This week, I’ve been blogging about a new resource from Joel James entitled Counsel with Confidence. The following is drawn from the third chapter, “Sufficiency of Scripture.” A sound theology of Scripture includes a recognition of ten enduring qualities of Scripture.
- Inspired (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). The Bible is utterly unique because God is its ultimate Author.
- True (Ps. 119:128, 142, 160; John 17:17). God knows everything and He never lies. Therefore, the Bible is absolutely true, categorically distinguishing it from any merely human book.
- Unchanging (Ps. 119:89, 160). There are over 250 different registered forms of psychoanalysis, and they consistently and vehemently disagree with one another in theory and practice. In contrast to the erratic, conflicting, and transient ideas of men, God’s Word, standards, and counsel are gloriously unchanging.
- Insightful (Ps. 119:99-100; Isa. 8:20). No man or woman has more insight than God. Since the Bible is incomparably insightful, integrating it with human systems of psychology will always be a process of dilution, not enhancement.
- Practical (Ps. 119:105). God’s Word is not a book of theoretical or arcane philosophical musings, mutterings, and meditations. It deals in a highly practical manner with the real problems of daily life, as anyone who has read the book of Proverbs can testify.
- Effective (Ps. 119:133; John 8:31-32; Rom. 6:17; James 1:21-25). When applied by the Holy Spirit, God’s Word effectively deals with the deepest human problems, including life-dominating sins.
- Nourishing (1 Tim. 4:6). For those who are starved emotionally and spiritually, God’s Word provides life-sustaining nourishment. Secular systems cannot nourish Christians’ souls because they fail to direct people to God and Christ (John 6:35).
- Surgical (Heb. 4:12-13). One of the accusations frequently raised against the Bible is that the Bible can only deal with counseling problems in a superficial manner. Using the Bible to deal with serious life problems is, allegedly, like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. In contrast, God says that His Word penetrates and lays bare the deepest aspects of a man’s being. Wherever integrationists got the idea that the Bible is a superficial tool for changing man, it wasn’t from the Bible.
- Accessible (Deut. 30:8-14). The keys to successful Christian living are not found in an elite, arcane psychological system. The principles that change lives are accessible to believers because the Bible is accessible to believers.
- Sufficient (Deut. 30:15-16; Ps. 1:2-3; 2 Peter 1:3; Ps. 119:24; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible is completely sufficient to equip Christians for the work of helping people deal with their spiritual and emotional problems.
[Excerpted from Chapter 3 of Counsel with Confidence, a new resource by Joel James.]