Competent to Jay Adams

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Competent to Counsel by Jay Edward Adams has been acclaimed as one of the classics in the field of Christian counseling and the book has been of high use to pastors, students, laypersons, and Christian counselors to develop a general approach to Christian counseling as well as a specific response to particular problems.


The first chapter of the book, 'Christianity and Psychiatry today', deals with psychiatry in general in relation to Christianity. According to the author, "psychiatry, that illegitimate child of psychology which historically has made the most grandiose claims, is itself in a serious trouble." (Adams, 1986, P 1). The main subtopics of the chapter include 'Psychiatry is in Trouble', 'The Freudian Ethic', 'Freudian Theory and Therapy', 'The Revolution in Psychology', 'Freud: An Enemy, not a Friend', and 'Where Does This Leave Us'. The ideas disseminated through the various chapters of the book, especially with regard to nouthetic counseling, have a great relevance to the ministry of a pastor in developing a general approach to Christian counseling and specific response to particular problems faced by the people.
The second chapter of the book, 'The Holy Spirit and Counseling', establishes that counseling is the work of the Holy Spirit and effective counseling cannot be done apart from Him. "Counseling, to be Christian, must be carried on in harmony with the regenerating work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is called 'Holy' because of his nature and his work. All holiness stems from His activity in human lives. ...
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