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Hand-to-Hand Combat in the Lord’s Army: Nouthetic Counseling in Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdoms

by Joel Enoch Wood, M.Div; D.Min (candidate)

In partial fulfillment of: DM03: The Mediatorial Kingship of Christ Dr. Richard Gamble

November 2012

Introduction: Rationale – Positing Nouthetic Counseling as the Work of Christ’s Mediatorial Kingship Life is war. That's not all it is. But it is always that. But most people do not believe this in their heart. Most people show by their priorities and their casual approach to spiritual things that they believe we are in peacetime, not wartime. – John Piper1 I may never march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery. I may never zoom or the enemy, but I‘m in the Lord‘s army. – Children‘s Song The topic of the Mediatorial Kingship of Christ elicits numerous responses. Many will speak of Jesus being King, but, it seems, few have thought that trite sentiment through to its logical conclusion. In any election year, the idea that one would not exercise their right to vote, out of honor for Christ‘s unrecognized kingship by any of the candidates is unconscionable. Jesus‘ Kingship over the nations is an unrealized and, in some places, an unknown fact. Yet, Scripture teaches Christ‘s Kingship over all spheres of human life; so, not only government, but, also, family, education, business, and social spheres are under his rule and reign. At present, we will examine Christ‘s Mediatioral Kingship over the therapeutic, and the therapeutic as the very work of that Mediatorial Kingship. Many little boys dream, at one time, or another, of serving in the military. For some, this thought is a fleeting fancy. For others, their dreams and goals are refined over time as they discover one specific avenue of military service that allows them to do just what they have always dreamed. For Christians, we understand there is a certain John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions, 2nd Ed. Revised and Expanded (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), 45 & 47. 1

violence present as the Kingdom of God advances,2 and we are in the army, and we must fight. While Jesus is our King, the world, the flesh, and the devil are our mortal enemies. Weekly in worship, we see those enemies flushed out by the Word and Sacraments of Jesus Christ. We mark our children with the mark of our King, we eat the meal prepared for us by our general, and we are blessed, as the name of our is God put on us again, as we enter back out into the mission/battle field. Military service is more than a dream in the Kingdom of Christ. It bears itself out in our daily reality. True, we may never know the unimaginable reality of military conflict at home or abroad. But, life is war. And we all must fight. This is the motif for the idea of Nouthetic Counseling as hand-to-hand combat. While the minister stands in the pulpit he launches a mass offensive against our enemies; and, normally, in that moment, all in the room are aware of it, most, even, praying for it. However, in the counselor‘s office or pastor‘s study, the mass offensive turns to one-on-one, hand-to-hand combat, as the worker of the gospel lays his spiritual hands on the enemy within the counselee, in a battle of personal wiles and temptations to wickedness. This trail of logic follows certain presuppositions, which must be given before delving Exegetically, Historically, and Applicationally into a study of Nouthetic Counseling in Christ‘s Kingdoms. The Presuppositions 1. Jesus is King. Revelation 19:16 says of Christ: ―On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.‖ From the first rumblings of the gospel in Genesis 3:15, where Satan, the prince of this world (Eph 2:2) is promised that the


Mt 11:12 ESV. 2

seed of the woman would crush him, through to the final triumph of the Lamb in John‘s Revelation, it is clear that Jesus is King. He is the Son to be kissed in Psalm 2, the Prince of Peace of whose government there will be no end in Isaiah 9, and the more and better One begotten of the Father in Psalm 2 and Hebrews. The Westminster shorter catechism asks: ―What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?‖3 The answer comes: ―Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.‖ After addressing how Christ executes the offices of prophet and priest, the reader is told: ―Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.‖4 The Larger Catechism expands this: Christ executeth the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself, and giving them officers, laws, and censures, by which he visibly governs them; in bestowing saving grace upon his elect, rewarding their obedience, and correcting them for their sins, preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings, restraining and overcoming all their enemies, and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory and their good: and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel. (Emphasis added.)5 Laws and censures, as well as corrections, assistance in temptation, and working to overcome all their enemies (the world, the flesh, and the devil) all fall under the work of Christ as King. 2. Jesus’ Kingship is over the church, all nations, and all earthly institutions. While most believers will admit that Jesus is King over the Church, this second

3 4

Westminster Shorter Catechism Question and Answer #23. Westminster Shorter Catechism Answer #26. 5 Westminster Larger Catechism Answer #45. 3

To him be honor and eternal dominion. Explicitly Christian Politics: The Vision of the National Reform Association (Pittsburgh: The Christian Statesman Press. The laws are only as just as much as they reflect his supreme law in the Word of God. Even in the political applications of Christ‘s Mediatorial reign. the individuals interacting with these topics 1 Tim 6:13–16 Address for the Dedication of the Free University of Amsterdam. the battle still rages.8 And.6 If Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. the flesh. This is progressive sanctification. to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. we are called to do battle against the world. who dwells in unapproachable light. In the context of Jesus’ Kingship. who alone has immortality. this is important to understand. does not cry: 'Mine!'" 7 As one considers the work of Nouthetic Counseling. Amen. 4 6 7 . October 20. 1997) XXX. who gives life to all things. In the last. 8 William O. 3. and of Christ Jesus. but Christ‘s.‖ as it were.presupposition stretches His Kingdom beyond the bounds of the Church. the basis for all justice and righteousness in a nation is Jesus Christ. or pursuing a just verdict in a murder case. the King of kings and Lord of lords. Abraham Kuyper famously said: "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ. ed. There is no authority that is not underneath his sovereign rule. he is the over-all ruler. pondering states‘ rights. while this is often seen as only corporate. I charge you in the presence of God. the application of Nouthetic Counseling to the work of the Civil Magistrate will be explored briefly. who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession. 1880. which he will display at the proper time— he who is the blessed and only Sovereign. whom no one has ever seen or can see.. Whether one is developing tax code. who is Sovereign over all. The basis or authority of the work is not the World‘s authority. and the devil. Einwechter. Jesus‘ Kingship spreads ―from sea to shining sea.

but also through interpersonal confrontation of sin and struggle by the Word. For this definition. seeking to devour us! We are to suit up with the full armor of God. the battle is not over. And we are called to the fray. 4. an introductory definition of ―Nouthetic Counsel‖ should be given. preachers should proclaim from the housetops. It is at this point that application of the Word sinks personally into the deepest. the hopeless young woman. the warring couple.and discerning their outcomes can and should be confronted by the truth of God‘s Word and how it applies to their particular concern. yet we are to be alert because our enemy lurks in the shadows. 5 . This battle is waged not just by way of public proclamation of the Word. Christ conquered his enemies on the cross. we understand that while the war is won. a surgeon finely slicing the matters of the heart for repair and reformation. elder. In more personal and ecclesiastical applications of this doctrine. the depressed senior saint. and pulpits of their respective nation that Jesus is King of the Church and the State. mountaintops. the local drunk–the list is virtually endless. one need turn not further than to the modern instigator of the 9 Eph 6. or fellow Christian is. The pastor. darkest recesses of the heart. Nouthetic Counseling: An Introductory Definition As one considers Nouthetic Counseling as the applied ministry of Jesus Christ‘s Mediatorial Kingship. at this moment. making a public spectacle of them. Yes. Centuries have shown a vital component of pastoral ministry being the one-on-one counsel a pastor gives to the erring young man.9 Life is war. but history and Scripture bear out that gospel-proclamation is not just corporate but personal.

