Mark Tubbs’ Discerning Reader Blog-Through of Soul Physicians
A Book for Every Pastor, Every Counselor, and Every Christian: Part 2, Act One
Excerpt: In what is probably the finest biblical exposition of the creation, fall, and evil activity of Lucifer I have read thus far, Bob “puts flesh” on this pitiful but powerful creature of overweening self-love and deadly pride.
Act One: Love’s Eternity
In the opening chapter of Act One, chapter four of Bob Kellemen’s magnum opus Soul Physicians, Bob takes us behind the scenes, as it were, to behold divine love’s fountainhead: the eternal inter-relationship existing between the persons of our Triune God.
In the Prologue, which I blogged about last month, Bob set the stage for the narrative we find ourselves following in Act One by introducing us to the main characters in the history of the universe. Bob’s point in weaving this narrative, besides drawing us into a greater love for God Himself, is the practical application of biblical truth in biblical counseling. In other words, putting the implications of the gospel into practice in everyday life.
The preface to Act One, subtitled “Love’s Eternality – Community,” outlines the path taken in the next four chapters. Long before sin, long before Satan, long before us, the Trinity existed in harmonious transcendence. Here is a helpful couplet:
o In the beginning God Created
o Before the beginning God Related
I don’t care what you say (well, I do, but I like the expression), that’s a fresh and memorable way to express God’s pre-creation activity. Proposing that too many biblical counselors start off on the wrong foot by either using sin or redemption, Bob suggests “that we construct a biblical counseling method that begins before the beginning.” He goes on:
I suggest we build our model of Christian counseling on the foundation of the Triune relationship that existed before the foundations of the earth. If we are going to learn spiritual friendship, then let’s look to the ultimate Spiritual Friend and the eternal Spiritual Friendship: the Trinity.
Chapters five and six are straightforward but rich. The former mines the biblical data for God’s attributes and presents them in superlative, glowing terms. The latter introduces God’s adversary, known in this book as False Seducer. In what is probably the finest biblical exposition of the creation, fall, and evil activity of Lucifer I have read thus far, Bob “puts flesh” on this pitiful but powerful creature of overweening self-love and deadly pride.
Finally, chapter seven contrasts False Seducer’s strategies with those of God Himself. Bob is at his best when providing fresh insights into familiar biblical texts using helpful and accurate explanation and exegesis. And true to form, the adept and articulate biblical counselor that he is, Bob rounds out Act One with a real-life counseling scenario that demonstrates the theological, “theoretical” content of the previous four chapters. This is sure to become a go-to passage for any pastor or counselor who can commit its general structure to memory.
I enjoyed 99% of the material in this section of Soul Physicians. I could do without the image of the Trinity engaging in heavenly hugs and hi-fives, but this may be more a reflection on my mere thirty-something years of life than anything else. I still maintain, as I mentioned in my blog on the Prologue, that this is a book for every pastor, every counselor, and indeed, every Christian.
Buy Soul Physicians directly from Bob Kellemen here at a significant discount.