Counseling in the Twenty-First Century
Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in October 1517. He was concerned that the Roman Catholic practice of indulgences undermined Scripture and its teaching on grace and genuine repentance. His act would spark a Reformation that witnessed a recovery of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
On the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, I have a similar concern for the recovery of the gospel. I fear that after more than a century of the influence of secular therapy, the Christian witness to the grace of Jesus Christ has been diluted in the crucial ministry of counseling. Luther intended his Theses to spark a debate that the faithful needed to have about how the good news of Jesus Christ related to a critical area of church practice. My intent is similar in offering these 95 Theses for an Authentically Christian Commitment to Counseling. I believe the church today must have the same kind of debate about grace with respect to counseling that Luther wanted to have in his day with respect to indulgences.
And so I offer these theses for the purpose of debate. But they are also offered with a prayer. My prayer is that the spirit of the Reformers to recover the emphasis on divine grace in their day would be the commitment that Christians would have today regarding counseling.