Buy Now!

Several weeks ago I explained what was happening with a number of Jay Adams’ book titles. Today I have an update you will want to hear. Our friends at Timeless Texts have made good progress in selling down much of their inventory but they have a significant overstock on 14 titles. That is great news for you! For a limited time they are offering an unheard of 75% discount on these books. Now is the time to buy!

One of my favorite books is The Grand Demonstration which features Jay’s careful exegesis of Romans 9 and makes clear the nature of God’s sovereign grace in lives of His people. I have given away scores of these books over the years and now I will be stocking up again. Your counselee, your bible study group, and your family need to hear the message of this book. At this price, you can order 20 copies and give them away.

Another important book included in this great deal is Winning the War Within. In recent years some confusing teaching has come forward on the subject of sanctification and it has even infected some corners of the biblical counseling movement. This book is the solution. At this great price you can buy one or two dozen and give them to counselees and others who may be confused on this important theological issue.

You should own every one of these books but let me highlight another. A Thirst for Wholeness is easily the bestselling of these 14 titles—for good reason. This is a topical study of the book of James. Countless small groups have used this book and now, yours can too at a price you will never see again.

One of the most astonishing and grievous charges leveled against Jay Adams personally, and Nouthetic counseling generally, is that it is somehow dispassionate and unconcerned with the suffering of God’s people. Those who level this charge are either uninformed and therefore careless in their accusations or they are dishonest. Jay’s book Compassionate Counseling gives lie to this canard. This is a must read book.

These books and more are now available to you at 75% off. Go to the Timeless Texts website, grab these deals now, and fill in the holes on your Jay Adams shelf. And, even more unbelievably, if you spend over $50 they will ship for free!

 

The Preacher’s Library

You used to be able to tell a lot about a preacher—and about his preaching—simply by walking into his library. If it was filled with catchy titles, how-to manuals, frothy experience-oriented fluff, as well as second-rate commentaries, you could know that isn’t the place to hang your hat as a church member. But things have changed. Now, a man can have an entire library on a computer’s disc that includes volumes that were once inaccessible, and with translations galore at his fingertips. It has become very hard to judge a man by his books (unless he‘s an old foggy like some of us), because all of the good stuff can be hidden away on a hard drive.

But, were you to be able to become aware of what he has on shelves and on disks—and how frequently the good stuff is used—you’d know what you used to know from visiting his library.

Preacher, we can’t tell anymore. That may be a blessing to all. But one thing is true: you know what your library (of both books and computer programs) is like, and of greater importance, you know how often you use the resources at your disposal. We don’t know, until we hear you preach. Then, over a period of time, we can surmise what kind of sources you are using and how hard you are working at exegesis.

What a preacher focuses on will determine what kind of ministry he has. Is it an exegetically-based ministry, or is a ministry of the popularization of modern themes? Do you really feed hungry sheep the bread of life, or do you hand over hand-me-downs from other preachers? Do you focus on sensational topics? Are you a prophecy hound? Do you always avoid the tough passages? Are your people being entertained—or are they learning? Do your people go away challenged, convicted, caring? Does your preaching edify? These should be matters of deep concern.

It has been historically true, and doubtless is and will continue to be true, that a man who is well read, who has good sources and uses them well, is more likely to have a fruitful and longer ministry than the one who doesn’t. He will tend to become a better exegete, he will be well-read in biblical and church history, he will be able to draw upon a wealth of systematic and practical theology, and his congregation will become the better for it. How does your library look, pastor?

Speaking of exegesis, how do you do it? Do you cobble together bits and pieces from various commentaries into some explanation of the preaching portion? Or do you do the hard work of figuring out for yourself what the passage says, using various commentaries to help you? Between these two approaches to the text, there is a large difference. That for which you have worked will come through in your preaching as authentic. That which has been cribbed from some commentator who did the work, will come through as inauthentic (unless, of course, you are an astute actor). Hard work requires using a goodly number of sources to help you come to valid decisions about a passage. But it doesn’t mean abusing them by mere copying. Are you guilty of this sin, preacher? If so, repent, and begin to do the right thing that you know, down deep, you ought to be doing. Rightly handling the Word of God is not only work, but a great responsibility.

