Paul's Passing Thoughts

Thanks to the Institutional Church the Discussion Continues: “What Does It Mean to be Saved?”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 23, 2015

Note the above Tweet I posted today. So true. As Christians, we all need help and a hand up, but because we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and completely capable as new creatures, our attitude must be, “Gee thanks, now I will take it from here.” If all of your knowledge comes from others, you had better do an emergency evaluation of your present standing.

There are only two individuals that are part of the institutional academia of the church that I have any respect for: Dr. Jay Adams and his associate Donn Arms who I think might have his doctorate by now. Apart from those two, to the best of my remembrance at this time, the whole of Protestant academia makes me sick. For the most part, they are mindless cowardly tyrants ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of truth. Seminaries continually pump men into the institutional church who have no gift for teaching, but have spent money to certify themselves as faithful regurgitators of Protestant orthodoxy.

Mindless followers of orthodoxy (the traditions of medieval tyrants) who do so for some sort of personal gain embody the worst of what humanity has to offer. I do not believe in the saying that evil can only prevail when good men do nothing—there is no such thing as a good man who does nothing—that’s an oxymoron. There is only one thing worse than pure evil: those who watch it and do nothing. Voyeurism is not commendable for any reason.

So here we are, more than 500 years after Calvin’s post tenebras lux, Dr. Jay Adams sees the need to write a recent article on what it means to be saved. And this is by no means unusual; googling “What is the gospel?” will produce a myriad of recent articles that take on the subject. And since Calvin et al propagated a false gospel that has been driven into the psyche of Western culture for more than 500 years, we might suspect that Biblicists must continue to work on using biblically accurate ideas, terminology, and words accordingly, and Dr. J’s article, with all due respect, is no exception.

A little past the introduction, Adams states:

The biblical usage of the word translated “saved” is precisely the same as ours. A newspaper headline that reads “Child Saved From Drowning,” means he was rescued. To be saved is to be rescued—rescued from sin and its consequences. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (that’s what Romans 3:23 has to say about everyone, including you). When God saves someone He rescues him from the penalty of sin, which is eternal punishment in hell. He also gradually rescues him from the power of sin in this life. And, ultimately, He rescues him from the very presence of sin by taking him to heaven. That is what it means to be saved.

My only protest to this definition is the wording in reference to the days we are in. Salvation must be spoken of in hard past-tense terms. Does God “gradually” “save” us from the power of sin? No, there is NO gradual rescue from sin. We are NOT rescued from sin on the installment plan; we are COMPLETELY rescued from sin when we are saved. There is now “no condemnation” for those who are in Christ—condemnation does not gradually decrease, it’s completely gone.

Sin still has the power to bring about death in our lives, but it is our choice to be lazy disciples or diligent ones, but either way, the final culmination is not condemnation nor is condemnation present in the interim. The word “sin” must be defined in reference to both justification and sanctification when presenting the gospel.

The Bible is clearly saying that you must depend upon Jesus Christ. But, what does that mean? It means that you must entrust your entire life, here and hereafter, to Him. It means that you must depend wholly upon what He has done, to be saved.

I must also object to this kind of wording in our day. We live in days that require much more clarification. Familiar terms will not suffice. There is no, I repeat, no future commitment and future dependence on Christ for purposes of salvation. The only requirement is to believe in Christ and what the present consequences are. If a cow wants to become a duck, he need not be concerned with depending on water in the future—being a duck comes with desiring water by virtue of being a duck. Better stated, committing to being Christ’s brother in the future doesn’t save us.

Being a brother isn’t a commitment any more than a future commitment to being born again. The new birth is a one-time event that we have no control over in the future. You cannot make a future commitment to prevent unbirth or debirth via a commitment. The new birth is beyond the realm of any commitment we make. Therefore, future commitment is assumed in the same way we assume that ducks can always be found in a pond. No future commitment to water is necessary for becoming a duck, the former is part of being a duck. You are either a duck or you aren’t.

