All the single ladies?

I’ve written before about how men in the church should talk to and shouldn’t talk to and about women.  Sadly, there was a horrific example of how not to talk about women in an interview between Doug Wilson and Michael Foster posted recently online. The conversation is primarily about singleness but I want to pick… Continue reading All the single ladies?

Look after your leaders’ mental health

I’ve written before about my own brush with anxiety and depression. You can read my story here, here and in the book, The Pastor with a thorn in his side (ed. Steve Kneale).  I wanted to say a bit more about how churches can look after the mental health of their pastors and other leaders… Continue reading Look after your leaders’ mental health

Mental Health, spiritual warfare and demons

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Traditionally one of the tensions and taboos around mental health has been the perception that this is primarily a spiritual issue with people believing that mental illness from depression through to schizophrenia is caused by sin or even by demonic oppression and possession. When I’ve written about mental health before, I’ve urged care in this… Continue reading Mental Health, spiritual warfare and demons

It’s time to scrap Marriage preparation courses

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If you are married, did you have marriage preparation classes?  What were they like? Any good?  I know of some people that were given a very intensive programme of instruction with lots of reading homework in between each meet up. We on the other hand were given two compulsory sessions, one where we watched a… Continue reading It’s time to scrap Marriage preparation courses

How we think about abuse matters

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Yesterday I shared an update on my correspondence with Premier Christianity about their article claiming that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. We might leave it there except that the article seems to be part of a concerning trend from a pastoral perspective. It was followed by two articles that I find deeply concerning in… Continue reading How we think about abuse matters

Healthy Biblical Counselling

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In previous articles I’ve shared my concerns regarding some aspects of Biblical Counselling. Some approaches lead you towards what risks being harsh and legalistic counselling. This arises out of an assumption that we can resolve a problem by identifying and stopping the sin that caused it. This leads, in my opinion to a shallow engagement… Continue reading Healthy Biblical Counselling

Bad theology plus complacent thinking = dangerous pastoral care

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I’ve been writing a little about Biblical counselling recently. I’ve been particularly picking up on some of the dangers with certain strains of it but I do so as someone who believes that properly used, Biblical counselling does have a crucial place. I intend to write a little bit more about this shortly. However, first… Continue reading Bad theology plus complacent thinking = dangerous pastoral care

Nouthetic Counselling and Depression

Several of Jay Adam’s counselling case studies concern mental health and depression. Let’s have a look at a couple of them. First of all, we have Violet, a 54 year old lady who is suffering from depression and also has an undisclosed problem which she can tell only to God.  Have a look at the… Continue reading Nouthetic Counselling and Depression

Jay E Adams and nouthetic counselling

I mentioned in recent posts that I’ve been looking at Jay E Adams’ The Christian Counsellor’s Casebook. Adams is considered the founding father of the Biblical Counselling movement.  So, it is worth saying at this stage three things. I’m in favour of Biblical counselling in that I believe pastors are able to offer counsel and… Continue reading Jay E Adams and nouthetic counselling

Divorce and re-marriage in domestic abuse cases

** From time to time I touch on pastoral issues around abuse and bullying. I try to avoid detailed descriptions. However, some readers may find that the discussion as here may have a trigger effect in terms of provoking past memories.** Yesterday I began to talk about marriage and divorce where there has been domestic… Continue reading Divorce and re-marriage in domestic abuse cases