Heath Lambert

by Rachel Miller

I. Known for

Heath Lambert is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville FL, serving there as pastor since 2017.  He was the Executive Director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) until 2018.  He is married to Lauren Lambert and the father of their three children.

II. Biography

Lambert was born on September 13, 1979 and grew up in Kentucky.  He was raised by an alcoholic and abusive mother who hated him and kept him from his father whom he loved.  He faced many near-death experiences at the hands of his mother and had an acute fear of going to hell when he died, but he did not know the message of salvation.  A lady at his high school shared the gospel with Lambert and he put his trust in Jesus as his Lord and Savior.  He soon came to understand that God required him to let go of his hatred and forgive his mother.  Over the course of many years, he shared the gospel with her. She eventually accepted it and was radically changed.[1]

Lambert attended Gordon College and received his Bachelor of Arts in biblical and theological studies and political science.  He went on to study at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) and received his Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry and his doctorate in biblical counseling and systematic theology.[2]  He also taught at SBTS and at Boyce College as an Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling.[3]

III. Theological views

Lambert pastors First Baptist Church of Jacksonville which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and holds to their doctrinal statement as published in 2000.[4]  He adheres to the biblical counseling methodology of soul care, which believes in the sufficiency of Scripture to equip believers to handle all problems they may face in a way that honors the Lord.  He served as the Executive Director of ACBC, whose doctrinal position can be read here.

IV. Works/Publications

A. Books

The Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams ­– Heath Lambert

Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace ­– Heath Lambert

A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry ­– Heath Lambert

Transforming Sexuality: What the Bible Says about Sexual Orientation and Change – Denny Burk and Heath Lambert

Counseling the Hard Cases – Ed., Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert

B. Pamphlets

The Gospel and Mental Illness ­– Heath Lambert

Can Jesus Heal Mental Illness? ­– Heath Lambert

Sufficiency: Historical Essays on the Sufficiency of Scripture – Heath Lambert, Wayne Mack, Doug Bookman, David Powlison

C. Articles

A list of articles by Heath Lambert for the Biblical Counseling Coalition can be found here

He has also written many articles for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

D. Interviews

Heath Lambert’s Testimony

V. Influence on Biblical Counseling

Heath Lambert has written several resources contributing to the field of biblical counseling, such as A Theology of Biblical Counseling, and he serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Family Ministry, and The Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.[5]  He held the role of Executive Director of ACBC for many years, and he is a founding council board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.[6]  He aided in training the next generation of biblical counselors as a professor at SBTS and Boyce College for many years.


VI. Bibliography

Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. “I Will Bear Witness: Heath Lambert’s Testimony.” Published April 16, 2015. https://biblicalcounseling.com/i-will-bear-witness-heath-lamberts-testimony/.

Biblical Counseling Coalition. “Heath Lambert.” Accessed May 21, 2020. https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/person/heath-lambert/.

First Baptist Church Jacksonville. “Meet Our Pastor.” Accessed May 21, 2020. https://www.fbcjax.com/meet-our-pastor.

First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. “Who We Are.” Accessed May 23, 2020. https://www.fbcjax.com/who-we-are.



[1] “I Will Bear Witness: Heath Lambert’s Testimony,” Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, published April 16, 2015, https://biblicalcounseling.com/i-will-bear-witness-heath-lamberts-testimony/.

[2] “Meet Our Pastor,” First Baptist Church Jacksonville, accessed May 21, 2020, https://www.fbcjax.com/meet-our-pastor.

[3] “Heath Lambert,” Biblical Counseling Coalition, accessed May 21, 2020, https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/person/heath-lambert/.

[4] “Who We Are,” First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, accessed May 23, 2020, https://www.fbcjax.com/who-we-are.

[5] “Heath Lambert,” Biblical Counseling Coalition.

[6] Ibid.

Idols of the Heart (Publication)

Idols of the Heart: Publication

By. Marianne Castillo

I. Overview

Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone is a Christian book written by Elyse Fitzpatrick. On the back of the book Elyse Fitzpatrick says that she writes Idols of the Heart for the many people who “desired to live godly lives but feel trapped in habitual sin. This book reveals that at the heart of every besetting sin lies idolatry”. [1] The chapters focus on revealing what the reader loves and worships. [2] Idols of the heart helps readers identify the false gods in their hearts, thoughts, and affections. [3] Each chapter ends with hope, that “God changes hearts”. [4] Idols of the Heart teaches the reader God is the answer to being free from false Idols.

On the back of the book two authors and one pastor have expressed their recommendations/opinions of the book Idols of the Heart:

Martha Peace says “With great clarity and intriguing biblical illustrations, Fitzpatrick explains how idols in our hearts compete without affection for God. In a gentle way, she tells how by God’s grace to turn from your idols to whole-hearted love for God”. [5]

David Powlison, “ Demonstrates how ‘false gods’ generate the garden- variety sins of irritability, self- pity, escapism, and anxiety, as well as anger, despair, addictions, and panic. Fitzpatrick shows how Jesus Christ retakes our lives from these idols, setting up his reign over our attention, loyalty, and affection”. [6]

Dr. Ed Bulkley says, “If you are struggling with desires, addictions, and harmful behaviors that seem too strong to overcome, perhaps you are worshipping an idol of the heart. Fitzpatrick explains what those idols might be and how to deal with them in a biblical way. Idols of the Heart I not just another self-help manual”. [7]

Idols of the Heart begins with a dedication to Elyse Fitzpatrick’s husband that reads “To Phil his steadfast love and patience: It’s because you laid down you life day after day that I was able you do this”. [8] Then follows the table of contents that show where to find the: List of illustrations, acknowledgements, introductions, chapters 1-12, appendix A-C, notes, and an index of scripture. [9] Each chapter has a consistent structure of a title, a verse that corresponds to the content of the chapter, a monologue that relates to the chapter, as well as 1-7 “further thought questions” at the end of the Chapter. The further thought questions encourage the readers to open up their bibles, read a passage of scripture, self examine ones heart, and spend time in prayer asking the Lord to help them grow in what they have read.

The Notes and Index of Scripture are resources that Idols of the Heart contain in the back of the book. The notes section clearly list the resources in each chapter that Elyse Fitzpatrick uses. [10]  The Index of Scripture are all the verses that Elyse Fitzpatrick refers to in Idols of the Heart. [11] These two resources are useful to the reader who would like to do further reading.


II. History & Impact

Idols of the Heart was published 2001 in Phillipsburg and New Jersey by P&R Publishing. [12] Idols of the heart is Elyse Fitzpatrick’s second book written in 2001 and her fifth book out of twenty-three. Elyse Fitzpatrick acknowledges many people for helping her and inspiring her to write Idols of the Heart. George Scipione for training her; Dave Powlison who took the time to guide her thinking about idolatry; Pastor Dave Eby for his sermon note that Elyse Fitzpatrick used throughout Idols of the Heart. The Evangelical Bible Book store employees who suggested her books for resources, close friends that supported her; as well as her mother who not only supported her but did some grammatical editing. Elyse Fitzpatrick last thank you went out to “Barbara Lerch at P&R, who believed that it is time for reformed woman to be heard on this topic”. [13]

Idols of the Heart is impactful to women and men all over. Goodreads have three full pages of positive reviews from men and women.

Amanda gave four stars on October 27, 2014 leaving a comment that reads “This is a really good book, convicting me about the idols in my life and helping to change my thinking and therefore actions to worship God better”. [14]

Ian with four stars on February 6, 2016 says “I highly recommend his book. Each chapter ends with ‘Further Thought Questions’ which help you digest the content and apply it to yourself”. [15]

Melanie Gurnette left a five star review on February 4, 2014 saying “I have learned a lot about how I have been worshipping my heavenly father, and how quite frankly it has been lacking. I am thankful to writes like Fitzpatrick who bring understanding and action to the scripture I have read my whole life’. [16]

Greg Froster, a writer for one of the articles in CrossWay, believes that books are primary. He explains that books allow readers to view someone else’s perspective/ experience on the world. Grey Froster says “This is what gives books their profound and mysterious power”. [17] John Piper believes that Christian writers are influential. He expresses that a way loving people is by influencing them. Idols of the Heart is an impactful Christian book. John Piper says, “You should be writing in such a way as to make God look better than anything else in the world, to make the path of sin look worse than anything else in the world, and to make the path of righteousness look beautiful in spite of all the difficulties that the path of obedience might bring.” [18] In Idols of the Heart Elyse Fitzpatrick makes the sin of idolatry look evil and encourages her readers to know that the Lord will “develop whole hearted love and devotion in you- all for His glory and praise!” [19]


III. Works/Publications


IV. Bibliography

Fitzpatrick, Elyse. Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2001.

Froster, Gregg. The Importance of Books in Christian History. Article. USA: Crossway, 2019. https://www.crossway.org/articles/the-importance-of-books-in-christian-history/

“Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick.” Goodreads, Goodreads, 1 Jan. 2002, www.goodreads.com/book/show/90474.Idols_of_the_Heart.

Piper, John. How Important is a Christian Writer’s Influence? Interview. Desiring God, 2013. https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/how-important-is-a-christian-writers-influence


[1] Elyse Fitzpatrick. Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone (New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2001), 241

[2] Ibid, 16

[3 Ibid

[4] Ibid, 17

[5] Ibid, 241

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid, 5

[9] Ibid, 7

[10] Ibid 217

[11] Ibid, 233

[12] Ibid, 4

[13] Ibid, 11

[14] “Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick.” (Goodreads, 1 Jan. 2002)

[15] Ibid

[16] Ibid

[17] Gregg Froster. The Importance of Books in Christian History (Article. USA: Crossway, 2019)

[18] John Piper. How Important is a Christian Writer’s Influence? (Interview. Desiring God, 2013)

[19] Elyse Fitzpatrick. Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone (New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2001), 18






George C. Scipione

George C. Scipione

by Hannah Caranta

I. Known for

George C. Scipione was involved in biblical counseling for about fifty years, founded and directed the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD), pastored for forty-four years in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and directed the Biblical Counseling Institute of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. [1] He has written books both on theological matters and on biblical counseling (see list of books below).

