BOOK HIGHLIGHT — Seeing With New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture by David Powlison

Seeing With New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture by David Powlison

Seeing with New Eyes_photo_small

288 pages | $14.99 | Resources for Changing Lives

About

Does God have a take on counseling? Does his gaze have anything to say about the myriad issues counseling deals with? Has he communicated the way he thinks?

David Powlison helps us to see God in the counseling context, training us to see what God sees, hear what he says, and do what he does. As we look through this Scriptural lens, we will become more thoughtful in understanding people and more skillful in curing souls.

All counseling models—whether secular or religious—are essentially differing systems of “pastoral care and cure.” When you include God in the picture, it changes the way we think about “problem,” “diagnosis,” “strategy,” “solution,” “helpful,” “cure,” “insight,” and “counselor.” Learn how the Bible’s truth competes head-to-head with other counseling models and changes what we live for and how we live.

 

Endorsements

“David Powlison has profoundly impacted my ministry by teaching me the discipline of seeing life through the lens of Scripture rather than the other way around. The crumbs from Dave’s table—his most casual comments—have nourished me for years. This is a feast if biblical insight.”

—Ken Sande

“With fresh insight and skillful creativity, Powlison demonstrates that the Bible, when rightly understood, speaks with the full weight of God’s own authority. This book will help counselors and anyone who wants to live life and minister in a distinctly biblical way.”

—Wayne Mack

Seeing with New Eyes will transform your perspective and focus your faith on the sufficient truth of Scripture and on our Scripture’s God. I heartily recommend it!”

—Elyse Fitzpatrick

 

About The Author

David Powlison (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary; MA, PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is executive director of the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation in Glenside, Pennsylvania, and the editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. He teaches at Westminster Theological Seminary and is a board member and fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

3 New Releases Today!

We have 3 new releases today.

June_3 2018 releases


1. Why Can’t We Be Friends?: Avoidance Is Not Purity by Aimee Byrd

248 pages | $14.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER

The church stands firm against culture on many issues of sexuality . . . but misses this one!

Society says we are merely sexual beings and should embrace this, and in the church we use this same view as an excuse to distrust and avoid each other! We shy away from healthy friendship, and even our siblingship in Christ, in the name of purity and reputation . . . but is this what we are called to do?

Aimee Byrd reminds us that the way to stand against culture is not by allowing it to drive us apart—it is by seeking the brother-and-sister closeness we are privileged to have as Christians. Here is a plan for true, godly friendship between the sexes that embraces the family we truly are in Christ and serves as the exact witness the watching world needs.

Endorsements

“If we will be siblings in the kingdom, it’s time we accepted our future for the sake of our present. This is the best book I have seen on this subject.”

—Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Chair of New Testament, Northern Seminary, Lisle, Illinois

“I can’t think of a more countercultural message . . . than a church marked by men and women who trade the fear of adultery for the freedom of appropriate sibling friendships. . . . Aimee shows us this better way.”

—Jen Wilkin, Bible Teacher; Author of Women of the Word and None Like Him

“Aimee Byrd’s plea for a recovery of [coed] friendships in the church . . . is timely. A provocative but irenic breath of fresh air on a contentious topic. . . . Highly recommended.”

—Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Grove City College

Also endorsed by: Simonetta Carr, Dan DeWitt, Michael R. Emlet, Jasmine Holmes, Kelly M. Kapic, and Dave Myers.

About The Author

Aimee Byrd is just an ordinary mom of three who has also been a martial arts student, coffee shop owner, and Bible study teacher. Author of Housewife Theologian, she now blogs about theology and the Christian life and cohosts The Mortification of Spin podcast.


 2. The Trinity, Language, and Human Behavior: A Reformed Exposition of the Language Theory of Kenneth L. Pike by Pierce Taylor Hibbs

256 pages | $39.99Reformed Academic Dissertations

Hibbs explores the Trinitarian structure of Kenneth Pike’s language theory from a Reformed perspective and illustrates how language theory and theology are closely related—how various facets of language are analogically linked to relations between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Endorsements

“In this brilliant and lucid account, Pierce Hibbs invites us to rediscover . . . the ultimate source of all language in the divine Trinity. Fresh, compelling, it is required reading for anyone wishing to navigate the challenging field of linguistics and make Christian sense of it.”

—William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Pike’s system emphasizes threefold distinctions: particle, wave, field; contrast, variation, distribution. . . . Hibbs . . . sets it forth in a rigorous, technical, but very clear way. I have profited much from his formulations. This book will sharpen and encourage our thinking about the Trinity, the Word of God, and the centrality of language in a Christian understanding of the world.”

