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As I write these words, I am sitting less than one mile from the Old City in Jerusalem. Yesterday my group spent 12 hours learning, walking, exploring, dare I say bustling through the Old City observing everything from the Holy Sepulchre to the Temple Mount. It was a combination of both culture shock and the collision of my faith with the historical details that have informed it for the past decade. As I prepared for this day, many said to me that I would never read the Bible in the same way. They were wrong: I will never approach my faith in Jesus, the Christ, in the same way. Yet, I still push back against archeological integrationism that necessitates this trip to inform my faith. (more…)
David Murray has had much to say about biblical counseling within the past few years since assuming his teaching position at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in 2007. Of his publications, he has written mostly within the area of practical theology and now has placed himself within the biblical counseling movement. Most recently, in his article on The Gospel Coalition’s website, “How Biblical is Biblical Counseling?” he identified himself as a family member of the biblical counseling movement with some familial concerns. His concerns have stimulated conversations within the biblical counseling movement of the nature and validity of the term biblical counseling. His critique proved to be helpful in promoting clarity in what biblical does and does not mean as we use it within the context of biblical counseling. However, his article provided clarity in a way that was—most likely—not Murray’s intent. The reason being is that his article has encouraged biblical counselors to think well about their own position and, consequently, Murray’s misrepresentation of it.
The Call to All Christians:
How Does Change Happen?
(This post is an addendum to a sermon preached July 16, 2017 at Faith Community Church in Newhall, CA. You can find the PowerPoint here: Strengthening Your Core–Marriage (FCC 7.16.17).)
Below are some practical tools to help you prioritize your marriage by faith:
- Digital Boundaries: This means you need a location to keep your phones while at home so that they are not always on you, and always demanding your attention. A simply priority would be that you do not engage technology before you meaningfully engage your spouse.
- First Fifteen Minutes Project: Another thing that I encourage couples to all the time is the idea of crystallizing the first fifteen minutes that you are home for each other. This means that the wife stops what she’s doing if she’s home, or the husband stops what he’s doing and you guys take 15 minutes to talk with each other. We have to hang up the phone when our spouse walks in the door. We have to put dinner on hold for a few minutes. This is just a very practical way of saying you matter to me. You’re a priority. Children—be quiet. TV—be quiet. Telephone—be quiet. My spouse is home and they are a priority to me.
- 3-2-1-1 Communication Exercise
- _Intimacy Inventory.docx
**Sermon preached at Grace on the Ashley Baptist Church in Charleston, SC
In the history of the church and particularly counseling within the church, there has been a house, of sorts, that is developing. Faithful, competent men and women are slowly building the house of biblical counseling on a solid foundation. One of these men—Jay Adams—spoke into the some of the load-bearing walls within this house. Jay Adams said one load-bearing wall is that,
Few, if any, recent theologians have discussed the relationship of habit to behavior. Their efforts have been expended on important questions having to do with Adam’s sin, the effects of sin upon the nature of his descendants, and the process by which sin has been transmitted to his posterity. These are all vital questions, as I have noted in the earlier chapter. But so is the matter of habit—especially for counseling.
Often times in counseling, I use the idea of a balloon. Like a balloon we are squeezed by our circumstances in life: jobs, family, politics, houses, et cetera. These are things that James 1 would describe as a trial (v. 15). But there are also those pressures that come from inside, like the over-inflation of a balloon, they encourage us to ‘pop’. This is the idea of James 1:13 when James refers to those inner solicitations to sin—those enticements come from within. (more…)
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
In 1961, Albert Bandura conducted a social experiment with seventy-two, 3-6 year-olds. The experiment is famously known as the, “Bobo Doll” experiment in which Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (1977) was evaluated. The experiment took seventy-two children and placed them in a room for observation for twenty minutes each. (more…)
We were in the woods near Columbus, GA where I was doing training with the Army and at one of the locations we stayed, there were showers! Hallelujah! When you have sweat for the past few days, a shower is worth its weight in gold. However, there was one catch—the water was cold … really cold. The only way you could take a shower was to acclimate to the coldness and attempt to rinse off the soap and shampoo. But before long, the cold water was not as shocking. We could hop right in, get clean, and continue on with life. After a while, the extremely cold water became normal. And sin has a way of taking something extremely shocking and making it normal. (more…)