II. Biography

A. Early Life

Scipione was born on May 21, 1946. [2] He attended Temple University and graduated in 1967. July 8th, 1972, Scipione married his wife Eileen, who has also done work in biblical counseling. They have five children and two grandchildren. [3]

B. Education

AB from Temple University, BD from Westminster Theological Seminary, MA from Temple University, ThM from Westminster Theological Seminary, PhD from Whitefield Theological Seminary, DMin studies from Westminster Theological Seminary. [4]

C. Death

Scipione died January 22, 2020 at the age of 73 in Pittsburgh, PA. [2] His death has been honored by online tributes from various institutions, students, and friends.

III. Theological views

George C. Scipione’s theological views are primarily Presbyterian, but is Protestant Christian at large. According to a tribute from ACBC by Jim Newheiser, Scipione’s theology is committed to God’s Word as supreme and authoritative in counseling. In addition to the supremacy of Scripture, Scipione had a commitment to the church being Christ’s work now and that translated into his teaching. [5]

IV. Works/Publications

A. Books

Timothy, Titus & You: A Study Guide for Church Leaders, 1975.

Timothy, Titus & You: A Workbook for Church Leaders, 1975.

The Battle for the Biblical Family, 2000.

The Sword and the Shovel, 2002.

The Pauline Concept of SUNEDEISIS

B. Articles

The God of All Comfort, 2019.

JBC Volume 7:4 PDF, Psychological Seduction by W. E. Kilpatrick Book Review.

JBC Volume 10:1 PDF, Self-Esteem is Sweeping over America.

JBC Volume 9:4 PDF, Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo: Is Biblical Counseling It or No? George C. Scipione

JBC Volume 8:3 PDF, Who Owns the Children of Divorce?

JBC Volume 7:2 PDF, The Limits of Confidentiality in Counseling.

C. Interviews

Counseling Difficult Cases, 2010.

Confessing our Hope: The Podcast of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, #183- Author Interview with Dr. George Scipione.

Care and Discipleship Podcast: 034 Interview with George Scipione.

D. Audio

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Counseling.

Identity Crisis (TI19): You are a Prophet, Priest, and King.

Identity Crisis (TI19): You are Your Gender.

Identity Crisis (TI19): You are Your Calling.

Addictions (SI17): The Necessity of Individualized Counseling.

Addictions (SI17): The Attributes of a Christ-like Counselor.

Disordered Desires (SI16): Gender Blending and Confusion.

Disordered Desires (SI16): Keys to Evangelism in a Sexualized Culture.

Disordered Desires (SI16): Male Leadership in a Genderless World.

Equipped to Counsel (SI15): Difficult Cases and Wisdom in Counseling (Part 1).

Equipped to Counsel (SI15): Difficult Cases and Wisdom in Counseling (Part 2).

Making Peace with the Past (SI14): Confessions of a Biblical Counselor: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Making Peace with the Past (SI14): Help for Jesus, You, and Your Counselees.

Making Peace with the Past (SI14): Hope for Peter, You, and Your Counselees.

Making Peace with the Past (SI14): Help and Hope for You and Your Counselees in the Midst of Overwhelming Hopelessness.

Churches Equipped to Care (SI13): Counseling People with Psychological Disorders.

Churches Equipped to Care (SI13): The Inner Man and Outerman Balance in Counseling.

Churches Equipped to Care (SI13): What is Man?

Changed by Grace (SI12): The Importance of the Local Church.

Changed by Grace (SI12): A Biblical View of Personality.

Changed by Grace (SI12): The History of the Biblical Counseling Movement.

Keeping a Passion for Christ (SI10): Abiding in Christ.

Keeping a Passion for Christ (SI10): Help for Hoarders.

Keeping a Passion for Christ (SI10): A Breath of Fresh Air for Chokers.

Keeping a Passion for Christ (SI10): Repentance – Don’t Counsel Without It.

Making Peace in a World of Conflict (SI09): Nouthetic Gentleness.

Making Peace in a World of Conflict (SI09): Problems that Prevent You from Being a Peacemaker.

Making Peace in a World of Conflict (SI09): Sexual Purity in Men 1.

Making Peace in a World of Conflict (SI09): Sexual Purity in Men 2.

Helping the Hurting (SI08): Counseling People Struggling with Life-Dominating Sin.

Helping the Hurting (SI08): Counseling Men Struggling with Sexual Sin.

Helping the Hurting (SI08): Counseling the Hurting from 1 Peter.

Helping the Hurting (SI08): Ask the Counselor.

Blame It on the Brain (SI07): The Heart of the Issue is the Issue of the Heart.

Blame It on the Brain (SI07): Preparation for Counseling from the Pastoral Epistles.

V. Influence on Biblical Counseling

George C. Scipione has contributed greatly to biblical counseling. He worked in the biblical counseling field for most of his life. He taught at various institutes, directed his own institutes, wrote theological works, and provided resources for biblical counselors around the world. He was a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and was a Supervising Fellow, board member, and member of the Academy. His work in founding the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD) trained both ministers and laymen to counsel. A quote found in the faculty list for Scipione at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS) shows his beliefs about counseling: “I believe counseling is a subset of discipleship. Therefore, counseling is a spiritual duty and for select persons, the exercise of a spiritual gift. The elders are God’s main counselors, while gifted laymen will help them, and all exercise this duty. All non-organic problems must be solved biblically under the oversight of the elders. Organic problems need the best available medical care in conjunction with the pastoral care of the elders.” [4]

VI. Bibliography

[1] “George Scipione”, George Scipione, https://georgescipione.com/.

[2] “George Charles Scipione Obituary”, Legacy, https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/george-scipione-obituary?pid=195162700.

[3] “Today in OPC History”, The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, https://opc.org/today.html?history_id=445.

[4] Academic Catalog 2019-2020, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Volume 48, 111, http://www.rpts.edu/Catalog.pdf.

[5] “George Scipione- A Tribute”, ACBC, https://biblicalcounseling.com/george-scipione-a-tribute/

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse

by Ann Maree Goudzwaard

I. Definition

A. Biblical perspective

1. Biblical definitions, explanations, & underpinnings

  • The two words “domestic abuse” are not found side by side in Scripture. A biblically informed definition of this modern-day issue would be: The misuse of an individual or individuals by someone with influence or control over another individual or individuals. The dominant person is able to exert power over those who are vulnerable to their care. The dominant person abuses their power and control by subjecting those at risk to threatening circumstances. This may be someone in whom the susceptible person trusts and loves. The goals of the abuser are to use these persons as objects for self-indulgence and/or personal gain (see passages below).
  • Both men and women may employ tactics for achieving this goal; however, women are disproportionately affected.[1] Male domination includes a heightened demonstration of fear. “Fear is the painful emotion that arises at the thought that we may be harmed or made to suffer. This fear persists while we are subject to the will of someone who does not desire our well-being.”[2]
  • The inherent nature involved in the following one-time events implies that this type of behavior can be interpreted as ongoing.
  • The sense in which the word abuse is used in Scripture includes physical, emotional, spiritual, and verbal misuse. In the Old Testament, abuse is used to describe the way in which one deals with another, whether that entity is God, nations, or individual men and women. The implication is that one is overly severe with the other. Abused is also a particular condition in which someone may find themselves. In 1 Samuel 11:2, Israel is brought into a state of “shame” (abuse) by Nahash the Ammonite who makes a treaty with them, threatening to gouge out all their right eyes, and thus bring disgrace on Israel. Ezra 9:7 speaks to physical, mental and emotional abuse, “From the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt. And for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as it is today.” Proverbs 9:7 tells us that derisive speech is abuse, and the person who responds to the wicked man who uses it is in danger of injury. Proverbs 22:10 says that, to drive out a scoffer means that quarreling and abuse will cease. And Ezekiel prophesies to Israel that they will no longer hear abuse from the nations, indicating that it is verbal in nature. “And I will not let you hear anymore the reproach of the nations, and you shall no longer bear the disgrace of the peoples and no longer cause your nation to stumble, declares the Lord God” (36:15). Abuse is also found in Scripture in the form of cursing. In 2 Samuel, Shimei curses David. This grievance is of such a nature against God’s appointed king that David’s servant asks to take Shimei’s life, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head” (2 Sam 16:5, 9). In the New Testament, Paul instructs Timothy regarding the type of elder/pastor he should look for. “Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil” (1 Tim 3:7). Paul implies here that even the thoughts and opinions of men can be disgraceful insults. The NT emphasizes the maltreatment of people made in the image of God by the harmful, intentional misuse of words. Matthew relates verbal abuse to persecution, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (5:10, 11, 44). Matthew and Mark emphasize the severity of speaking cruelly to one another, “For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die’” (15:4). In John 9, the Pharisees abuse the blind man by using Scripture to “revile” him, “And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses” (13-28). Peter instructs exiles to have a keep their consciences clear so that, when they are slandered, those who revile their good behavior in Christ might be put to shame (1 Pet 3:16).

