In Case You Missed It

Earlier this week, Dr. Stephen Wade published an article which offers a few foundational thoughts relative to understanding addictions biblically, and in it he also suggests some practical tips relative to ministering to addicts. In his article Dr. Wade writes:

Addictions are typically associated with alcohol and drug abuse, but when we dig deep into the human heart, we find that a clear understanding of what is going on is really a picture of the battle going on in the heart of every sinner. Pastors will find that both believers and non-believers struggle with addictive tendencies, to a greater or lesser extent, with many different things in their lives. Indeed, the grace and power of the gospel applied to the struggle of an addict is the same grace and power that every believer needs in the battle with sin.

Thom Rainer published an article describing five reasons pastors have guest blindness at the Lifeway blog earlier this week. Dr. Rainer writes:

In light of the woeful reports from mystery guests, I was very surprised at one facet of some research we conducted as we interviewed pastors across America.* One of our questions asked if the pastor’s church does a good job of meeting the needs of first time guests. Surprisingly, 90 percent of the pastors said “yes.” Did you get that? Less than 20 percent of the guests said their visit was good, but 90 percent of the pastors perceive the opposite, that most guests have a good visit.

At The Gospel Coalition, Camille Cates writes: “Why I Don’t Blame Planned Parenthood.

In Genesis 3, we see Adam shift blame to his wife, Eve, and even to God himself. Likewise, Eve shifts blame onto the serpent. Neither takes responsibility for his or her own actions; instead, they simply act as if their sin is someone else’s fault. In the years immediately following my abortion, I shifted the blame too. I blamed my baby’s father. I blamed my parents who took me to the clinic. I even blamed God.

In a recent post on his blog, Dr. Waylon Bailey gives five practical steps for wise speech.

How many times have you asked yourself: “Why did I say that?” Or, maybe you asked: “How could I say that?” Nothing seems to be as easy as saying something dumb. None of us wants to misspeak or say things we shouldn’t. What can we do to minimize our unwise words?

Reflecting on a question he was once asked about Christians eating black pudding in light of Old Testament regulations about eating blood (Lev. 17:10ff), Sinclair Ferguson writes on four principles for the exercise of Christian liberty over at Ligonier:

Although (as far as I am aware) no theological dictionary contains an entry under B for “The Black Pudding Controversy,” this unusual discussion raised some most basic hermeneutical and theological issues:

  • How is the Old Testament related to the New?
  • How is the Law of Moses related to the gospel of Jesus Christ?
  • How should a Christian exercise freedom in Christ?

Yesterday in Chapel at Southeastern, Dr. Chuck Lawless, Dean of Graduate Studies warns students not to become hard hearted to where they destroy their witness. Watch the entire message here:

Online Counseling Courses for Pastors (Addiction, Problematic Emotions)

We at BtT wish to make you aware of SEBTS’ recently expanded portfolio of online counseling courses. At the heart of a pastor’s calling is the ability to counsel. A pastor finds himself providing counsel not only from behind his desk, but also from the pulpit, on the street corner, and in the hospital room. For this reason, SEBTS is expanding its slate of online course to include two new courses—Addiction and Problematic Emotions.

“Counseling Individuals with Problematic Emotions” will be offered online this spring, beginning in January. This course explores the common problematic emotions of depression, anxiety, anger, and suffering with a focus on understanding them as biological, moral, relational, and spiritual phenomena.

“Counseling Individuals with Addiction Problems” will be offered online in Fall 2013. This course studies a range of addiction problems, with a focus on their etiology, dynamics, and impact on others, along with biblical strategies and methods of intervention and treatment. We hope these courses equip students around the world for service in vocational counseling ministries in the church or in parachurch ministries.

[If you are not already a SEBTS distance learning student, but would like to get started, click here. If you wish to view our “Frequently Asked Questions” page, click here.]

The professor for these courses is Sam Williams (Ph.D., California School of Professional Psychology) Dr. Williams is Professor of Counseling at Southeastern. He operated a private practice as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist for ten years in Louisiana before moving to Southeastern to take up the professorate as a biblical counselor. He is known as a voracious learner who reads widely in theology, epistemology, psychology, and other fields related to counseling.

Other counseling professors at SEBTS include Robert Jones (D.Min., Westminster Theological Seminary; D.Theol. candidate, University of South Africa) and  Stephen Wade (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary). Dr. Jones serves as Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling and is a member of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors. He is the author of Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem (P&R, 2005), Bad Memories: Getting Past Your Past (P&R, 2004), and other books. Dr. Wade serves as Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Director of the Great Commission Equipping Network and Student Field Ministry. He has served since 1999 as Senior Pastor of Poplar Spring Baptist Church in Zebulon, NC. Dr. Wade did his Ph.D. work in theological studies, and therefore brings a strong theological mind to the discipline of biblical counseling. He wears the finest “five o’clock shadow” beard on faculty.

For what it’s worth, SEBTS also offers several degree programs in biblical counseling. These programs are designed to equip graduate and post-graduate students for pastoral care and counseling in and for the church.

The Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling is designed to equip students for vocational counseling ministries in the context of the local church.  Students take courses leadership, team ministry, and discipleship as part of this program. The M.A. in Christian Education and Biblical Counseling weds Christian education courses with courses in biblical counseling to prepare students for a broad ministry in education and counseling in the local church or parachurch ministries.

The M.Div. with Biblical Counseling is designed to further prepare those who seek to minister long-term in the local church. In addition to the M.Div. core, students take 33 hours concentrated in the counseling curriculum. Part of this curriculum includes three skills implementation course in which students complete at lest 30 hours of supervised counseling to give them hands-on experience in this ministry. Furthermore, students can take courses to prepare them to seek professional licensure beyond the M.A. or M.Div. if they so desire (licensure requirements vary by state). In addition to this specific track, the M.Div. with Pastoral Ministry track requires a course in biblical counseling to prepare pastors for local church ministry.

The Th.M. in Applied Theology with a specialization in Biblical Counseling concentrates 12 of 15 course hours in counseling courses. The purpose of the Th.M. is to further equip students who may go on to doctoral study in the field, or to serve as a terminal post-graduate degree for those seeking to minister in the local church.

The Ph.D. in Applied Theology with a concentration in Counseling is a recent addition to the Ph.D. programs at Southeastern, one we are excited to offer. The purpose of this program is to prepare ministers and teachers for long-term counseling ministries in the church or academy. Students will be prepared to write and teach on counseling issues for and in the church and academy upon successful completion of this program.

We invite you to study with our Pastoral Care and Counseling faculty in the M.A., M.Div., Th.M., or Ph.D. programs of Southeastern. For more info visit our website ( or and check out the Admissions and Academics links.