CrossTalk by Michael Emlet is a brilliant book on connecting the bible to life in pastoral/counselling situations. Emlet begins by looking at what the bible is and isn't, he provides a suggested way of reading the bible - carrying out exegesis on the text. In particular stressing the need to see each passage in its redemptive historical context.
He then moves on to look at connecting the bible with people by connecting scripture to individual lives. "In ministry we are reading two "texts" simultaneously, the story of scripture and the story of the person we serve." Our goal in doing this is to help one another increasingly reflect the character ands kingdom priorities of Jesus Christ. He then explores what that model of reading scripture and people looks like in practice before closing with worked examples from the Old Testament (Haggsi 2:1-9) and the New Testament (Mark 1:40-45) applied to two different hypothetical situations - one a man whose marriage is disintegrating because of his pornography, the other a disillusioned doctor struggling to see any purpose in her career. One of the most helpful things I have found in the book is the suggested questions to help read people's story given in Appendix 1. Here they are:
- What evidence of God's grace do you see in ther persons life?
- In what ways do you see the individual already living true to his/her identity in Christ?
- What situational stressors is the person facing?
- What were the significant shaping events of his or her life?
- How has he/she been sinned against?
- How is he/she experiencing his/her problems?
- What desires, thoughts, emotions, and actions are out of line with gospel/kingdom values?
- What motives, themes and interpretations of life "compete with the biblical story.