The following is a paper submitted to Dr. Rev. Stephen Greggo in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course 6710 Counseling in Theological Perspective: Faith & Practice at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, November 2014.
[You should note, we were required to select a doctrinal statement as a starting point in laying out our theological convictions.]
This paper seeks to present a distinctively Christian interface approach to counseling and psychology. It will (1) begin by presenting relevant theological convictions, (2) tease out interface implications, and (3) conclude with brief ministry applications.
I have selected the London Baptist Confession of 1644 as my doctrinal statement. As a Reformed Baptist, this confession faithfully represents my theological convictions. However, due to its brevity, this section elaborates upon certain theological topics that are central to my interface approach.
Revelation. Christian theology speaks of two modes of divine revelation. ‘General’ or ‘natural revelation’ refers to God’s revelation of truth “to all persons at all times and in all places” (‘general’) through ‘natural’ means such as “nature, history, and the constitution of human beings” (e.g., conscience). ‘Special revelation’ is that which is communicated to particular persons (‘special’) through supernatural means such as divine speech, unique events of divine intervention, and the divine incarnation. Due to man’s fallen condition, general revelation’s efficacy diminishes as man suppresses truth known through general revelation (the noetic effect of sin; see Rom 1:18-32), intensifying the need for special revelation. As God’s direct and explicit revelation, Christian scripture (special revelation) holds the place of highest authority (sola scriptura).