At long last a really first class book by British authors dealing in a scholarly yet in an easy to read format, with True Biblical Counselling....There are not many modern books that excite this reviewer, this one does; it proved to be compulsive reading, a book that will be read over and over again, so full is it of good sound, practical pastoral theology.... this book is highly commended. It should be compulsory reading for all students training for the pastoral ministry and is an essential work tool that should be seen alongside the Holy Bible on every pastor's desk, not merely to look good, but well thumbed. -- OUR INHERITANCE - Winter 1999 p 22
This is an extraordinary book on biblical counselling, in which the authors contend that all non-organic mental illnesses are due to self-centredness and self-pity. In both the diagnosis and the treatment of such conditions, they depart from much that is common practice amongst secular psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and psychologists; and they have deep reservations about much that goes by the name of Christian counselling, in so far as it adopts or is influenced by secular counselling theories. -- BANNER OF TRUTH. Issue 441 June 2000.
This is an outstanding book, a careful study of modern psychiatry - which is weighed in the balances and found wanting....today it [counselling] has become an industry in which enormous sums of money change hands and 'counsellors' are selected not for their moral qualities but for their success in passing exams. Even Christian psychiatrists have been tainted (our authors maintain) by non-Christian philosophies.... This book cannot fail to challenge all of us, however young or old in the faith. -- THE ENGLISH CHURCHMAN, February 21 and March 3 2000, p 8
From the Author
When I left medicine for the Anglican Ministry, I was sent several people who sought Christian counselling. My experiences in several mental hospitals had led me to see that orthodox psychiatry was not all it was cracked up to be. One consultant psychiatrist said to me, "We can't cure these people, we can only help them to live with their illnesses." To me that was an admission of failure. Why couldn't they cure these people, I asked myself? This question lay on my mind for some years and when I began counselling people, it suddenly hit me. Perhaps there was nothing there to cure! I began to re-think the whole concept of mental illness and to observe closely what I was really seeing, and not what I was supposed to see as per orthodox psychiatry. Whilst curate-in-charge of a church in Edgware in the late sixties, patients were sent to me by various clergy and from ordinary Christians. I studied them carefully and what I saw was so obvious I was amazed it had not been seen before. Actually it had been seen before, because it was there in the Bible; and also it had been acutely observed by many playwrights and novelists. But it had been obscured by the term `mental illness.' What I saw were people who were self-centred, who had no purpose or meaning in life and who were behaving irresponsibly or sinfully. It was this irresponsible, sinful behaviour that intrigued me most. I confronted them with the fact that they were behaving sinfully and challenged them to accept that fact and to behave responsibly. I told them that it was their own fault that they were as they were. They could not help their situation, but they could help their reaction to the situation.To my astonishment, the moment they accepted the truth that their bad, irresponsible behaviour was their own fault, they first felt immediate relief, and then immediate `healing.' After all, if it was their fault, then they could do something about it. Many admitted they knew it was their own fault and now that they had been `found out' they were only too glad to put things right. In effect they had been brought to say, "I have sinned by my own fault, my own most grievous fault."Suddenly it became clear. These people were not suffering from some illness which the `Doctor' had to come and cure, but they were reacting irresponsibly, and they were covering up their bad behaviour by blaming others and making excuses. Psychiatry had given them the biggest cover-up excuse of all. "I cannot help my sinful, bad behaviour because I am mentally ill."
Rev. Dr. Robert J.K. Law