Believing in Christ is to follow Him in death and resurrection. It is saying goodbye to who you presently are, and becoming whatever Christ chooses to make of you. What we need is biblical language in the gospel that emphasizes the new birth as much as the cross.

Jesus Christ died on the cross, bearing the punishment that was due to all who throughout the ages will believe on Him. He rose from the dead, giving evidence that God accepted His penal, vicarious sacrifice. The wrath of God fell on Him instead of them. All who trust Him as Savior have their sins forgiven. This is the “good news” that the apostles proclaimed around the Mediterranean world and that you are now learning in this blog. If you depend upon the saving work of Christ on the cross you will be saved.

The other words aside with no relevant disagreement, I would like to focus on, “He rose from the dead, giving evidence that God accepted His penal, vicarious sacrifice,” and offer the following comment: “No! No! No! No! No! No! No!”

Christ did not have to be resurrected in order to prove that he was approved of God—that happened at His baptism and has little relevance to the gospel. Again, we see our penchant for overemphasizing the cross at the expense of the new birth. The resurrection by the Holy Spirit was a promise made to Abraham and Christ, not proof of His approval by God.

Christ died so that we can die with Him and escape the law’s condemnation; Christ was resurrected so that the Spirit can resurrect us as well to serving His law in love. Christ died and was resurrected so that our relationship to the law can be transformed from condemnation to love. That’s the gospel.

Notice, the “gospel” is good news to be believed; not good deeds to be done. News has to do with something that has already happened; not with something yet to be done. You cannot be saved by depending upon your good works, on ceremonies like baptism, or church membership. Nothing you have done or ever could do will save you. You must look away from yourself and others and look in faith to Christ alone. It is depending on the Lord Jesus Christ alone that saves. You cannot be saved by some vague invitation to “come forward,” or to “let Jesus come into your heart.” There must be an understanding of the good news that Christ died on the cross for guilty, condemned sinners like you, and a willingness to depend on His death and resurrection to save you from your sin.

All of this is true, but again, in our day, the distinction between justification and sanctification must be made in order to not add to the prevailing progressive justification of our day. We MUST ALWAYS delineate between works salvation and new creature love lest we confound the two…

Notice, the “gospel” is good news to be believed; not good deeds to be done

…is the exact same language used by the progressive justification crowd that is firmly in charge of the American church. With all due respect, the statement separates good deeds (love) from the results of the resurrection (new birth), and that’s an extremely unfortunate result.

Because of prevailing progressive justification in our day, the very things Adams lists are described as the “means of grace” that “impart grace” and “keep us in the love of Jesus.” They are faith alone works that we “depend” on to keep us saved.

“Depend” is a bad word to use in conjunction with the good news of being born again. I was born of my mother and father, but I do not depend on what they did to stay alive. What they did is a finished work. For some time, I depended on them for the necessities of growing up in life, and my birth made that possible, but again, is a finished work, not the progression of growing up which is not yet finished.

Salvation is a finished work and includes regeneration. It is dying with Christ and being quickened by the new birth. It’s two-fold: Christ accomplished the first part and the Holy Spirit accomplishes the second. If you are going to say that a Christian needs to continually “depend” on Christ for salvation, you are wrong, but excluding the Spirit in that dependence is even more wrong and compounds the confusion. It also adds to the Chrsitocentricity of progressive justification. If you are going to be wrong, at least be wrong more accurately and include the Spirit. Salvation is Trinitarian—not Christocentric.

Let’s exclude the “depend” wordage in the gospel and replace it with “believe.” If you would notice, “believe” is the word always used in conjunction with the gospel in the Bible and that is not an accident.

“Depend” implies an ongoing work that should always be qualified as the new Christian life and NOT the finished work of regeneration. And that dependence should always include the Holy Spirit. Be sure of this: neither justification nor sanctification is Christocentric.

The completion of our new life is not salvation, salvation is a finished work—the completion of our new life is redemption. That’s the salvation from the weakness of our mortal bodies—not the salvation of our souls.


