12 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2023

This post originally appeared at RPM Ministries here: 12 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2023.

The Twelfth Annual Edition

If you’re a counselor, pastor, student, educator, one-another minister, small group leader, soul care giver, spiritual friend, spouse, or parent, you want to know the most helpful books about biblical counseling. We all want trusted recommendations on books that seek to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth.

We all want to be aware of solid resources for the Christian life and one-another ministry, That’s why at RPM Ministries I’ve collated the top biblical counseling books on an annual basis since 2012. See the end of this post for collated links to the 2012, 2013 Part 1, 2013 Part 2, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 lists.

That makes this year the twelfth edition of my annual listing of top biblical counseling books.

The Selection Process

In 2023, I had many highly relevant and significantly helpful biblical counseling books from which to choose. Since this is my twelfth year of collating these lists, I’ve selected a dozen top biblical counseling books published in 2023. I’ve chosen these 12 top books on the basis of their:

  1. Biblical/theological depth and richness
  2. Faithfulness to the sufficiency of Scripture
  3. Practicality for one-another ministry, biblical counseling, and soul care
  4. Relevance to practical Christian living
  5. Application to progressive sanctification
  6. By accepting nominations from worldwide biblical counseling leaders
  7. By accepting nominations from publishers
  8. By researching other lists of top biblical counseling books

I list these top biblical counseling books below in alphabetical order by author—the top 12 books published in 2023:

  • About biblical counseling,
  • About Christian living, or
  • Important to biblical counselors.

Note: I’ve developed the summaries after the books from wording by the authors and publishers. These summaries are not my book reviews of these resources.

The 12 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2023

Challies, Tim. Understanding and Trusting Our Great God. Harvest House.

Do you desire to deepen your understanding of God and trust Him more fully? This beautifully designed devotional features poignant reflections from author Tim Challies on the quotable wisdom of some of Christianity’s most influential voices. In each chapter, Tim shares his spiritual insights on a different aspect of God’s character—His wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and faithfulness. The more you learn about who God is, the more your love for Him will grow, leading to greater joy and delight in Him.

 

Chappell, Christine. Midnight Mercies: Walking with God Through Depression in Motherhood. P&R.

Are you a mother who feels stuck in depression? You’re not the only Christian woman who knows what this darkness is like. When feelings of hopelessness, weariness, sadness, anger, anxiety, shame, and loneliness feel impossible to bear, it can seem like God is nowhere to be found. But there’s more to the story than you can presently perceive. Biblical counselor Christine Chappell has walked these dark paths herself—and she wants to help you to see God’s heart for you more clearly as you endure sorrow and pain. As Christine recounts her own midnight journey through depression and explores stories of desperate sufferers who experienced God’s mercy in the Scriptures, she shows how God meets us in our despair and helps us toward His light—one step at a time. Each chapter concludes with help in the form of practical next steps, a Scripture verse for contemplation and comfort, and questions for journaling.

 

Deuel, Dave, and Nancy Deuel. Help! Our Child Has Down Syndrome. Shepherd Press.

Finding out your child has Down syndrome may feel overwhelming. Perhaps you think, “I didn’t sign up for this.” Dave and Nancy Deuel gently suggest an alternative: “God signed me up for this, so I’m going to commit it to His wise and loving care and give it all I’ve got.” Here they share the challenges, but above all the joys, unique to parenting a child who, by God’s design, has a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Dave and Nancy Deuel are the parents of Joanna Deuel who has a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

 

 

 

Hambrick, Brad. Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling: Models for Sustainable Church-Based Care. New Growth Press.

Many churches would like to launch a counseling ministry, but they don’t know where to start. Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling by Brad Hambrick offers direction to churches for creating a ministry built around lay-led counseling groups and mentoring. Based upon proven models used in his congregation, Hambrick lays out a clear plan to launch a sustainable soul-care ministry that can be replicated in churches of any size. Hambrick brings clarity to common points of confusion about church-based counseling and offers guidance on how to offer oversight for lay-led counseling groups and mentoring relationships. Your church can ministry the hope of the gospel to the struggles of life—both sin and suffering—without incurring unwise liability or going beyond the capacity of your members.

 

 

 

Hodges, Charles, Editor. The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference. 2nd Edition. New Growth Press.

Dr. Charles Hodges and a team of contributing physicians, health care professionals, and biblical counselors answer questions and offer solid biblical principles about counseling individuals with medical issues as they address a variety of specific problems. Biblical counselors and pastors often have questions when a counselee struggles with a mixture of physical, emotional, and spiritual difficulties. The updated, revised second edition of The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference helps counselors understand how medical issues can impact counseling needs. Learn about specific conditions along with how to counsel the whole person.