Update on Books by Jay Adams

We get calls regularly now from counselors, pastors, and students seeking to locate a place to purchase Jay’s books. I am sorry to report that a number of Jay’s books are, temporarily, out of print. Let me explain why. A number of years ago a friend of Dr. Adams, Dave Crawley, started a publishing company to publish Jay’s books. While most of Jay’s basic books are published by Zondervan, and are still available, Timeless Texts became the publisher of a significant number of titles. After Dave Crawley’s death last year his family made the decision to liquidate Timeless Texts’ inventory and seek another publisher for Jay’s books. As the inventory has become depleted many of the books have become unavailable.

Do not despair. Talks are underway with another, well established publisher, to bring most of Jay’s books back. We find ourselves, however, in a period of time during which some of Jay’s books will be out of print and unavailable. While this is a temporary situation, it will work a hardship on many who are studying biblical counseling. Let me make some suggestions.

First, go to the Timeless Texts website and see which of Jay’s books are available. If there are titles listed there that you do not have, NOW is the time to buy. Everything in stock is at least 50% off!

Second, search Amazon.com for available books but beware, do NOT buy a book for more than the original price. Some sellers have realized there are folk who so want to obtain these titles that they will pay confiscatory prices. If you do purchase from Amazon, please use this link. When you do we get a small cut.

Third, check out used book sites such as Alibris. Often you can find a used book at a good price.

Finally, if all else fails and you are a student who needs a book that is out of print to complete your studies, email me at donnarms@nouthetic.org. We may be able to help.

Please pray with us that this time of transition will be smooth and brief. If you already have most, or all, of Jay’s books I urge you to guard and treasure them. I often tell our students that 100 years from now our descendants will be reading and discussing Jay’s books in the same way that today we read and discuss Spurgeon, Calvin, Machen, and C. S. Lewis.

Competent to Counsel, The Revised Edition

Several years ago I began to pester Jay with what I thought was a brilliant idea. “How about publishing a revised, updated version of Competent to Counsel?” I asked naively. “Competent to Counsel II, Competent to Counsel 2.0, Competent to Counsel: The Next Generation” or some such thing.

CTC was enjoying its 45th anniversary and critics were saying it had become outdated. Now, CTC has always had its critics so why I thought critics should be heeded now after 45 years I cannot say. I thought my idea was inspired. Jay was, well, unimpressed. He was too kind to simply tell me what he was really thinking (“Arms is an idiot”) so he simply smiled and said he would think about it.

Because I was too obtuse to take the hint I persisted and after several months of raising the subject he finally said no but went on to explain his reasoning. While you are certainly more acute than I am I thought you might enjoy hearing his reasons:

  1. “My views have not changed.” We live in an age when vacillation and flexibility are lauded while certainty and confidence are seen as character defects. Today’s popular writers are tentative and nuanced. One blogger recently said of Adams, “He never grew. That is an unfortunate sign of extreme pride, namely believing that you are so right in 1970 that could couldn’t (sic) possibly learn anything from anyone by 2016.” Most other secular, or even Christian books, about counseling published in 1970 are now out of print and forgotten. Those that do remain have usually undergone several revisions. Dr. Adams certainly has thought deeply about counseling since 1970. His 100 plus books written since CTC demonstrate that. The Bible, however, does not change and if Adams’ thinking was biblical in 1970 it remains so today.
  2. “Competent to Counsel should be viewed as an historical document of the movement.” CTC was written to meet an important need during a critical hour in the history of the church. It was the counseling world’s equivalent of Luther’s 95 Theses, Paine’s Common Sense, Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism. Anyone reading other important historical works understands the need to contextualize, they should do the same with CTC. These books, and many others like them, continue to hold great value for today’s reader. I predict that 100 years from now our descendants will be quoting Jay Adams in the same way that we quote Calvin, Spurgeon, Machen, and C.S. Lewis today.
  3. “Who would be my foil?” When CTC was published there were generally three broad schools of thought—Freud, Rogers, and Skinner. Rogerian thought especially had largely captured the church. These served as effective foils for Adams to make his case for a biblical approach. Today, while we are seeing a resurgence of a kind of neo-Rogarianism in biblical counseling circles, there are hundreds of various views, methods, and approaches advocated and practiced in Christian counseling rooms today. Tackling them all would require that a revised edition of CTC be a multivolume set.
  4. “The things I wrote about in CTC 40 years ago continue to recycle themselves. What may seem dated today will be up to date—perhaps next year.” I was reminded of Jay’s point recently as I listened to a podcast posted by a biblical counseling organization. Two counselors were discussing how directive counselors should, or should not be, with their counselees. For nine minutes I heard “on the one hand this, but on the other hand that.” Meanwhile, as one person would talk the other would make the appropriate “uh huh” or “hum” noises affirming what the other was saying. One counselor recalled telling a counselee (after three or four sessions) that he was not sure she was yet “ready to hear” what he had to say. I wondered to myself how much he was charging this poor woman for counseling sessions in which he did not give counsel. Adams discussed this anemic kind of neo-Rogerian “counseling” at length in CTC 45 years ago. The same organization recently posted another podcast in which the counselor, while disavowing Freud, allowed for the place of dream analysis in biblical counseling.

