Ep. 423 Four Reasons the BC Movement Has Passed Its Prime

Ep. 423 4 Reasons Biblical Counseling Movement Passed Its Prime

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Shows Main Idea – There is a difference between biblical counseling and the biblical counseling (BC) movement. Biblical counseling is a modern word for New Testament discipleship, God’s way of doing soul care. The BC Movement has been a vital means for elevating the need for every Christian to “counsel” others, and their usefulness has been substantial. But their relevancy has declined for many years. I will give you four reasons why.

Show Notes

You may want to read:

The Ascendency

  1. The ascendency of the BC movement began circa 1970 with Jay Adams and his book, Competent to Counsel.
  2. The movement continued to ascend through the establishment of CCEF, mainly David Powlison, the de facto most extraordinary mind from the BC movement era.
  3. ACBC, formerly NANC, came out of CCEF, and the BC movement continued to spread (and ascend). By 2010 the movement had hit its peak and has been declining ever since in its relevancy.
  4. Again, you want to distinguish between the movement and the practice of biblical counseling, or what the New Testament calls discipleship.

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The Reasons

There are four main reasons for the decline of the Biblical Counseling movement:

One: Dilution – They have diluted the marketplace with a plethora of “certified biblical counselors.” E.g., NBA team expansion.

  • Some will talk about how the conferences continue to grow numerically, but as you create more counselors, you’ll have growing numbers, but that does not equate to competent counselors.
  • More is not better, as I will explain with my other points.

Two: Stagnation – There is little innovation in the movement but a rehash of the same concepts.

  • Nearly all the books repeat or rephrase past teaching.
  • There is a significant lack of sophistication and complexity in their writing. Competent to Counsel was innovative, and so was David Powlison, who brought a more nuanced understanding of biblical psychology to the BC movement.

Three: Controversy – There is ongoing splintering, controversies, arguing, and internal conflict within and with other organizations.

Four: No Accountability –There is virtually no accountability for the movement’s counselors.

  • Quality control is virtually non-existent. E.g., A person can continue incompetent counseling for years.
  • You end up with mismatches: wrong (unqualified) counselor in front of a counselee.

The Solution

  • Tie the student and the training to the local church where the counseling should find its contextualization.
    • Pastoral involvement, oversight, and assessment.
  • Do away with certification because of the connotation that it places in too many minds that “certification equals qualification.”
    • Have a tiered certification program that is carefully vetted by competent people.
  • Build training programs with customized care that is unique to the student.
    • There is no “one size fits all” outcome. Each person is different.
  • Develop a training program that is broader than academic training, incorporating character assessment and capacity determination, plus the academics that gives them the competence that is in accordance with their capacity.

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