10 As George Scipione. 1970). rooted in the authoritative Word of God. and the world. pastorally focused counseling ideal back to the Church. Adams defines Nouthetic Counseling is a loving. verbal. student of Jay Adams summarizes. Christ-centered person-to person confrontation of a person‘s sin or problem in life. Jay Adams. (See the full answer to number 45 above.vimeo. 2012]. Nouthetic Counseling is ―to verbally confront someone for their good. 6 10 .‖ Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary Web site.‖11 With these presuppositions and definition in mind.) The Jay E. in 1970. beginning with his seminal work in the field Competent to Counsel. invisible church. for their change.movement. Dr. extending the boundaries of the Kingdom into the hearts of those being evangelized and further into the recesses of the hearts of those being discipled. hand-tohand combat. a helpful exercise is the examination of the summary of Scriptural teaching within the Larger Catechism in Question and Answer 45. Here the Larger Catechism begins to unfold the spheres in which Christ operates as King. In chapter 4. the man who brought a biblically based. Vimeo video file. ―Introduction to the Biblical Counseling Institute. Competent to Counsel: Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling (Grand Rapids: Zondervan. as the Westminster divines understood and presented them: the visible church. http:// [accessed November 16. this study seeks to show that the work of Nouthetic Counselors in the Kingdom of God is that of frontline. 1:25. The Historical & Confessional Context: Nouthetic Counseling in Light of Covenanter Faith & WLC #45 As we are seeking to couch the Nouthetic Counseling ministry within the larger context of Christ‘s Mediatorial Kingship. Adams. for the sanctifying good of the one being counseled. 41-56.. 11 George Scipione.

both now by his providence. Preserving and supporting his elect under all their temptations and sufferings. by which he visibly governs them. nor obey the gospel. 3. as appointed in the Scriptures. 102-104. but are always kept from despair. so that even the evil deeds of the wicked men are made to work out for the true benefit of the elect. 2. and at the Judgment Day by his supernatural power. and as realized in actual life 3. in his providential discipline during the present life. that is by means of the structure of church government and discipline Invisible Church The Most Important Sphere is the Invisible Church The World Christ operates Kingly office in the World for good of the Invisible Church 1. Restraining and overcoming all the enemies of the elect. resulting in their being united to Christ in their effectual calling. by Christ‘s providential dispensations. This vengeance is partly during the present life. The Westminster Larger Catechism: A Commentary.G. 2. Rewarding the obedience of his people. who know not God. J. Giving them officers. 7 12 . edited by G. Taking vengeance on the wicked. 2002). NJ: P&R Publishing. so that they are never overwhelmed with troubles. Powerfully ordering all things ot his own glory and his people‘s good. Vos. and chiefly at the Judgment Day at the end of the age. and correcting his people for their sins. by the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and lives.chart below visualizes the content from Vos‘ commentary on the Larger Catechism: 12 3 Spheres Most Important Sphere Visible Church Christ operates Kingly office in the Visible Church for good of the Invisible Church 1. Williamson (Phillipsburg. Giving them laws and censures.I. Bestowing saving grace upon his elect. 3. Elements of Christ’s Rule 1. Calling out of the world a people who shall be members of the visible church 2. Which Sphere includes Christ’s rule over the nations? Christ‘s rule over the World includes his rule over the nations.

the Mediatorial King. Symington‘s exegesis and application toward the Nations is preceded with his applying it to the ―Kingly Office of Christ in Relation to the Church. which. and who are.The watershed text for the doctrine of the Mediatorial Kingship of Christ is William Symington‘s Messiah the Prince. normally. to care for the church of God. the privileges of the visible church catholic are purchased and secured to its members by the blood of Christ. ―Christ. therefore. 8 13 . if any? Nouthetic Counseling is tied. 81. while rooted in the redemptive work which is applied to the elect of the invisible church.‖ This sphere of Christ‘s Mediatorial Dominion will be the starting point of this work. to the Church. to his Church.‖13 In exegeting Acts 20:2814. Symington draws out from Christ‘s command to ―feed‖ or to ―pay careful attention to… all the flock‖. the conclusion that Christ‘s blood and. inextricably. in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. can only be obeyed in the context of in the visible church containing both the redeemed elect and unredeemed reprobate. which are purchased and redeemed by Christ‘s blood. as Mediator. While the reverberating emphasis from that work has been ―Christ‘s Mediatorial Dominion Over Nations. answering the question: what relationship does the Mediatorial Rule and Reign of Christ have to do with Nouthetic Counseling. redemption apply to the visible catholic church inasmuch as the invisible elect. part of the visible church. and Symington helps his readers understand the precise relationship and authority of Christ. Consequently. secured his right of dominion over the church by purchasing her with his blood.‖ chapters 8 and 9 of the text. Messiah the Prince or. The Mediatorial Dominion of Jesus Christ (Pittsburgh: The Christian Statesman Press. 1999). 14 Acts 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock. The church has many privileges William Symington. which he obtained with his own blood.

‖16 As he explains: …meaning by this term to designate a feature of its character. for one is your Father. 16 15 9 . ―One is your master. and king. lawgiver. This is an important idea.17 This fact is not just true–that Christ has afforded all of these blessings to the invisible church and. pope. and all ye are brethren. and not the form of its government. Martin Bucer. and countenance. It is composed of Christ‘s freemen. but has no right to dictate its creed. No earthly power–be it king. to institute its laws. and friendly cooperation. Symington brings out the peculiar properties of the church. as we turn to see the outside influence of state-approved counselors which strive to impact the creed (what we believe about humanity and how we formulate that and present it in counseling) and the administration (whom we counsel and for what reasons) of the ministry of the church. The Lord Jesus Christ alone is its judge. It is independent alike of human wisdom.15 As a corollary to this point. even Christ. Literally ―Self-law. 23:8-9). such as the word and sacraments. Symington clearly does not mean ―autonomy. to appoint its ministers. or prelate–has a right to domineer over the church. to the visible manifestation of that church worldwide–but Christ‘s Mediatorial Dominion moves beyond that. 83. and is itself free from all outward control. which is in heaven‖ (Matt. or to interfere in any way with either its constitution or its administration.‖ While Reformed and Presbyterian folk would most likely bristle at this term. discipline. and pecuniary support. fellowship. defines ―the Kingdom of our Savior Jesus Symington. 84. Call no man your father upon earth. then the Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University.‖ 17 Symington. the leader of the Protestant Reformation in Strasborg for 25 years. power.peculiar to herself as a covenant society. consequently. the second of which is ―independent. human. The state may extend to it protection. and human control. and government.

the elect. one should remember the fullness of the term ―salvation‖ as not just the justifying act of God. De Regno Christi. And. 1969). 10 18 . 225. as Head over all things for the sake of the Church. then. and all their counsels and efforts. catholic church. which are the glory of God. but also the ongoing. it flows. the exhibition and maintenance of divine truth. secured by Christ bloody sacrifice. the public celebration of Divine worship. again. the church or. and the salvation of people.Christ‖ in strict terms as ―that administration and care of the eternal life of God‘s elect…‖18 We see this same type of narrow ideal in the Testimony of the RPCNA: Jesus Christ. as we have seen.19 The Westminster Larger Catechism. serve God‘s glory in the plan of redemption. more specifically. through the good administrations of the church to the visible. Martin Bucer. also notes: ―Christ executeth the office of a king… powerfully ordering all things for his own glory and their good…‖20 Whose good? He is operating in His Kingly office in such a way as to primarily bring about good for those people whom Christ is calling out of the world unto himself. while this good is primarily for the invisible church. edited by Wilhelm Pauck and translated by Wilhelm Pauck and Paul Larkin (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press. 92. rules in perfect wisdom and justice over all parts of His creation including wicked men and devils.2. 19 RPCNA. sanctifying work of God as he grants strength and grace to the believer. He makes them. Thinking holistically. Testimony 8. 21 Symington. is designed to accomplish these ends. Symington separates this point out as he expounds ―The Kingly Office of Christ in Relation to the Church‖ in his point IV: ―Christ exercises mediatorial rule over the church for the accomplishment of the most important ends.‖21 The Church. 20 Westminster Larger Catechism: Question and Answer #45.

e. to be instructed. he says: ―Anyone approaching these and similar texts with a godly disposition would thoroughly understand how very essential complete Ez 36 and 37.. 11 22 23 . Christ‘s rule is also divine.. and perfected unto eternal life. instruct and advance toward eternal salvation. those parts of us rebelling against his manifested grace in our lives. be the case. dead. Hence it is necessary for every church of Christ to have this ministry duly constituted.‖23 as. those enemies are us. trained. This is the reality of Christ‘s ability to ―conquer all his and our enemies. Westminster Shorter Catechism: Question and Answer #26. or. However.e. Bucer sees the desiring of submission to King Jesus as a mark of one who is in Christ‘s Kingdom: A fifth property of the Kingdom of Christ is that all its true citizens offer themselves to Christ the King to be ruled and governed throughout life. If it were merely human. i. Some might see Christ‘s governance as an imposition. 24 Bucer‘s footnote on this term is ―Presbyteros et curators‖ or ―Presbyters and Curators‖. and rebellious22–are turned to desire this once hated imposition of kingship and authority. He is able to work within the hearts of his subjects so that those very hearts–dark.e. i. i. to be purged from sins unto all piety and righteousness. both on their own part and on the part of those of whom they have charge at home. each and every member of the congregation in their care.) 25 Bucer.. at times. quite possibly. After briefly expounding numerous passages regarding the relationship between teachers of the word and members of the church. with utmost zeal and perseverance. at least.25 He also touches on this in his Concerning the True Care of Souls. to have priests24 and ministers who both can and will. 230. and this through the sacred ministry of the Church. by the administration both of the doctrine and of the sacraments and discipline of Christ and make this attractive to them by holy examples of life. that could.Bucer points up a reflexive reality within this administration of Christ. stone-cold.