An Answer to a Calvinist in 17 Minutes

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 19, 2014

INS Repost: “What’s in a Name? Part 2”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 19, 2013

What’s in a Name?, Part Two

Last week we published an article on our blog explaining why, even though it grieves us, we were in favor of the name change the NANC board was asking us to ratify at our annual conference next month. If you have not read that article it might be helpful for you to read it before proceeding here. I came to that position only after assurances that the name change is in no way intended to be a repudiation of Dr. Adams and what he has taught about nouthetic counseling, especially in his foundational books on counseling.

Then, this past weekend, a communication appeared in my inbox from NANC promoting this change. My heart sank as I read the explanation for dropping the word “nouthetic.” It contradicted the assurances I had received about not repudiating nouthetic counseling as taught by Dr. Adams and revealed a lack of understanding of what nouthetic counseling is. It did, however, confirm me in my opinion that we should indeed change the name so as to conform to what is indeed the reality—that NANC is no longer nouthetic.

Here is that paragraph:

First, the word nouthetic is a perfectly good Greek word, which most people simply do not understand.  Most of us in NANC spend more time explaining the meaning of a Greek word than we intend to when we mention the name of our organization. Once people understand the meaning of the term it does not help us that much.  The term means “to confront or admonish,” and this only describes a narrow slice of the kind of counseling endorsed by NANC.  Of course biblical counselors admonish people in their sin, but at NANC we also encourage our counselors to comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, pray, encourage, instruct, take care of their physical bodies, and 101 other things the Bible says to do.  In its precise meaning the word nouthetic is a truncated expression of the many and varied counseling styles that God communicates in Scripture.

Let’s unpack this. First we have this statement:

the word nouthetic is a perfectly good Greek word.

No, “nouthetic” is an English word coined by Dr. Adams in the late 1960’s and explained carefully in his bookCompetent to Counsel. Its etymology is Greek and it is derived from the Greek word that can be transliterated “noutheteo” in its verb form or “nouthesia” in its noun form. But it is an English word. The email defines it like this:

The term means “to confront or admonish.”

Because the English was confused with a Greek word it is unclear which is meant here. While “confront” and “admonish” are two possible translations of the Greek word they do not explain the robust and colorful nature of the word and neither translates it literally. Noutheteo is a compound word blending nous (“mind”) and tithemi(“to place” or “to lay”) producing a word that literally means “to place (or lay) on the mind.”

In Competent to Counsel Dr. Adams goes to great length to demonstrate that Paul uses the term to communicate how he gently and compassionately counseled those to whom he ministered. In Acts 20:31 it is something he did “with tears.” In 1 Cor. 4:14 he did it as though his readers were his “beloved children.” In 2 Thess. 3:15 he did it in a serious situation “as a brother.” In Ephesians 6:4 it is what fathers are to do with their children.

Anyone curious about the definition of the Greek word can consult any number of reference works for help. TheTheological Dictionary of the New Testament (Kittle) has a thorough discussion that is quite helpful. Better still, one can read Competent to Counsel pp. 41 – 56 where Dr. Adams does the research for us. Long before Dr. Adams became well known for his work in the area of counseling he had become an accomplished Greek scholar having studied Koine and Classical Greek under the foremost scholars of the day at Johns Hopkins University.

But none of this is the point, however. The issue before us is the English word “nouthetic,” not the Greek word from which it was derived. Before casting this vote we should be sure we understand what exactly this word means that we are discarding. At about the same time NANC was founded Dr. Adams wrote a short book entitled What About Nouthetic Counseling in which he sought to set straight many of the canards his critics had devised. This is how Dr. Adams says he used the word:

I have used the word nouthetic . . . simply as a convenience by which the biblical system of counseling that has been developed in such books as Competent to Counsel and The Christian Counselor’s Manual might be identified most easily.