 

 

 

Huie, Eliza. Count Yourself Calm: Taking BIG Feelings to a BIG God. The Good Book Company.

This beautifully illustrated and empathetically written book walks children through a calming exercise that focuses their attention on God and helps them manage their emotions. Through a combination of slow breathing, prayer, and focusing on five things about God and his good gifts, children will learn to count themselves calm. Children can practice this calming exercise while you read them the book and then use it when they feel upset, sad, angry, worried, anxious, or scared. This resource is a great tool to equip children 4-7 years old to regulate their emotions and calm down.

 

 

Moles, Chris, Editor. Caring for Families Caught in Domestic Abuse: A Guide Toward Protection, Refuge, and Hope. New Growth Press.

Caring for Families Caught in Domestic Abuse is a comprehensive, Christ-centered response to the spiritual, emotional, and physical harm that domestic abuse causes to the abused spouse, the abusive spouse, and their children. Written by an experienced team of biblical counselors, editor Chris Moles and contributors Darby Strickland, Joy Forrest, Greg Wilson, Kirsten Christianson, and Beth Broom are all leaders in biblical domestic abuse ministry in the local church. Each chapter provides a detailed overview of how to minister biblically and faithfully to both the abused person and the abuser. Topics include the biblical and theological foundations for counseling each family member impacted by domestic abuse, direction on how to counsel the victims (spouse and children) and the abuser, and how to offer practical, actionable help to protect families from harm.

 

Scott, Stuart. Wayward Children: Finding Peace, Keeping Hope. 31-Day Devotional for Life. P&R.

To parent a wayward or unbelieving child is one of the most difficult trials a Christian can face. Yet. even if this is your experience, there is hope and comfort to be found in God’s Word and God’s character. This 31-day devotional provides daily readings to offer you encouragement, biblical direction, and practical action steps. You yourself are the perfect Father’s child—let this devotional draw you to Him, His wisdom, and His guidance every day. Stuart writes not only as a wise counselor but as a father who has been immersed in the very words he offers

 

Solomon, Curtis. I Have PTSD: Reorienting After Trauma. New Growth Press.

Counselor and trauma expert, Curtis Solomon, helps those who have suffered the disorienting effects of a traumatic experience to reorient their lives to the path God has for them. Anyone who experiences a traumatic event feels confused, lost, out of control, unsure, and unsteady—disoriented. This kind of suffering leaves marks, on the body, on the soul, and often on both. In I Have PTSD, Solomon helps both those who have suffered trauma, as well as their loved ones, to understand the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual effects of trauma, while offering gospel hope and practical help to make that hope real in their lives.

 

Strickland, Darby. Trauma: Caring for Survivors. P&R.

Survivors of trauma often face extreme and overwhelming suffering. Their wounds are so complex—anyone who desires to effectively treat the vast impacts of trauma must offer comprehensive and intentional care. Darby Strickland helps counselors and helpers to understand trauma and its effects so they can offer compassion and comfort that is both biblical and trauma-informed. She presents the foundations of trauma care, so that readers can address the impact of a sufferer’s experience, ensure the safety and stability of the survivor, and build trust with the hurting. These tools will help counselors and helpers to restore a sufferer to flourishing in their love for God and others. In this way, those who counsel trauma sufferers along the perilous journey of recovery can emulate our good and ultimate Guide . . . and learn to trust Him for the results.

 

Tautges, Paul. Remade: Embracing Your Complete Identity in Christ. P&R.

Do you know who you are? Often our self-perception, even as Christians, is fragmented or incomplete—we struggle to grasp the richly faceted identity we’ve been given in Christ. When our evaluation of ourselves, our sin, and our circumstances is misaligned with God’s view, we don’t live with the comfort and motivation Christ offers. In this Scripture-saturated devotional, pastor and biblical counselor Paul Tautges provides 90 meditations on your complete identity before God in Christ. You are a saint in good standing before God, yet you are simultaneously a sinner who must battle with your desires and a sufferer who undergoes hardship. Day by day, discover how grasping this threefold biblical reality centers your thoughts and affections on the Savior and prepares you to stay on God’s good path as you live in a broken world.

 

Welch, Ed. Someone I Know Is Grieving: Responding with Humility and Compassion. New Growth Press.

