Guest Reviews

If you have a review that you’d like to present to us, feel free to post it on this page in the comments box.  I may edit or delete a comment for content, but I don’t intend to do so much.  I’m particularly interested in books on theology, church ministry, or Bible study/commentary. Please only review books that you’d recommend, and try not to get too wordy with your reviews–no more than 500 words, please.

We look forward to seeing what you think is worth reading!

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  1. Counsel from the Cross: Connecting Broken People to the Love of Christ
    by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Dennis E. Johnson

    Even for Christians, the gospel offends. It exposes one’s sin. Yet, the gospel’s offensive truth provides opportunity for a sinner to know God’s grace and to have brokenness restored. Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson argue for integrating the gospel into every aspect of life in Counsel from the Cross. They unapologetically assert that the gospel truths (our great sin, God’s immeasurable love, Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension) are essential for healing and sanctification.

    Fitzpatrick and Johnson write to biblical counselors, to those in helping ministries, and to the hurting who need to see how the gospel fits into their “real-world” experiences. Fitzpatrick serves as a biblical counselor with over twenty years of experience. Johnson has provided years of pastoral leadership in the local church and now serves as a professor at Westminster Seminary California. From experience, they conclude in the first chapter that self-examination leads to one conclusion: sin is far worse than one realizes. In the following chapters, God-examination reveals that He loves His children immeasurably, which first affects the heart and then reorients one’s external perspective, emotions, and relationships upon Christ-centeredness.

    Most Christians agree. Yet, psychology and some Christian counselors answer to humanism and works-based morality instead of the cross for dealing with a counselee’s sin issues. When a counselor helps a hurting person, who supplies the necessary salvific component to alter destructive behavior or thought—that individual through effort or God by His grace? The authors of this book warn about Christian counseling that dangerously emphasizes humanity in the healing process. Morality, whether accomplished through false confidence in one’s ability to change (happy moralism) or legalism that restricts one’s sinful behavior (sad moralism), denies the gospel truths as grounds for complete life in Christ.

    Counselor’s don’t dare leave the gospel out of the healing process. Humans glorify God by recognizing that their own flesh fails them. Therefore, one should cling only to God’s love through the work of Christ in order to understand and reconcile both personal sin and the sin of others.

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