A Radical Proposal: Christ-Centered Ministry Versus Problem-Centered Counseling by Martin and Deidre Bobgan (Santa Barbara, CA: Eastgate Publishers, 2004), 134pp. Paperback, $10.00.

This book is based on the premise that Christ and His Word alone are sufficient for dealing with all psychological and biblical counseling issues. It is opposed to the contemporary biblical counseling movement that incorporates psychology and Christianity because the practice results in a focus on an individual and his need instead of God’s Word and the work of Christ within the life of the believer.

The goal of the authors is to “discourage problem-centered counseling and to encourage Christ-centered ministry, to overthrow intimidation from the psychological and biblical counseling movements, and thereby to free believers in local congregations to minister to fellow believers without psychological or biblical counseling manuals, workshops, seminars, degrees, or certificates.”

The book goes beyond this “radical proposal” to discuss psychotherapy (talk therapy), the biblical counseling movement, the rise and practice of problem-centered counseling and its alternative Christ-centered ministry. It also includes a chapter on how this ministry should take place practically. In other words, the authors answer the “Who, What, Why, When, Where, & How” questions readers will be asking.

While this volume is an easy read, it will confront all believers with the truth of the Bible in relationship to how Christians are instructed to come alongside others in the Body of Christ when they need help. Many readers will find themselves re-evaluating what they currently believe about biblical Christian counseling.

In addition to a Table of Contents, this treatise includes Endnotes for every Chapter as well as a listing of other Books by Martin and Deidre Bobgan complete with short summaries.

Reviewed by Deb Garland, www.spiritandtruth.org