I finished Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling ... finally. It's a book JAM-PACKED with information. I could only handle reading a chapter or 2 at a time, because of the amount of content. It's the kind of content that is usable and practical. It took me a while to process the sheer amount.
What I liked
I spent most of my time in this book in chapters 8 - 14 and 24 - 25. I found this most helpful. The chapters that dealt with the heart, sin, holiness, and hope; as well as the chapters that dealt with the power of confession, repentance, and forgiveness. The book did a great job tying these concepts all together. Here's what I mean:
"All of one's lifestyle choices come out of the heart ... whatever fills the heart ... eventually flows out in the person's behavior, speech, attitude, and emotions." (pg. 395)
"... accurately understanding people and their problems begins with assessing them through the lens of God's Word. The Bible's answer is simple yet profound: the root cause is sin." (pg. 139)
"Christians can become emotionally whole as they become emotionally holy." (pg. 407)
"Our deepest hope resides in God's glory." (pg. 213)
"An authentic confession has three parts: an admission of wrong doing, a request for forgiveness, and room for response." (pg. 374)
"Repentance is change where it's needed most - inside me." (pg. 359)
"Forgiveness is the decision to release a person from the obligation that resulted when he or she injured you." (pg. 367)
And to sum it all up nicely:
"Understanding people, diagnosing problems, and prescribing wise 'treatment options' requires robust, relational, comprehensive, and compassionate care grounded in our shared redemptive relationship with Christ." (pg. 422)
(All quotes were taken from Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling edited by James MacDonald, published by Harvest House Publishers ©2013.) (emphasis added on all quotes)
What I didn't like
It's a small thing. I blame my undiagnosed ADD for it. But because each chapter was written by a different author (mostly) I had a hard time moving from chapter to chapter. I would just about get used to the writers style and the chapter would end, then the process would start over. I'm thankful that so many came together to make this book possible though.
Every pastor needs this book. Those who struggle with the counseling that comes with the job, and those who feel like they have a handle on it. Every small group / discipleship group / community group leader needs this book because counseling doesn't (and shouldn't) just happen in a one-on-one type situation. Get this book, it will take you deeper into these issues.