Helpful Truth in Past Places: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Counselling

Mark A. Deckard

Christian Focus Publications

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Helpful Truth in Past Places examines the teachings of leading Puritan writers-theologians who were masters at understanding the nature of human beings and applying Scripture in practical ways to help people with their struggles and problems. Looking to Scripture as the final authority, the Puritans grounded their own counselling practices in a proper view of the sovereignty of God and the underlying heart issues of people. By understanding why people struggle and the provision God makes for our struggles, counsellors today will be better equipped to guide those they counsel toward God-appointed solutions. "Despite our modern prejudices," Deckard explains, the problems of the Puritans' time "were not all that different than our own." These men and women, like us, fought issues of fear, depression and sense of purpose. Their world was, like ours, clouded by poverty, loss of children, abuse and alcoholism. Guided by a biblical view of God and self, they found their answers in unchanging doctrinal truth. Each chapter in Helpful Truth in Past Places guides readers through a particular issue and points to the applicable teachings of a Puritan writer on that topic. Jonathan Edwards explores our emotional frailties. Jeremiah Burroughs deals with anxiety and dissatisfaction. And John Flavel takes on the age-old question of "why?" A welcome infusion of sound biblical understanding.