Item description for Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture by David Powlison...
Overview A worship disorder: this is how Edward T. Welch views addictions. "Will we worship ourselves and our own desires," he writes, "or will we worship the true God?" With this lens the author discovers far more in Scripture on addictions than passages on drunkenness. There we learn the addict's true condition: like guests at a banquet thrown by "the woman Folly," he is already in the grave (Prov. 9:13-18). Can we not escape our addictins? If we're willing to follow Jesus, the author says we have "immense hope: hope in God's forgiving grace, hope in God's love that is faithful even when we are not, and hope that God can give power so that we are no longer mastered by the addiction. Each chapter concludes with "Practical Theology," guidance "As You Face Your Own Addictions" and "As You Help Someone Else."
Publishers Description Essays by a highly regarded biblical counselor. Some of these pieces exegete Scripture with a counseling perspective, while others recast specific "psychological" problems.
Awards and Recognitions Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture by David Powlison has received the following awards and recognitions -
Gold Medallion Book Awards - 2004 Finalist - Christian Ministry category
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Studio: P & R Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.96" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Oct 31, 2003
Publisher NEW GROWTH PRESS #1265
ISBN 087552608X ISBN13 9780875526089
Availability 0 units.
More About David Powlison
Powlison is the editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling and a member of the faculty and counseling staff at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
David Powlison currently resides in Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania. David Powlison was born in 1949.
Reviews - What do customers think about Seeing With New Eyes?
See others and yourself with new eyes... Jul 31, 2006
The title really says it all with this book: we really do need to see ourselves and others with new eyes, with both an accurate paradigm and with individual insight that can only come from Scripture. In this challenging book Dr. David Powlison examines how our "old eyes" tend to see, both through our natural fallen selves and through the warped and inadequate psychological theories that permeate our current cultural (and often "Christian") milleau. The book speaks to both the reader's personal walk with God and to how we can accurately see and minister to others. Each chapter is on a specific theme, from comfort to worry to God's love to "defense mechanisms." In each Dr. Powlison shares warm and rich insights that are both Scriptural and practical. There are dozens of quotable passages to deeply think through, such as:
Many of the people we counsel live inside a black hole of self-will, misery, and confusion. They need God to break in on their shadowland from which sin has erased the light of the personal and living God.
Seeing With New Eyes is a volume to read, and read again, to fully absorb its God-saturated wisdom and to be changed by it.
Great Introduction to Counseling and Discipling Jun 18, 2006
Is theology practical? What does a dusty book of letters to early Christians have to do with my life today? Does anyone really think sin exists? Can't science explain mental illnesses, and provide medications for them? These are questions that provoked David Powlison to write Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture. As a Christian counselor for almost 20 years, Powlison is (thankfully) finally getting around to a structured explanation of his approach to counseling. Seeing with New Eyes is a collection of essays, speeches, sermons, and other materials, all related to the underpinnings of distinctively Christian counseling: What is the point of counseling? What ideas are authoritative? What methods do we use? How do we read Scripture? How do people work? What happens when people don't get "fixed?" What place should psychology and psychiatry hold? Can we rule out physical causes?
Fundamentally, Christians start with the Word of God, revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Instead of merely adopting a secular psychological framework or other vocabulary, Powlison makes the excellent point that Christians must not stop at vocabulary. The phenomena we call "projection" and "denial" are far more spiritual than secular psychologists acknowledge. In other words, the secular psychologist cannot, or will not, penetrate deeper than descriptive terminology. The Christian counselor, by contrast, has the resources to breach the walls of the heart itself.
Relying on God's inspired Word, the Christian counselor can probe and examine the counselee's heart with the sharpest probing blade ever devised. The Word of God, living and active, can prick the conscience of even the hardest heart, and by the grace of God, turn sinners toward the source of all life. This is the foundation of Christian counseling, and Powlison is unambiguous about using it as the foundation. Under this approach, then, "compensation" is simply a means of covering failures with successes instead of actually facing problems. "Inversions" are just a way to whitewash reality and perpetuate lies. "Displacement" becomes simple scapegoating. The secular framework agrees with these descriptions, but it prefers to avoid the moral aspect entirely, using only the clinical label. That approach allows both counselor and counselee to avoid addressing the uncomfortable issue of sin.
Under Powlison's theological-moral framework, the root of all counseling problems is sin, as it expresses itself through the multifacted prism of the human spirit. The counseling approach, then, starts with a correct diagnosis, which involves labelling the particular sins at issue. Again, this is not something that secular psychologists can do because they have no adequate moral framework to address these questions. Even Christian counselors frequently fail to assert a moral framework (Powlison tackles the 5 Love Languages phenomenon in Chapter 14, and infers a counseling framework used in another case study in Chapter 12). Sin lives in us. We are not neutral, passive beings who have desires "caused" in us or "instilled" - we are moral, active choosers who react to things around us in sinful ways (because sin lives in us). The most refreshing thing about this approach is that it is nothing new. It is reminiscent of Augustine's Confessions approach, and Bunyan's Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.
