Book Review The New Christian Counselor SUMMARY
BOOK REVIEW: THE NEW CHRISTIAN COUNSELOR 7
BookReview: The New Christian Counselor
Insummary, TheNew Christian Counseloris a book written by Clinton and Hawkins with the main aim oftouching as many souls as possible. The book revolves around thetopics of how to change a sick mind or a wailing soul. IntegrativeChristian counseling is the best way to which souls can be changed.The following are the main ideas that are discussed in the book.
Oneof the major ideas is that human minds are full of sorrow. Soulbrokenness has filled the world. Souls of many people are cryingbecause of the evils in the world like poverty, divorce, infidelity,and prostitution among others.
Clintonand Hawkins state that people have lost the possession of theirsouls. Individuals have become helpless, and they feel shattered.However, there is hope for restoration through the Holy Spirit andChristian counseling.
Thefrustration that has filled the world is making to look for hopewhere they cannot find it. Clinton and Hawkins maintain that JesusChrist is the only hope for humanity.
TheModern Search for God
Clintonand Hawkins say that people are searching for God in their careers,power, politics, and the natural resources. However, the bookrecommends that individuals should have the true worship of Godinstead of trusting in their wisdom. By doing so, their souls will behealed and mental health restored.
Overcomingthe Faith Gap
Thebook states that there is a huge gap in faith in the field mentalhealth. The gap is found between the clients and service providers.To overcome the issue, the service seekers should thoroughly look forcounselors with a strong faith in Jesus Christ.
Relationshipbetween Faith and Mental Health
Clintonand Hawkins maintain Christian faith is firmly linked to mentalhealth. Individuals with strong Godly faith usually exhibit goodmental health.
Purposeof the Book
Themain aim of this book is to help as well as equip those individualswith spiritual awareness but they do not have sufficient know-howand confidence to declare the expected psychological and emotionalhealing (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015). Some people might have maturedspiritually, however, lack the necessary skills that should be usedto heal souls that are suffering. The book states that Christiancounselors are often attached to the importance of spiritualdimension so that they can develop as well as heal humanity fully(Hawkins & Clinton, 2015). Clinton and Hawkins maintain thattransformational change should be likened to Godly change and this isthe kind of change that is expected in today`s society. According tothe book, for a change to last, it must come from the Holy Spirit whois considered to be the foundation of Biblical spirituality.
Agenda:the main aim of the model is to develop psychological theories, soulcare practices, and research programs that are based distinctively onChristian faith.
Thebook maintains that Christian counseling should always be based onthe Spirit of God, the foundation of Jesus Christ, and the word ofGod. Clinton and Hawkins further state that failure to do so,soul-care and Christian counseling ministry will be based purely onhuman understanding (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015). Anything that isusually based on human understanding, strength, and power does notlast for an extended period. The book considers Christian counselingas a pure or a holy covenant that is under the control of Holy Spiritbetween a caregiver and care seeker in the process of healing a soul.The mind is vital in the Christian counseling. The primary goal is toheal the soul because the condition of the soul determinesindividual`s relationship with God (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015).Also, the spirit reveals the connections that people have, theirgoals in life, as well as how they react when faced with difficultiesin life. Therefore, it is important for a Christian to have anin-depth understanding of the compound nature of the human soul asstated in the book. In this regard, counselors must carefully explorethe components of the soul to understand the human nature better. Asa result, they will be in a better position to heal people`s minds.
Primacyof Scriptures: According to the book, Christian psychology will befounded on the Christian Scriptures
Thenew Christian counselor has a strong faith in God who reveals Himselfas well as the truth through the scriptures. Also, Clinton andHawkins argue that psychology does not change anything or theteachings that the Bible gives about the nature of human beings.However, psychology offers more views into the complexity of humanphysiology, behavior, and learning. This will help people to applythe truth about the scriptures into their lives in particular andmore powerfully. The book states that Scriptures are the only sourceof the truth and the sole way of knowing God to be in a position topursue God`s plan in our lives. Clinton and Hawkins maintain that theability, processes, and goals of counseling are grounded thoroughlyin the word of God. It implies that thoughts, emotions, and behaviorscan be changed only through the Scriptures (Hawkins & Clinton,2015). According to the book, mind change is the process by whichGod`s truth is revealed through the Scriptures, and it involvespatterns of sanctification, especially for those who benefit fromChristian counseling.
Othersources of Psychological Truth
Apartfrom the scriptures, other human services, pieces of researchconducted by Christians, philosophy, and secular psychology haveshown a strong evidence of the link between faith and mental health.Besides, empirical studies that have proved that Christian faith orreligious faith can have positive effects on both mental and physicalfitness.