What about you? Have you read Competent to Counsel? How long has it been? If it has been awhile, or if you have not read it for the first time, let me urge you not to merely listen to what others say about it. Read it for yourself—soon! It is one of those books that you should reread every few years. You can then use my response to people who come into my study and see my books. Invariably they ask the question, “Have you read all of these?” My response—“Some of them twice!”

Conversations with Dr. Jay Adams

indexA number of years ago a young man whose educational background was in secular psychology spent four days conducting a wide ranging series of interviews with Dr. Adams. Those interviews were transcribed but the interviewer was unable to do anything more with them at the time. Now, thirteen years later, those interviews have been published and the resulting book is a fascinating look into the thinking of Dr. Adams.

Before you click on the link below to order your copy, however, let me explain what it is you will be reading.

  1. This book consists of raw and largely unedited transcripts of a conversation between two people. Little, if any, of the pleasantries of conversation have been omitted. Nothing has been edited to make it an easier read.
  2. Because it is the record of a conversation between two people it does not follow any sort of logical outline. You will not be able to go to an index and find the place in the book where Adams discusses a specific topic. He may discuss a topic in which you are interested in several different places in the book.
  3. The folk who did the transcription were obviously British. Thus you will encounter some strange spelling (counselling, neighbour, etc.).
  4. This interview took place in September 2002. The interview reflects Dr. Adams’ thoughts at that time but not necessarily his thinking today. Now Dr. Adams is not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and his thinking about fundamental issues of theology and counseling have not changed. However, the interviewer presses Adams for his opinions about various authors and organizations. Since those things do change, one should not extrapolate from this interview Dr. Adams’ opinions today.
  5. This is an unguarded interview. Dr. Adams spoke frankly with his interviewer and probably would have wished the final product had been edited. In fact, in one place, Adams expressed to the interviewer that something he had just said should probably be omitted—it was not.
  6. The interviewer wishes to remain anonymous and I will honor that here. I will tell you who it is not, however. He is almost certainly not someone you know, trust me. Today he is a businessman. He has never been a NANC/ACBC member, nor has he traveled widely in biblical counseling circles. This is the only thing he has published that has anything to do with biblical counseling or ministry in general.
  7. The Institute for Nouthetic Studies has no interest in the book. While we knew the interview had been conducted 13 years ago we were surprised that it was finally published. While the Institute receives no royalties or income from the book we do urge you to order it from this link as more of the proceeds will be used for good purposes if you do. You can also order it from Amazon or our own Amazon bookstore if you wish.

With those caveats, I urge you to purchase a copy. It is a fascinating read. I have the unusual privilege of being able to visit with Dr. Adams in his study and talk with him at length these days about whatever topic interests either of us. You do not. This is the next best thing.

Huge Book Sale!

Announcing

The Greatest Used Book Sale/Giveaway
In the History of the Planet!

When:  Saturday, April 14, 2012,  9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where:  105 White Oak Road, Greenville — in the former Gospel Hour Building behind Woodlawn Cemetery

We have lost our lease and must significantly downsize our library. My 6,000 volumes must be reduced! Every hard copy which I also have in my Logos collection must go. BJU textbooks, a complete set of Lenski, The Pulpit Commentary, Greek and Hebrew reference works, commentaries, theology (both good and bad). You won’t believe my prices! Come take advantage of my fiscal naiveté.

Hundreds of books originally from the library of Dr. Jay E Adams! Register to win copies of Jay Adams’ books SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR! Drawings held throughout the morning, you must be present to win. Grand prize is a NEW autographed set (10 volumes) of Adams’ Christian Counselor’s Commentary (a $240 value). Grand prize drawing at noon.

