Book Review: Counseling One Another

Posted by Cathy Dunham on March 26, 2023
Book Review: Counseling One Another

As an attendee of the Transform Biblical Counseling Conference in February, I received the book Counseling One Another: A Theology of Interpersonal Discipleship by Paul Tautges with my registration. I took the book with me on my trip to Arizona for my stepmom’s memorial. This book gave me a very different perspective on counseling!

I came to Christ during nursing school. I kept my newfound relationship with Jesus as a separate entity from my education. From my nursing experience (Psych 101 and my semester on the psych ward) I always equated counseling with people who have degrees in psychology and/or psychiatry – the “professionals.”

This book opened my eyes to how psychology is based on godless assumptions, human reasoning/experience, evolution, and purposefully eclipses God and His gospel. It is self-focused (self-actualization, self-image, etc.), not God-focused.

Tautges shows that biblical counseling is intentional discipleship. It is shepherding people to acknowledge their sin (defined as willful independence from God, a rejection of His supremacy and lordship) and repent; not just reform but to regenerate and redeem them; not to just acknowledge there is a God but to choose to walk in obedience to Him.

The book gave clarity to a number of passages and opened my eyes to how blinded by the world’s philosophies I have been. God and His Word are enough. The Gospel is true wisdom. The theories of worldly psychology are constantly changing, whereas “the wisdom of God in the gospel is inflexible because it is rooted in Jesus Christ, who is ‘the same, yesterday and today and forever.’ (Hebrews 13:8)”

I was blessed by Chapter 4 and how Tautges demonstrated how the “conscious transition from thinking theologically to living godly is often signified by the word ‘therefore.’” He uses Romans, Ephesians, Colossians and 1 Peter to demonstrate how “therefore” makes a transition from doctrine to practice.

Chapter 7, which covered what humanistic worldly psychology teaches versus biblical Christianity, was a real eye-opener. I found the sections that defined “mystery” and “predestination” very clarifying.

I found the book very easy to read (I did not have to keep looking up definitions for words like aorist or polemic or nascent as I have in other textbooks. Upon finishing the book, I was encouraged, challenged and eager to apply what I had been reading.

Cathy Dunham

Cathy is a deaconess for women's Bible studies at Faith Bible Church.

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