Biblical Counseling Basics: Roots, Beliefs, & Future
by Jeremy Lelek
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Drawing from a wide range of resources and experts in Christian soul care, this book is a well-researched, easy-to-read, and practical guide for students and counselors both inside and outside of biblical counseling to better understand its aspects, methods, and goals. Biblical Counseling Basics equips readers with practical skills for one-another ministry and engages them with their divine call to counsel.
Since God first spoke words of life to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, counseling has been foundational to God’s people. Many of the most basic questions of psychology—who we are, why do we do what we do, and how do we change—are informed by the Bible, which speaks profoundly to each and every one.
In this resource, Dr. Jeremy Lelek offers a comprehensive approach to biblical counseling, beginning by retracing the movement’s history, then exploring its basic tenets, and finally providing helpful insight for the future of biblical counseling.
Helping to connect the dots between soul care and theology, and including real-life case studies, readers are encouraged to apply theology to current issues and the here and now needs of others.
Also offering a way forward, this guide encourages counselors that the use of the Bible is central to their practices and development. Offering the Bible as the preeminent resource to address even the most complex mental and emotional struggles, Biblical Counseling Basics exposes readers to the finished work of Christ as the greatest hope for all believers.
Jeremy Lelek, PhD, is the president of both the Association of Biblical Counselors and Metroplex Counseling. He is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas. He lectures frequently in churches, training believers with ABC's Equipped to Counsel curriculum. Jeremy is married to Lynne, and they have four children. He and his wife are active members of Fort Worth Presbyterian Church (PCA). Jeremy is the author of Biblical Counseling Basics: Roots, Beliefs, & Future.
“Lelek’s book does what no other biblical counseling book does. It gives you a helpful history, it defines what it really means to counsel biblically, and it offers guidance for the future of soul care. If you have been called to care for people, this book should be in your library.”
Paul David Tripp, President of Paul Tripp Ministries; author of New Morning Mercies
“This is more than biblical counseling basics. It is a wise telling of the history of biblical counseling, a useable systematic theology for counselors, and a thoughtful welcome to those who don’t quite know what to make of it all. Thank you, Jeremy, for moving us ahead.”
Edward T. Welch, Faculty member at CCEF; best-selling author of Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love
“When an accident left me a quadriplegic, I collapsed emotionally. I vaguely knew the Bible probably contained answers, but I had no idea where to look. Thankfully, I was introduced to a biblical counselor who made all the difference. He wasn’t a trained professional; he simply loved Jesus and wanted to make him a reality in my life. Friend, you have the same counseling potential. It’s why I love Biblical Counseling Basics. Want to help wounded people find life-giving hope? This book is for you!”
Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
“Biblical Counseling Basics is an excellent primer for distinctly Christian counseling, as it clearly explicates the necessity and relevance of Scripture in the care of souls. Written in a narrative style, within the framework of a robust evangelical theology, it challenges readers to love struggling people with the mercy and grace of God in Christ.”
Sam R. Williams, Professor of Counseling, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ (Mt. 5:9). One way to make peace is by listening to others. This book uniquely demonstrates the biblical virtue of peacemaking by its author’s willingness to listen to and value those inside and outside the biblical counseling movement—even those with whom he disagrees. What a gift to us all! May it have wide influence among biblical counselors, supporters (like me), and those Christian counselors who themselves have listened too little to biblical counselors.”
Eric L. Johnson, Senior Research Professor, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Jeremy Lelek has given a gift to the church and, frankly, a gift to me. As I read Biblical Counseling Basics, I found myself saying, ‘Oh, now I understand.’ I understood why some counseling (mine included) didn’t work and why some counseling (mine included) did. It wasn’t true or false because it worked or didn’t work . . . it worked or didn’t work because the basics were either true or false, biblical or pagan, from God or from the dark side. This book is so very important, and every Christian needs to read it. You will not only say, ‘Oh, now I understand,’ you will rise up and call Jeremy Lelek blessed for having written it.”
Steve Brown, Distinguished author, Christian broadcaster, and visiting professor of Practical Theology at Knox Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary
“Bringing together the historical narrative of the biblical counseling movement and the eternal truths of Scripture that are preeminently relevant to the emotional, mental, and relational struggles of our day, Biblical Counseling Basics is a resource that will encourage and equip believers in their ongoing development as biblical counselors. If you desire to learn the foundations of this craft, and how to practically apply Scripture to the maladies of the soul, I highly recommend this book.”
Elyse Fitzpatrick, Author of Counsel from the Cross
“Here is a clarion call to grasping the rich history of biblical counseling with its solid commitment to the sufficiency of Scripture; healthy interaction with secular thought, using the Scripture as the measure of all knowledge; advocacy of surgical accuracy in the use of Scripture and acute avoidance of proof texting; the centrality of theology proper as the context for counseling; and thoughtful challenge regarding law and ethics.”
Howard A. Eyrich, Director of DMin in Biblical Counseling, Birmingham Theological Seminary; Fellow, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors
“Biblical counseling needs more scholars, teachers, leaders, and practitioners like Jeremy Lelek, nuanced in their approach and willing to embrace the complexities of the human psyche. I commend Biblical Counseling Basics to anyone desiring a practical primer on how the Scriptures relate to the care of souls.”
Greg Wilson, Lead Counselor at Soul Care Associates; care deacon at The Village Church, Flower Mound, TX
“Biblical Counseling Basics is an important book in the field of Christian counseling. Lelek provides a much-needed balance to the negative and often uninformed debates that permeate the field. He examines biblical, historical, and contemporary perspectives; identifies the foundational counseling principles; and emphasizes the importance of a transformed heart, not just external behavioral changes. His view is uncompromising in acknowledging the authority and role of Scripture in counseling. In the process, he uncovers the nuanced variety of views in biblical counseling, as he follows the biblical mandate to seek unity in Christ within the fellowship of the saints (1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:3).”
Ian F. Jones, Professor of Psychology & Counseling, Chairman of the Division of Church & Community Ministries, and Baptist Community Ministries’ Chair of Pastoral Counseling, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
“If you’re a Christian entering the world of counseling, it may seem like you’re traveling in a small boat into a vast ocean. The philosophical currents are strong. The history is deep. The possible directions of travel are endless. What are the dangers? How do you navigate the relentless ideological waves? Whose words do you trust? How does God fit, or you fit, or Scripture fit? Where do you begin? Biblical Counseling Basics tackles these kinds of questions. Jeremy Lelek gives you a good place to begin. He maps some relevant history, helps you gather bearings in the present debates, and invites you to set a course into ministry that takes God, Scripture, and theology seriously when it comes to the wise care of human souls.”
John Henderson, Associate Pastor, Del Ray Baptist Church, Alexandria, VA; author of Equipped to Counsel
“Biblical Counseling Basics is a thorough, accessible, practical resource that will be at home in the hands of licensed practitioners, pastors, and everyday disciple-makers. If you are called to walk wisely and biblically alongside people as they navigate the precarious terrain of the heart, this Christ-centered work will bless you and help you.”
Chris Freeland, Senior Pastor, McKinney Church, Fort Worth, TX