One of the degree programs offered at Calvary University is Biblical Counseling. A person who attends Calvary University to pursue a degree in Biblical Counseling, is a person who desires to be trained so they can help people address their problems, and conflicts, from a Biblical worldview. The result is the person would conform their attitudes, actions, and behavior to God’s word, as a website defines below:
Biblical Counseling is the process where the Bible, God’s Word, is related individually to a person or persons who are struggling under the weight of personal sin and/or the difficulties with suffering, so that he or she might genuinely change in the inner person to be pleasing to God.
Faith Ministries. Retrieved February 10th from: http://www.faithlafayette.org/counseling/about/what_is_biblical_counseling.
In addition to this definition above, there one true quality that must be highlighted concerning this field of study.
Biblical counseling is all about assisting, and helping, a person transform their worldview.
A worldview, is defined as, “a comprehensive or apprehension of the world, especially from a specific standpoint…” (“Worldview.” Merriam-Webster.com. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worldview). All observations, from an individual concerning the world around them, come from a person’s worldview. Even the thoughts, actions, and behaviors of a person are carried out because of the person’s perspective of the world around them. There is not one person that operates in thought, word, or deed, apart from their worldview.
What Biblical counseling truly seeks to address, is not just moral change, or a behavioral adjustment. The Biblical counselor seeks to address an individual’s faulty worldview. The Biblical counselor uses God’s word to confront a person’s perspective that runs against Scripture, and challenges the person to submit themselves to be transformed by God’s word.
Paul mentions this type of transforming to the churches in Rome when he writes:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world , but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Paul explained how Jew and Gentile have all sin against God (Rom. chaps 1-2), and how all mankind is shown to be sinners and transgressors before God (Rom. chap. 3). Paul then explained, in great detail, how one is saved: By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Rom. chaps 4-5). Paul then wrote how we are to walk, which is by the Holy Spirit, and by doing so one will mortify the deeds of the flesh, which displease God (Rom. 6-7:1-13).
Paul continued, sharing his personal struggle in the Christian life (Rom. 7:14-24). He ended this lament declaring there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and how a Christian is not to live according to the sinful nature, but according to the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:1-17). Then Paul wrote to the saints in Rome the most glorious reality: Nothing can separate the believer from the love of God that is in the Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:18-39). Paul then spent another three chapters discussing his burden for Israel, and how ultimately Israel as a nation will be delivered, and restored by God Himself (Rom. chaps. 9-11).
It is in all of these mercies mentioned above, which were laid out by Paul, that believers were to present themselves a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1-2). By Christians offering up their bodies to God, this was a spiritual act of worship (such as a priest offering up an acceptable animal to God to be sacrificed in the temple). Paul told the Christians in Rome they were not to be conformed to the world (i.e., “the spirit of the age”), but be transformed by their minds being renewed (Rom 12:2).
When people come for Biblical counseling three possibilities are likely: They need their minds renewed by Scripture, they are refusing to have their minds renewed by Scripture, or they need skills that will assist them, as they have their minds renewed by Scripture. It is in this manner, they are unable to discern what God’s will is, because His will for them is found in God’s word, which they have not allowed Scripture, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, to renew their minds. On the other hand, they may know God’s will in sacred Scripture, however they may lack the skills necessary to bear fruit in keeping with God’s will. The Biblical counselor understands that it is not just a change of behavior, or even a change of thoughts that is the issue. The Biblical counselor knows it is the transformation of perspective, or worldview, which must take place, in order for the thoughts, and behavior, to change.
Biblical counseling is unique, and important, not just for the counseled, but for the counselor. The counselor must continue to have their worldview renewed by the Scriptures, so they will be able to use techniques, interventions, and skills they have learned, in accordance with a Biblical worldview, to guide the counseled so the person’s worldview is transformed, by the authority of God’s word.
While other counseling modalities, and theories place their trust in only altering the external environment (such as Person-Centered theory), or looking within to restore oneself (such as Psychoanalytic theory), the Biblical counselor begins at the primary Source, understanding it is God who has created mankind, knows the problem of mankind, and has given mankind the solution to the problems that mankind faces. The Biblical counselor trusts in God’s word, and God’s word alone, to illumine a darkened conscience, and to bring transformation by the truth of Scripture. The end result would be that the counselor, and the counseled, “may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:3b).
Until next time…
Soli Deo Gloria!