2. Brief systematic theological review

  • Genesis 19:1-8; Ex. 1:10-11; 23-25; Jdg. 19:25; Esther 1:10-11; 1 Sam. 25:3; 2 Sam. 11:2-4. While these narratives in Scripture do not provide us with liberal details regarding the issue of domestic abuse, they do provide a snapshot of the experience.
    1. In Genesis 19:8, Lot offers his daughters to the men of Sodom to do with as they please. Lot (a father in whom his daughters trusted) violated his position of power by treating them as property.
    2. In Exodus 1:10-11, the king of Egypt calls together his people and proposes the way in which they will be able to control Israel. “let us deal shrewdly with them…afflict them with heavy burdens…oppress.” In Exodus 2:23-25, God acknowledges the severe maltreatment of his people (see also Deut. 26:7).
    3. In Judges 19:25, the concubine under the care of her Levite husband is given over to the cruelest form of abuse. The abuse is not from the hand of her husband; however, the Scriptures tell us that she is offered up as an object in order to secure the safety of her husband and his host.
    4. In Esther 1:10-11, King Xerxes demands that his wife Vashti perform a lewd act in order to impress his banquet guests. His command comes at the culmination of an event designed to display the magnitude and beauty of the king’s many possessions. Queen Vashti is simply one of many of those possessions of which he feels entitled to do with as he pleases.
    5. In 1 Samuel 25, Nabal –the husband of Abigail—is described as harsh and badly behaved in his dealings (v. 3). The Hebrew qashah is translated as cruel, evil, severe, harsh, and stubborn. This description of Nabal is used in association with his wife. The Scriptures call this type of man “worthless” (v. 17), one who is ungodly (Deut. 13:13; 1 Sam. 2:12).
    6. In 2 Samuel 11, David “took” Bathsheba for himself. Nathan later charges the King with taking something (someone) into possession that was not his to take (2 Sam. 12).
  • What makes the issue abusive in nature is found in the following Scripture. The Old Testament uses “abuse,” three times while the New Testament uses it twice. Qālāh in Proverbs 9:7 and 22:10 means “reproach, to make a mockery,” and in Judges 19:25 it describes a physical assault.
  • In the New Testament, epéreazó means to be threatened or verbally mistreated (Lk. 6:28), while blasphémos, from which we get the word “blaspheme,” means to demean, denigrate, or subject to foul language (2 Tim. 3:2).

B. Secular perspective

1. DSM

  • A psychiatric diagnosis for domestic abuse might be best stated as, “A system of abusive and violent behaviors [used] to control the victim for the purposes of the abuser.”[3] The DSM-5 categorizes adult maltreatment into four different manifestations (seen below).
  • “The term ‘domestic violence’ includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.”[4]


2. Psychological/psychiatric diagnoses and terminologies


  1. Physical, spouse or partner violence are “non-accidental acts of physical force that result…in physical harm.”[5] This includes any act that invokes significant fear, such as shoving.
  2. Sexual abuse includes any forced or coerced sexual act against a person’s will.
  3. Neglect is an act that deprives a dependent person of basic, physical or psychological needs.
  4. Psychological abuse is non-accidental verbal or symbolic act that will result in harm to the well-being of another person’s mental or emotional state.

All of these categories describe abuse between spouses, partners, nonspousal, or nonpartner adults. Other terminology involved in domestic abuse includes coercive control, domestic violence, intimate partner violence (IVP), abuse of power and control, partner violence, domination, male privilege, narcissism, or coercive threat.

C. History

    1. Domestic abuse has existed since the Fall of mankind. In Genesis 3:16, God tells Eve that, as a result of her sin, her husband will “rule over” her. The fall distorted God’s design in marriage, and a sinful desire to control ensued (Gen. 3:16; 4:8; Judg. 19; Ps. 82:3-4; James 4:1-3). Behind the abuse of power and control by men in the home are sinful thoughts, emotions, and actions. The men who abuse their partners are not men with a mind for Christ. At the core of this issue is the fact that the abuser has lost sight of his love and faithfulness to God. It is from within this void that his evil actions find life. “For with hearts like an oven they approach their intrigue; all night their anger smolders; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.” (Hosea 7:6) This is not the gentle leadership originally intended in the man’s headship.[6] It is likewise not a command for the husband to exercise dominance in marriage any more than it is for the woman to exercise a desire to control her husband. Both the woman’s pain in childbirth and desire to control her husband, as well as the husband’s toil in work and rule over his wife, are statements of fact that will occur as a result of the Fall.[7]

II. Evidence of the Problem

A. Common themes & patterns observed in the lives of those who have been diagnosed with this problem.[8]

  • The message in a home where abuse is taking place is that the husband is more important than the wife and that she exists to serve him.
  • The abusive man is the main frame of reference for how the woman behaves. The victim’s thinking is shaped by the perpetrator; his perceptions, his beliefs, and his actions.
  • Physical abuse may be unnecessary for the abuser to achieve his desired outcomes.
  • Threats are sometimes unspoken, but consequences for resistance are fully understood.
  • The type of abuser who resorts to coercive techniques has a thorough disrespect for truth and individuals.
  • Abusers (in marriage) tend toward their systems of coercion unconsciously. They likely have more awareness of desired outcomes rather than methods to achieve them.
  • The abuser’s goal is to get what he wants and to do this, he tries to control the victim’s heart and mind.
  • The abuser is the most powerful person in the victim’s life.
  • It is useless for the victim to try and challenge the abusive partner.

B. Common expressions of this problem[9]

1. Intimidation

Making the victim afraid by using looks, actions, gestures

Smashing things

Destroying the victim’s property

Abusing pets

Displaying weapons

2. Using Isolation

Controlling what the victim does, who the victim sees and talks to, what the victim reads, where the victim goes

3. Emotional Abuse

Putting the victim down

Making the victim feel bad about themselves

Calling the victim names

Making the victim think they’re crazy

Playing mind games

Humiliating the victim

Making the victim feel guilty

Limiting the victim’s outside involvement

Using jealousy to justify actions

4. Using the Children

Making the victim feel guilty about the children

Using the children to relay messages

Using visitation to harass the victim

Threatening to take the children away

5. Minimization, Denial, and Blame

Making light of the abuse

Not taking the victim’s concerns seriously

Saying the abuse didn’t happen

Shifting blame for abusive behavior

Saying the victim caused it

6. Male Privilege

Treating the victim like a servant

Making all the big decisions

Acting like the “master of the castle”

Being the one to define men’s and women’s roles.

7. Economic Abuse

Preventing the victim from getting or keeping a job

Making the victim ask for money

Giving the victim an allowance

Taking the victim’s money

Not letting the victim know about or have access to family income

8. Coercion and Threats

Making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt the victim

Threatening to leave the victim, to commit suicide, to report them to welfare

Making the victim drop charges

Making the victim do illegal things

III. Etiology

A. Spiritual Symptoms

  • “From a spiritual perspective, abusers, like false teachers warned against throughout Scripture, can only be identified by their fruit.”[10] “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15–20).
  • The marks of a true Christian, found in Romans 12:9-21, are
    • Genuine love
    • Abhorring what is evil
    • Holding fast to what is good
    • Loving one another with brotherly affection
    • Outdoing one another in showing honor
    • Not being slothful in zeal
    • Being fervent in spirit
    • Serving the Lord
    • Rejoicing in hope
    • Being patient in tribulation
    • Being constant in prayer
    • Contributing to the needs of the saints, and
    • Seeking to show hospitality.

The spiritual condition of a person who abuses their spouse is the opposite of these characteristics. These are people who do not walk by the Spirit (Rom. 16:18), but instead gratify the desires of the flesh with:

  • Sexual immorality
  • Impurity
  • Sensuality
  • Idolatry
  • Sorcery (one might consider abuse demonic, James 3:13-16)
  • Enmity
  • Strife
  • Jealousy
  • Fits of anger
  • Rivalries
  • Dissensions
  • Divisions, and
  • Envy (Gal. 5:19-21)

B. Physical Symptoms

Domestic abusers are people. “Every abuser is a person with value and worth. He, like all mankind, bears the image of God. In light of the gospel and Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection, he is an individual in need of God’s saving, and sanctifying work.”[11] No two victims of abuse experience it in the same way. However, the basics of abuse are present in varying degrees with every abuser.[12]

  • They are entitled, and demand that their partner indulge them in their self-imposed standards of living. They insist that their world remain pleasant, their circumstances agreeable, and their importance acknowledged. Deviations from these standards are not their fault (they are typically the offending partner’s fault) and must be resolved immediately.
  • Criticism is never welcome.
  • Anyone fortunate enough to know them should be grateful.
  • Abusers believe that they have the highest degree of knowledge. All other opinions, perceptions, thought processes, and viewpoints are subject to evaluation by the abuser and generally trivialized as inferior and unworthy of consideration.
  • Abusive partners manage their control in part by mental gymnastics intended to keep the victim in a constant state of confusion, hysteria, madness, unreasonable thinking, or second guessing. The following are some of the maneuvers an abuser may employ:
    1. Withholding: the abusive partner pretends not to understand or refuses to listen.
    2. Countering: the abusive partner questions the victim’s memory of events, even when the victim remembers them accurately.
    3. Blocking/Diverting: the abusive partner changes the subject and/or questions the victim’s thoughts.
    4. Forgetting/Denial: the abusive partner pretends to have forgotten what actually occurred or denies things like promises made to the victim. (Adapted from: Source) [13]
  • Abusers control both the mind and the behavior of their partner. They are the standard for how things should be done, and they insist that their partner adhere to the conditions that they determine. This includes how they interact with the abusive partner; however, this dynamic is equally focused on how the abuser wants the victim to think and to behave.
  • The type of person who is abusive is oblivious to the idea of being an abuser. “When blindness and boldness, ignorance and arrogance, weakness and willfulness, meet together in men, it renders them odious to God, burdensome to society, dangerous to their counsels, disturbers of better purposes, intractable and incapable of better direction, miserable in the issue.”[14]
  • They also know how to behave and speak so as not to let anyone know that they are mistreating their partner.
  • They are adept at analyzing their partner’s weaknesses and capable of magnifying those weaknesses in such a way as to make the victim look like the more probable abuser in the relationship.
  • Because of an attitude that objectifies women and considers them as simply possessions, most abusive men have an addiction to pornography and/or significant misunderstandings and practices in their sexual relationships.
  • Abusers believe that men are superior beings and women exist to serve them.
  • Abusers believe that women are power hungry and male haters. Men are meant to keep women in line.
  • Abusers are people who seem to have been wronged by everyone in their world. They find this as justification for doing what they do.
  • Abusers are satisfied when they can create fear in their partner.