Concerning the True Care of Souls. 202. They are at best but servants.)29 What comes into focus. possess any legislative power. 85. or habit) by persistent instruction 29 Symington. 27 Symington. idea. 28 instill (an attitude. PA: Banner of Truth Trust. is the church in a state of subjection. then. Christ is vicariously honored by way of honor to the Word and those bringing it. translated by Peter Beale (Carlisle.. 12 26 . 2009). and to Christ alone. 28:20)… To Christ. The doctrines which it is the duty of the church to believe and profess. the church is under subjection to Christ.‖ (Emphasis by Symington. are such as he taught… The laws to be obeyed are his laws. As Symington lists his ―variety of most interesting and distinguishing properties the Mediator has conferred on the Church. thus redeemed by his own blood. then. The ministers of religion. Their authority is wholly ministerial. wherein ministers of the gospel do the work of ministry by discipling and instructing believers all that Christ had commanded. neither individually nor collectively.‖ 26 Bucer is careful to link the dominion of Christ in his Church with the ministry of the Word.obedience in the church of Christ is. is a ministry where Christ rules as Mediatorial King over the Kingdoms of the earth for the good of the invisible church.‖27 he also makes a point that seems to be like-minded with Bucer‘s: Though independent of man. while Bucer firmly commands that ministers of the gospel be obeyed and respected. He is the Head of the body. mediating discipline where Martin Bucer. and is subordinate to that of Christ. flowing through the visible church catholic. 83. and for the church to acknowledge any other authority were to act unfaithfully toward her Lord. So. and would also desire with all his heart to offer it. and whatever they do they are required to do in the name of their divine Lord and Master… Do they inculcate28 duty? They must teach men to ―observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded‖ (Matt. as for any other claim authority over her were daringly to invade the prerogatives of Jesus. Rewording of Section III title. it is for the Word that they minister under the authority of Christ. the church.. even as it applies to the specific struggles and duties of the individual believer.

Christ‘s authority is being undermined. Christ‘s authority is appropriately kept in view even as a minister helps to dissect the problems of life for those within the fold of the church. restoring when appropriate. to have a corrective influence on someone.31 Some examination of the term. was ambiguous in its precise meaning. 13 30 . Consequently. the Septuigant is referenced for Old Testament citations. working through the circumstances the leaven of the gospel. both Scripturally and in it use in history and extra-biblical literature does seem to bear this out. Eight of the Old Testament references are in Job. to lay on Since νουθετέω is Greek. 41-50. 31 Jay Adams. one must examine the texts in which the word and related ideas are found.30 the Greek version of the Old Testament. Nouthetic Counseling in Scripture–Exegetical Perspective νουθετέω (noutheteō) All of this is well and good. all the while pointing believers to the one who is the source of all authority in the church: Jesus Christ. To impart understanding (a mind for something). thinking that just one word could not adequately cover the broad range of meaning found in νουθετέω. and one is in 1 Samuel. within its contexts. It also appears that if any of this work is done under the authority of another. as long as the ministry of Nouthetic Counseling can be seen as a biblically appropriate portion of the minister‘s charge. Adams. who coined the term ―Nouthetic‖ to describe his counseling. until all is seen in the proper gospel light.necessary. To see this. The word νουθετέω (noutheteō) is found in the New Testament eight times and nine times in the Septuigant. to set right. 1970). Competent to Counsel: Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling (Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Paul. in this section of Romans has been working through how believers should interrelate in light of their sinfulness. Geoffrey W. ἀδελφού μου.‖ Here is the ―one Gerhard Kittel. He has encouraged them to ―bear with the failings of the weak. ―The basic idea is that of the well-meaning earnestness with which one seeks to influence the mind and disposition by appropriate instruction.‖33 This general understanding of νουθετέω‘s meaning should seem fitting after summarizing and synthesizing its usage in various forms in various passages throughout Scripture. warning and correction. The ESV here translates νουθετέω as ―instruct. πεπληρωμϋνοι πϊςησ [τῆσ] γνώςεωσ. We will begin with its New Testament usage. my brothers. filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.‖ to ―please their neighbor. to impart understanding. 1019.the heart of someone. Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. δυνϊμενοι καὶ ἀλλόλουσ νουθετεῖ ν. to teach32–all of these meanings can flow from the various forms of νουθετέω.‖ and to ―welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you. Volume 4 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.. καὶ αὐτὸσ ἐ γὼ περὶ ὑμῶν ὅτι καὶ αὐτοὶ μεςτού ἐ ςτε ἀγαθωςύνησ. so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. New Testament Romans 15:14 Πϋπειςμαι δϋ. I myself am satisfied about you. that you yourselves are full of goodness. for the glory of God. exhortation. 1964). 1019.‖ In this context of calling the Roman believers to confront sin and exude gospel hopefulness.‖ He moves into reaffirming the hope of the gospel for gentiles and asking ―May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. 14 32 . 33 Ibid. he states his 15:14 satisfaction that they have what it takes to relate the knowledge of God to one another‘s lives. then examine its presence in the Old Testament.

but seems to bring a qualifying tone to his ministry. with a combined qualification of an in-depth understanding of Christian knowledge and a reputation for Christian uprightness.. as God uses one another to confront and build up. indeed. Paul and those like him are full of goodness. Word Biblical Commentary 38b Romans 9-16 (Dallas: Word. In the therapeutic world. life-on-life. etc. 1988). 1996). 5:208.another‖ aspect of Nouthetic Counsel.34 Origen makes this point: ―This fullness is relative. the Apostle Paul shows here that in Nouthetic work. remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. Also present in Nouthetic Counseling is the continual adjusting of relationship.‖35 However. It is personal. 36 James D.. but naturally they are still vastly inferior to the perfection of God. G. 858. While any moral lapses are. Some might bristle at the words ―full of goodness. Paul here is saying goodbye to the Douglas Moo. ν Therefore be alert. 35 Origen.‖ the one confronted on Tuesday may be the one confronting on Wednesday. improper and sinful.‖36 So.‖ Moo points up that this term shows a general uprightness that may revolve around a kindness and generosity. as Dunn points up. 15 34 . emotional involvement with a counselee is the cardinal sin. Acts 20:31 διὸ γρηγορεῖ τε μνημονεύοντεσ ὅτι τριετύαν νύκτα καὶ ἡμϋραν οὐκ ἐ παυςϊμην μετὰ δακρύων νουθετῶ ἕ να ἕ καςτον. Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. one is qualified to instruct another. emotion and personal involvement are not only allowable. Paul seems to expect from his congregations the maturity necessary to ―exercise this crucial ministry among themselves. There is no perpetual counselor/counselee relationship. 887-888. in comparison with their fellow believers. In loving. NICNT: The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. confrontational ―one-anothering.

and charging him to be more faithful in his Christian life. 182. Footnote 1 Addresses the textual variants at work in the choice between admonish/warn. Gordon D.‖39 It is also in Paul‘s appeal here that we see one of the desired outcomes of Nouthetic Counseling: What becomes transparent in this final appeal is that for Paul right thinking simply is not enough. NICNT: The First Epistle to the Corinthians. NICNT: The Book of the Acts (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Verse 31 shows Paul intending them to take seriously the teaching he gave them. showing them ―the danger of their course‖ and wanting them ―to be more faithful in their Christian duty. but to admonish you as my beloved children.37 1 Corinthians 4:14 Οὐκ ἐ ντρϋπων ὑμᾶσ γρϊφω ταῦτα ἀλλʼ ὡσ τϋκνα μου ἀγαπητὰ νουθετῶ [ν]. 39 RPCNA Book of Discipline (5. 1988). even their spiritual father. 1987). p. and emotionally engaged (with tears). In the fourth chapter of 1 Corinthians. Verse 14 shows his father‘s heart. I do not write these things to make you ashamed.elders at the Church in Ephesus. due to the intensity of the Nouthetic work among them: length of time (three years). E-8). 393. The Corinthians had called Paul‘s apostolic authority into question. It consists of reproving the offender. The gospel must result in appropriate behavior as well. Here we find a faithful treatment of ―Admonition: This is the lightest degree of censure and is commonly used by the court in cases of neglect of duty. history bears out that they did eventually return to their gospel roots. Bruce. Paul takes up this matter with a quite serious tone. by judging Paul unworthy and forsaking his spiritual leadership over them. F. while Ephesus did stray from Paul‘s teaching for a time. He warns the Corinthians to not abandon their spiritual heritage. Fee.2. He is admonishing (warning) 38 them not to simply abuse them but to build them. F. indeed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. warning him of the danger of his course. ― 38 37 16 . An encouraging ministerial note is that. constant (day and night). but also his father‘s passion.

