The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors has chosen the 2020 biblical counseling book of the year. The winner was selected by a vote of our certified counselors.
Winner: Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund
Christians know what Jesus Christ has done―but who is he? What is his deepest heart for his people, weary and faltering on their journey toward heaven? Jesus said he is “gentle and lowly in heart.” This book reflects on these words, opening up a neglected yet central truth about who he is for sinners and sufferers today.
Second Place: Caring for the Souls of Children: A Biblical Counselor’s Manual edited by Amy Baker
Coming alongside struggling children can feel like an uphill battle. Yet children struggle with the same desires adults struggle with, are lured by the same lies adults fall prey to, and can find hope in the same source adults can find hope in Jesus. This manual helps counselors share Christ the way, the truth, and the life while tailoring interactions and teachings to the understanding of children.
Caring for the Souls of Children equips counselors, parents, pastors, and other helpers who love children, to boldly trust in the sufficiency of Scripture for counseling. Edited by counselor and author Amy Baker, this in-depth resource begins with an overview of foundational principles for counseling children and addresses a different counseling topic in each subsequent chapter. Topics addressed include a wide variety of general and specific issues that children face including anxiety, anger, abuse, suicidal thoughts and actions, self-harm, shame, grief, disability, disease, sexual identity, and many others. Articles are written by a wide range of biblical counselors, authors, and pastors who have worked with children for many years including Amy Baker, Julie Lowe, Marty Machowski, Jessica Thompson, Jonathan Holmes, Michael R. Emlet, Garrett Higbee, Edward T. Welch, Kevin Carson, Harvest USA, Charles Hodges, Joni and Friends, Bob Kellemen, and Pam Bauer.
Third Place: Whole Counsel: The Public and Private Ministries of the Word, Essays in Honor of Jay E. Adams edited by Donn Arms and Dave Swavely
“I didn’t hold back in declaring anything that was beneficial to you and in teaching you publicly and from house to house… I haven’t held back in declaring God’s whole counsel to you.” Acts 20:20, 27
That testimony from the Apostle Paul is also that of Dr. Jay E. Adams, who has spent over 60 years teaching God’s “whole counsel” both publicly (preaching) and from house to house (counseling).
This book contains essays by John MacArthur, Harry Reeder, Lou Priolo, and many other accomplished Christian leaders about how to do that kind of biblical ministry. The contributors are among the many preachers, teachers, counselors, and countless others who have appreciated Jay’s profound but always practical instruction from the Word.
Jay’s landmark book Competent to Counsel was first published 50 years ago, and it was the first of over 100 books that he wrote. The editors and contributors hope that this volume will be used by God to spark a resurgence of interest in Jay’s teaching, and more importantly, a return to the timeless truths of Scripture on which it is based.