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20 Most Important Biblical Counseling Books of 2013, Part Two

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The List, Part Two 

In January of each new year, I craft my list of the most important biblical counseling books published the previous year. They may be books about biblical counseling, or by biblical counselors, or they may be books that serve as important resources for biblical counselors. 

I list them in alphabetical order with the first ten here, and the second ten below. 

Good Mood Bad Mood: Help and Hope for Depression and Bi-Polar by Charles Hodges, Shepherd Press 

• This is a very important book by biblical counselor and medical doctor, Charles Hodges. With copious research and with deep compassion, Dr. Hodges introduces readers to a well-through through worldview regarding depression and bi-polar disorder. Then he suggests a path toward comprehensive help and hope. You can read the Biblical Counseling Coalition interview with Dr. Hodges here. 

Help! My Friend Is Suicidal by Bruce Ray, Delight in the Word 

• Written by pastor and counselor, Bruce Ray, who has also served as a Police, Fire & EMS chaplain for almost 25 years, this mini-book discusses many myths and misperceptions about suicide that hinder us from dealing effectively with suicidal persons. It also demonstrates how we may assess the seriousness of a person’s suicidal threat and instructs us how to intervene for their wellbeing. Most importantly, it shows how to bring biblically-based hope and healing to those who need it the most. You can read the Biblical Counseling Coalition interview with Bruce Ray here 

Living Beyond the Heart of Betrayal: Biblically Addressing the Pain of Sexual Sin by Julie Ganscow, Pure Water Press 

• Biblical Counselor Julie Ganschow writes for both men and women in Living Beyond the Heart of Betrayal. As she says, “This book is written to the man or woman who wants to preserve their marriage, who is determined that they are willing to forgive their spouse as Christ has forgiven them. It is aimed at hope; it is aimed at healing; it is aimed at helping the couple to reclaim their marriage.” You can read the Biblical Counseling Coalition interview with Julie here 

Men Counseling Men: A Biblical Guide to the Major Issues Men Face by John Street, editor, Harvest House 

• Men Counseling Men provides resources on how to counsel men about the difficulties they face. Written by faculty members at The Master’s College, it is an accessible, practical volume that will equip both trained professionals and lay people to provide solidly biblical help for men who are struggling with a variety of major life issues. Readers will learn how they can offer hope and encouragement in relation to: depression, parenting, anger, conflict resolution, physical affliction, sexual purity, marital relationships, and rebuilding a marriage after adultery. 

On the Grace of God by Justin Holcomb, Crossway 

• Author Justin Holcomb teaches readers that grace is the most important concept in the Bible, in Christianity, and in the world. The shorthand for grace is ‘mercy, not merit.’ InOn the Grace of God, Justin offers a biblical understanding of grace that counters our culture’s understanding. Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving. Grace is unconditional love toward a person who does not deserve it. Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues. Grace is God reaching downward to people who are in rebellion against Him. You can read the Biblical Counseling Coalition’s interview with Justinhere 

The Pastor’s Family: Shepherding Your Family through the Challenges of Pastoral Ministry by Brian Croft and Cara Croft, Zondervan 

• The Pastor’s Family features insights from the perspective of both a pastor and his wife—Pastor Brian Croft and Cara Croft. The Pastor’s Family identifies the complicated burdens and expectations ministry brings to the life of a family. Brian and Cara identify the unique challenges that pastors face as husbands and fathers. They also discuss the difficulties and joys of being a pastor’s wife and offer practical advice on raising children in a ministry family. In addition to addressing the challenges of marriage and raising children, they also highlight the joys of serving together as a family and the unique opportunities pastors have to train their children and lead their families. You can read Tim Challies’ review of The Pastor’s Family here 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Recovering Hope by Jeremy Lelek, P&R 

• Dr. Jeremy Lelek, President of the Association of Biblical Counselors, explains that post-traumatic stress disorder is a profoundly intense response to profoundly dangerous experiences. It manifests itself in fear, terrifying vulnerability, and lack of a sense of control. While these responses are often involuntary, Dr. Lelek reminds us that they are still responses . . . and, thus, different responses are possible. Here he relates the narrative of creation, fall, and redemption to the experiences of PTSD, reminding us that the gospel speaks to our experiences with danger as part of its redemptive message. He points to the wisdom of God in our suffering and reminds us of the saving grace offered by Jesus, guiding readers to the peace and contentment found in seeking God s glory. 

Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Women by Patricia Miller, Baker (Expanded and Updated) 

• Patricia Miller has updated and revised her Quick Scripture Reference for Women. The topics in the book are once again laid out in alphabetical order making it very easy to find the subject you are searching for. As in the previous edition, each topic has helpful cross references to related issues in the book. This is a great help in sequencing Scriptures for the counselee. Patricia also maintains the format of presenting a biblically true statement and then providing the Scripture reference with the printed verses supporting the statement. You can read the Biblical Counseling Coalition review by Julie Ganschow here 

Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue by Matt Mitchell, CLC Publications 

• In Resisting Gossip, Pastor Matthew Mitchell gently calls attention to perhaps the most pervasive sin in the contemporary church. Writing as a seasoned pastor who has personally experienced the consequences of gossip, Mitchell calls attention to the inner heart workings of those who partake in this destructive behavior by arguing that, “Gossip is everywhere… [it] is something we all experience. No one is safe from its tantalizing lure. No one is safe from its poisonous effects.” After sounding this alarm, he awakens sleepy Christians by calling them to vigilance in purging their lives of this deadly sin. He accomplishes his task by thoroughly examining the appropriate biblical texts, synthesizing their truths through the lens of pastoral wisdom, and humbly concluding that Christians must learn to recognize, resist, respond, and regret gossip. You can read Todd Hardin’s Biblical Counseling Coalition review of Resisting Gossiphere 

Sexual Abuse: Beauty for Ashes by Robert Kellemen, P&R 

• Again, I readily admit my bias as I’m the author of this booklet which is part of P&R’s and the Association of Biblical Counselor’s booklet series, The Gospel for Real Life. InSexual Abuse: Beauty for Ashes, I seek to present a gospel-centered understanding both of the damage done by sexual abuse and of the healing hope that can be found in Christ. Sexual abuse ravages the soul, causing unimaginable distress, damage, and disgrace. It is faced honestly and openly in the Bible. Using the biblical narrative of Amnon and Tamar, I portray the damages wrought by sexual abuse and the relevancy of God’s Word for this difficult life issue. I then take readers on a journey toward healing—helping sufferers to reclaim beauty from the ashes of abuse and to move from victim to victor in Christ. You can read my interview with the Biblical Counseling Coalition staff here 

Join the Conversation 

Which of these books would you most highly recommend? Why? 

So many great books, what additional books published in 2013, important for the biblical counselor, would you add to this list? 


Posted on March 14, 2013