Jay E. Adams

Jay E. Adams
Born (1929-01-30) January 30, 1929
Baltimore, Maryland
Nationality American
Occupation Counselor, Writer, Founder of The Institute for Nouthetic Studies
Religion Christian (Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church)

Jay Edward Adams (born January 30, 1929) is an American, Reformed Christian author who has written more than 100 books.[1] His books have been translated into 16 languages, and he received his doctorate in preaching.[1]

Nouthetic counseling

According to an interview by Aaron Blumer, Adams' major influence on counseling was the publication of his book Competent to Counsel in 1970.[2] It is from that book that Adams developed what is known as nouthetic counseling.[3] Over time, Adams has become a popular advocate of "strictly biblical approaches" to counseling, whose "perspectives are influencing evangelical Christianity today."[4]

John F. MacArthur has stated that through Adams' book Competent to Counsel Adams gave the Church "an indispensable corrective to several trends that are eating away at the Church's spiritual vitality".[5] Derek Tidball argues that Adams has made an "enormous contribution to the revival of biblical pastoral theology".[6] According to Ian F. Jones, Tim Clinton, and George Ohlschlager, "Jay Adams brought a biblical revolution to Christian and pastoral counseling in the 1970s, challenging a field that was racing toward rancor, even dissolution by its fascination with all manner of anti-Christian psycho-babble."[7] David Powlison has said that Adams has written "abundant resources for the development of counseling" and has led to the establishment of various institutions based on his views.[8]

Psychologists have argued that nouthetic counseling[9] can do considerable harm to patients. In addition to techniques which critics consider ineffective, patients who are not helped by nouthetic counseling often consider themselves religious failures.[10][11][12] Further criticism comes from The Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling, which states that "Adams seems to be not fully knowledgeable regarding the theories he criticizes" and that "confrontation is also essential to the theory of Adams." However, it does go on to state that this confrontation "is defined as caring confrontation."[3]

Mark McMinn has argued, however, that "Dr. Adams has received a great deal of unfair, uninformed criticism from the Christian counseling community. Although I do not share Dr. Adams' opinion on confronting sin in counseling, I do respect his pioneering work in biblical counseling."[13]



Adams has written more than 100 books, including:[1]


  1. 1 2 3 "Jay E. Adams". Portland, OR: Exodus Books. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  2. Adams, Jay E; Arms, Donn (June 11, 2009). "Interview with Dr. Jay Adams". Sharper Iron (Interview). Interview with Aaron Blumer.
  3. 1 2 Benner, David G; Peter C. Hill (1999). Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology & Counseling. Grand Rapids. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-8010-2100-8.
  4. Hindson, Ed; Ergun Caner (May 2008). The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics. Harvest House Publishers. p. 407. ISBN 978-0-7369-2084-1.
  5. MacArthur, John F (1994), "Rediscovering Biblical Counseling", Introduction to Biblical Counseling, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, p. 7.
  6. Tidball, Derek (1999), Skilful Shepherds: Explorations in Pastoral Theology, Leicester: Apollos, p. 238.
  7. Jones, Ian F; Clinton, Tim; Ohlschlager, George (July 18, 2006). "Christian Counseling and Essential Biblical Principles". American Association of Christian Counseling. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  8. MacArthur & Wayne 2005, p. 24.
  9. Yarbrough, J. II (1996). An explication of Jay E. Adams' theology of biblical-nouthetic counseling. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
  10. Winfrey, David (January 23, 2007). "Biblical Therapy". The Christian Century. 124 (2): 25–26.
  11. Richard Winter (April 1982). "Jay Adams, is he really biblical enough?". The Third Way. London: Thirty Press. 5 (4). Richard Winter examines the approach of a well-known American author...
  12. Wagner, Errol Royden (1995). A critique of Jay E. Adams': theology for a pneumatological viewpoint within Calvinistic theology. Durban, ZA: University of Durban-Westville.
  13. McMinn, Mark A (1996). Psychology, Theology and Spirituality in Christian Counseling. Carrol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. p. 286. ISBN 0-8423-5252-X.
  14. MacArthur 2005, p. 21.
  15. 1 2 3 Robinson, Henry M (1979). A Survey of the Attitudes of Ministers of "conservative" Churches of Christ toward Religious and Secular Counseling (Masters thesis). University of Tennessee. p. 19.


External links

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