Affirmations and Denials

by David Powlison, Ph.D.


Toward a Definition of the Essence of Biblical Counseling

by Dr. John Piper


Biblical Counseling Defined

The following definition was formulated by a participant in Jeremy Lelek’s Ph.D. dissertation and chosen most by experts who took part in the study. It reflects the convictions of Metroplex Counseling.

Biblical counseling endeavors to build a relationship with another person in which God’s work of change can thrive. It is therefore dependent on the Word of God, the work of the Holy Spirit and the grace of Jesus Christ. It seeks to build a contextualized understanding of the counselee (past and present) and will view that data through the lens of Scripture. The Biblical counselor rests in the knowledge that he is not the change agent, but a tool in the hands of the One who is. The biblical counselor does not ignore physical issues or emotional data, but seeks to integrate them into a holistic understanding of the person and where change needs to take place. The biblical counselor is not adversarial in his relationship to the psychologies of his culture, but examines research and insights through the lens of Scripture. In his work with the counselee the biblical counselor always recognizes the sovereignty of God, the transformative grace of Christ, and the insight-giving and conviction-producing ministry of the Holy Spirit. In all of this the biblical counselor sees himself not as an isolated instrument of change, but one whose work is intimately connected to God’s primary tool of change; the church, with all of its God-ordained, duties, structures and means of grace.


By John Henderson, Ph.D., LPC (from the ABC Equipped to Counsel Curriculum)

Biblical Counseling: A fluid event and process, as part of the Great Commission, whereby one or more theologically and relationally qualified persons provide spiritual, emotional, and behavioral service, comfort, and guidance in love to one or more persons through the truth and power of God’s Word under the ministry of the Holy Spirit.