While there is debate regarding why Paul is writing to the Colossian church. Philemon (Waco. 1982). Colossians 1:28 ὃν ἡμεῖ σ καταγγϋλλομεν νουθετοῦντες πϊντα ἄνθρωπον καὶ διδϊςκοντεσ πϊντα ἄνθρωπον ἐ ν πϊςῃ ςοφύᾳ. Yes. 44: Colossians. 16). s. if change does not come. then. ―Introduction to The Letter of Paul to the Colossians. Pastoral situations lead to the counsel necessary to lead others on the path of life. at times. that is only the beginning.”41 This verse. including the invisible realm. in the contemporary understanding of it.v. Indeed. we evangelize. He is indeed the embodiment of divine wisdom. he is tackling the issues in that congregation by clearly proclaiming “Christ is Lord over all of creation. Those denying the biblical priorities of living must be called out and considered destined for a bitter end. 41 40 17 . He has secured redemption for his people. Word Biblical Commentary.42 This is nothing more than Nouthetic Counseling. sounds a warning alarm. ESV Study Bible. enabling them to participate with him in his death. but the exploration of the wisdom that resides in him is the task of a lifetime… It is necessary.Thus he exhorts them to ―imitate‖ him (v. they have not learned all there is to know once they have come to Christ. ἵ να παραςτόςωμεν πϊντα ἄνθρωπον τϋλειον ἐ ν Χριςτῷ∑ Him we proclaim. 87-88. which means to return to his ―way of life in Christ Jesus‖ (v. inextricably linking the evangelistic proclamation with the pastoral task. and fullness. Yes. not only to preach the gospel but also.40 Nouthetic Counseling. but discipleship must follow.‖ 42 Peter T. Fee. that we may present everyone mature in Christ. we proclaim Christ. clearly helping to frame his intention to preach Christ. 183. TX: Word. ties together the ideas of “public” and “private” proclamation of God’s word. O‘Brien. resurrection.17). warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom.

First is the conversational application. 134).‖ While the Covenanter faith sees this text as driving the content of our song. one should also see it as a provoking command of not just WHAT one sings. ἐ ν πϊςῃ ςοφύᾳ διδϊςκοντεσ καὶ νουθετοῦντες ἑ αυτούσ.44 However. but ONLY Christ’s wisdom to accomplish the work. Colossians 3:16 ὁ λόγοσ τοῦ Χριςτοῦ ἐ νοικεύτω ἐ ν ὑμῖ ν πλουςύωσ. ―‗[T]eaching and instructing…‘ and ‗singing…. 44 Bruce. F. the second. 13 (p. singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. 158. The Colossians were being called upon to teach and admonish one another. to “instruct everyone and teach everyone in all wisdom. 45 Bruce‘s footnote: ―The participles may have imperatival force. to Philemon.‖ 18 43 . as Paul had encouraged those in Rome.‘45 suggests that the singing might be a means of mutual edification as well as a vehicle of praise to God. worshipful application is just as important. 1984). teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom. F. Two facets of this text drive our understanding of its practical use in the life of the Christian.43 As our very first parents needed the counsel of God in their living. Bruce. as in v. n. This is a life-long endeavor of aiding one another along the path. NICNT: The Epistles to the Colossians. 86-87. but THAT our singing accomplish a Nouthetic work amongst our brothers and sisters in Christ. with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ψαλμοῖ σ ὕμνοισ ᾠδαῖ σ πνευματικαῖ σ ἐ ν [τῇ] χϊριτι ᾄδοντεσ ἐ ν ταῖ σ καρδύαισ ὑμῶν τῷ θεῷ∑ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. we indeed need the wisdom of Christ applied to every facet of our life.when people have believed the gospel. and to the Ephesians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. 155. using the entirety of Christ’s wisdom.

F. The corollary of this is that the leaders should be the kind of people who deserve to be recognized and honored by their fellow Christians.47 it will make for the effective life and witness of the church and for peaceful relations among its members if its leaders are recognized and honored and their directions followed.46 While it is clear that there was interpersonal strife in Thessalonica. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 παρακαλοῦμεν δὲ ὑμᾶσ. The one admonishing is now over the admonished. NICNT: The First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. help the weak. 49 1 Pt 5:2. brothers. 19 46 . would drive toward.‖48 Rumblings of Romans 15 are heard here. merely. 1991). The Nouthetic Counselor has the good of the counselee in mind. however. brothers. not a superiority of person. not ―lording it over them‖49 but exercising oversight in such a way that the people know they are loved and respect. are won. 163. παραμυθεῖ ςθε τοὺσ ὀλιγοψύχουσ. ἀδελφού. μακροθυμεῖ τε πρὸσ πϊντασ. 118.1 Thessalonians 5:12 Ἐρωτῶμεν δὲ ὑμᾶσ. εἰ δϋναι τοὺσ κοπιῶντασ ἐ ν ὑμῖ ν καὶ προώςταμϋνουσ ὑμῶν ἐ ν κυρύῳ καὶ νουθετοῦντας ὑμᾶσ We ask you. Those ―full of goodness‖ will want the best for those whom they counsel. ἀδελφού. to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you. TX: Word. be patient with them all. 48 Bruce. And we urge you. F. 1982). The ―in the Lord‖ clarifying would. 120. 1 Thessalonians 5:12 brings the authority of Nouthetic Counseling into the fray. ἀντϋχεςθε τῶν ἀςθενῶν. encourage the fainthearted. but. and hearing. νουθετεῖ τε τοὺσ ἀτϊκτουσ. Bruce. 45: 1 & 2 Thessalonians (Waco. Laboring and admonishing are not official terms of position. a superiority of position. 47 Leon Morris. admonish the idle. Word Biblical Commentary. but speak to the work of the ones over those admonished.

when one considers a general ecclesiastical definition of admonition–50 Admonition—This is the lightest degree of censure and is commonly used by the court in cases of neglect of duty. 2 Thessalonians 3:15 καὶ μὴ ὡσ ἐ χθρὸν ἡγεῖ ςθε. ass they sigh for the peace of their heavenly country. that he may be ashamed.51 The Nouthetic Counselor must bathe every moment of counseling in prayer. It consists of reproving the offender. Otherwise. but deserves the warning of those who love him? Verse 14 answers this: ―If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter. all of this work. a loving admonishment is seen in the ministry with the fainthearted and the weak.6. even if God makes use of a creature subject to Him to speak to the human senses in some human form–whether to the corporeal senses or to those very similar ones which we possess when asleep–and does not rule and direct our minds with His inward grace.1. take note of that person. –and sees its more broad application in ministry. as is any ministry of the Word. Nouthetically. Of course. While νουθετε here is applied to only the idle. ἀλλὰ νουθετεῖ τε ὡσ ἀδελφόν. Augustine. An even more dire tone is heard in 2 Thessalonians 3:15. 20 . i. Do not regard him as an enemy. City of God. Who is this one who is not an enemy. is linked vitally to the Holy Spirit. no preaching of the truth is of profit to a man. but warn him as a brother. 15.Verse 14 introduces the diversity of the Nouthetic task. Bu the Holy Spirit works inwardly to give effect to the remedy which is applied outwardly.e. warning him of the danger of his course. As Augustine said of this passage: It is in this way that citizens of the City of God are healed while they are pilgrims on this earth.a. and have nothing to do with him.‖ The apostle here is taking to task 50 51 RPCNA Book of Discipline 4. which brings the true comfort and cure of the soul. and charging him to be more faithful in his Christian life.

