The condition of your heart (Mark 4:1-20)

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The parable of the sower is perhaps one of the best known of Jesus’ parables.  We may however do better to call it “The parable of the soils” because it is the ground that the seed lands on which Jesus’ teaching focuses on. In Jesus’ story the farmer sows seed by scattering it by hand.… Continue reading The condition of your heart (Mark 4:1-20)

Have I committed the unforgivable sin? (Mark 3:20-30)

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It’s a question that someone may well have asked you at some point.  Perhaps you’ve even asked it yourself. The possibility that I could commit a sin which puts me permanently and irreparably beyond God’s love and forgiveness is terrifying. To understand what Jesus means when he describes a sin which is unforgivable, we need… Continue reading Have I committed the unforgivable sin? (Mark 3:20-30)

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

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

Confidentiality and pastoral care

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Often in pastoral care, the question of confidentiality will come up.  This is important because when you are counselling someone, they are placing themselves in a vulnerable situation and may be telling you things that they’ve never told anyone before. They may be nervous about how making that known will affect them and their relationships.… Continue reading Confidentiality and pastoral care

It may appear to come from your side but it’s not friendly fire

You may be familiar with the term “friendly fire”. It refers to when a military assault on the enemy ends up taking out members of the same side as well as or instead of the enemy positions. This can be caused by those people being in close proximity to the enemy at the time or… Continue reading It may appear to come from your side but it’s not friendly fire

Should I give up on seeing people coming back to church?

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It varies from church to church but most churches even if they’ve experienced growth through new people joining appear to have lost some people from in person attendance during COVID. I was arguing back in the Autumn that those who had not begun to re-join your gatherings or at least make active preparation probably would… Continue reading Should I give up on seeing people coming back to church?