Ed Welch walks readers through the difficult task of coming alongside grieving people with genuine compassion and humility. When someone is grieving, it can be hard to know what to say or do. We want to be helpful, not hurtful, but it’s easy to go wrong. The good news is that we can learn to approach those who are grieving with the same compassion that Jesus shows us when we are grieving. It starts with humility and listening well and expands into practical support. In Someone I Know Is Grieving, Welch leans on his many years of counseling grieving people in order to help readers learn from their compassionate Savior how to respond to people’s sadness by listening to their story, learning from others’ experiences, and depending on the Word and the Spirit for wisdom for how to relate and respond.

 

“A Baker’s Dozen”: A 13th Biblical Counseling Resource for 2023

This final, and extra resource, is a Bible published in 2023 with a biblical counseling focus. I decided to include it in its own category.

Holman Bible Publishers. Life Counsel Bible: Practical Wisdom for All of Life. New Growth Press.

In the midst of challenging seasons of life there is hope. The CSB Life Counsel Bible, developed in partnership with New Growth Press, is designed to equip readers with biblical truth and counsel on a wide range of topics and tough life issues related to relationships, marriage, parenting, and more. This Bible is full of useful tools and resources for life application and discipleship grounded in the truth of the gospel of grace. It features more than 150 full-length articles from respected biblical counselors and scholars. Article contributors include David Powlison, Edward T. Welch, Paul Tripp, Stephen Viars, Amy Baker, Michael Emlet, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Justin Holcomb, Bob Kellemen, Diane Langberg, Timothy S. Lane, Robert Jones, Marty Machowski, Deepak Reju, Joni Eareckson Tada, and many more. It includes callout quotes placed near each article that provide truth, hope, and encouragement to remember and apply to life. You will benefit from over 100 word studies focusing on key words from the Bible applicable to personal healing, growth, and counsel.

212 Top Biblical Counseling Books from the Past Dozen Years: 2012-2023

2023: 12 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2023

2022: The 22 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2022

2021: 21 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2021

2020: 20 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2020

2019: 19 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2019

2018: 24 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2018

2017: The 17 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2017

2016: The 16 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2016

2015: The 15 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2015

2014: The 14 Top Biblical Counseling Books of 2014 

2013: The 20 Most Important Biblical Counseling Books of 2012, Part 1 

2013: The 20 Most Important Biblical Counseling Books of 2013, Part 2

2012: The 12 Most Important Biblical Counseling Books of 2012

 

Join the Conversation

What biblical counseling books published in 2023 do you most highly recommend?

Which biblical counseling books from 2023 most impacted your life? Your ministry?

 

All 12 (13) Books and

Challies, Tim. Understanding and Trusting Our Great God. Harvest House.

Chappell, Christine. Midnight Mercies: Walking with God Through Depression in Motherhood. P&R.

Deuel, Dave, and Nancy Deuel. Help! Our Child Has Down Syndrome. Shepherd Press.

Hambrick, Brad. Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling: Models for Sustainable Church-Based Care. New Growth Press.

Hodges, Charles, Editor. The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference. 2nd Edition. New Growth Press.

Huie, Eliza. Count Yourself Calm: Taking BIG Feelings to a BIG God. The Good Book Company.

Moles, Chris, Editor. Caring for Families Caught in Domestic Abuse: A Guide Toward Protection, Refuge, and Hope. New Growth Press.

Scott, Stuart. Wayward Children: Finding Peace, Keeping Hope.  31-Day Devotional for Life. P&R.

Solomon, Curtis. I Have PTSD: Reorienting After Trauma. New Growth Press.

Strickland, Darby. Trauma: Caring for Survivors. P&R.

Tautges, Paul. Remade: Embracing Your Complete Identity in Christ. P&R.

Welch, Ed. Someone I Know Is Grieving: Responding with Humility and Compassion. New Growth Press.

Holman Bible Publishers. Life Counsel Bible: Practical Wisdom for All of Life. New Growth Press.


Photo by Syd Wachs on Unsplash

Bob Kellemen
Bob Kellemen, Th.M., Ph.D.: Dr. Kellemen is VP of Strategic Development and Academic Dean at Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana. Bob is also the Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries through which he speaks, writes, and consults on biblical counseling and Christian living. Dr. Kellemen served as the founding Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. For seventeen years, Bob was the founding Chairman of and Professor in the MA in Christian Counseling and Discipleship department at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, MD. Bob has pastored four churches and equipped biblical counselors in each church. Bob and his wife, Shirley, have been married for thirty-eight years; they have two adult children, Josh and Marie, one daughter-in-law, Andi, and three granddaughters. Dr. Kellemen is the author of eighteen books including Equipping Counselors for Your Church, Gospel-Centered Counseling, and Gospel Conversations.