Augustine also commented on this passage: Here it is as though doves are quarreling together. He immediately added. 64:3.52 Old Testament/Septuigant Summary Eight instances of νουθετέω in the Old Testament (Septuigant) occur in the book of Job (4:3. 30:1. this single use points up what happens when we fail to practice biblical. 34:16. Adams. We will examine all the passages together. 40:4) alone and one is in 1 Samuel (3:13). for the sanctifying good of the one being counseled. we turned to George Scipione: to verbally confront 52 53 Augustine. 21 . but rebuke him as a brother. verbal.those who would ignore the Word of God. The apostle said. etc. Nouthetic Counseling. thought. Ironically.‖ A dove is loving even when it is beating. notice the love that comes to the fore.e. But notice how it‘s a quarrel of doves.‖ There‘s the quarrel. Which pushes again the cognitive interaction of the counselee with their sin and how their thinking (i. But. commenting on them in one section. ―And do not regard him as an enemy. comprehension. The lone use in 1 Samuel deals with Eli‘s sons.53 Distilled more simply. rooted in the authoritative Word of God. Christ-centered person-to person confrontation of a person‘s sin or problem in life. we saw Jay Adams‘ own definition of Nouthetic Counseling: a loving. The uses in Job all reflect the mind: understanding. Summary Definition Above. theology) drives their practice. Sermons. ―If anyone fails to obey our word by this letter. 37:14. 36:12. mark that person and do not mix with him. a wolf hates even when it is being charming. not of wolves. 41-56. 23:15. whom he would not Nouthetically confront. 38:18.

but love‘s. for the purpose of right thinking regarding God and right living unto him. the term and its working definition are a 20th Century addition to ministerial language. as a 20 th Century term and philosophy. for their change. that his rule and reign might be specifically applied to all matters of the heart and life of those who have been conquered by him. working itself out in firm pastoral practice. built on biblical authority. Is this Nouthetic approach a truly new idea or is it merely a rediscovery of the Ancient Paths55 of the Church? If this is a timeless way of [accessed November 16. 55 Jer 6:16. not philosophical strength and human understanding. does Nouthetic Counseling. characterized by passionate interpersonal communication. warning of those neglecting the Word of God. as we have seen. Vimeo video file. understood to intend the building up the one being counseled. doxologically concerned and practiced in the context of the Church‘s worship. if not expanded on slightly. an activity which seeks to renew the mind. Nouthetic Counsling would then be:          ―one anothering‖ which is rooted in both the believer‘s righteousness (given by Christ) and his knowledge of the Word. http:// player. 1:25. but not faddish and flimsy. grounding them in the Scriptures. how. even evangelistic. set within the broader context of Church History. admonishment that reaches all matters of life. not for shame‘s sake. evangelical. Nouthetic Counseling in History–Historical Perspective While the term ―Nouthetic Counseling‖ is rooted in and extracted from Scripture.someone for their good. then one should expect to discover traces of the Nouthetic way– Scipione. 22 54 . But.vimeo.‖54 Examining the ―νουθετέω Scriptures‖ we see these definitions present. then. 2012]. And all of this would be for the purpose of Christ‘s Mediatorial Kingship to be furthered by the precise battling of sin in the lives of his subjects. especially being tied to Christ‘s work as Mediatorial King.

state. as they have particular connection to the State. who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD loved Israel forever. that you may execute justice and righteousness. Anyone who understands Church History knows that various ages of the Church see surges in understanding and practice in some portion of the Christian ministry. A text which the Church now uses to 56 1 Kings 10:9 23 . particularly men who sat upon the throne now taken by Christ himself: Nathan‘s confrontation of David (2 Samuel 11-12) and the Queen of Sheba‘s trek to meet Solomon (1 Kings 10).deeply biblical confrontation of sin out of love for the counselee–in each age of the Church. the Reformation. The Old & New Testaments with the early Church and Patristic Age through Medieval times. finding then the context into which the contemporary Nouthetic Counseling movement was born. within their history. Old Testament While only nine references to νουθετϋω are found in the Septuigant. he has made you king. and on into the Modern Era and 20th Century will be briefly examined to see. Could the queen give any more fitting response to being in Solomon‘s presence than: Blessed be the LORD your God. samples of how the Counseling portion of the ministry was viewed and practiced.‖56 And it was this very lack of justice and righteousness that had Nathan calling David out for his sins. confrontational wisdom is found being doled out by the leaders of church. and family. Could David have any more fitting response than And a fruit of his repentance is Psalm 51. plenty of loving. Two examples from the life of Israel stand out. Both involved counsel given (Nathan to David for his repentance and Solomon to Sheba‘s Queen for her own benefit as leader).

His letters show him alertly and imaginatively concerned for local church situations and the individuals associated with them. As McNeill notes: In his study of Paul as a missionary Martin Schlunk states that the greatness of the Apostle derives from the fact that ―he possessed the gift of the cure of souls (Seelsorge) in outstanding measure and employed the art with wonderful mastery. the offspring of David who rules in perfect justice and righteousness. are found in the text of Scripture itself. 58 John T. Paul also shows.ccef. early on. 80-81. Theological Foundations and Counseling Model. the Puritans and Jonathan Edwards.58 Even as he trains Timothy. New Testament.‖ Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. those who persist in sin 9 (1 Timothy 5:20). McNeill A History of the Cure of Souls (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers. While filled with eagerness.‖ Paul was very conscious of his responsibility for the rising Christian communities. he reminds him to confront those in various stages of life. org/ccef-history-theological-foundations-and-counseling-model [accessed November 16. High points include the early church fathers.. http://www.admonish one another as we worship Christ. 1951). David Powlison and Tim Lane. ―CCEF History. the rich (1 Timothy 6:17). the Reformation. how a minister of the gospel should counsel those under and around him. he is also weighted down by what he calls ―the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches‖ (2 Cor. 24 57 . 11:28). Paul‘s Epistles are fraught with a high view of pastoral care. In addition to the actual use of νουθετέω. by example. etc.‖57 Indeed the very high points. 2012]. Early Church & Church Fathers David Powlison and Tim Lane write: ―Through the centuries there have been high points and low points in the church‘s understanding and practice of good pastoral care. and to generally do the work he‘s called to (2 Timothy 4:1-2).

Pope Calixtus I. 61 Ibid.60 The debate regarding metanoia (repentance) and exomologesis (confession) raged as we see divergent views of confession. even within the church. and restoration develop in the Church. repentance. with the explicit statement: ‗There is but one repentance to the servants of God‘ (i.e. whether it be idolatry or adultery. 25 .. 89. These issues. Hermas. 90-94. 89 Ibid. it might be hard to imagine a time when ―…the Christian right of baptism required earnest repentance and renunciation of sin. He explains that God. via his Letters. to be baptized). and baptismal repentance seemed decisive and final…‖59 Some were even reluctant to permit re-admittance to the Church after moral failure. as we have seen. and Cyprian. were more gracious. unchastity. as ―The Angel of Repentance… permits the restoration of an adulterous wife or husband. In a modern age of moral laxity.. What we begin to see developing is assignments of penance for specific sins committed. has mercifully permitted this. knowing the weakness of men and the wiles of the devil. in both the Eastern and Western branches. The Shepherd of Hermas spoke to this matter.61 59 60 McNeill.The second and third centuries saw a growing diversity in understanding of how sin should be dealt with in the life of the believer. or how the soul should be cured. and homicide. allowing those sins to be repented of and the sinner restored. Men like Tertullian and Origen refuse to extend even the one opportunity for post-baptismal repentance to apply to the capital sins of idolatry. as well as how public and sever the repentance and penance should be continued on into the Medieval Era.

Gregory the Great. subordinates and leaders.‖62 Clearly. if we are ―to verbally confront someone for their good. NY: St. those who are able to preach with dignity but fear to do so out of humility and those whose lack of skill or age prevents from preaching but who nevertheless rush into preaching. http:// player. the sincere and the [accessed November 16. the same. and those who have become so hardened in iniquity that they cannot be corrected by punishment. the lazy and the hasty. He begins his introductory remarks this way: Indeed. even as the preacher must know his audience. the discourse of the teacher should be adapted to the character of his audience so that it can address the specific needs of each individual and yet never shrink from the art of communal edification. Part III of his work is devoted to the art of differentiation. the obstinate and the fickle. Vimeo video file. and those who both give generously and persist in taking from others. those who are St. 63 Scipione. However.‖63 we must be able to clearly distinguish and communicate to: Men and women. the healthy and the sick. servants and masters. the well disposed and the envious. we find one work which is still a hallmark of pastoral theology: Gregory the Great‘s The Book of Pastoral Rule. the bold and the modest the forward and the timid. Indeed. is true in the private work of Nouthetic Counseling. those who do not steal from others but do not give of their own. the wise of the world and the dull.Transitioning out of the patristic age. because not everyone shares the same quality of character… Therefore. at least. 2007). 87. 1:25. those who live in discord and those who are peaceful. long before us. those who sow strife and those who are peacemakers. the humble and he proud. Vladimir‘s Seminary Press. those who do not speak enough and those who speak too much. (Crestwood. Also to be advised differently are: those who misinterpret the words of sacred Scripture. those who fear punishment and therefore live innocently. The Book of Pastoral Rule. joyful and sad. 26 62 . 2012]. poor and rich. for their change. and those who understand them but do not speak about them with humility. young and old. The counselor must know his counselee. the gluttonous and the abstinent. Gregory Nazianzus of blessed memory taught that one and the same exhortation is not suited for everyone.vimeo. Gregory the Great has the public proclamation of the Word in mind. the impatient and the patient. the meek and the easily provoked. those who give mercifully and those who steal from others.

