Ready to Restore: The Layman’s Guide to Christian Counseling, Jay Adams
The subtitle says it all: this is an immanently useful and practical book for anyone desiring to grow as a Christian. Why do I say that?—Because we are all commanded to admonish one another in the Lord and to bare one another’s burdens (Col. 3:16; Gal. 6:1-2). This, of course, is what every good and faithful friend desires. And Adams supplies the guidelines and principles straight from the Bible for every believer’s use.
With the relatively large number of chapters and small font, this book may intimidate some and turn away others, yet Jay Adam’s irenic and simple style is conducive for a quick read—especially on a chapter-by-chapter basis. The author first starts out with the basic questions about who should counsel and what counseling actually entails (chapter 1-3); he then encourages the reader that he can and should learn to counsel (4). Chapters 5-14 are the heart of the book, expounding and explaining the details of a biblical and practical approach to counseling. The remaining chapters focus on the counselor’s own growth and any typical questions and problems one may face in a counseling situation.
Amongst the many useful aspects of this book are the twenty-five basic counseling principles (p.32), the analysis of ‘self-esteem’ and the Biblical corrective (p.55) and the simple two-fold solution to problems: helping someone out of a problem and keeping them out of the problem (p.57).
Ready to Restore is an excellent book for every believer in Christendom. In trying to teach yourself Biblical and Reformed counseling, you not only help other through their difficulties you learn to grow in Christ as well.