IV. Examining the Heart

A. Heart Themes

  • Luke 6:43-45 helps our understanding of the heart involved in domestic abuse. An abusive partner reveals their heart by the fruit of their actions and speech. “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
  • Galatians 5:13–17 describes those who walk by the flesh rather than by the Spirit. “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
  • Romans 1:17-32 is an accurate evaluation of what is happening in the life of abusive men who know truth, however they choose to suppress it (v. 17-23). The Lord then gives them up to self-worship (v. 24-31)

The righteousness of God is revealed in salvation, for salvation (v.17)

The unrighteous of men suppresses truth (v.18)

God reveals himself to man (v.19)

Man knows God’s power, deity, and glory but it condemns him (v.20)

God deserves honor (v.21)

Men who dishonor God are fools (and are blind of this fact) (v.22)

Immortal God deserves glory (v.23)

Foolish men glorify self (v.23)


God’s wrath is seen (v.24)

Sinful men are left to self-worship (v.25)

Self-worship is the foundation of domestic abuse.

Dishonorable passions (v.26, 27)

Debased mind, what ought not to be done (v.28)












Haters of God




Inventors of evil

Disobedient to parents




Ruthlessness (v.29-31)

B. Idols of the Heart

  • Why do abusers do what they do? James would tell us that it is because of what they want. A partner that would use any of the tactics listed above is one whose passions are at war within them. The predominant passion is pride, and at the center of that root of pride is the sin of self. Abusers fall prey to original sin over and over as they consistently chose self-worship over God-worship. “For the abuser, the shape of his world is him. So, all of his words, gestures, and attitudes (or worse) are intended to emotionally, spiritually and/or physically control his wife’s thinking and behavior. Whatever he does is meant to shape her heart and mind primarily toward him; his wants, his desires, his needs. His aim is to make himself supreme ‘on the throne of his own self-hood.’”[15]
  • In order to support self-worship, abusers must maintain control of their environment and relationships. The abuser who idolizes control assumes a position between their partner and Christ and takes His place in all rule, authority, power, and dominion in the relationship (Eph. 1:22).
  • Closely related to the idol of control is an idol of comfort. Control has, as its objective, shaping the abuser’s environment to accommodate the abuser’s comfort (Dan. 4:30).
  • Directly following the idol of comfort is an idol of privilege. In the kingdom of self, abusers believe they are entitled to be served rather than to serve (2 Sam. 11:1-4)
  • Other idols that feed self, control, and comfort include lust, pride, and fear of man. “On the surface, dominance appears to be blatant lust for power to facilitate self-indulgence. Lust and self-indulgence most certainly add fuel to the fire, but the source of the fire is pride. Pride pushes the individual to force others to acknowledge his or her superiority…Pride also generates fear of failure. Fear of failure demands ever greater dominance to attempt to ensure success.”[16]


V. Biblical Solutions

A. Counseling Agenda

  • Self-worship is considered a life dominating sin.[17] Counselors who work with men exhibiting this behavior focus on the heart by helping abusers restructure their thinking. Replacement of ungodly habits includes:
    • Putting off the old self, which belongs to a former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, being renewed in the spirit of the mind, and putting on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22–24).
    • It requires, continuous prayer, dependence on the Holy Spirit, hard work, and a long-term commitment.[18]
    • The heart of violence is not only be uprooted, it is also to be replaced with the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5).[19]
    • The abusive person is to look beyond their own interests and in humility considers others more important than themselves (Phil 2:3-4).[20]

B. Recommended books


  • Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (New York, NY: Berkley Books, 2002). For a comprehensive understanding of an abusive man, Bancroft’s book is essential to the counselor. While insight from his sociology is important, he has no biblical understanding of anthropology or sin, nor does he recommend any biblical solutions. Caution is advised due to foul language and utter lack of hope found throughout the book.
  • Rachel Louise Snyder, No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us (Bloomsbury Publishing: London, UK, 2019).Snyder’s book has been called a “tour de force” for understanding domestic violence in American culture. She is a recognized journalist and professor who approaches this topic with careful skill and razor-sharp detail: she “illuminates the dark corners” of what might be considered an epidemic in relationships today. One of the things that it is important to glean from No Visible Bruises is that we need to be asking better questions about violence in the home. It’s not enough to ask, “why doesn’t she just leave?” We must simultaneously be examining why men feel they have permission to resort to violence as a solution to their (perceived) problems, and how the church is uniquely poised to address that question head on. You won’t get that from Snyder’s book, however. She is not a Christian and extreme caution is advised. The language is raw and repulsive. But as victims of abuse will tell you—victims in Christian homes—they hear this type of language every day. Another important take-away from this book is the church’s potential naivety when it comes to domestic violence. Unless controlling behaviors are eradicated they will escalate—often times to extreme violence. Abusive tactics will intensify over time as the methods previously useful for achieving control diminish in influence. And “Christian” men can be just as dangerous as non-believers. Additionally, domestic abuse is not simply a difficulty that affects marriages: DA has been identified as a common factor behind most mass murders in the United States. The church is significantly behind the culture as far as examining the dynamics of domestic abuse. A final suggestion for how this book would be helpful is to encourage better discussions regarding how to go about preventing abuse in the home rather than simply how to respond to it. Snyder promotes her thoughts toward that end. But it’s likely we, as the church, should do so much better.


For understanding victims:

  • Joy Forrest, Called to Peace: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love (Blue Ink Press: Raleigh, NC, 2018).
  • Sydney Millage, Sanctuary: Hope and Help for Victims of Domestic Abuse (Bemidji, MN: Focus Publishing, 2018).

For understanding abusers:

C. Recommended homework resources

For Victims

  • Michael Card, A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament (Quiet Times for the Heart)(NavPress: Colorado Springs, CO, 2005)
  • Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life (Crossway: Wheaton, IL, 2010).
  • Mark Vroegop, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament (Crossway: Wheaton, IL, 2019).

For Victims and Abusers

  • Greg Gilbert, D.A. Carson, What is the Gospel? (Crossway: Wheaton, IL, 2010).
  • Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love (Focus Publishing: Bemidji, MN, 2008).
  • John Owen, Spiritual-Mindedness, Editor, R.J.K. Law (Banner of Truth Publishing: Carlisle, PA, 2009).
  • W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (Harper Publishing: New York, NY, 1961).






[1]National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, National Data on Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking, https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs-fact-sheet-2014.pdf (Accessed November 2019).

[2] A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York, NY: Harper One Publishers, 1961), 99.

[3] E. Pence and M. Paymar, Education Groups for Men Who Batter: The Duluth model, (Springer Publishing Co, New York, NY, 1993) 30. As quoted in Mary Ann Dutton, Lisa Goodman, R. James Schmidt, Development and Validation of a Coercive Control Measure for Intimate Partner Violence Final Technical Report, Prepared for:

National Institute of Justice Office of Justice Programs U.S. Department of Justice 810 Seventh Street, NW Washington, DC 20531, December 30, 2005.

[4] United States Department of Justice, https://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence#dv (Accessed 12 November 2019).

[5] American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (American Psychiatric Publishing: Washington, DC, 2013), 720.

[6] John Calvin, & J. King Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis Vol. 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 172 as quoted in Ann Maree Goudzwaard, Help[H]er, General Editor, Melanie Cogdill Beyond the Roles: A Biblical Foundation for Women and Ministry, (Lawrenceville, GA: CDM Discipleship Ministries, 2019), 131.

[7] K. A. Mathews, Genesis 1-11:26 Vol. 1A, (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers,1996), 248–252.

[8] The Guardian, “It’s like you go to abuse school’: how domestic violence always follows the same script.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/24/its-like-you-go-to-abuse-school-how-domestic-violence-always- follows-the-same-script?CMP=share_btn_link

[9] Chris Moles, The Heart of Domestic Abuse (Focus Publishing: Bemidji, MN, 2015).

[10] Sydney Millage, Sanctuary: Hope and Help for Victims of Domestic Abuse (Bemidji, MN: Focus Publishing, 2018), 33.

[11] Millage, Sanctuary: Hope and Help for Victims of Domestic Abuse, 33.

[12] Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (New York, NY: Berkley Books, 2002), 78-105.

[13]National Domestic Violence Hotline, What is Gaslighting? https://www.thehotline.org/what-is-gaslighting/ (accessed November, 2019) as quoted in, Healthy Place for your Mental Health, Natasha Tracy, Gaslighting Definition, Techniques and Being Gaslighted https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/gaslighting-definition-techniques-and-being-gaslighted (accessed November 2019).

[14] Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1630, reprint 2011) as found in Millage, Sanctuary: Hope and Help for Victims of Domestic Abuse, 34.

[15] A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York, NY: Harper-Collins Publishers, 1961), 29 as quoted in, Ann Maree Goudzwaard, The Shape of Oppression, Part 2, https://ibcd.org/the-shape-of-oppression-part-2/ (Accessed November 2019).

[16] Marshall and Mary Asher, The Christian’s Guide to Psychological Terms (Focus Publishing: Bemidji, MN, 2004), 63.

[17] Ibid, 108.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Moles, The Heart of Domestic Abuse, 97.

[20] Ibid, 98.

Paul David Tripp

Paul David Tripp

by Hannah Stokes

I. Known For

Paul David Tripp is a world renown Christian author, pastor, and event speaker.  Paul has published best-selling and award-winning books and has written over 30 books on what it looks like to live as a Christian.  Paul Tripp has planted a church, founded a Christian school, and has written worship songs.  His primary goal in life is to “connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life”.

II> Biography

Paul Tripp was born to Bob and Fae Tripp, on November 12,1950 in Toledo, Ohio.  Bob and Fae had been saved by grace not long before Paul was born, and they were thrilled to raise their child in a Christian home.  His parents held a time of family worship each day, and they were at church for every event that was held there.  Although his family strived to live in a home that was honoring to God, they went through a few very hard times.  Through these hard times, Paul grew a desire to see the gospel play out in a broken world.  At the age of nine, Paul understood and grasped the truths of scripture, and was saved by the Lords grace. After years of making friends, going to school, being involved in the church, and doing a variety of different things in Toledo, when Paul went to college, his parents moved to Southern California, therefore, Toledo was no longer home to him.