64 With Gregory the Great‘s going on to address each of these individually.successful in worldly pursuits and those who desire the things of the world but are [unsuccessful]. those who bewail their sins but do not cease in committing them. those who have experienced sins of the flesh and those who are ignorant of them. In some parts of the Christian Kingdom. those who do not begin good works and those who begin but complete few of them. 88-89. McNeill. and those who avoid small sins but occasionally fall into grave ones. and those who conceal the good works they do yet allow for a bad opinion of themselves because of some of the things they do publicly. and those who cease but do not bewail past sins. it is no wonder that his text is still used to train pastors and that his work was done in an era seen as a high water mark for pastoral care. and Innocent I all helped develop the practice of private confession. those who are overcome by unexpected desires and those who bind themselves deliberately in sin. the cure of souls. Siricius. entire manuals were written. The Medieval or Middle Ages saw this matter morph from an extremely public activity on the part of the Christian.65 Along with this practice developed the penitential practice of assigning works to pay for the sin confessed. thos who boast about their sinful behavior and those who confess their sins but do not put an end to them. those whose sins are minor but commit them frequently. which developed the 64 65 Gregory the Great. those who deplore sins of action and those who deplore sins of thought. those who do evil secretly and good publicly. Medieval Ages The issue of confession and repentance was beginning to be addressed and fought passionately over in the era of the Church. those who are bound by wedlock and those who are free of the ties of marriage. 98-99 27 . with proper activities being assigned to pay for the sin. Popes Leo the Great. Nouthetic Counseling. being done before the entire congregation with sins listed in detail to an activity very private with only the sinner and priest involved. particularly by the Celtic scholars.

as in the private protection of an attorney and client. with the consequences of the confessed sin moving from impossible to a near scientific system of works to be done. as those impacted by the sin are made aware of it. confession of sins and absolution have biblical precedent.69 because it impacts the broader body. 774. we see confession moving from a part of the public worship service to a private matter between parishioner and priest. McNeill. Scripture gives a modicum of privacy for the purpose of working through matters of sin and confession. and the sole basis was Christ‘s satisfaction rather than the believer‘s. 118. absolute privacy. Consequentially. with manuals that helped ministers ―deal with all sorts of persons in all moral and spiritual predicaments. However. however. The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Grand Rapids: Zondervan. and in Lutheran and Reformed churches these elements of penance were part of the public service rather than a private sacrament. 69 RPCNA Book of Discipline.‖68 In Nouthetic Counseling. While there is Ibid. Horton notes: ―Certainly.66 So. the confession is as public as the sin. is never guaranteed. deposed. 68 Michael Horton..‖67 Extremism in this matter led to non-biblical practice. 67 66 28 . a faithful application of Matthew 18 is sought after. or excommunicated.confessional ministry along the lines of the ancient soul guides. 112-135. the entire congregation is made aware of the sins of those being suspended. 2011). Both extremes of every sin being out in the open and no sin being out in the open are against Scriptural practice. on useful facet of the malpractice is helpful in the good practice of Nouthetic Counseling. from the 2nd and 3rd centuries to the 14th. When corrective church discipline is applied to an erring member.

1995). see one aspect of Nouthetic Counsel: Homework. 29 70 . consequentially. Field. their habits to see sin. the flesh. New Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology (Downers Grove.72 In Jay E. above.. we do. Post-Reformation. Richard Baxter. applying it to the work of the Church and her ministers in ministering to humanity. 2008). Insight and Creativity in Christian Counseling: A Study of the Usual and the Unique ( one-to-one correlation between every sin in every person and the deeds needed to overcome that sin. a manual like unto the Celtic manuals. one need only perform a brief survey of Reformation. 56. Atkinson and David H. While the assignments given do not pay for sin. considered preeminent in its generation of such texts. IL: Inter-Varsity Press. the counselor should be creative and insightful70 in giving work to the counselee that exposes the heart behind their sin and gives them hope in renewing their minds and. SC: Timeless Texts. and Puritan literature to see that the ideas within the work of Nouthetic Counseling were alive and well during this vital time of Church History. eds. 80. known for his application of Christ‘s Kingship to all facets of life and the human kingdoms of this earth71 composed Concerning the True Care of Souls. the world. combining the helpful categories of Gregory the Great above and the desire to see sin overcome in those assigning penance. Adams. 72 David J. The Reformed Pastor. who not only wrote The Manual of Pastoral Discipline. and the devil overcome. 71 See Bucer‘s De Regno Christi. gravitating to the terms like the Cure and Care of Souls. in which every spiritual problem is given a definite antidote. in which he expounds Scripture after Scripture. Reformation & Post-Reformation While the Reformers and Puritans would not have used the words Nouthetic or Nouthetic Counsling. Bucer himself. but also gave the Church his classic work.

73 As has been said above. For all people need the same consolations that have similar complaints. The Reformed Pastor: A Pattern for Personal Growth and Ministry (Portland: Multnomah Press. biblical holiness in their lives: I have had a deep conviction for many years that practical holiness and entire self-consecration to god are not sufficiently attended to by modern Christians in this country… Satan knows well the power of true holiness… [and] just as in time past he has succeeded in mystifying and confusing men‘s minds about justification. helping folk to identify sin and and seek true. the very century that saw so much scientific discovery that helped develop the psychologized view of humanity into the 20th century. categorizes the types of folk to whom the Christian pastor ministers. 1982). C. 77. Ryle. Giving a basis for peace in our people‘s souls that is sure and lasting is a vital ministry. Ryle. he says about the disconsolate: …our work among the converted is to comfort the disconsolate. iii. Richard Baxter. like Gregory the Great. 30 73 . so he is labouring in the present day to make men ‗darken counsel by words without knowledge‘ about sanctification. 1971). 74 J. Holiness (Grand Rapids: Associated Publishers and Authors. we still see a strong. with his work on Holiness. does the Nouthetic Counselor not need to know the person to which he is ministering? Do we not need to learn the contours of this life and the types of persons living it? Should we not seek to give hope and peace to those feeling hopeless in their struggle against sin? Should we not go to battle for them? Modern Era & Early 20th Century Pressing into the 19th Century.‘74 Little did he know how much worse it would get in the decades which came. C.his section on the oversight of the flock. where he. biblical understanding of pastoral care and counseling coming from he likes of Bishop J. To this end we need to know the character of the complainants and the course of their lives.

A man may be a great preacher. Most solemn is he obligation resting upon ministers to watch for souls as those who must give account. those falsely desiring ―believer‘s baptism. Great preaching-power will not do without this. who pastored Frankford Church. Without due attention to them no man can be either faithful or successful in the sacred [accessed November 16. even among today‘s ministers: It is an elementary principle of his office as a pastor that he is to watch over the flock committed to his care. A Pastor’s Sketches: Conversations with Anxious Souls Concerning the Way of Salvation (Vestavia.Ichabod Spencer. 2012]. Pastoral Theology: The Pastor in the Various Duties of His Office. In Chapter 5.vimeo. the old struggling to give up drunkenness. 1:25. which have occurred under the ordinary ministration of a very humble individual…‖ The Church has been blessed for 162 years now with these Sketches that are both applicable and marvelous as one can read of the young struggling with repentance. ―The Pastor in His Personal Parochial Work.‖ Murphy points up a common problem.‖ pastor of 2nd Presbyterian Church there. authored another great work. gave pastors and seminarians a gold-mine of examples of how to apply the gospel to the many facets of human experience.‖ and a host of other ―problems‖ in between those. so much as on the ground of their applicability. but through neglect of the other pastoral Ichabod Spencer. Spencer is a true example of ―verbally confront[ing] someone for their good.75 in his work A Pastor’s Sketches: Conversations with Anxious Souls Concerning the Way of Salvation. for their change. Vimeo video file.‖76 Thomas Murphy. Introduction to the New Edition. 76 Scipione. AL: Solid Ground Christian Books. 31 75 . 2001). as they refer to common experiences and common difficulties. not on the ground of their marvelousness. Indeed his own hope was that ―these Sketches might be useful. the ―Bunyan of Brooklyn. in Philadelphia. http:// player. These less conspicuous duties of the ministerial office are indispensable.

