Here is his summary for why we should model our counseling after the Puritans:
The works of the Puritans are a rich resource for biblical counselors because:
- The Puritans were committed to the functional authority of the Scripture. For them it was the comprehensive manual for dealing with all problems of the heart.
- The Puritans developed a sophisticated and sensitive system of diagnosis for personal problems, distinguishing a variety of physical, spiritual, tempermental and demonic causes.
- The Puritans developed a remarkable balance in their treatment because they were not invested in any one ‘personality theory’ other than biblical teaching about the heart.
- The Puritans were realistic about difficulties of the Christian life, especially conflicts with remaining, indwelling sin.
- The Puritans looked not just at behavior but at underlying root motives and desires. Man is a worshipper; all problems grow out of ‘sinful imagination’ or idol manufacturing.
- The Puritans considered the essential spiritual remedy to be belief in the gospel, used in both repentance and the development of proper self-understanding.
Print, read, and mark up the whole article.
Note: Keller references Thomas Brooks' work http://www.amazon.com/Precious-Remedies-Against-Satans-Devices/dp/1450539114/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275643783&sr=8-1 which is on my "read annually" list. Nothing better has been written about Satan's standard playbook and recovering from sin.