This is a blog series built on the premise that “books don’t change people, sentences change people.

We can’t remember an entire book, or even its outline. We remember a sentence or concept that is highly relevant and impacts how we live. The rest of the book gives context to that sentence. This series highlights sentences from my reading in evangelical Christian counseling that stood out to me and reflections on why these sentences have been so sticky.

So far in this series, I have reflected on (links provided to each reflection):

  • David Powlison, “Ministry ‘unbalances’ truth for the sake of relevance; theology ‘rebalances’ truth for the sake of comprehensiveness (p. 33),” in How Does Sanctification Work?
  • James K.A. Smith, “‘You are what you think’ is a motto that reduces human beings to brains-on-a-stick (p. 3),” in You Are What You Love
  • Eric Johnson, “Christian soul-care providers should work at the highest level possible [and] at the lowest level necessary (p. 382),” in Foundations for Soul Care
  • Michael Emlet, “[God] shapes his story [the Bible] to approach his people as saints, sufferers, and sinners (p. 74),” in CrossTalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet
  • Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., “Trying to cure distress with the same thing that caused it is typically the mechanism that closes the trap on an addict (p. 131),” in Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin
  • Paul David Tripp, “The term biblical needs to be redefined.  It cannot mean merely ‘from somewhere within the pages of Scripture.’ In light of the way the Bible is written, as a single fabric of thought stretching from front to back, biblical must mean ‘in keeping with what the Bible is about (p. 7),'” in Instruments in the Redeemers Hands
  • Gary Thomas, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” in Sacred Marriage
  • Diane Langberg, “The act of having another enter into our suffering with us is an incredible gift with profound results (p. 150).” in Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse
  • Millard Erickson, “The Bible’s depiction of the human race is that it today is actually in an abnormal condition…. In a very real sense, the only true human beings were Adam and Eve before the fall, and Jesus. All the others are twisted, distorted, corrupted samples of humanity (p. 518),” in Christian Theology
  • Ed Welch, “It is as if the heart always leaves its footprints in the brain (p. 48),” in Blame It on the Brain?

Upcoming sentences include (in no particular order):

  • Kent Dunnington, “Addiction can be interpreted as one available modern response to the lack of any common consensus about the telos of human action (p. 104)… Addiction is in fact a kind of embodied cultural critique of modernity and the addict a kind of unwitting modern prophet (p. 123).” in Addiction and Virtue: Beyond the Models of Disease and Choice

If you have a sentence to nominate, send it to me on Twitter @BradHambrick.