Many times. The simple lists in the New Testament gave place ot a detailed catalogue of sins which must be systematically checked and overcome. counsel and penance. but. and applies the remedies in rebuke. Murphy also. PA: Old Paths Publications. folk are more open to the input of the gospel when they are not expecting it. in the Nouthetic Counseling work of the pastor. This is a holy art which should be carefully studied and diligently practiced by every ordained workman in the vineyard of the Lord. 78 Murphy. rather. besetting sins. however.duties come far short of the good he might otherwise have accomplished. The ―disorders‖ of the souls are now ―sins‖‘ the guide.79 The 20th Century & the Adamsian Revolution Thomas Murphy. knowing the people. it is often the case that a minister of but moderate power it he pulpit will do much for the cause of Christ by his tact and industry and fidelity in the other parochial duties. gives the remedy: On the other hand. 32 77 . faithfully.77 But with this problem. even and especially when the time of visiting is not an official counseling session.78 He goes on to break down the various visiting duties of the pastor and how to handle each one. Scripture was being substituted with human reason and understanding. wherein a few attained a high spirituality but the majority were earnestly engaged in a perpetual warfare with their besetting sins. are all helpful. off the cuff. 2001). Pastoral Theology: The Pastor in the Various Duties of His Office (Willow Street. 111. Toward the end of this era in the church. 79 McNeill. or physician of souls diagnoses the patient‘s case in terms of sin. 223. Again. McNeill deals curtly with this paradigm shift in his A History of the Cure of Souls: The pursuit of holiness took the form of ascetic discipline. That reflection upon the soul‘s diseases which we observed in Cicero and Seneca appears here in new systematized psychology. their particular issues. a reversal began to happen. 223-224. and how to best minister grace and peace to those.

both of which would have been trained for such a ―ministry‖ at a secular university. Increasingly. the middle of the 20th Century saw a revolution come. psychologists. men like Clyde Narramore & H. culture. David Powlison. church. Christian counseling was being shaken down and set back up on the bedrock of God‘s Word as the source of wisdom for handling all of life‘s problems. The entire process of counsel and care was failing to uphold the dignity of humanity. everything from the counseling of marriage problems to the more difficult cases of personality was handed over to the ―professional. This wasn‘t just a Christian ―problem.‖ Even secular theorizers. or a secular humanist at worst. at best.‖ a parachurch counselor. while many in the church were adopting either the liberal mode of pastoral counseling or the conservative mode of Christian Psychotherapy. As the century matured. While culture and society were shaken up by the deconstructionists.As the world traveled into the 20th century. faculty member at 80 German: ―Spirit of the Age‖ 33 . especially as men and women struggled with their inorganic problems–problems caused by the stresses and strains of life. but. not the bio-chemical make-up of their bodies. and Gary Collins were doing their part to integrate Christian religion and modern psychological theory. and society had begun to give in to the zeitgeist80 of the gospel minister as limited in his clinical skills and resources. This handing over came to be expected. and psychiatrists were developing their own conclusions about the presuppositions and practices within the psychiatric & therapeutic world. Norman Wright. not only by the academics of society. but also by the sheep and shepherds within the Christian fold.

one might say that the two epicenters of the earthquake were the atheistic Thomas Szasz‘ The Myth of Mental Illness and the Christian Jay Adams‘ Competent to Counsel.‖84 One more optimistic might hope. labeling that which has no physical manifestation as sick and diseased. dissertation for the University of The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context (Greensboro. transactional analysis (Eric Berne). Hobart Mowrer). The Myth of Psychotherapy (New York: Doubleday. with few exceptions. a non-practicing Jew called Freudianism ―the clever and cynical destruction of the spirituality of man. which points up: …numerous overtly directive-interventive psychotherapies were created midcentury: rational-emotive therapy (Albert Ellis).‖83 Another psychiatrist. reality therapy (William Glasser). and its replacement by a positivistic ‗science of mind…‘ not merely a religion that pretends to be a science [but] a face religion that seeks to destroy true religion. 1978).ccef. In other words. Szasz . integrity therapy (O. on exactly the same scientific plane as the techniques used by witchdoctors. Fuller Torrey was not as kind: ―The techniques used by Western psychiatrists are. 146. as Richard K.82 Textually. 23. While others had certainly developed their anti-Freudian systems. More information at www. David Powlison. 49. 139. 1982). 84 Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen. structural family therapy (Salvador Minuchin).the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation81 in Glenside. PA and Senior Editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling has written an extensive volume. 82 81 34 . primarily his Ph. and other marriage and family therapies. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Intervarsity Press. NC: New Growth Press. E. Szasz and Adams shook up their respective camps by calling into question the authority of the psychological and psychiatric systems presently in place and there approach to helping people handle life. 28. 2010). they started a turf war. 83 Thomas Szasz.

which was. Pragmatism is the watchword of the day.. a rediscovery of the ancient tradition of lovingly confronting the counselee for their good. rather than a biblical and Nouthetic approach. and Albert L. N. along with his guilt. 86 This pragmatism is a far cry from the words of Psalm 1:1-2: ―Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked. are adaptable. psychiatrist. Richard K. 86 George H. Meiburg. 35 85 . actually.Young that. but his delight is in the law of the LORD. Thos methods taken fro the secular setting. A method is not shunned simply because a non-believing scholar used it first. Freudian. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1960. nor stands in the way of sinners. Bearden and Ruby Bertsch. Scriptural principles are the basis of Christian counseling. Psychiatrist and Minister Collaborate in Healing. while firm biblical counsel has not appeared to work. 9.‖ This pragmatism sets the stage for the renewal of Nouthetic Counseling.: Inspirational Publishing Co. narcissistic generation. nouthetic counseling. Rogerian–no matter what it‘s called–any method that really works has already been outlined in God‘s Word. 1985). and on his law he meditates day and night. which are not in conflict with God‘s Word.85 But the fact of the matter is that two often the secular psychologist and psychiatrist believe the minister to be an archaic practitioner that brings greater hurt. and minister might all work alongside one another in the labor of bringing healing. in ―Spiritual Therapy. Those which deviate are avoided. Psychological theory has appeared to work in our autonomous. The Christian Counselor’s Manual: How to Apply God’s Word to Everyday Living–Minimizing Pressures Maintaining Positive Attitudes (Peterborough. but because they will not work. Spiritual Therapy: How the Physician. nor sits in the seat of scoffers. Unfortunately. a common understanding of the place of psychology and counseling within the church.H.‖ a physician. Jay Adams threw a monkey-wrench into the works of those who had fully Young. could be summarized by one pastor who said: Whether it‘s transcendental meditation. not because they are contaminated by man‘s wisdom. reality therapy.

and walking in newness of life. Competent to Counsel. and John Bettler have all trained men and women who are now training men and women. 89 Rom 13:4. as a See Wayne E.adopted Freudian and other psychological theories. In this simple book. working through what might truly be wrong with the ―mentally ill‖. with such ideas as Clinical Pastoral Education. Adams worked through his basic outline: exposing the sin and dangers in modern psychological.87 In 1970. or were seeking to integrated those theories into theological frameworks.. Oates. the counselee was not a morally neutral upon whom the system worked. It undercut the secular mindset and the Christian mindset that said the underlying philosophies of a counseling theory meant nothing. An Introduction to Pastoral Counseling (Nashville: Broadman Press. 36 87 . iii-vi.88 It was simple. techniques.1959). In Adams‘ Nouthetic approach. how Christian school teachers should approach the work of Nouthetic Counseling. he was one of God‘s image-bearers. defining Nouthetic Counseling. George Scipione. Rom 6:4. The movement. the Holy Spirit. confession of sin. solving humanity‘s problems. confessing his sins. ed. then basic tools to help the process. David Powlison. but powerful. called upon to enter into the process of putting off sin and putting on Christ. relating Nouthetic Counseling with the Counselor. basic. Jay Adams published Competent to Counsel: Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling. theories. communication. contrasting the Nouthetic approach with secular approaches that might be like it.89 Today The Nouthetic Counseling movement has now seen the arrival of her third and fourth generations. Eph 4. especially Freudian. as long as it worked. 88 Adams. introducing the pastor‘s role in Nouthetic Counseling.

Nouthetic counselors seek to live up to the challenge put forth by Jay Adams in the introduction to Competent to Counsel: ―All concepts. continues to struggle with itself such issues as the nature of Nouthetic Counseling. as well as The Master‘s College and Seminary91.‖94 Heath Lambert notes well: More information at www. CA. 91 90 37 . 94 Adams. Despite the questions. 2012]. More information at www. See John MacArthur. thanks in no small part to organizations like CCEF in Pennsylvania and the Institue for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship90 in Sand Diego. Competent to Counsel. terms and methods used in counseling need to be re-examined [accessed November 16.masters. 93 David Powlison and Tim Lane. it seems.93 These new generations of pastoral. not becaue it seeks to be popular. 92 More information at its basis for counsel.nance. How much should drug therapies be encouraged? How do the organic and inorganic problems of life interrelate? These issues and questions continue to burn in the minds of Nouthetic practitioners and will for coming generations. Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. Nouthetic Counseling. Not one thing can be accepted from the past (or the present) without biblical warrant. and the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors92 that Nouthetic Counseling has seen a surge in popularity.ibcd. of John MacArthur despite the conflict.movement. or even claim to work. xviii. Counseling: How to Counsel Biblically (Nashville: Thomas Nelson. http://www. 2005) for the account of Grace Community Church‘s and The Master‘s College‘s stand for Nouthetic Counseling over against the place of Nouthetic Counseling in the local church over against centers that operate on a payment basis. but because it seeks to be faithful to the Word of God.