—John M. Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

“In brief, Hibbs argues that Pike paints a picture of language that analogically reflects the triune God, who upholds all things by the word of his power. The writing is crisp and clean, the content is full, and the case is made. Read, reflect, and rejoice!”

—Carlton Wynne, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

About The Author

Pierce Taylor Hibbs (MAR, ThM, Westminster Theological Seminary) is associate director for theological curriculum and instruction in the Theological English Department at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has written several articles on the doctrine of the Trinity and the language theory of Kenneth Pike in the Westminster Theological Journal and has written on related topics in the Journal of Biblical Counseling, Themelios, VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center, Modern Reformation, and Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought. He is also a contributor to Reformed Forum, Place for Truth, and Reformation 21. He, his wife, and their two children reside in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.


3. A Development, Not a Departure: The Lacunae in the Debate of the Doctrine of the Trinity and Gender Roles by Hongyi Yang

384 pages | $39.99Reformed Academic Dissertations

This dissertation examines the missing elements in the current debate about the doctrine of the Trinity where it relates to gender roles. Yang provides biblical solutions for evaluating the arguments of this debate, as well as its relevant issues and significance.

Endorsements

“Once an atheist and feminist, Hongyi Yang has researched with depth, weighs all sides, raises legitimate concerns for all, and knows where to take the reader without overstating her reasoned complementarian case. Her arguments help reset the direction for evangelical conversation and greater maturity.”

—J. Scott Horrell, Professor of Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

“A truly impressive analysis of recent debates about the eternal submission of the Son to the Father in the Trinity. Her work is carefully reasoned, remarkably insightful, and comprehensive in scope. Where she pointed out shortcomings in my own writings on this topic, I found her evaluations to be thoughtful and useful. I am happy to give this book a strong commendation.”

—Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary

“A vehement debate has arisen in evangelical circles on the eternal hypostatic relations, prompting accusations of heresy. With incisive analysis, Dr. Yang carefully probes weaknesses—of historical, theological, and exegetical kinds—on all sides. . . . A book that cannot be ignored.”

—Robert Letham, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Union School of Theology

“The subject is complex and controversial, but we can be thankful for Yang’s clarity and research. Yang recognizes that she has not written the last word on this subject, but . . . I am grateful for this fine study and expect that it will be often cited in future discussions.”

—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

About The Author

Hongyi Yang (M.A., Beijing Normal University; M.S., University of North Texas; M.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is director of the Mandarin Translation Project for MTS Program and assistant professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


 

The Life of Moses — Phil Ryken Interview

Here is an interview with Phil Ryken about James Montgomery Boice, the author of The Life of Moses: God’s First Deliverer of IsraelThe Life of Moses_photo 2_small

  1. Can you share any fond memories of your time with Boice?

Jim Boice was always a huge encouragement to me in ministry, especially by affirming my gift for preaching and giving me the freedom to grow into wider leadership responsibilities. One of my favorite memories is gathering with him and other members of our pastoral staff for the last time in order to sing some of his favorite hymns, including ones that he had written. His confidence in Christ and joy in worship were strong through his last days.

 

  1. Do you have a favorite sermon from Boice?

One of Dr. Boice’s strongest gifts was his ability to preach faithful, compelling, edifying sermons on a weekly basis. The strength of his ministry did not rest on a handful of exceptional sermons, but on consistently excellent preaching over the course of a life in ministry. That said, I still love his sermon “This People, This Place,” in which he called the congregation of Tenth Presbyterian Church to embrace its calling to the City of Philadelphia. I also love his sermon on the Pharisee and the Publican, in which he connected the publican’s prayer to the mercy seat in the temple. But his most memorable message was his short farewell address to the people of Tenth Church, when—as a dying man—he grounded his own experience of suffering in the cross of Christ and affirmed his absolute and enduring faith in the sovereignty of God.

 

  1. Is there anything the reader should know about Boice before reading this book?

By far the most important thing to know about James Montgomery Boice is his consistent commitment to the Bible as the Word of God, which he sought to communicate clearly in every sermon he ever preached and every book he ever wrote. With respect to this particular book it is also helpful to know that as a spiritual leader, Dr. Boice was a lot like Moses: willing to serve God’s people faithfully over a lifetime in ministry. I see the two men as kindred spirits, which gives Dr. Boice’s exposition of the life of Moses special credibility and applicability.

 

  1. What should the reader expect to take away from this book?

This book covers the broad sweep of Moses’s life and ministry—not just in the Book of Exodus, but also in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. But it is more about the God of Moses than it is about Moses himself, which makes it a book for all of us.