So while Dr. Adams derived the English word “nouthetic” from the Greek word “noutheteo” it was understood by him, and each of the men who founded NANC, to be shorthand for that system of biblical counseling taught by Dr. Adams in his foundational books. Adams was concerned that supporters would attach some awkward adjective like “Adamsonian” or “Adamsian” to it so he preempted them with the word “nouthetic.” The assertion that the term “nouthetic” means “to confront or admonish” is spurious.

So let’s get this clear:

Nouthetic counseling is that system of counseling that is defined by and flows from the foundational books written by Dr. Jay Adams.

Continuing from the NANC email:

Most of us in NANC spend more time explaining the meaning of a Greek word than we intend to when we mention the name of our organization.

Every form of counseling practiced on the planet has an adjective attached to it—Freudian, Adlerian, Rogerian, Humanistic, Existential, Jungian, Cognitive, Behavioral, et al. Each requires that the practitioner be able to explain his method to those who inquire. Pity the poor counselor who has to explain his Gestalt therapy! Why is it a burden too great to bear for us to explain Nouthetic Counseling?

Listen again to Dr. Adams from page 52 of Competent to Counsel:

I have no great zeal for the label “nouthetic” beyond its obvious advantages. However, since every school of thought eventually must be identified by an adjective, I should prefer to choose that adjective for myself. The importance of the word, however, as describing a regulative central activity involved in the ministry of the Word should not be missed.

The name of our organization (The Institute for Nouthetic Studies) includes the word “Nouthetic” as well and I have it stitched onto the polo shirts I wear. Several years ago at Christmas my daughter gave me a vanity plate for my pickup bearing the word “nouthetic.” I get questions about it everywhere I go and I have never considered it a burden. It has opened the door to a number to wonderful conversations. I even had one person pull up beside me at a stop light and ask what it means. I gave a two sentence explanation before the light turned green!

If you find explaining the term difficult let me help. Next time you are asked try this:

It is derived from the word the Apostle Paul used in the Greek New Testament to describe the kind of counseling he did. We use it to communicate that our counseling flows from our understanding of what Paul and the other biblical writers taught.

Now if that quick explanation elicits more questions, GREAT! I have a two minute version, a five minute version, and a ten minute version. If there are still more questions I can launch, with great glee, into my 30 minute lecture! If, however, one does not himself understand what it means, it would indeed be difficult to explain it to others.

But regardless of how heavy a lift it may seem for some to explain positively what we mean by “nouthetic” counseling it is a far lighter load than explaining negatively what we are NOT when we use the term “biblical.” With this change it will become necessary to clarify that we are NOT like the scores of others who use the term “biblical” promiscuously. That will be true, of course, only if we really are different and want to be seen as different.

The paragraph continues:

. . . this only describes a narrow slice of the kind of counseling endorsed by NANC.  Of course biblical counselors admonish people in their sin, but at NANC we also encourage our counselors to comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, pray, encourage, instruct, take care of their physical bodies, and 101 other things the Bible says to do.

This is a sad and unfortunate assessment. To claim that nouthetic counseling does not “comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, pray, encourage, instruct, take care of their physical bodies, and 101 other things the Bible says to do” is inexcusable and dishonors Jay Adams. This “more compassionate than thou” attitude must end. Even a cursory reading of Competent to Counsel, The Christian Counselor’s Manual, or More Than Redemption should convince any skeptic these are spurious charges. In these books there are entire chapters about prayer and comfort. Adams has written entire books about instruction and encouragement.

In its precise meaning the word nouthetic is a truncated expression of the many and varied counseling styles that God communicates in Scripture.

This is just not true. Again, because the English and the Greek words have been confused it is not clear what is meant. The English word does indeed encompass all “the many and varied counseling styles that God communicates in Scripture.”

It is in the final paragraph that we get insight into the real issue here:

Because “NANC” is in our constitution it cannot be changed without the approval of our membership.