Paul married his wife, Luella Jackson in 1971, after meeting at Columbia Bible College, where they both studied.  In the same year that he married Luella, Paul started his first pastoral position at a local church.  After completing college, Paul decided to go back and complete his Master of Divinity degree at what is now called the Philadelphia Theological Seminary.  From the time that he and his wife got married, and when he completed his degree in Divinity, Paul and Luella had four children.  As Paul grew in his Christian walk, his love for ministry grew also.  This caused him to have a desire to help plant a church in Scranton, Pennsylvania through 1977-1987, and during this same time, he founded a Christian school.  Another thing that Paul did during his years in Scranton, was becoming involved in music, where he traveled with a Christian band and developed a love for writing worship songs.  As time went on, Paul also developed a love for biblical counseling, which resulted in him deciding to enroll in the D.Min program in Biblical Counseling at Westminster Theological Seminary, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  After going through yet another few years of studies, Paul used what he had learned and joined the CCEF (Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation).  He also decided to teach at the Westminster Theological Seminary and was a visiting professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Paul, his wife, and children moved to Philadelphia in 1987, where they built the rest of their lives.  They are currently and have for years, been involved in their local church (Tenth Presbyterian Church) where Paul preaches each Sunday and leads a ministry that they have that goal is sharing the gospel with people in the inner city.  Paul’s children have had joy in the fact that their father and mother have raised them in the church.  As a family, they have served together and have been involved in daily devotions, similar to how Paul was raised.  Paul’s wife, Luella, manages a commercial art gallery in the city, where she uses her talents to advance the gospel to people who have not ever heard it.  Paul as well as his wife, loves painting and has committed himself to using painting as yet another way for him to help people understand the Bible.

In the beginning of June, 2006, Paul started a nonprofit organization named Paul Tripp Ministries, which has reached millions of people across the world.  Paul is also the president of this ministry whose goal is to connect the transforming power of Jesus to daily life.  A year and a half later, in January 2007, Paul became part of the pastoral staff at the church that he has been preaching and faithfully attending to this very day.  Paul is also a Professor of Pastoral Life and Care at a seminary in Dallas, Texas.  He also works as an Executive Director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care in Fort Worth, Texas.


III. Important Theological Views

Tripp’s denominational affiliation is Presbyterian, and although there are many types of Presbyterian, this specific church (Tenth Presbyterian) believes that God’s Word is without error and is the ultimate authority in the Church.  They teach that scripture is the only way that we can know who God is, who we are as humans, and how we can be saved.  When they said that their church is confessional, they mean that their church subscribes to the ancient Christian creeds and to historic, protestant, and Reformed theology as is taught in The Westminster Confession of Faith.  This church is also Presbyterian, which means that they are a church that is governed by elders who are called by God and elected by people in the church.  They believe that the governors of the church emphasize the character of the Church as is shown in the New Testament.  They preach the truth that humanity is inherently sinful, and that everyone who is living in the world deserves the wrath of God.  The church also believes and teaches that Jesus was a real person in history and that He came to the earth to die for his children (those he elected) because he loves us.  They believe in the Divine Trinity, and that each member of the Trinity is incredibly important and plays different roles in a believer’s life.


IV. Works/ Publications

Paul David Tripp has written over 30 different books, which are all written on theological views of lifestyle.  The most famous of which are; Instruments in The Redeemers Hands, How People Change, War of Words and Age of Opportunity. He writes each of his books with the purpose of encouraging others in different stages of life as they are striving to walk with the Lord.




“About Paul Tripp” PaulTripp.com


“Presbyterians: 10 Things to Know about Their History & Beliefs” Christianity.com



“Our Beliefs” Tenth.Org



“Paul David Tripp” Last.fm


















Discontentment (Singleness)

Discontentment (Singleness)

by Lauren Koval

I. Definition

A. Biblical perspective

1. Biblical Definition

Discontentment in the single life, as Dr. Ernie Baker explains in reference to one case of a discontent single man, “He continually struggled with really loving the Lord as his first priority because he believed that to be happy, he had to be married.”[1] The desire to be married, and, often, start a family, becomes the ultimate hope and satisfaction of the single’s life, and the unhappiness of that “hope deferred” (Proverbs 13:12) becomes all-consuming for the single person. This can result in loneliness, depression, or resentfulness.[2]

2. Biblical Perspective

God is always working all things for the believer’s good and his own glory (Romans 8:28). God does not withhold anything good from “those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). Since singleness is also in the control of God, then discontentment or anger at God is a lack of trust in his goodness and sovereignty to provide what is good to those who love him. Discontentment or the quest for fulfillment from an external or earthly circumstance, like marriage, also shows dissatisfaction with God. Paul learned contentment through Christ who gave him strength (Phil. 4:12-13) because he had learned how Christ was of such surpassing worth (Philippians 3:8).[3] The dissatisfied single longing for marriage to create her happiness looks to a “broken cistern” that holds no water, and to an unfulfilling hope (Jeremiah 2:13). The solution is “living water,” that is, Jesus himself (John 4), who can provide all the satisfaction, companionship, and grace that believers need.[4] The goal is not marriage or singleness, but pursuing a relationship with Christ and his kingdom as the ultimate satisfaction and delight.[5]

B. Secular perspective

Psychology has labeled discontentment and depression in singleness as an “ambiguous loss,” because, “adults who are single do not know when, if at all, someone who matches their anticipated spouse will come into their lives and choose to marry them.”[6] Because they do not see the realization of those hopes or dreams, yet have not completely lost hope of seeing them realized, they are in an in-between mourning stage of something that is not physically there, but is psychologically there.[7] This grief is in a “frozen” state, that which is unresolved, and thus more painful, and uncertain.[8] The longing for relationship flows from a desire for “joy and purpose” from another human, thus, “the absence of meaningful relationships typically leads to loneliness, emptiness, depression, and despair.”[9] With this comes the difficulty of societal pressures and expectations, and the inability to publicly mourn this “psychological loss.”[10]

The goal of treatment of this depressing and ambiguous loss is to train the person to “cope” with the mourning and continue on with life, changing the attitude, not the inevitable situation.[11] Because guilt, or identity-issues, or shame, or confusion can come when the hope of relationship is lost, but not quite, the psychologist can encourage the client by “supporting the notions that there is nothing wrong with enjoying singlehood and nothing wrong with enjoying marriage.”[12] Other therapies like acknowledging conflicting emotions and normalizing the struggle often helps the client come to terms with their own emotions.[13] Finally, helping the client find a new identity and meaning outside of “singleness” or “marriage,” causes them to keep the hope, but not be consumed by it.[14] More assertive therapies include accepting the singleness to the point of saying, “I am not married because I do not want to be…I am single because I am enough for me.”[15] This method encourages the discontent client to find their rest and identity and confidence in their own sufficiency, not their longing for marriage to fulfill them, or their fear of the stigma of singleness.

C. History

The idea of loneliness or discontentment in any situation has been since the Fall. Jane Clark says, “[loneliness] is caused by sin…by our estrangement from God and each other.”[16] Sin causes us to seek satisfaction outside of God, or assume we need something other than what God has given. However, the more modern and cultural situation of increasing singleness has only developed in the past few decades. In the 1950s, only thirty-one percent of adults in America were single. As of 2015, that number has jumped to forty-five percent. The ages of single adults has grown over the same amount of time; on average, the age at marriage has increased six to seven years older. [17] As the article points out, “Despite the high rates of singlehood in the United States, 93% of Americans report that marrying is one of the most important life objectives they have.”[18] So, though the amount of married couples is decreasing, the desire for marriage is not. As online dating services, and other creative methods of forming relationships abound, the issue becomes more and more prevalent.

For singles in the Church, the solution seems to be marriage, and singles are often seen as second best. Betty-Anne Van Rees discusses the “shift” to this issue beginning in World War II, when more women becoming increasingly independent in the work force, causing the increase of singles.[19] As the Church generally centered on families, ministering to the growing number of singles became more difficult to adjust to, and more people struggled with desiring marriage and being discontent with their singlehood. More recently, the approach to loneliness in singlehood in the secular world has been to embrace and celebrate “singlehood.” Books like Eliyam Kislev’s Happy Singlehood, or Keturah Kendrick’s No Thanks: Black, female, and living in the martyr-free zone, promote the idea of perspective, that loneliness is a choice one makes, and, that being single is a healthy and good thing.[20]

Kate Bolick, as explained on Lavin, argues that, “changing opportunities for women are changing the definition of the family, the workplace, the economy, and society as a whole.”[21] As the shift to singlehood grows, the desire for marriage and discontentment in singleness are set aside for celebration of singleness and independence.

II. Evidence of the Problem

Some common themes and patterns of discontented singleness include extreme feelings of loneliness that results in despair and depression. Pulling away from Church activities and involvement because of the pain of seeing married friends, never attending weddings, and experience long episodes of depression during holidays. They can be distracted from ministry and are too preoccupied with searching for a spouse that they are unable to serve the Lord and his Kingdom.

Other results of this discontentedness include dating incessantly or settling for someone who is below the person’s standards.[22] Or, the desire to have attention from someone and escape loneliness causes them to turn to sexual intimacy outside of marriage. Self-pity, feelings of inferiority, or feelings of meaningless are also signs of discontented singleness.

III. Etiology

A. The Physical (external) Causes:

-Lacking a marriage or dating partner.

-Same Sex Attraction. Desiring marriage but not being attracted to the opposite sex.

B. The Spiritual Causes:

-Marriage fantasizing and idolizing

-Desire for affirmation and validation

-Lacking trust in God

-Seeing Singleness as a curse

IV. Examining the Heart

    1. Discontented singleness can flow from a variety of heart idols or themes. The person who desires marriage so strongly that they have become bitter towards God can result from a heart that is worshiping acceptance or security in relationships as the ultimate goal. They feel they are incomplete or invalidated by not achieving marriage, or, feel that the love of another human will complete them and make them less inferior. This is similar to the idol of people’s acceptance, placing one’s hope in the love of another human. Discontent can flow from a misunderstanding of desires. Jayne Clark argues that it is a misconception that God will always fulfill the desire of marriage if he has given it to someone. She refutes this claim by saying God has never guaranteed this in His Word, but that those desires are meant to be brought “under the lordship of Jesus Christ.”[23] Other heart idols are worshiping comfort or security in circumstantial change, worshiping a sense of importance because of marriage, or worshiping the ability to control circumstances to one’s desired end. This demonstrates a lack of trust in God’s goodness, and a desire for satisfaction outside of him.