Also, a HUGE moving sale will be held inside our warehouse—rain or shine! Bring your wife or girlfriend to shop the garage sale while you search through the bookshelves.

What’s the catch? Only that over the years I have accumulated a significant amount of chaff along with the wheat. There are thousands of books to search through. Come on and take a chance. What is chaff to me may be gold to you! What do I know?

Many books are free for the taking. Most are priced dirt cheap. Who knows, you may even be able to dicker and convince me you are worthy of an even lower price!

Rules: All sales are final. All books sold “as is.” No one admitted early (don’t ask).

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Don’t miss it!

Questions? Call Donn R Arms at (864) 346-7468.

A New Book by Dr. Adams!

People2We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Jay Adams entitled Types of People—How to Counsel Them Biblically. We have not seen anything like this in print anywhere else and have found it to be both insightful and (especially) helpful. If you have had some experience as a counselor you will quickly identify some of these kinds of people as having sat across the desk from you at one time or another. Jay does far more than simply categorize—that is the easy part—he provides concrete help for the counselor as he seeks to minister the Word of God to each one and points the counselor to solid, biblical, and practical solutions for the the challenges each type of counselee presents.

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Check Out These Study Guides

Theology SG

Our friend Bill Hill has put together a series of study guides for most of Dr. Adams’ basic books on biblical counseling and pastoral ministry. They are a great tool for personal study and can be effectively used in the classroom. Check out Bill’s website at www.churchliferesources.net where you can see everything he has to offer and order your copies online.

Bill also leads Equipping Nationals Worldwide, a ministry devoted to teaching national pastors around the world in the area of biblical counseling and pastoral ministry.

 

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Discipline

Commentaries

Commentaries of two sorts are available today:

1. Those that spend more than half the space allotted to them discussing introductory matters rather than commentating on the text of the Bible itself. These contain long (usually non-conclusive) discussions of various authors who, themselves, have written commentaries on the same order. To try to obtain helpful material from these introductions is like looking for a broken needle in the proverbial haystack. If you could find a broomstick—forget the half of the needle—you’re doing good. Then, in what little space is left there is commentary on the text. This material mostly states the obvious—not the help that the reader is searching for—or, similar to the introduction, lengthy discussions of learned nonsense by the author concerning the views of others, most of whom you have met in the introductory material. A good sprinkling of liberal, neo-orthodox or postmodern writers has been made to establish the commentator’s familiarity with the “learned scholarship” of the day! This practice also establishes him as a “learned scholar.”

2. The other sort of commentary is like the older sort—it spends most of the time commentating on the text. The introductory materials are slim, to the point and helpful. The material in the text actually attempts to solve many of the problems that a preacher picked it up in order to help him do so. There aren’t many of new type 2 commentaries available today. That is one reason why I was startled to find a 1154 page type 2 commentary by Grant Osborne, published by Zondervan, and have been enjoying reading through it. Granted, he has a minimum of so-called scholarly “sprinklings” here and there, but they are mainly in footnotes, and he doesn’t waste the reader’s time with having to plow through them in the text itself. This is a big book; so far (I’m about half-way through), it has been useful, informative and a pleasure to use. I predict that I will turn to it again and again in the future. He actually attacks most of the difficult matters! He isn’t a preterist of any sort, so he misinterprets much of the Olivet Discourse and kindred passages on the kingdom, but not so much so that there is nothing worthwhile there. Much of what he says about the kingdom can be helpfully adapted to a proper view of the events surrounding 70AD. I hope that the rest of the volumes in this new series will be on the same order. I look forward to them. Hurray for Zondervan and Osborne!

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Books!

Does anyone have an accurate list of how many new books are published here in the USA every year? There must be something fairly accurate—but, as I did yesterday, I received a self-published book that will probably not become officially copyrighted. Solomon in Ecclesiastes said there’d be no end to writing books—and he knew nothing of the computer, or the printing press, for that matter!

Why does a person write? In reading some books, I wonder. The writer who authored the book I was sent yesterday had a clear purpose. I appreciate that! You can read some that just seem to be words and lots of printer’s ink that you wonder why anyone went to the trouble to put together.

I read a book last week that had a purpose, but it was wrong in the way it cut-and-pasted other people’s work. The best part of the book was the quotes; the rest—well, it would have been better if he had simply made it a book of quotations. The rest of the book got in the way of reading the excellent quotes.

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