Comparisonbetween Christian and Secular Psychology
Thereis a close relationship between the Christian and secular psychologyapart from their components of the worldviews. The two agree that thepositive correlation that is found between faith and mental health isadamant. Many pieces of research are being conducted in the field ofChristian psychology or counseling. Also, they are similar in thatthey both embrace the study of neuroscience that mainly deals withthe factors influence thinking and behavior of individuals.
TheFeatures of Christian Psychology
God is the center of human life.
Christiancounselor states that all the resources that are available to peopleare usually God-given. God created everything that is found on earth.The counselor, therefore, insists that it is the responsibility ofhuman beings to pursue God together with his wisdom in their hearts.The book further maintains that humans are God`s partners and theconduits of his purpose and the power.
God manifests Himself in His creations through the following: creation, fall, redemption, and consummation.
TheChristian counselor argues that sin made people to be separated fromGod making them look like they are strangers in the land that Godgave them. However, the book states that there is still a secondchance for the humanity to be forgiven. God wants the human beings tobe forgiven and safe from the earthly destruction.
According To the Creation Theory, God Made Human Beings in His Image
Thebook states that human beings are fashioned at their core to resembleGod. The new Christian counselor`s desire for the clients is for themto experience life as God ordained it, and live as the images of God.The Christian counselor maintains that Holy Spirit is centered in thehuman personality and the spirit resembles God the creator. As aresult, Clinton and Hawkins argue that since human being were createdin the image of God, they, therefore, have the capacity tocommunicate, engage in various activities, and make a sober decisionof their lives.
Fall: Humans are sinners and primordially alienated from the presence of God
Thefall of man is often associated with many bad things. It affectedpeople on every level. It destroyed the relationship of man with Goddeath came as a result and warped the desires of humans among other.
Accordingto the book, a Christian counselor should be Christ`s partner inensuring that the human beings are restored, and recovery has beenrealized. Christian counseling is likened to a form of discipleshipwhose goal should be to free people so that they can experience theforgiveness of God and become followers of Jesus Christ.
Thebook also talks about eternal life. It states that human souls willlive forever. Therefore, it is important for the Christian counselorsto fully understand the eternality of the human spirit so that theycan how deep the soul of a client has been affected.
Afour-dimensional relational model of human life
Thebook states that the model has four parts namely: biological,spiritual, psychosocial, and ethical.
Accordingto the Christian counselor, relationships are supposed to be core toalmost everything in the human world. The book states that counselorrecognizes the unique role that is played by relational systems inthe process of forming human personality.
TheChristian counselor appreciates that a lasting change in a human`spersonality can only be achieved through the Holy Spirit.
Thebook says that human bodies are gifts from the Holy Spirit and shouldbe used for the purpose of God. Therefore, counselors should assesswhether the attitude that clients have towards their bodies isnegative or positive. Such attitudes may affect the soul.
Accordingto the new Christian counselor, individuals should maintain highstandards of integrity since integrity is a commitment to JesusChrist.
Theholistic model of human nature
Accordingto the Christian counselor, the challenges that face many clients areoften deep rooted in various things. The book states that there is noone source of mental problems. Mental illness can be caused by manythings like stress, tension, worry, and anxiety among others.
Theprinciples that Clinton and Hawkins discuss in their book, the NewChristian Counselor, are applicable in day-to-day counseling. Clintonand Hawkins argue that the greatest achievement in Christiancounseling is changing the soul. An individual suffer from mentalillnesses are the greatest beneficiaries Christian counseling.
Clintonand Hawkins state that the first step in the process of changing thesoul of a client is to understand the relationship that thisparticular client has with the Holy Spirit. Since I interact withdifferent clients suffering from mental illnesses due to thesubstance abuse, I would ensure that the first step is to changetheir spiritual world. Preaching to them would be the priority tomake certain that they receive the Holy Spirit and accept JesusChrist as their personal savior. It is often easier to change themind when the Holy Spirit is at the core of the soul. In such cases,I will have easier tasks to change to restore the health of mind.Soul obeys the Holy Spirit.
Besides,Clinton and Hawkins (2015) contend that biological body should be akey consideration in the changing process. I will be paying closeattention to the clients to observe their physical appearances. Incase a client does not seem to value him or herself, then that willbe the starting point for the healing process. For example, if aclient is not well groomed, I would encourage him to start takinggood care of body since the physical body has a great influence onthe soul.
Hawkins,R., & Clinton, T. (2015). TheNew Christian Counselor: A Fresh Biblical and TransformationalApproach.Harvest House Publishers.
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