V. Biblical Solutions

A. Key Counseling Points

Because discontentment is rooted in heart idols, Dr. Ernie Baker discusses in his book, Marry Wisely, Marry Well, that, singles must examine their heart. If they are looking to marriage to make them happy, then it is replacing Christ and what he alone can give.[24] If others have become the rock, the hope of fulfillment or happiness, then that is an idol that replaces the Lord.[25] A sense of need of fulfillment of others by marriage forsakes the Lord as the true place of refuge.[26] This must be repented of, and then worship of and love for the Lord turns the heart to find satisfaction in him.

Discontent singles must also overcome wrong beliefs about loneliness. Jayne Clark says, “Loneliness is actually caused…by sin…our estrangement from God.”[27] Because this is true, “The solution lies in the redemption of our relationship with God.”[28] Pursuing a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the Father through his Son is where true happiness comes. This idea, of pursuing deeper communion with God for lasting contentment rather than looking to marriage for the cure to loneliness is echoed by Dr. Ernie Baker, Lori Smith, Sean Perron, and many others. Because of Christian community, the call out of loneliness is to then turn to the community and union of the Body of Christ and enjoy the fellowship of believers.[29]

The single person must learn to trust the Lord. Bitterness and anger at God for not fulfilling the desire for marriage results from disbelieving that he is good, that he does not withhold anything good from his children, or disbelieving that he is in control of every circumstance (Romans 8:28; Psalm 84:11). If singleness is God’s plan, then it is the best plan for your life at this time. Embrace it, and rejoice in God’s goodness towards you, and turn to him.[30] It’s not something to settle for, but something to thank God for, that he has given this circumstance in this time, and has its own joys and blessings.

Sean Perron, author for “Biblical Counseling Coalition” and Marshall Seagal, author of Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating as well as others encourage singles to develop their love for the Lord and his Word, and then rest in his love for them. This leads to the conviction that Jesus alone is living water (John 4). Finally, because Christians are made to enjoy community with other believers with the union of the Body of Christ, they must involve themselves in the Church, building relationships, discipling others, and serving by using their gifts, not bemoaning their unmarried state and wasting the time in their life to serve.[31]

Discontent singles with same sex attraction need to understand the same principles as above. But, an even more intense feeling of loneliness or isolation can come upon them. As a result, they must be reminded that they are not left alone by Jesus, nor by his church, and that their struggle is common to man (1 Cor. 10:13). There is hope for the pursuit of holiness and love for the Lord. Their struggles should not be reduced to something simple, but, in love, they must be shown God’s goodness and grace in their struggle.[32]

Counseling for contentment also doesn’t mean that the desire for marriage should vanish in contentment. Asking the Lord for a godly spouse, pursuing relationships toward marriage, and examining ways that you can grow are all things that are important parts of this season in life.

B. Important passages in contentment in singleness:

-Know the Lord’s goodness (Psalm 103; Psalm 84:11)

-Know the Lord is in control and trustworthy, working in all situations (Romans 8:28)

-Use singleness as an opportunity and delight and gift to please the Lord (1 Corinthians 7)

-Set surpassing worth on knowing Christ (Philippians 3:8; Phil. 4:11-13).

-Humble yourself before the Lord and draw near to him, repenting of coveting and discontentment (James 4:1-10).

-Rest in the satisfaction God brings (John 4)


C. Recommended Books

Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Singleness and Dating by Marshall Segal

Marry Wisely, Marry Well by Dr. Ernie Baker

The Secret of Contentment by William B. Barcley

Single and Lonely: Finding the Intimacy you Desire by Jayne V. Clark

Quest for Love by Elisabeth Elliot

Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring your Love Life under Christ’s Control by Elisabeth Elliot.

Redeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms the Single Life by Barry Danylak

Seven Myths about Singleness by Sam Allberry

D. Homework Resources

Contentment: Seeing God’s Goodness: 31-Day Devotional by Megan Hill

Discovering Wonderful Things Worksheet for:

Philippians 4:11-13

Study 1 Corinthians 7

Chapters 5 and 7 in Marry Wisely, Marry Well and answer the questions at the end of the chapters.





Asmus, Christopher. “Satisfied in the Arms of Another: Four Lessons for Same-Sex-Attracted

Christians.” Desiring God, October 24, 2018.


Baker, Dr. Ernie. Marry Wisely, Marry Well. Wapwallopen: Shepherd Press, 2016.

Clark, Jayne V. “Struggling through Singleness.” Journal of Biblical Counseling 29, no. 1,

(2015): 7-18.

DePaulo, Bella. “Single Life in the 21st Century: A Guide to Owning It.” Psychology Today,

June 22, 2019.https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-single/201906/single-


Jackson, Jeffrey B., “The Ambiguous Loss of Singlehood: Conceptualizing and Treating

Singlehood Ambiguous Loss Among Never-Married Adults.” Contemporary Family

Therapy 40, (2018): 210-222.

Lavin. “Going It Alone: Kate Bolick on the History of Singlehood.” Lavin, December 27, 2012.



Perron, Sean. “Relationships: Contentment and Dating.” Biblical Counseling Coalition, February

7, 2018. https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2018/02/07/relationships-


Reju, Deepak. “How Can you Be Satisfied on Valentine’s Day (And for the Rest of Your Life)?”

Biblical Counseling Coalition, February 13, 2019,


Van Rees, Betty-Anne. “Single in the Church.” Biblical Counseling Coalition, February 14,

  1. https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2015/02/04/single-in-the-church/.












[1] Dr. Ernie Baker, Marry Wisely, Marry Well (Wapwallopen: Shepherd Press, 2016), 71.

[2] Jayne V. Clark, “Struggling through Singleness,” Journal of Biblical Counseling 29, no. 1, (2015), 15.

[3] Sean Perron, “Relationships: Contentment and Dating,” Biblical Counseling Coalition, February 7, 2018, https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2018/02/07/relationships-contentment-and-dating/.

[4] Deepak Reju, “How Can you Be Satisfied on Valentine’s Day (And for the Rest of Your Life)?” Biblical Counseling Coalition, February 13, 2019, https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2019/02/13/how-can-you-be-satisfied-on-valentines-day-and-for-the-rest-of-your-life/.

[5] Sean Perron, “Relationships: Contentment and Dating.”


[6] Jeffrey B. Jackson, “The Ambiguous Loss of Singlehood: Conceptualizing and Treating Singlehood Ambiguous Loss Among Never-Married Adults,” Contemporary Family Therapy 40 (2018): 213.


[7] Ibid., 213.

[8] Ibid., 211.

[9] Ibid., 212.

[10] Ibid., 214.

[11] Ibid., 215.

[12] Ibid., 216.

[13] Ibid., 217.

[14] Ibid., 219.

[15] Bella DePaulo, “Single Life in the 21st Century: A Guide to Owning It,” Psychology Today, June 22, 2019, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-single/201906/single-life-in-the-21st-century-guide-owning-it.

[16] Jayne V. Clark, “Struggling through Singleness,” 10.

[17] Jeffrey B. Jackson, “The Ambiguous Loss of Singlehood,” 210.

[18] Ibid., 211.

[19] Betty-Anne Van Rees, “Single in the Church,” Biblical Counseling Coalition, February 14, 2015, https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2015/02/04/single-in-the-church/.

[20] Bella DePaulo, “Single Life in the 21st Century.”

[21] Lavin, “Going It Alone: Kate Bolick on the History of Singlehood,” Lavin, December 27, 2012, https://www.thelavinagency.com/news/going-it-alone-kate-bolick-on-the-history-of-singlehood.

[22] Deepak Reju, “How Can you Be Satisfied on Valentine’s Day (And for the Rest of Your Life)?”

[23] Jayne. V. Clark, “Struggling Through Singleness,” 9.

[24] Dr. Ernie Baker, Marry Wisely, Marry Well (Wapwallopen: Shepherd Press, 2016), 28.


[25] Ibid., 29.


[26] Ibid., 44.


[27] Jayne V. Clark, “Struggling Through Singleness,” 10.

[28] Ibid., 11.

[29] Dr. Ernie Baker, Marry Wisely 72.



[31] Ibid., 75-77

[32] Christopher Asmus, “Satisfied in the Arms of Another: Four Lessons for Same-Sex-Attracted Christians,” Desiring God, October 24, 2018, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/satisfied-in-the-arms-of-another.

The Master’s University

The Master’s University 

by Rachel Miller


I. Overview

In 1991, The Master’s University became the first school to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in biblical counseling.  The program is, “designed to prepare God’s people to meet counseling-related needs wherever they exist with the sufficient and superior resources God provides.”[1]   Students at The Master’s University may obtain a B.A./M.A. in biblical studies with an emphasis in biblical counseling as either traditional or online students.

The biblical counseling program seeks to equip students to accurately understand and apply, and instruct others through God’s Word.  They are committed to the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word to address all of man’s problems.  They hold that, while secular psychology may provide helpful observations, only God’s Word can provide accurate interpretation and bring about effective hope and change.  They affirm biblical counseling because they are, “committed to the Word of God as being authoritative Truth; because the only means of authentic change begins with faith in Jesus; and because the ultimate jurisdiction of counseling falls within the church.”[2]  They assert that while outside sources can be helpful, everything man needs to live a God-honoring life is contained within God’s Word.

TMU is connected with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and holds to the same biblical counseling model, as opposed to the integrational model of counseling.  Students who receive their B.A./M.A. in Biblical Counseling have completed much of the work necessary to receive their ACBC certification.  TMU also offers further study in biblical counseling through their Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling.