97 www. from age to age. brokenness. however.Adams‘s work was not perfect. http:// player. However. and the problems of life. Vimeo video file. there is no way that it could have been. maintained or recovered a biblical. Understood in his historical context. the Church should examine just how the Nouthetic Counseling ideal. helping Heath Lambert. 163. can be applied more deeply in both Christ‘s Churchly Kingdom. 2012]. As we press into the 21st Century. IL: Crossway.vimeo. This effort has been the work of the second generation of biblical counselors. above. 2012). but also in his Stately Kingdom. in Church and State ―to verbally confront someone for their good. In what ways is it proper. It will continue to be the work of successive generations. exegetical analysis of Scripture.‖97 The historical survey. Scripturally rooted. also above.95 Nouthetic Counseling in 21st Century Church & Society–Applicational Perspective So what? The church has more or less. Adams was a Luther. Pastors were seen as inept bulls in the delicate China shops of the human heart. 1:25. What should be expected is theological reflection and development that makes wise and loving Christians increasingly competent to counsel. in no way competent to counsel those suffering under their own mistakes. for their change. The Biblical Counseling Movement after Adams ( 38 95 . the Church began to abdicate her role of discipleship to the secular motifs of psychological theory and their practitioners. shows clearly that the work of confronting those in sin and building up those struggling in the problems of life. 96 [accessed November 16. Nouthetic approach. points up that over time.‖96 Nouthetic Counseling in Christ’s Churchly Kingdom The motto of the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation says it best: ―Restoring Christ to Counseling and Counseling to the Church. Adams brought the force of a founder–and the flaws that come with it.

Acts 20:20. One finds at least two specific applications regarding the work of Nouthetic Counseling in the church: 1. funding. CA is an excellent example. as it will add to the ongoing work of the local body. now older and converted and given the apostolic ministry reflects on his time in Ephesus saying ―…how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable. though. where Paul. But the focus and fruit are polar opposite. and teaching you in public and from house to house…‖ Be aware that the enemy. of believers. he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Nouthetic Counseling belongs in every home. should seek to excel in the work of Nouthetic Counseling. and entering house after house. Churches tend to find the niche they feel they can accomplish well and focus on that. Elders and pastors must The Institute of Biblical Counseling and Discipleship in San Diego. Both involve the labors of Paul. and specifically and more regularly. History and Exegesis bear out that every congregation. seeks to enter every home. is the work. This demands training. and the devil.‖ Consider. The gospel must also seek the same entrance. Each congregation should labor to do this work among themselves and encourage their pastor(s) to do this work over and above the labors of the people. It is striking to reflect on the difference between Acts 8:3 and Acts 20:20. pastor and people. and. In Acts 8:3. in most cases. or pastors and elders. generally. the flesh. of ministers of the gospel. The internet offers unlimited resources and training98 to anyone seeking to better their skills as a Nouthetic Counselor. In an age of specialization. young Saul) ―ravaging the church. 2. Both take place in every house of the land.them to glorify God through it. we discover Paul (as. by the world. 39 98 . then. Nouthetic Counseling belongs in every church. time.

it must advance intimately. becoming close to all its subjects. applying it directly to the problems of the people and calling them to faith and repentance. these two applications are not being practiced consistently by all gospelpreaching churches. The State? More difficult. one should recall that Christ is not merely the King of the Church. Many of those same congregations are detracting from the power of Christ‘s Kingdom by submitting themselves to another priesthood. If holiness is to grow in the home. rather than power. If the Kingdom of King Jesus is to advance. one would be wise to focus on limited ways in which Christ‘s Kingship can be imaginatively introduced to the ministries of the state. Firstly. and the sentence is handed down. Nouthetic Counseling in Christ’s Stately Kingdom How should Nouthetic Counseling. are nothing new. but also of the State and every human institution. seen as the hand-to-hand combat of Christ‘s Kingly army. Incarcerating guilty criminals is well-within the bounds of the states 40 . in the family. perhaps even simplistic. if These conclusions. For the purposes here. a jury of peers declares the accused guilty.consider the work of visitation important enough to go house-to-house declaring the Word. two applications will be given to Nouthetic Counseling in the work of the State: justice department and political officials. it might be said. Justice Department At what point are the problems of life more clear or distinct than when a crime is committed. and merely Ritalin. one that offers only Prozac. be applied to the Church? Easy. rather than redemption. Secondly. However.

99 However. 1996). What would the prisons of America look like if chaplains were trained in Nouthetic Counseling? What if.101 Clearly. for their good. Savior or Servant? Putting Government in Its Place (Oak Ridge. prisoners were confronted with God‘s Word. once tasting the riches of Egypt would not prefer an onion sandwich to the sands of following Christ. both are challenging.) Put forth men already Christ-honoring in the Sphere of the State. a large part will be when the officials of that government honor Christ. TN: The Kuyper Institute. for their change? Political Officials If we desire our government to honor Christ. 100 Mt 19:24. reformation should be paramount.) ―Evangelize‖ those already in positions of authority to an understanding of Christ‘s Mediatorial Kingship over the State.responsibilities. Teaching young people that desiring civic. 101 Nu 11:5: a picture of Israelites desiring delicacies of Egypt over against the wanderings caused by their sin. in our modern prison system ―rehabilitation‖ becomes the goal. when. And both are necessary. David W. garner the name-recognition to win an election in the current climate. 41 99 . perhaps. but considering the capital it takes to formulate campaigns. 2. raising up candidates for public office who understand their place under Christ is a work of many generations. There are two ways to get to this goal: 1. The second however is like answering ―Can a rich man enter the Kingdom?‖100 Is there a man or woman who. 125-126. rather than helping dismiss their guilt. Which is easier? The first might be. But how? The first work. or suffer victimization at the hands of their parents or teachers. Hall. and to maintain a ―faithful base‖ might consider the second option easier.

How do you lovingly communicate the: tremendous… declaration that ―the smoke of torment‖ of those who espouse the cause of the beast. prayers.political leadership is not bad. as it applies to Christ‘s Kingship over the Nations. Teaching them at a young age to understand the civil magistrates public position in light of Psalm 2 will lead to coming generations of Christ-honoring civil servants.‖ from ―the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone!‖ But it is ―deserved punishment. Civil Government: An Exposition of Romans 13:1-7. and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior. for kings and all who are in high positions.‖ for how can the lovers of the blessed Redeemer. Willson. 42 . James R. that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life. The second work.102 This is where Nouthetic Counseling in the Political sphere begins. I urge that supplications. and yield to him their support. building relationships with those moving toward public service. and yield their homage to him who is characterized by blasphemy. faithfully declaring Christ‘s Kingship to those already in political office for the purpose of winning them to the biblical view. presents its own challenges. who makes war upon the woman–the church of which Jesus is the head– the church which our Lord has purchased with his own precious blood?103 It seems the answer to this challenge might be found in the simple Scriptural admonition to the church regarding their civil magistrates: First of all. 104 1 Tim 2:1-4. godly and dignified in every way. 88-113. and thanksgivings be made for all people. degrade him by ascribing to him the abominations of the beast. ―ascendeth for ever and ever. This is good. if desiring it for the good of their fellow humanity and the glory of Christ. then. intercessions. Driving home the truth of the gospel. so that the counsel might be ongoing. continuing to apply and work through God‘s Word in the midst of political storms. 104 102 103 Einwechter. who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

first-hand. not of ―We the people. Pastors seeking to meet with government officials to hear. 43 . someone already holding public office. knowing that ―judgment is God‘s.‖ but of Christ.‖105 might just find civil and political leaders becoming convinced that they are servants.A simple strategy for this second option would be to consider all the ways one might pray for a civil magistrate. publically at civic meetings–each of these are valid ways to apply the command to pray. 105 Dt 1 17. and find them sympathetic to Christ‘s rightful place over government: pray privately WITH the civil magistrate. Nouthetically counsel the civil magistrate. Privately. Another approach may be all the more effective to accomplish the command. in worship. what they are facing and deciding. praying with and for them in their judgment and wisdom. Zion‘s only King and Head.

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