It seems clear that if the word “nouthetic” was not a part of our constitution the board would have made this change unilaterally and merely announced it to the membership. In my naïve desire for peace and unity in NANC circles I have not come forward widely with my concerns about the actions of our board. As a result the board has become confirmed in their direction and we have come to this place. Let me now correct what I should have reported more widely before now.

A little over three years ago the NANC board was “confronted and admonished” because they were not following the constitution. This was manifest in two important areas. First was in the makeup of the board. In the previous two years three veteran men retired from the board—Jay Adams, Wayne Mack, and John McConaughy. The constitution required that these men be replaced unless there was a vote of the general membership not to. Yet the board decided they would not be bound by the constitution and refused to replace them. This had the effect of concentrating decision making into the hands of a fewer number of men.

Second was the matter of finances. The constitution required that an annual budget be submitted to and approved by the general membership each year and that a financial report for the previous year also be submitted. Neither was done and all financial matters were handled behind closed doors. Thus, when one influential board member asked NANC to help fund a Biblical Counseling Coalition the board considered themselves free to give him $30,000 for this project. The constitution required that such an expenditure be part of a budget approved by the general membership. It was not. Nor was it ever reported to the general membership.

Rather than conform to the constitution when confronted about these irregularities they decided instead to ambush the general membership with several amendments to the constitution at the next annual meeting. I use the word “ambush” purposefully as there was no advance notice given that there was to be a vote on amendments. The amendments were not made available prior to the meeting. Members were not even given a copy at the meeting. Instead they were flashed on an overhead screen. When I asked to see a copy one day before the meeting I was refused. Because the general membership desired to trust and follow the board’s leadership the amendments passed and the board became a completely autonomous, self-appointed, self-perpetuating entity that no longer had to answer or report to anyone outside of itself on any matter. Thus NANC is now an organization in which the general membership has no voice or input on any issue—save this one.

We are poised on the precipice of a slippery slope. Others have lost their footing and plummeted down the hill before us. One well known example should be instructive. CCEF was founded by Dr. Adams in 1968 to serve as a kind of laboratory as he developed his counseling model. Today, CCEF has so far distanced itself from Adams that Ed Welch can “shamelessly” write that CCEF has “never identified itself as Nouthetic but steered a more moderate course” (Transformative Encounters, IVP, 2013).

Let me reiterate what I said in my last article. I love NANC. I am grateful for the ministry it has had to me and that I have been able to have through it. I continue to count our new Executive Director as a friend and I know, in spite of these differences, he will continue to befriend me. I know he desires the best for NANC and is burdened to see positive changes in the days to come. I do believe, however, this proposal is an unfortunate distraction at a time when at least a dozen more pressing issues require attention. I am glad, however, that it has given me an opportunity to clarify what exactly is meant by “Nouthetic Counseling.” Understand also that what I have written here are my views. Even though I work closely with Dr. Adams he has not contributed to this article. He has endured far more slings and arrows in his lifetime than those I report here. Sadly, in the past those projectiles have largely come from his integrationist critics. These days they are launched by his friends.

In light of this you may ask, “OK, so what should we do now?” Well, my advice is that you should come to Alabama in October, enjoy the conference, and vote. If you are happy with the direction NANC is going and have confidence in the board you should, of course, vote yes on their motion. If these things concern you and you believe there remains the possibility that NANC can be steered back to its nouthetic roots you can vote no.

It is my view that NANC’s orientation is irremediable. I would love to be proven wrong. From my own selfish and self-serving perspective, this change will help us at the Institute for Nouthetic Studies preserve the integrity of the term “nouthetic.”

Finally, I believe this proposal lays open an undo concern many of our leaders have about what our critics think of us. We can reassure each other as we talk among ourselves that nothing is changing with this vote and how much we appreciate our founder. But regardless of how many press releases we issue about this change, these critics will see it as a repudiation of Dr. Adams and the stand those who founded NANC took supporting him. It will be difficult to refute them.

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Repost: Donn R. Arms on NANC Name Change “What’s In a Name?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 13, 2013
What’s In a Name?