II. History

In 1991, Dr. John MacArthur authored Our Sufficiency in Christ in which he asserts that, “to possess the Lord Jesus Christ is to have every spiritual resource,”[3] and that Christ is sufficient to provide for all man’s needs.  That same year, as president of the university, he hired Dr. Robert Smith as the first biblical counseling faculty member at TMU.  Dr. Wayne Mack was then hired in 1993 to head up the program at the graduate level.  The departments have seen several changes in leadership at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  The MABC program is now led by Dr. John Street, while Dr. Greg Gifford heads up the undergraduate counseling program.  Dr. Ernie Baker is the online biblical counseling department chair.[4]

III. Resources

A. Leaders

Undergraduate Faculty:

Greg Gifford

Shelbi Cullen

Adjunct Undergraduate Faculty:

Jamaica Groover-Skelton

Robert Somerville

Tom Sugimura

Adam Tyson

Ed Wilde

Former Undergraduate Faculty:

Ernie Baker

Joe Keller

Wayne Mack

Bob Smith

Robert Somerville

MABC Faculty:

Stuart Scott

John Street

B. Publications

1. Journals:

The Journal of Biblical Soul Care https://www.masters.edu/jbsc.html

2. Books

The Master’s University Biblical Counseling faculty have written several books contributing to the field of biblical counseling, including:

How to Counsel Biblically – Master’s University Faculty

Think Biblically! – Master’s University Faculty

Marry Wisely, Marry Well – Ernie Baker

Helping Your Family Through PTSD – Greg Gifford 

Christian Life Issues – Wayne Mack

Anger and Stress Management – Wayne Mack

 To Be or not to Be a Church Member – Wayne Mack

 God’s Solutions to Life’s Problems – Wayne Mack

 Preparing for Marriage God’s Way – Wayne Mack

 Strengthening Your Marriage – Wayne Mack

31 Ways to Be a “OneAnother” Christian – Stuart Scott

Counseling the Hard Cases – Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert

Men Counseling Men – John Street

C. Blog Posts


D. Counseling

The Master’s University does not practice counseling, but equips students for the work of counseling.


E. External Links



[1] https://www.masters.edu/programs/biblical-counseling.html

[2] “Biblical Counseling v. Psychology,” Dr. Greg Gifford, February 7, 2018, https://www.masters.edu/news/biblical-counseling-v-pyschology.html.

[3] John MacArthur, Our Sufficiency in Christ, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1991), 11.

[4] Greg Gifford, “History of Biblical Counseling at The Master’s University,” Dec. 11, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sebP4aVxrU&feature=emb_logo.


Tedd Tripp

Tedd Tripp

by Matthew Jones


  1. Known for
    1. President of Shepherding the Heart Ministries (shepherdingtheheart.org)
    2. Books on children and parenting centered on heart change, juxtapose behavior change by itself
    3. Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Hazleton, Pennsylvania since June 1983 – 2012 [9].

II. Biography

A. Early life

    1. Tripp was born in in 1946[2] in Toledo, Ohio.[10]

B.  Education

    1. Bachelor of Arts in history from Geneva College [2]
    2. Master of Divinity from Philadelphia Theological Seminary [2]
    3. Doctor of Ministry from Westminster Theological Seminary [2]

C. Significant life events that impacted person

    1. Prior to seminary, Tedd worked in industry and building trades [10]
    2. Tedd married Margy in 1968 [9]
    3. Tedd and Margy have three Children born in 1969, 1972, and 1973. [10]
    4. Tedd and his wife, Margy, founded Immanuel Christian School in 1979. Tedd served as a teacher and principal for four years and continues to serve on the school’s board.[10]

III. Theological views

A. Tedd Tripp holds to the view that people were created as worshippers. Humans were created to worship (Romans 1:18-25), either God or something else. Further, he would affirm people are born into sin and therefor have hearts that creates “idols” in place of God-. Therefore, exchanging proper worship of God for created things. Behavior- that is- outward and seen, is an outflow of one’s inward worship.

B. As noted above, Tedd Tripp formerly pastored at Grace Fellowship Church. This church is affiliated with the Reformed Baptist Network [5]

IV. Works/Publications

A. Books:

    1. Shepherding a Child’s Heart
    2. Instructing a Child’s Heart
    3. Hints for Parents

B. Articles

    1. “Communicate with Teens”, written July 13, 2010 [11]

C. Interviews

    1. Tedd was interviewed by Tony Reinke for a consecutive week on the, The Ask Pastor John Podcast (Desiringgod.org), on the following ideas and titles: Is Parenting Complicated or Simple? What is the Greatest Threat to the Christian Family? Helping Children Discover Heart Idols, Why Parents Spank, and lastly, Why Parents Don’t Spank [6]

D. Audio

    1. Drive By Parenting: A 31-Part Conversation about Shepherding a Child’s Heart, hosted by Todd Friel [2]
    2. Rejuvenating the Gospel in Your Marriage and Family– an audio recording in 2010 of seven Shepherd Press authors. The authors shared, “biblical wisdom with the power to renew your life and marriage”. Tedd Tripp contributed two lessons titled: Rejuvenating the Gospel in Your Marriage, and The Empty Nest Season of Marriage [7]
    3. Three lessons from Tedd Tripp: Shepherding Your Child’s Heart: Ages 0-5, Ages 6-12, and Teenagers [10]
    4. Sixteen various sermons and teachings from Sermonaudio.com [9]

E. Video

    1. Shepherding a Child’s Heart: A 12-Part Video on Parenting [2]
    2. Instructing a Child’s Heart: A 13-Part Video Series on Formative Instruction [2]


V. Influence on Biblical Counseling

    1. The greatest impact Tedd Tripp has contributed to Biblical Counseling is his best-selling child rearing book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart. Tedd proves that children as adults, live out of their heart, and need to learn to worship God and not idols [12]. Since 1994, Tedd has devoted most of his time and energy as a conference speaker. He primarily presents seminars related to his book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart [10]. Tedd applies years of experience in applying the principles of Biblical Counseling specifically to parents and children.


VI. Bibliography

[1] “About Shepherding The Heart Ministries.” Shepherding the Heart Ministries, 6 Dec. 1970, shepherdingtheheart.org/about/. Accessed 30 Nov 2019.

[2] “Author: Tedd Tripp.” Shepherd Press, 21 Nov. 2019, www.shepherdpress.com/store/authors/tedd-tripp/. Accessed 30 Nov 2019.

[3] “Beliefs.” Grace Fellowship Church, www.gfchazleton.org/about-us/beliefs/. Accessed 5 Dec 2019.

[4] “A Note from Dr. Tripp.” Shepherding the Heart Ministries, shepherdingtheheart.org/about/note-from-dr-tripp/. Accessed 30 Nov 2019.

[5] “REASONS FOR RBNet.” Reformed Baptist Network, reformedbaptistnetwork.com/about/.

[6] Reinke, Tony, and Tedd Tripp. Desiring God: Ask Pastor John Podcast, www.desiringgod.org/authors/tedd-tripp. Accessed 3 Dec 2019.

[7] “Rejuvenating the Gospel in Your Marriage and Family.” Shepherd Press, 20 Nov. 2019, www.shepherdpress.com/products/rejuvenating-the-gospel/. Accessed 3 Dec 2019.

[8] “ShepherdPress.” YouTube, www.youtube.com/channel/UCvjwUyZIScwmx_JHoKt1Wzg. Accessed 5 Dec 2019.

[9] “Tedd Tripp Sermons.” SermonAudio, www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?keyword=Tedd_Tripp&SpeakerOnly=true. Accessed 5 Dec 2019.

[10] “Tedd Tripp.” Monergism, www.monergism.com/topics/mp3-audio-multimedia/family-and-marriage/tedd-tripp. Accessed 1 Dec 2019.

[11] Tripp, Tedd. “Communicate with Teens.” Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, 22 Feb. 2019, http://www.ccef.org/communicate-teens/.

[12] Tripp, Tedd. Shepherding a Child’s Heart. Shepherd Press, 1995.




Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF)

Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

By Abigail Conners


I. Overview

The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) is an organization that supports the idea that the body of Christ provides the care and counseling that a person needs.  Their beliefs are founded on the truth and authority of Scripture.  Though they categorize themselves as Protestants, they encourage and have fellowship with those who have different theological positions.  They confidently stand by the teaching of God’s word and point folks towards Jesus Christ and his grace for progressive lasting change through Biblical Counseling.

2. History

CCEF was founded by Jay Adams and John Bettler in the 1960’s once the movement for Biblical Counseling was started.  They have various locations like Philadelphia, New England, and Montana.  They host conferences as well as speaking events that are posted regularly on their website.  Different materials and sources are also offered to the public, them being blogs, podcasts, and videos.  They have grown to be a powerful organization that has been an influence in the Biblical Counseling Movement.

