Counseling Under the Cross by Bob Kellermen book review.
Counseling Under the Cross exalts our Lord Jesus Christ. Bob Kellemen’s exploration of Luther’s ministry has enlarged my appreciation for Luther and given me a new perspective on him as a pastoral counselor. The title of the book, Counseling Under the Cross, speaks volumes and reminds us of Paul’s words in Galatians 6:14 where the great apostle gloried in the cross above all else. I am personally grateful for Bob and for the clear and practical teaching he has provided in this book about the centrality of the cross in counseling and by extension the entire Christian life and ministry.
—Dr. Wayne Mack, ACBC Member of the Academy, Director and Professor at Strengthening Ministries Training Institute, Counselling Pastor at Lynnwood Baptist Church
I LOVE this book! I’m with Bob. Martin Luther has instructed and encouraged andreformed my life and ministry, too. Beyond the incredibly helpful unpacking of the key elements of Luther’s theology and methodology, Counseling Under the Cross reminds us that the issues that we wrestle with in our current soul care ministries are not new. What must be renewed in each generation is the courage to challenge the status quo-even within the church-with practical, biblical answers. This book will help you with thatreforming process.
—Wayne A. Vanderwier, D.Min., Executive Director, Overseas Instruction in Counseling
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In Counseling Under the Cross, biblical counselor and noted author Bob Kellemen explains how Martin Luther’s gospel-centered and cross-focused pastoral care transformed his own approach to soul care. Counseling Under the Cross will guide pastors, counselors, lay leaders, and friends toward a rich understanding of the gospel that will directly impact their personal ministry to others. Through lively vignettes, real-life stories, and direct quotes from Luther, readers will be equipped to apply the gospel to themselves and others so together they find their hope and help in Christ alone.
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Highlights about Counseling Under the Cross:
- Equips pastors and counselors for gospel-centered counseling that applies the gospel richly, relevantly, and robustly to suffering and sin.
- Learn from Luther that pastoral care is what every believer does in one-another ministry and will train all Christians to speak gospel truth in love to each other.
- Uses a historic Christian approach to pastoral care (sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding) as a grid or map to probe the narrative of Luther’s pastoral care. It will then utilize this map as an equipping tool for modern-day pastoral and lay counselors.
- Unpacks key components of Luther’s approach to justification and sanctification and shows how they are both linked to his understanding of the gospel and his focus on soul care.
Learn more about Bob and his new release here.
My review: I would not classify this book as an easy read. I would call this a more scholarly book. One needs to stay focused and alert in order to fully understand and comprehend what the writer is conveying to the reader. The words themselves are not difficult, but this is not a book that one will curl up with on a fall afternoon and get lost in.
There is, however, a lot one can glean from this book. The author does an excellent job exploring Martin Luther’s life and how he went from being a tormented man, who believed he could never please God, to a man who, after searching Scripture and saw grace revealed, fell in love with Lord.
This author does a great job of sharing how Luther loved and cared for his flock. He demonstrates how Luther was able to put many souls at rest when he taught his followers of God’s grace.
I believe this book would be best for pastors or people who love to dig deep into theology.
I would give this book four stars, because it was well written and one could learn a great deal from reading this book. I do, however, want to stress this is not a light and carefree read.