 

Excerpt from The Life of Moses: God’s First Deliverer of Israel by James Montgomery Boice

Here’s an excerpt taken from The Life of Moses: God’s First Deliverer of Israel by James Montgomery Boice.

The Life of Moses_photo 2_small

Moses the Author

Not only was Moses a great emancipator, but he was also the vehicle by which God gave us the first five books of the Bible: the Pentateuch (“five scrolls”). He was the author, humanly speaking, of a large portion of the Scriptures.

Some people once argued that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch because writing was unknown in Moses’ day. All that has gone by the boards. Six different written languages from the time of Moses have been discovered in the very area where Moses led the people for forty years. Since Moses was educated in the court of the Egyptians, he certainly knew hieroglyphics; and he probably knew Akkadian, the trade language of the day. He was undoubtedly a highly educated man.

That is not the most important thing that needs to be said, however. Let me give you a basic hermeneutic—some guidelines for how our material in the Pentateuch should be approached. Four important things need to be said about the Bible.

THE BIBLE HAS ONE TRUE AUTHOR: GOD

The Bible comes to us from God. It is more than a merely human book. It contains the characteristics of human books; the various authors put the stamp of their personalities on what they wrote, and their vocabularies differ. But the Bible, having come to us from God, contains the one story that God wants to tell us. One passage, perhaps more than any other in the Bible, makes this point:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16–17)

Sometimes we refer to the Bible as being inspired. Inspired means that God, by his Holy Spirit, breathed into human writers so that they wrote what God wanted. That is true, but it is not what this passage says. This passage does not say that the Bible is the result of God’s breathing into the human writers, but that the Bible is the result of the breathing out of God. It is saying that the Bible is God’s Word, “and is therefore perfect and truthful, as God himself is.”2

Two important principles of interpretation follow from this. First, the Bible is God’s book from beginning to end, even though it has come to us through human authors. It is a unity. Second, because the Bible is a unity, it will not contradict itself if rightly understood. Sometimes we read portions of the Bible that seem to contradict. We say, “How can this portion go with this one?” But, if we understand it correctly, we find that the Bible tells a consistent story.

This means that the God we find in the first books of the Old Testament is the same God whom we find in the New Testament. Sometimes people say that the God in the Old Testament is a tribal deity, a God of wrath; they say the descriptions of God in the Old Testament are unworthy of him. We will find as we study that this is not true. The God whom we find at the beginning is exactly the same God who is presented to us by the Lord Jesus Christ—a sovereign, holy, and loving God.

The Bible’s unity also means that we are not misinterpreting it but rather interpreting it rightly when we see that the details given for Israel’s worship prefigure the coming ministry of Jesus Christ. What we find in the tabernacle, the sacrifices, and the plan of the construction itself—all point forward to Jesus Christ.

THE BIBLE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US THROUGH HUMAN AUTHORS

Sometimes people argue that to err is human; so, if human beings had anything to do with the Bible, it must contain errors. That is a fallacy of logic. Just because it is natural for me to make mistakes doesn’t mean that I have to make mistakes in any given instance. It is possible, for example, even on a human level quite apart from inspiration or anything spiritual, to write an inerrant manual on how to run a dishwasher.

Now for human authors to produce an inerrant book covering so many details over such a long period of history would seem an impossibility. But we are not speaking of a book simply put together by human authors. As Paul states so clearly, “this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:13 NIV).

And Peter states, “No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20–21). The word translated carried along is the same word that Luke, the author of Acts, uses when he describes a ship in the midst of a storm at sea. The sailors cut down the ship’s sails to keep them from being torn apart, and the ship was driven along before the wind. It was still a ship, but it couldn’t control its own destiny; the wind took it wherever it would. That is what Peter says happened to the human authors of Scripture. They were still men; they wrote with their own vocabularies; but the Holy Spirit bore them along. In other words, “What Scripture says, God says—through human agents and without error.”3

This view of inspiration has an application for interpretation. Interpretation has to do with understanding the author’s context, his vocabulary, and the situation out of which he was writing. That means, for example, that when we want to understand these books, we can learn something from secular sources. It is helpful, for example, to know about the religion of Egypt, because the plagues were not a case of God’s simply being arbitrary in his choice of scourges. The plagues were all directed against the gods of Egypt. Every single plague showed that the God of the Hebrews—the true God, Jehovah—was more powerful than Apis the bull or Hathor the cow, down through all the gods and goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon.

