Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Notes

Greenville Seminary student and supporter Dr. James Halla has recently published a book examining a Biblical approach for addressing depression. Depression through a Biblical Lens shows how turning to Christ is the first step in helping victims of depression gain victory over their problem.

James and Genell Halla
Dr. Halla and his wife Genell live in Spartanburg, S.C. where Jim practices rheumatology. Jim has authored a number of scientific  articles addressing various clinical issues encountered in the daily practice of rheumatology. He is certified by the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors as a Christian counselor and has become a fellow at NANC, training others to counsel from the Scriptures. Jim’s books were written in response to the need seen to bring God’s truth to every area of life.

"People with bad feelings and feeling-directed behavior — anger, fear, worry, depression — usually are given a psychiatric label," says Dr. Halla. "Initially, I was comfortable with that approach, but I have come to realize that people must be evaluated based on a proper understanding of the Bible. When that happens the whole person (thinking, wanting, and doing) will be considered — not just outward behavior and feelings.

"Feelings, their generation and the person’s response to them, will not be the major criteria for some label or the target for treatment, medical and otherwise," he says. "Rather, thinking and wanting that leads to bad feelings will be the target of the Christian helper-friend, pastor, counselor, and physician. Thinking, wanting, and doing – thereby feelings, will be evaluated using the filter of biblical truth." (Read more.)

An Amazon Kindle digital edition of this book is available here.

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Chad Van Dixhoorn
Long-time friend and supporter of GPTS Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn's newest book is Confessing the Faith: A Reader's Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith. 

This accessible, biblical, and thoughtful work digests years of study and teaching into bite-sized sections. Dr. Van Dixhoorn's work is historical and practical in its focus. It deliberately presents readers with more than another survey of Reformed theology; it offers a guide to a particular text, considers its original proof-texts, and seeks to deepen our understanding of each paragraph of the Confession.

The author serves as associate professor of Church History at Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C., and as associate pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Virginia. He has lectured during the GPTS Spring Theology Conference and heads The Westminster Assembly Project, which the seminary has endorsed.

GPTS Trustee Dr. Ian Hamilton says this about Dr. Van Dixhoorn and the book: "The author is an acknowledged expert on the history and development of the Westminster Confession. The main strength of the commentary, however, lies in the sure way Dr Van Dixhoorn unpacks the teaching of the Confession in the light of God s word and applies it with pastoral wisdom to the life of believers today. 'Tolle lege', pick up, read and sink the roots of your life into the rich soil of biblical truth.,"