One hundred years ago our forefathers in the faith were finally waking up to the fact that the machinery of their denominations and conventions had been taken over by theological liberals or “modernists” as they were called then. The denominational seminaries, funded by the Rockefeller fortune, had also fallen—due in large part to the inattention given them by the conservatives or “fundamentalists.” Under the leadership of men like W. B. Riley, T. T. Shields, and A.C. Dixon the conservatives began to organize pastors in the Northern Baptist Convention with mixed results. Finally, in 1922 they came together with a plan to smoke out the liberals and defeat them on the floor of the convention which was to be held in Indianapolis. They concluded that the adoption of a well-defined doctrinal statement which spelled out exactly what the convention believed would paint the liberals into a corner and require them to declare publicly what they believed about the “fundamentals” of the faith.

At the convention W. B. Riley made a motion that the Northern Baptist Convention pledge itself to the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833). The conservatives were lined up to vote in favor and they believed they were finally poised to have their victory over the liberals. The liberals were not to be out maneuvered, however. Cornelius Woelfkin, liberal pastor of the Park Avenue Baptist Church in New York City, stood and offered a substitute motion “that the New Testament is the all sufficient ground of our faith and practice, and that we need no other statement.” His clever defense of his motion convinced a number of conservatives that a vote against his motion would amount to a vote against the New Testament itself! Conservatives were not going to vote against the Bible so Woelfkin’s motion passed 1264 to 637.

The deflated conservatives never again came even that close to success in making the liberals clearly declare what it meant for them to be “Biblical” and subsequently began their exodus from the convention to form new associations and schools.

This thin slice of church history came to mind when I learned that the powers that be at NANC (The National Association of Nouthetic Counselors) would be asking the membership to vote to remove the word “nouthetic” from the name of the organization. No, I don’t mean to insinuate that those who propose this name change are theologically like those liberal Baptists a century ago, and while it was probably not their intention to use the word in the same way our liberal ancestors did, that fact remains that “biblical” is a much broader term than the word “nouthetic” and allows for a far greater number of counselors to camp under its banner.

Now, of course, we all want to be biblical in our counseling, our theology, and our practice. Being biblical is noble—it is Berean! But while we all want to be biblical, the term itself is nebulous. It gives no precise indication as to what exactly we believe the Bible teaches on any given subject. It only communicates that we agree with it—whatever it is.

As we look over the Christian counseling landscape today we see that almost everyone who is a Christian and does counseling claims to be biblical in what they are doing. Integrationists like Larry Crabb, Gary Collins, Eric Johnson, Tim Clinton, Archibald Hart, and Paul Meier all say that what they are doing is “biblical.” Neil Anderson, who finds demons under every rock, claims to be “biblical.” Charles Solomon avows that hisExchanged Life approach is “biblical.” Gary Chapman claims his Love Languages are “biblical.” Tim LaHaye has pronounced his temperament analysis to be “biblical.” Kevin Leman believes his birth order nonsense is “biblical.” James Dobson is confident his pronouncements about self-esteem are “biblical.” Openly and aggressively integrationist institutions such as Liberty University and Dallas Seminary shamelessly label their degree programs “Biblical Counseling.”

There is no such ambiguity about the word “nouthetic.” It is a term that has fences around it—well defined by the foundational books written by Dr. Adams. It is confused only by those who are too lazy to read Competent to Counsel, those who would willingly be confused, or those who desire to confuse others.

This is not to say that the term “nouthetic” encompasses everything Dr. Adams teaches or practices. No Lutheran believes everything Luther believed. The term “Calvinist” applies to a system of doctrine, not everything Calvin believed. Methodists do not follow in lockstep behind all that John Wesley believed. I have worked closely with Dr. Adams for over 15 years and after countless long conversations I still can’t land where he has landed on eschatology, church polity, and infant baptism. Upon glorification one of us (or perhaps both) will learn we had misunderstood what the Scriptures teach on each of these issues. Still, when NANC was founded in 1975, the term “nouthetic” was almost unanimously adopted by the founding board in order to clearly identify what they meant when they claimed to be “biblical” counselors. The only dissenter was Dr. Adams himself who was concerned that the use of his term would make the movement more about him than it would the Scriptures.

