I guess anyone who has read about Biblical Counselling would have known Jay Adams, Edward Welch, David Powlison, and many others. But few would know that the there are some differences between the first (Adams) and the second (Welch & Powlison) generation of biblical counseling.
These differences are presented in this book by Lambert, and he has carefully separated them into 5 chapters, with one remaining chapter on what biblical counsellors ought to continue to work on.
The first chapter sets the context of biblical counseling, the author (rightfully) acknowledges the seminal and crucial work of Adams, being the sole counsellor who was deeply driven by the truth to retain and restore counseling as the work of pastors and not for the “professionals”.
The second to fifth chapter talks about the various areas where the differences lies between the first and second generation of biblical counselors.
Three areas were highlighted in this section, first the what of counseling. The model of what counselling should be, what is causing this problems? With an emphasis on thinking in the aspect of how a person who is being counselled can be both a sinner and sufferer at the same time.
Second, the how of counselling. How should counselling be done? Emphasis was given to cases of how people are suffering and also on how counsellors should learn to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn, being able to put themselves in the shoes of others.
Third, the why of biblical counselling. Why should a christian use biblical counselling? This is one area that is not well addressed by Adams, who sees that since biblical counselling derives itself from the bible, it should be something held by all christians. The second generation has rectified this by trying to engage those within the christian circles and also secular circles as well.
One area that saw no significant change was on how they thought of the bible, Lambert defends against the notion that the second generation has moved from this position as reported by those outside the biblical counselling movement. Lambert shows how this conclusion is wrong and substantiates this claim from works of both generations of biblical counsellors.
Lastly, Lambert hopes that work will continue in the motivation aspects of people. Trying to people see that many a times, our problems arises because we seek to worship something else rather than God.
Lambert very helpful shows in each chapter the similarities and differences you find between the two generations and also presents these materials in a clear manner, i do not recall having difficulty in trying to understand any technical words that he used which is a remarkable feat.
For those who wish to know how biblical counselling has growth throughout these years, this is the book to read.