“Crosstalk,” by Michael R. Emlet was not what I expected when I picked it up. I thought it would be a book that would link Bible passages to real live situations in a nice pat way. The book is anything but pat.
What I got from the book was a whole lot more. To sum it up, Michael R. Emlet’s goal is to, “help you read the Bible and read people in a way that promotes gospel-centered, personally relevant use of Scripture in ministry to others.”
Emlet draws a comparison between DITCH and CANYON passages of Scripture. “Sometimes use of Scripture in ministry has the feel of stepping across a ditch (easy!) and sometimes it has the feel of stepping across a canyon (impossible!)” Ditch passages are easy to make the connection whereas Canyon passages require a little more thought. Emlet points out that if we restrict ourselves to only the DITCH passages we end up “ministering with an embarrassingly thinner but supposedly more relevant Bible.” (p.16) Restricting ourselves to only DITCH passages also implies that some parts of the Bible are not as relevant as other parts. The challenge of the book is to open ourselves up to the WHOLE counsel of God.
I like the fact that Emlet takes the time to explain exactly what the Bible is and (just as importantly) what it is not. He talks about how the Bible needs to be read front to back as well as back to front (p.52) I found that this approach added a whole new meaning to the concept of context. Emlet points out that to read the Bible in context, it must be read through the lens of Jesus Christ since He is the pivotal point in the whole story.
I also like the way Emlet emphasized the importance of “reading” people wisely in order to accurately convey the power of God’s Word into their lives. (p.65) He suggests approaching people in the counseling setting in three different roles: Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners. The big challenge I got from the book is to really try to get the Word of God DEEPLY into people’s lives by addressing theses three roles.
The Book is full of examples and two separate case studies that demonstrate effective Biblical Counseling. The book also has a detailed Scripture index in the back. The book is not an easy read since it requires some thought, but it is well worth the effort for those who have a counseling ministry. I wished I had a book like this when I was taking Biblical Counseling in Seminary.
This book was provided by New Growth Press for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”