THE BIBLE’S PURPOSE IS TO LEAD US TO FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST

Jesus taught this himself. Talking to the Jewish leaders, he said,

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (John 5:39–40)

The Scriptures of the Jewish leaders were the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Jesus was saying in very clear language that these Scriptures were given to point to himself.

You couldn’t fault the leaders of Jesus’ day for failing to study the Scriptures. They did that. They were diligent in their study. They studied individual words when they copied them out. They counted the letters on the page so that they would not make a single mistake in their copying. They were great students of the Scriptures. But Jesus said that they missed the point of it all. The reason God gave the Scriptures was to point to him, and he had come—and they did not understand him and would not come to him to have life.

Do you see what this means? It means that when we study the life of Moses, we are not studying just a great man or even a marvelous story of deliverance for an oppressed people. We are studying things that point to Jesus Christ. If at the end of this book you do not understand Jesus Christ better and are not following him more closely, you have missed the point.

WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE

Not only was the Holy Spirit active in giving the Bible, but he is also active in opening our minds to understand the Bible when we read it. Theologians refer to this as illumination. It is like turning on a light. Paul told the Corinthians, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God” (1 Cor. 2:12). Without the Spirit, however, spiritual things cannot be understood (see 1 Cor. 2:14). Since the Bible deals with spiritual matters, it requires the ministry of the Holy Spirit for us to understand them.

This leads us to a very practical matter: we have to pray as we come to the Bible. You can become very learned in your knowledge of the Bible and not be affected by it in a personal way. You may know all about Pauline theology and even teach it better than many ministers. But for God’s Word to have the right impact on you, prayer must precede your study. You have to ask the Holy Spirit for understanding, and, when you study the Bible and understand it, you have to ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace to actually live by it. The Holy Spirit has to teach us if we are to benefit from this study of Moses’ life or any other Bible topic.


2. James Montgomery Boice, Standing on the Rock: Upholding Biblical Authority in a Secular Age (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1998), 39.

3. This wording, developed by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, is taken from James Montgomery Boice, Does Inerrancy Matter? (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1981), 15, as quoted in Boice, Standing on the Rock, 40.

 

Author Interview with Geoff Ziegler

This week’s author interview is with Geoff Ziegler. He is the author of Free to Be Sons of God (Reformed Academic Dissertations).

Ziegler_Geoff             Free to Be Sons_black border

  • Question #1—Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you’re from, family, job, personal interests, unique hobbies, what you do in your spare time, etc.

I was born and raised in Massachusetts in a small town one hour southwest of Boston, eldest in a family of four boys. My wife, Jennifer, and I are the parents of three boys, so boys seem to run in the family! Though I live in the Chicago area, where I pastor a PCA church, I’m still an avid fan of New England sports teams. I also like to do whatever my sons find enjoyable—disc golf, board games, Legos, and, of course, reading!

 

  • Question #2—When did you first want to write a book?

I was such a bookworm in elementary school! I told my parents that one day I would grow up to be an author. Of course, at that time, I was imagining me writing something about dragons or superheroes.

 

  • Question #3—Have you always enjoyed writing?

I have a love/hate relationship with writing. I enjoy how the process clarifies my thinking, and I also enjoy the work of improving writing through careful editing. But there are few things I like less than an empty white page before me and the awareness that I need to somehow fill it.

 

  • Question #4—Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book?

I am quite eclectic in my tastes. In terms of theology, I am, like many, deeply impressed with John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. Again and again I find his writing both intellectually clarifying and deeply pastoral. I also have an irrational fanaticism for the “Thief of Attolia” series by Megan Whalen Turner. It’s been about a year since I read any of those books, so I’m probably due for a reread of them. They’re just so, so good.

 

  • Question #5—At what time of day do you write most?

Mornings by far are the most productive times for me. All of my best ideas seem to come between 7 and 10 AM.

 

  • Question #6—How do you deal with writer’s block?

This is a weekly question for me (given my preaching schedule). I’ve found that I need to be content with very mediocre writing when I first put pen to page and to believe that my subsequent editing can rescue my prose and make it at least somewhat coherent. Unless I have that mindset, my internal editor slows my writing down to a crawl, and it’s excruciating!

 

  • Question #7—Favorite animal? Why?

The wombat. I think that needs no explanation.

 

  • Question #8—The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia? 

LOTR. Narnia is great for sermon illustrations, but Middle Earth is a far more fully realized world.

 

  • Question #9—If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?

That feels a bit like asking which of your children is your favorite, doesn’t it? I will say that I keep coming back to the gospel of John, because it’s just so transparently full of Jesus.


How can readers discover more about you and your work?