II. Resources

A. Leaders

Board Members of CCEF [1]:

Barbara Aills

David Harvey

David W. Budnick

Deepak Reju

Richard M. Horne

Rod Mays

Steve D. Estes

Steve Midgley

Staff of CCEF [1]:

Andy Coleman (I.T. Manager)

Anne Pettit (SBC Student Services Coordinator, Graphic Design)

Brandon Peterson (Resources & Customer Service Manager)

Brian Stenson (Development Associate)

Bruce Eaton (Facilities & fiche Manager, JBC Editor)

Carly Robinson (SBC Manager)

Charlotte Eastlack (Director of Business & Finance)

Dave Casey (Staff Accountant)

Deb Peart (Receptionist)

Denise Wilson (Receptionist)

Esther Lou (Executive Assistant)

Eunice Ko ( Counseling Ministries Administrator)

Jen Jane (Counseling Ministries)

Jeremy Eshelman (Communications)

Jimmy Adkins (Manager of Marketing and Communications)

Jodie McMullen (Customer Service Representative)

Joao Bassett (Speaking Events Manager)

Jonathan Morgan (SBC Student and Alumni Success Coordinator)

Jordan Showalter (SBC Administrative Assistant)

Kimberly Monroe (JBC Managing Editor)

Laura Andrews (SBC Online Instruction Manager)

Lauren Whitman (JBC Editor)

Lynette English (SBC Course Designer)

Megan Wong (Director of Development & Advancement)

Miriam Hertzog (Development Coordinator & Supporting Church Liaison)

Rebecca Eaton (Online Instruction Assistant)

Sam Alex (Counseling Ministries Administrative Assistant)

Sarah Gammage (Customer Service Representative)

William Baublitz III (Conference Manager)


B. Publications

C. Journals

The Journal of Biblical Counseling

D. Books

Here are some:

Safe and Sound: Standing Firm in Spiritual Battles by David Powlison

Untangling Emotions by Alastair Groves, Winston Smith

Child Proof: Parenting by Faith, Not Formula by Julie Lowe

Caring For One Another: 8 Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships

God’s Grace In Your Suffering by David Powlison

E. Minibooks

Here are some:

Opiate-Related Disorders: Helping Those Who Struggle by Eamon Wilson

Overeating: When Enough Isn’t Enough by Mike Emlet

Helping Your Anxious Child: What to Do When Worry Gets Big by Julie Lowe

Schizophrenia: A Compassionate Approach by Todd Stryd

Domestic Abuse: Recognize, Respond, Rescue by Darby Strickland

Domestic Abuse: Help for the Sufferer by Darby Strickland

F. Blog Posts


G. Podcast


H. Audio/video



IV. Events

A. Conferences

Per CCEF, they have a series of conferences and speaking events that have been planned.  If you go to their events tab, there are a list of conferences that are coming up as well as upcoming speaking events.  This organization uses these events as a ministry to inspire fellowship and to encourage those that are participating.


B. Counseling

CCEF does counseling for those that are desiring change in their lives and for that change to be implemented by biblical truth.

The organization quotes on their website; “As Part of our mission to restore Christ to counseling, CCEF offers counseling services at our various locations.  If you are considering counseling for yourself, or are looking for a resource for a friend or family member, we offer help you can trust because it is rooted in biblical truth.[2]”

C. External Links








Work Cited

  1. https://www.ccef.org/about/people/
  2. https://www.ccef.org/counseling/philosophy/






By Hannah Walsh

I. Definition:

Eating Disorder: the habitual misuse of food, characterized by severe disturbances in eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions. Anorexia Nervosa: an eating disorder characterized by extreme weight loss.

Biblical Perspective

A person ought to bring glory to God in all that they do, including eating and drinking (1 Corinthians 10:31). Eating disorders are a misuse of God’s gift of food, and are contrary to God’s design for human beings. God created food to be enjoyable and nourishing. Unfortunately, sin affects the proper use and enjoyment of food. A person may misuse food by overeating, undereating, or having the wrong attitude about food. This is a result of being controlled or enslaved by wrong desires (1 Corinthians 6:12-13). Indwelling heart idols such as control, pride, or vanity may lead an individual to develop an eating disorder. Actions are sinful when one does them primarily to satisfy one’s own desires instead of to please God.[1] 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says that one ought to honor God with one’s body. A person’s body does not belong to themselves, but to God (Romans 14:7–8). It is clear that someone with an eating disorder is not glorifying the Lord in the way that they are treating their body and the provisions that He has provided, nor with the desires that initially brought on the eating disorder.

Secular Perspective:

The National Eating Disorders Association states that there is a growing consensus that eating disorders are caused by a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors.[2] More than merely a lifestyle choice, eating disorders are considered serious and often fatal illnesses.[3] Someone with an eating disorder is often described as having an abnormal eating pattern, stemming from mental or emotional issues. Signs of eating disorders may include an unhealthy obsession with food, body weight, and shape. The three general types of eating disorders are known as anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating. [4] It is commonly accepted that eating disorders most often stem from incorrect thinking, and in particular an incorrect view of self.

Generally, people suffering from anorexia nervosa obsessively restrict calories and foods. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers states that, most commonly occurring in young females, anorexia is characterized by a refusal to maintain normal body weight, a fear of gaining weight or becoming obese, a disturbance of body image, an unwarranted reliance on body weight or shape for self-evaluation, and amenorrhea.[5]

Secular treatments for eating disorders include nutritional rehabilitation, individual psychotherapy, reinforcement and cognition, inpatient and residential, group therapy, and family interventions, and medication.[6]

II. History

In the 19th century, a French psychiatrist named Charles Lasegue studied anorexia from a social and psychological standpoint.[7] In time physicians agreed that eating disorders were medical conditions and physical diseases, and later it was come to be accepted that they were not merely physical, but emotional and mental matters. In 1980, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) added an eating disorders section for the first time.[8] Since that time, eating disorders have come to be considered serious issues stemming from mental illnesses.[9]

III. Etiology

Eating disorders are both spiritual and physical matters. It is important to understand both the spiritual and physical aspects.

Physical evidences of eating disorders depends upon the particular disorder. A person with anorexia nervosa will exhibit certain distinguishable behaviors The DSM-IV outlines four major criteria for diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, which include a refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for their age and height , an experience of intense fear of gaining weight or becoming obese even though they are underweight, a misunderstanding of the seriousness of their weight loss provide and a demonstration of disturbances in the way their body weight and shape is experienced.[10] Obvious symptoms may include abnormal blood count, fatigue,  dizziness/fainting, anxiety and depression, insomnia, thinning hair, discoloration of skin, osteoporosis, or low blood pressure. A person with an eating disorders may isolate themselves from others or exhibit compulsive behavior.[11]

The spiritual side of the matter is of even more importance, as it is of eternal importance. Even secular psychologies state that eating disorders are not merely physical. The disorders stem from internal desires, and result in further spiritual issues. A person may, for example, desire to be in control of every aspect of their life, or desire to be beautiful or perfect. These desires, when desired above God, lead to sinful behavior. The eating disorder may lead to further sinful responses or attitudes, such as anger, depression, or anxiety.

IV. Examining the Heart

It is important that a believer thinks about the issues of eating disorders through the lens of Scripture. There are two emergency situations involved in eating disorders – the first is the physical life-threatening emergency, and the second is the spiritual eternal-soul threatening emergency.[12]  Both must be dealt with in the proper way. The goal in counseling an individual who is dealing from an eating disorder is not merely to help restore them to a place where they are physically healthy and out of danger, but ultimately that the individual would experience true biblical change that can only come from the truth of God’s Word and the work of the Spirit impacting their heart and mind. Ultimately, as in all matters, the goal is that Jesus Christ would be glorified.

A counselee should be led towards a better understanding of who God is and why He made man. This will lead into a better understanding of how one ought to live in response, and how that affects even the way that one eats.

Once determined, the heart issues need to be addresses. Common heart themes in regards to eating disorders are control and vanity.

Control: A person who idolizes control is not trusting in God’s sovereignty. There desire is, essentially, to try to be God instead of trusting and living in submission to God. This idol can lead to eating disorders, such as anorexia, because the person desires to control every calorie they intake or every pound they weigh to the point where is becomes unhealthy and obsessive. They may pride themselves in having control over their feelings of hunger. The desire to be in control can lead to obsessive behavior in regards to food.

Vanity: Vanity is another common root of eating disorders. Many secular counselors will tell their counselees that they need to think more highly of themselves, that there self-esteem is too low. This is not the case. On the contrary, a person is thinking too highly of themselves when they so strongly desire to look a certain way that they are willing to hurt themselves to get there.

V. Biblical Solutions

When it comes to eating disorders, many biblical counselors use what is sometimes called the Three-Pronged Approach to care for their counselee in the best possible way.[13] This refers to the team approach that should be taken, as eating disorders are both a physical emergency as well as a heart issue. The three-prongs are: Medical doctor, Nutritionist, and Biblical Counselor. A biblical counselor needs to care for the counselee’s soul and mind, while encouraging her to be heeding the instructions of her doctor and nutritionist. Eating disorders are unique counseling issues as the spiritual and the physical aspects of eating disorders correlate. As in any counseling issue, the goal is that a counselee would move towards Christlikeness. The purpose is promoting genuine, lasting change in the life of a counselee, for the glory of God. Ephesians 4 demonstrates that sin needs to be put off, and righteousness needs to be put on. In some cases, the sin of control or vanity needs to be put off, and trust in God and humility need to be put on. Sinful behaviors and actions, such as the misuse of food, need to be put off, and godly behaviors need to replace them. This can only be done through a work of the Holy Spirit in one’s heart. A counselee needs to be led to heart-altering truth of God’s Word in order to experience change.


Recommended Sources:

“How to Help People Change” by Jay Adams

“Love to Eat, Hate to Eat” by Elyse Fitzpatrick

“Redeemed From the Pit: Biblical Repentance And Restoration From The Bondage of Eating Disorders” by Marie Notcheva

“Counseling as if Life Depended on It” by Martha Peace (audio)

“Eating Disorders: Hope for Hungering Souls” by Mark Shaw

“Eating Disorders: The Quest for Thinness” by Ed Welch



Recommended Homework Sources:

“A Homework Manual for Biblical Living” by Wayne Mack

“More Than Bread: A Workbook for Women Who Struggle with Eating” by Elyse Fitzpatrick

Discovering Wonderful Things Worksheets

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  • Matthew 6:33

Self-Talk Log Worksheet

Daily Prayer Journal





Works Cited

[1] Fitzpatrick, Elyse. More than Bread. 19.

[2] https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/what-are-eating-disorders

[3] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders/index.shtml

[4]National Institute for Mental Health, Eating Disorders: About More Than Food.

[5] Dorland, W. A. Newman. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. 91.

[6] Mental Health: American Addiction Centers, Inc: “Eating Disorder Professional Treatment

[7] https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/historical-understandings/

[8] “DSM-IV-TR Classification.” Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)

[9] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anorexia-nervosa/symptoms-causes/syc-20353591



[12]Peace, Martha. “Counseling as If a Life Depended on It (Anorexia).”IBCD Institute for Biblical

Counseling and Discipleship, 13 July 2017, ibcd.org/counseling-as-if-a-life-depended-on-