Neil Anderson’s Discipleship Counseling Neil Anderson is a prominent author and theologian. He is recognized as the founder and president of Freedom in Christ Ministries, and before was the chairman of the Practical Theology Department at Talbot School of Theology…
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This essay examines background information and major themes within the text. One of the most prominent elements taken from the text was the nature of a balanced existence in God. In these regards, Anderson establishes an approach to counseling that is not simply important in terms of consultation, but also extends to the nature of psychology and meaning. These are extremely important elements in the text and come to constitute a major underlining structure. From the opening chapter, Anderson establishes his approach as antithetical to mainstream notions of psychiatry and psychology. For instance, Anderson informs an elderly parishioner that it is possible that her hospital program is unnecessary. In many regards one considers the New Testament scriptures when examining Anderson’s approach, as he promotes a healing process highly contingent on God’s will. Similarly, in the New Testament Jesus uses natural power to heal disease and various maladies. Consider Mark 2: 10-12 when Jesus heals the paralytic, “So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (‘Mark 2:10-12’). ...
Essentially natural law is a belief that God placed natural ways of being and existence in the world; in not following natural law humans are subject to a number of malfunctions. While the government and society have put forth laws, Anderson notes that in many instances these laws are not in accord with natural law. Anderson believes that society must move back towards accepting natural law as a way of remedying many of the psychological maladies. He promotes psychological practice that advance other means of dealing with life challenges. Another major theme that is prevalent throughout Anderson’s text is the hybridization of secular psychological practices with religious wellness. One of the major notions in these regards is that Anderson does not necessarily reject all forms of medicine or psychology, but notes that many aspects of it do not mesh with proper Christian practice. Throughout the book Anderson presents a hybrid approach to wellness, incorporating both Christian theology and modern empirical research. Within this hybridization, Anderson considers the nature of scripture that indicates that after the fall of Adam “God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women [and men] exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural” (Anderson, pg. 22). For Anderson, this ancient scripture can be combined with an understanding of modern society as a means of diagnosing a sort of nation-wide mental illness. These understandings of existence are opposed to many elements of mainstream society. In addition to natural law, Anderson presents the Biblical understandings of general and special revelation. These are notions of existence that God has established as a means of resisting Satan and following the righteous path.
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