Perhaps you’ve met him; probably, you haven’t. In either case I want you to learn about him. My acquaintance with Greg goes back to a time when I thought that just for fun—which turned out not to be so much fun after all—I’d do a Google search on the word “Nouthetic.” After reading over 101 pages I quit. At 10 or so entries per page, that means—well, you can figure it out for yourself.Why wasn’t it much fun? Well, as a perused pages I became strikingly aware that there was all sorts of stuff out there going under the label “Nouthetic!” There was even one woman “practitioner” who claimed to do nouthetic miracles. Horrors! Since I never thought of trade-marking the name, I have no recourse in the matter except to beg people not to call what they are doing by that name unless they really are nouthetic.
There are some well-meaning people who may believe that what they are doing is biblical nouthesia, who aren’t, even though they genuinely think so. So, in order to do something to give those who want to know what Nouthetic Counseling is like, I determined to run through a complete counseling case—from beginning to end–to give readers a taste of what we really do when counseling. That book is, The Case of the Hopeless Marriage, published by Timeless Texts. Enter Greg Dawson.
The Nouthetic Counselor in that book is none other than Greg, the thirty-some year old pastor of a church which is part of the Scriptural Presbyterian Denomination, a fictitious church body whose awkward name was chosen so as not to confuse it with the many “Split-Ps” out there. At any rate, Greg has by now found his way into four more books, only one of which has been published: Greg Dawson and the Psychology Class. I’d like to tell you more about these two books, and the three more that have been completed, but have not yet been published, but—wait a minute! Here comes Greg Himself. I’ll introduce him to you. Perhaps we can talk a bit and you can listen in.
“Hi Greg. What have you been into lately?”
“Well I just returned from Little Beaver Valley S. P. Church, up on Sky Mountain, near Upland City where I had the privilege of preaching Billy Black’s Ordination sermon.”
“Great! There are some special people here who would like to meet you, Greg.”
“Sure. Glad to meet you, and you, and you. I hope I’m not interrupting your conversation with Jay.”
“No. They’re just going to sit in and listen to your conversation if you don’t mind.”
“Fine with me.”
“Speaking of Billy, Greg, I hear that he doesn’t want to go by the name “Billy” any longer, now that he’s about to become a pastor.”
“Oops! I forgot. It’s hard to get used to it. But you’re right.”
“Did Mary, his sister ever get married? “
“Well, Jay, her’s is quite a story.”
“Isn’t she the former blustering Methodist “minister” who was converted in counseling?”
“Yes. And she’s completely abandoned her lesbian lifestyle. In fact, she’s become a member of our church. Rob, the man who recently proposed to her, ended up jilting her! Blamed it on his pastor in the Bible Church across town. But the full story would take some time to tell.”
“Where can I read about it, Greg?’
“Her conversion is in the unpublished book, Greg Dawson’s Nouthetic Ministry. The marriage fiasco is in Greg Dawson and the Church at Verdant Valley, also unpublished.
I heard that you had a narrow escape recently.”
“Right. I nearly got konked on the head with a bust of John Calvin. If it hadn’t been for Fred, who’s become my “Dr. Watson” in the series, I might have gotten too much of Calvin into my head!
“Can’t get too much Calvin! How are Brian and Phil doing at their new churches?”
“Superbly. Phil had to handle a couple cases of church discipline. I think that he learned a lot from it.”
“Greg, I heard you helped him. Was that incident somehow the reason why you got a permit to carry?”
“Yeah. I’m a pistol packing pastor now!’
Well. It sounds like all sorts of things have been happening since I met you last!”
“They certainly have. As a matter of fact, Jay, the greatest number of incidents that I think have occurred in a book that hasn’t yet been mentioned.”
“What’s that, Greg?’
“One called, Together Forever: Greg Dawson, Counseling, and the Providence of God.
“What’s it about?”
“Yeah. I figured that from the title. What else?”
‘Can’t tell you, Jay.”
“It’s sort of a surprise book. I can say that there are Jehovah’s Witnesses involved, a couple of psychiatrists, a theft and . . . I think I’m giving away too much.”
“When will these other books be published?”
“Hard to tell. If the two Greg Dawson books that are out sell well, then they may come on the market soon. Tell your friends about them so we can get the whole story out.”
“Will there be any more Greg Dawson books after these five?”
“I’m not sure, I’m pretty busy teaching at the seminary and in CTI—you know—our Counseling Training Institute at my church in Riverside?”
“Oh yeah, I’d forgotten that.”
“Look, here comes Fred. He and I have a joint counseling case where there’s a difficulty between two of his students at CTI—he‘s now director of the Institute— and he called me in to help. Gotta’ go. See you, Jay.”
Well, what did you think of him? Like to get to know him better? Then, get his books, and you’ll soon become great friends!