Although Biblical or nouthetic counseling has existed as a modern movement since Jay Adams first published Competent to Counsel in 1970, it still needs describing to many in Christian ministry. In Greg Dawson and the Psychology Class Jay Adams explains the difference between Biblical and Christian counseling in a fictitious setting. Jay Adams needs little introduction in any Biblical Counseling context. Adams is a retired professor, author and speaker, he has written more than 100 books and his resources are still heavily used in Biblical counseling ministry today. He says about himself: “Adams is a conservative Presbyterian minsters associated with the ARP denomination. He has pastored several congregations, taught in two seminaries, and studied in three. He majored in Greek at Johns Hopkins University, received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in speech. He was called to teach preaching in the department of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia” (2). The book is the story of Christian college students interviewing a Biblical counselor named Greg Dawson at a nearby church. In a series of dialogues, Adams uses Dawson to clarify nouthetic counseling, its history and application
Adams opens his book with an initial interview of Greg Dawson by Phil, the Christian college student taking a psychology class. This first discussion answers the questions, “Who is Jay Adams and how did the modern Biblical counseling movement begin.” It also explains the term, “nouthetic counseling.” Adams uses the dialogues to define the word nouthetic as a Biblical concept containing, “Three components: loving verbal Confrontation out of Concern in order to bring about Change pleasing to God. Those three Cs say it all’ (4). Through eighteen subsequent chapters, Adams answers many other questions about nouthetic counseling. Several other students join the discussion and Adams continues to define and explain nouthetic counseling through answering questions about various counseling situations and concepts. The discussions challenge the psychology students to think about what their preconceived ideas and biblical understanding of man. In chapter six, for example, the dialogue revolves around a useful outline, provided in the appendix, explaining the uniqueness of nouthetic counseling. It maintains that, among other things, the counselee is unique because he is a Spirit-filled Christian with the capacity to change. These and other areas of uniqueness cause the students to think about psychology’s assumptions and the antithesis to Biblical truth. Similarly, he uses the discussions to respond to typical arguments of integrationist views. For instance, the oft used, “All truth is God’s truth,” is dealt with neatly in chapter seven. In addition he says, “The obvious dodge that many use when attempting to avoid the concept of nouthesia is to say that they prefer the Greek noun...