It’s one thing to hear or read Berg’s teachings through the ears of one who has sinned—for example, one who has traumatized another. It’s quite a different thing to listen or read through the ears of one who has been sinned against, that is, the oppressed.


North Korean defectors can tell us what it’s like to live with daily extreme trauma.  Here’s one, for example:

Other people have also lived with daily extreme trauma. If you care to become trauma informed, which I talk about in this blog post, you can meet and listen to a trauma survivor sitting down the row from you at church . . . that is, if they’re still trying to go to church.

After all, for just one example, the child pornography business is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States alone. Do you really think no adult survivors of child pornography have tried to find answers in the churches? The traumas they endured are different from the traumas of North Korea, but are also devastating. They often feel alone in the horrors they carry, but they need to be heard and understood.

It’s not likely you’ll encounter a North Korea defector. But the child pornography survivors are all around you.

Because many of my friends have been traumatized, I often get to hear about the “noisy mind” or the “chaotic brain,” which I understand to be an aspect of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jim Berg’s Quieting a Noisy Soul addresses this very problem.

Jim Berg’s counseling teachings

Jim Berg’s name may not be well known in the larger conservative evangelical world (being, as he is, a Bob Jones University independent Baptist fundamentalist), but his counseling principles—an obvious combination of nouthetic counseling (called “Biblical counseling” by its proponents) and Gothardism— do represent much of mainstream counseling in the larger conservative evangelical world, such as the Sovereign Grace circles, the Gospel Coalition and Desiring God blogs, the vast majority of conservative Christian counselors, the halls of most of the conservative Southern Baptist seminaries and several of the Reformed seminaries, and the counseling practices of the majority of conservative evangelical churches. In fact, I’ve critiqued other similar teachers on this website several times (a few examples of which are here and here and here).

The commonality they share is that their style of counseling seems evidently designed to keep the abused silent and unhelped, as they are shamed and blamed for the problems they face as a result of the trauma they’ve experienced.

It’s one thing to hear or read Berg’s teachings (critiqued at length in the GRACE report on Bob Jones University and discussed further at the BJUGrace blog) through the ears of the one who has sinned—for example, the one who has traumatized another. It’s quite a different thing to listen or read through the ears of the one who has been sinned against, that is, the oppressed.

But for a nouthetic “Biblical counselor” or a Gothardite, there is no difference. Everyone who comes for counseling must repent of their sin and strive to change. That’s all there is to it.

I’ve spoken with many people who have been counseled through Jim Berg’s method, even people who have been counseled by Jim Berg himself. The BJUGrace blog has several testimonies from such survivors, such as this one.

In his series Quieting a Noisy Soul, an outline of which you can see here, Berg describes the problem, the cause of the problem, and the solution.


The problem is the noisy soul, since that’s what this book is about.

The cause of the problem is your sin, since this is nouthetic counseling and Gothardism.

And the solution comprises several things: determining to change, meditating on Scripture, repenting, learning to be content, forgiving, getting grace through humility, and others.






Part 2, discussing the solutions, is here.




Go here to download your free Guide, How to Enjoy the Bible Again (when you’re ready) After Spiritual Abuse (without feeling guilty or getting triggered out of your mind). You’ll receive access to both print and audio versions of the Guide (audio read by me). I’m praying it will be helpful.



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