The Pastor as Counselor – David Powlison

David Powlison, The Pastor as Counselor (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2021), 76 pp.

Posthumous publications are a mixture of pure joy and sorrow. Joy superabounds when a favorite writer is “resurrected” and an unpublished manuscript sees the light of day. Sorrow rears its ugly head because the realization that this writer will never write again sinks in.

The Pastor as Counselor by David Powlison is a vivid reminder of the impact he had on the church and the world. Powlison was a rare blend of scholar and shepherd; a man who possessed a stunning intellect but carried himself with godly humility. His posthumous publication is a testimony to his character, pastoral heart, and love for God.

The Pastor as Counselor is warm and hard-hitting. It will motivate and encourage some; it will rebuke anyone who fails to take pastoral counseling seriously. Powlison had a way of telling the truth and applying biblical principles in a penetrating and gracious way. This work is no exception.

In my mind, one sentence summarizes the book: “As a pastor, you understand that every person you meet today needs to awaken, to turn, to trust, to grow, and to love God and others. Everyone needs counseling every day.” One might say that this sentence is a beautiful summary of what drove Dr. Powlison in his earthly life.

My hope is that many readers take heart and receive the God-centered counsel of David Powlison. The result will only help, strengthen, and encourage individuals and churches. Dr. Powlison left a legacy and an example for Christians to emulate in the day ahead. To God alone be the glory!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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