My goal… [is] simply to make the case for counselors to give appropriate consideration to the informative use of Confessions (and I think the 1689 is a great one!) in their counseling work…
Here is his 7-part blog series:
- Counseling & The Means of Grace
- Counseling & Scripture Interprets Scripture
- Counseling & How We Speak About God
- Counseling & God’s Decree
- Counseling & Justification vs. Sanctification
- Counseling & Chapters 14-20
- Confessional Counseling
The series concludes:
The closing statement of the Baptist Confession (1689) reads:
“We the MINISTERS, and MESSENGERS of, and concerned for upwards of, one hundred BAPTIZED CHURCHES, in England and Wales (denying Arminianism), being met together in London, from the third of the seventh month to the eleventh of the same, 1689, to consider of some things that might be for the glory of God, and the good of these congregations, have thought meet (for the satisfaction of all other Christians that differ from us in the point of Baptism) to recommend to their perusal the confession of our faith, which confession we own, as containing the doctrine of our faith and practice, and do desire that the members of our churches respectively do furnish themselves therewith.”
Living in a day where theology was all over the air that was breathed, confessing truths about God, His Word, His Work and World was so important. And so they wrote. Is it any less important to us some 300+ years later? Hurting people need to be heard, cared for genuinely, and assisted as they seek to understand suffering, ailments, traumas and dysfunctions in this broken world which through Christ is being redeemed. I don’t suggest reading them a Confession, but I do wholeheartedly recommend knowing theology well, and wielding it well in the loving care of people. God’s revelation of Himself in His Scriptures is not just for Christians who are on mountaintops, but for Christians who are in valleys are well…confessional care and counsel is a helpful enterprise as it provides curbs for us on the road.
Update Apr. 23, 2015:
J. Ryan Davidson has been serving at Grace Baptist Chapel since August of 2008. Ryan is married to his beautiful wife Christie, and they have four wonderful children: Micah, Lydia, Shaphan and Magdalene. Ryan holds degrees from Samford University (B.A.), The College of William & Mary (M.Ed.) in Counseling, and Southern Seminary (Th.M.) in Louisville, KY and he is completing a (Ph.D.) from The Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. He is a full member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a member of the American Society of Church History.