Primarily, we want. We are creatures that command, crave, desire, and demand. These are the targets that Powlison puts at the bulls-eye. If you figure out why you do something, you have figured out what you want. If you figure out what you want, you then figure out why it is sinful. There are several ways that we can sinfully want something: misplaced wants, disproportionate wants, or evil wants. The key to counseling well, in addition to living well as a Christian, is to find the idols we have set before our hearts, and crucify them. Instead of catering to felt needs, examine them under the bright light of Scripture, put them in their proper proportion and place, and keep them from becoming idols.
At the very end of the book, as a tantalizing glimpse of future work (I hope), we get a taste of how Christian counselors should think about physical causes. It is far too easy to medicate, especially now that drug companies prefer antidepressants to talking (hmmm, interesting possible tangent here), but the counselor must not rule out the possibility of physical factors. Powlison is happy to acknowledge the possibility of physical factors, but thinks that such problems are mixed questions of sin and physiology.
Finally, I wasn't quite comfortable with Powlison's approach to the Psalms - since he's strictly a Covenant Theology guy, and thinks that the Church is just Israel Redux, he said that we can pray the Psalms ourselves, without modification. Since I disagree with that statement of the Church's relationship to Israel, I can't give unqualified agreement. However, since God does not change, even though his people have changed, there are many ways we can pray and sing the Psalms, provided we do the necessary redemptive-historical legwork to get us "out" of Old Testament Israel and into the New Covenant.
Read this book if you want to learn how to better serve your brothers and sisters in Christ as you advise and disciple. It will provide a deep foundation, rooted in the Word of God, for the growth of Christ's Body.
(reprinted from http://quipro.blogspot.com/2006/06/be-transformed-by-renewing-of-your.html)
People, Problems, and Solutions Sep 18, 2005
"Seeing with New Eyes" is the first volume in Powlison's proposed three-volume set on Christian counseling. This first volume he sees as providing the theological foundation for understanding psychological issues from a spiritual, biblical perspective.
The "new eyes" are the eyes enlightened by faith in Christ and restored to sight by confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture to explain life and relationships. "Seeing with New Eyes" offers a theological-intellectual defense of "Nouthetic Counseling" as a biblical counseling model seeking to understand truth about God and humanity through God's eyes as revealed in Scripture.
It is an excellent introduction by perhaps the leading theologian in the Nouthetic Counseling movement. However, the book is also a compilation of many previous articles by the author. Thus at times it reads more as a string of excellent artilces than a tightly woven and thematically consistent book. That aside, Powlison is to be commended for his articulate explanation of the human condition through the lens of Scripture.
Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and the forthcoming "Beyond the Suffering: The Story of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."
A Different Perspective on Soul Care Oct 24, 2004
This book is an effort to bridge psychology of counseling with "moral-spiritual" issues (249). Powlison believes that "sinners sin instinctively," and though external factors such as having a dysfunctional family or experiencing childhood abuse can contribute to sinful desires or actions in adulthood, his contention is that "sin is its own final reason" (206). People have sinful thoughts or do sinful acts because they are focused on themselves rather than God (230).
Powlison points out that "secular psychology" views "human problems" simply as "things that are not working right," this is because the Bible was not utilized to understand the core issue of all humans, which is their "alienation from God" (192). He explains that if sin is seen as a "willed action" then "complex inner troubles" will be classified under "other categories" (194). In fact, psychiatrists will not explain that a paranoid schizophrenic is yielding to sin, but rather he or she is experiencing a psychosis. Powlison states that paranoid schizophrenia is a "defensive behavior" and actually refers to it as the personification of "powerful unconscious defensiveness" (193). Powlison explains that the underlying issues for schizophrenics are pride and "hiding" (195).
Powlison admits that biblical counselors are seen as "bizarre spiritualizers" because they rely on God, repentance, and faith as their main focus in counseling (251). He speculated that the premise of Jay Adams (the founder of Nouthetic counseling movement) was not fully understood when he said, "to be feeling-oriented is the central motivational problem in people" (215). Powlison believes that the problem with current counseling practices is that the counselor is seen as "primary" while God (if He is even considered at all in the process) is usually "secondary" (178).
This book has helped me to understand the stance of Nouthetic counselors, and to comprehend the reason why they say sin is the core issue of human disorders. However, I did not get a clear indication of Powlison's position regarding psychotropic medications. Powlison's perspective on counseling is a good start in the right direction, but his book does not outline the direction. There is something missing. To counter society's view of biblical counselors as "bizarre spiritualizers," Powlison suggests, "We have work to do to protect and build up the body of Christ" (251). This is not a solution-it is merely a generalized statement. In order for others to see biblical counselors as competent practitioners, they need to find a way to truly bridge the gap between traditional and biblical counseling.