P&R’s series editors work independently to acquire manuscripts that meet their vision for the series. Gospel for Real Life series editor Brad Hambrick has an MDiv in biblical counseling and a ThM in applied theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as years of counseling experience.
P&R. How did you come to be the editor of the Gospel for Real Life series?
BH. I served as the editor for the Journal of Counseling & Discipleship (JCD) with the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) for several years before ABC (www.christiancounseling.com) began a booklet series. We wanted to synchronize our small publication efforts, so I was the natural person to serve as the editor for the Gospel for Real Life booklet series.
P&R. Are you currently accepting proposals?
BH. We invite authors with whom we have pre-established relationships to write in the GRL series. If someone is interested in contributing to the series, I would advise they first submit articles for consideration in the JCD to allow us to build a relationship.
P&R. What is your hope for this series? How can the series be used?
BH. We want this series to advance the skillfulness with which the church is equipped to care for the struggles of life—from mundane to complex; and from informal to formal counseling ministry. This is why we address both popular and clinical subjects in the series.
We want to unpack four core values in the way we address any subject in this series: (1) the necessity of the gospel, (2) the necessity of the Scripture, (3) the centrality of the local church, and (4) a balanced view of sin and suffering.
We want these booklets to provide brief, easy-to-read overviews of how the gospel speaks to real life. We believe these shorter format booklets are particularly effective for counseling homework and preparing pastor/teachers to grasp a subject when it is relevant to a sermon/lesson.
The smaller size is less intimidating and therefore creates a hunger for more learning for readers. In a counseling or discipleship context this is vital for developing an ongoing relationship God will use to facilitate change.
P&R. What have you learned while working with this series?
BH. God has blessed his people with incredible riches. Through the gospel God provides pardon for sin, comfort in suffering, and a foundation for our identity. When we live the gospel in the context of authentic Christian community, God provides freedom from the most complex sin and healing for the most harsh suffering.
Through Scripture, God provides not just answers (although there is rich instruction, guidance, and perspective), but reveals himself as One who is for/with us in the midst of life’s hardship. With the privilege of editing each booklet comes the opportunity to see new facets of God’s transforming power. There is great encouragement in starting to read a booklet where the title is intimidating but to be walked through “real life” pain to a “real life” Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. Each author does this with his/her unique voice and experience working with hurting people with the Scriptures. The result is that the size of our doubt at the beginning of each subject becomes the increment by which our faith grows by the end of it.
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