build his church, his ekklesia, a people who gather in his Name.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Powlison on the Mission of JBC
The Journal of Biblical Counseling is now available on-line. In the opening editorial, David Powlison re-introduces JBC and talks about its mission: