The word Nouthetic comes from the Greek word Nouthetic which means to “place into the mind.” This word is often translated to admonish, warn, counsel, and to put sense into.¹ Nouthetic counseling, or biblical counseling, attests that Jesus Christ is the Wonderful Counselor and the Holy Spirit, being One just like Him, is the Christian’s Counselor (Isa 6:9; John 14:16). In addition, it is built upon the truth that the Bible is the final authority for the counsel that a believer needs. The Psalmist wrote, “Your testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors” (Ps 119:24).
Nouthetic counseling is built upon a biblical view of God. Biblical counselors strive to be diligent theologians as they search the Scriptures to know God, who has clearly revealed Himself in the pages of the Bible. In addition, biblical counselors strive to have an accurate, biblical view of God rather than create a false god of their own imaginations. God has granted His children “everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Pet 1:3).
Nouthetic counseling is also built upon a biblical anthropology. The Bible is clear about man, his purpose, his problems, and the answers to those problems. The Bible also clearly teaches that what causes a man’s behavior is his own wicked and deceitful heart—his inner man—not his search for significance, love, identity, esteem, or even a search to have his perceived needs met. The Bible teaches man how to live in a right relationship with God and with others.
Jay E. Adams, Competent To Counsel
(Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Book House, 1970), 44.
Because Nouthetic counseling is built upon a biblical God-centered worldview, it does NOT borrow theories or opinions from the world’s psychological worldviews even if these concepts are “Christianized” through the misuse of Scripture. Nouthetic counseling does not integrate psychological concepts with biblical principles; to do so would constitute embracing ideologies and opinions that are raised up “against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor 10:5). Additionally, to try to integrate psychological views with the truth of God's Word is to state that the Bible is NOT sufficient. As Pastor John MacArthur writes, “Psychology and Christianity have been enemies from the beginning.”² Sadly, most (if not all) Christian psychologists try to marry these enemies with the results being confusion, chaos, and despair in the lives of people.
John MacArthur and
The Faculty of The Master’s College,
Introduction to Biblical Counseling
(Dallas TX.: Word Publishing, 1994), xiii.
Nouthetic counseling is important for many reasons. One reason is that the psychological worldviews which have crept into our churches rob people of hope and leaves them thinking that they are helpless victims of their past, a chemical imbalance, their circumstances, their personalities, etc. Psychology offers a false hope that one can learn to “cope” with his past, correct his chemical imbalance with medicine, manipulate his circumstances, modify his behavior, etc. In contrast, biblical counseling gives people hope that they can change and indeed must change! The God, who created all, is the God who causes a believer to be born again and gives him a new heart. Because a Christian is united by faith to Jesus Christ, God gives him all that is necessary to be transformed into the image of Christ.
Every counseling system has a goal. Nouthetic counseling is unique in that the goal is not to relieve the counselee's pain, but to teach the counselee how to glorify God whether his pain is alleviated or not. The goal is to help the counselee become more like Jesus Christ through the biblical process of progressive sanctification.
The ultimate reason that nouthetic counseling is important is that it teaches counselees how to live a life that honors God. Biblical counseling teaches people how to become true disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt 16:24-25). This nouthetic worldview calls the counselee to become less man-centered and self-absorbed and more and more God-centered in order to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9).
- Print off and complete the Personal Data Inventory Form.
- Mail the completed form to the church address at the bottom of the form. Please note on your mailing envelope to the attention of Jack Enter, Director of Biblical Counseling. Also, mark “Confidential” on your envelope.
- Once your form is received, you will be notified and counselors will be appointed to your counseling case. Because our counseling ministry focuses on our church members, you may be put on a waiting list.
- All counseling is done free of charge as a ministry of Providence Church. Occasionally, you may be asked to pay for books and/or resources used in counseling.
- We would like to recommend two resources as you consider whether you would like to receive counseling or not. Christ And Your Problems by Jay Adams is a small pamphlet which is designed to give you hope and encouragement as you wait for counseling. In addition, God’s Solutions To Life’s Problems by Dr. Wayne Mack and Joshua Mack is a larger workbook which will give you much instruction from God’s Word concerning how to solve your problems God’s Way!