With all the talk of division between Christian denominations today, it is good to see the unity that comes with a full embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ and reliance on the sufficiency of the word of God. That unity has been in plain view this week at the national conference of biblical counseling with the ACBC in Jacksonville, Florida.
The lineup of today’s (Tuesday) plenary speakers were a Southern Baptist, a Presbyterian, and an Evangelical Free pastor. They were Dr. Paige Patterson, Ligon Duncan, and Brad Bigney. The many breakout session speakers also included men and women from various church backgrounds. Each was a unique blessing to their listeners. The gospel of God’s grace extends beyond denominational lines and unifies those who trust Christ. No church is sufficient but God’s word is all sufficient.
Two great blessings were the two newest seminaries recently added as biblical counseling training centers, Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. In addition to these, today saw the largest number of newly certified counselors inducted into membership of the ACBC. The biblical counseling movement has grown far beyond a few leaders and churches and barely ever heard of to numerous leaders, church members, training centers, colleges and seminaries. Just over 1,200 were in attendance at the conference. This is something to rejoice about!
But the great part is not the growth of the organization or movement so much as it is the growth among churches in dependence upon the sufficiency of the Scriptures. That means more and more people have access to someone ready to help them find God’s grace as they work through life’s troubles. This is good for people and glorifying to God.