The move away from the specific term “nouthetic” to the more general term “biblical” does not clarify, it obfuscates. It allows for greater inclusiveness. It reduces to a lowest common denominator. It enables NANC to identify with, and perhaps even attract, those who cannot or would not embrace Adams’ “nouthetic” view of sanctification, what he means by the “sufficiency” of the Scriptures, his exegetical precision, or his insistence upon orthodoxy on the important theological issues that intersect with biblical counseling such as the sovereignty of God, the cessation of supernatural gifts, and a rejection of all things mystical.

For all of these reasons we at the Institute for Nouthetic Studies are in favor of this proposed name change. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t if you are familiar with NANC these days. We favor this change because it is honest. The current NANC board has led the organization away from its well-defined nouthetic roots and has remolded it into a wider, more inclusive organization that is better described by the broader and less definitive term “biblical.”

Again, my conclusion may come as a surprise to many reading these words so let me make my case with just a few brief bullet points:

The orthodox doctrine of progressive sanctification, a cornerstone of nouthetic counseling, is no longer essential. Many NANC members have replaced it with a doctrine commonly labeled as Gospel Sanctification which teaches that loving Christ and contemplating all that He has done for us on the cross is sufficient for our sanctification.

NANC membership now includes counselors who are members of churches in charismatic and liberal denominations.

NANC has held “On the Road” training conferences in charismatic churches.

The training requirement for NANC certification has become insignificant. Several years ago John Street, the NANC president speaking at a Shepherd’s Conference, taught that pastors should require a minimumof 115 hours of training before allowing people to counsel in their churches. Yet all NANC now requires is attendance at three weekends of classes or a one week conference.

The NANC board gave $30,000 to help establish a coalition of biblical counselors whose stated goal is to “foster collaborative relationships” among all who call themselves biblical counselors.

We are told that this name change is not an indication that NANC itself is going to change. We have no way of knowing what will happen in the future but the fact remains that NANC has already changed.

We love NANC. We are thankful for what has been accomplished through NANC to introduce and promote biblical counseling to thousands. We have high hopes for the leadership of our new Executive Director, Heath Lambert. We wish, however, we were not being asked this question. Instead, we wish we were being asked if NANC should be nouthetic—that would be an interesting vote. Since that is not the question being put to us, we believe it is best to make this name change so as to preserve the integrity of the term. You see, at the Institute for Nouthetic Studies we want to preserve the word “nouthetic” as an accurate description of what it means to be truly biblical in our counseling.

Meanwhile, to our friends on the NANC board, we would do well to concern ourselves less with what our critics think of us, less with the growth and prosperity of our organization, and more with the well-being of the counselees we are commending to the counselors we certify.

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Bright Spot Alert: Jay Adams Returns to the Pulpit

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 1, 2013

ppt-jpeg4“Jay Adams will go down in church history as the founder of the most significant discipleship movement to ever occur in Western culture.”

Last week, the father of  the competent discipleship movement returned to the pulpit in an amazing display of God’s goodness. What a privilege it would have been to be there to see this elder statesman put real preaching on display. In the message, he expounded on one basic, but very important principle of biblical thinking. The fact that he was standing there delivering the message also added a living dimension: don’t believe there is a practical/sensible season of retreat from our mission in the here and now.

Jay Adams will go down in church history as the founder of the most significant discipleship movement to ever occur in Western culture.  The remnant of that movement that survived a demonic onslaught is embodied in the Institute of Nouthetic Studies. A certificate from that institute should be required for any church to consider a pastoral candidate. Pastors who are able to give people real hope are the only answer to present-day dysfunctional churchianity ruled by mystic despots.

Our thanks to God precede. Here is the mp3: