John Broger's "Self-Confrontation" manual is probably the most exhaustive work available today to help the Christian conform their lives to be more like Christ. Even though the book is titled "Self-Confrontation," Broger accurately refers to the book as one of "self-condemnation." He systematically dissects the worldly philosophy of self-esteem by introducing believers to areas of their lives that may not have yet been exposed to the illuminating and cleansing power of the Word. This manual is not intended to be read simply as you would a typical book, but used instead as a roadmap to completely inventory and restructure a person's life.

Broger's book is broke into three main sections. First, he establishes the biblical foundation for change. The second is an application to specific problem areas that need addressing. The final section is a conclusion consisting of three chapters. He structures each of the twenty-two lessons (chapters) into a minimum of five basic segments. He closes with an open book examination in chapter twenty-three and a lesson on biblical counseling training in chapter twenty-four.

He starts each chapter with a purpose and outline of the lesson. It is followed by a series of biblical principles. This lays out in clear detail with supporting scriptures the background and justification for the topic studied. Third, he gives an in-depth bible study on the topic. In some chapters, he expands the bible study into several sub-sections to further advance his point. Forth, he provides homework which at times will refer the reader to accomplish charts or worksheets located in the appendix. Finally, he provides a study guide for daily devotions which include memory verses.

Broger leads off the book by offering an exhortation on the necessity and the believer's ability to change biblically. He introduces the reader to the first of his 105 principles: "God's plan for you to change in a biblical way centers on His Son, Jesus Christ." This in essence lays the basis for the remainder of the manual.

The second main section examines the nature and solutions to eight specific problem areas that affect and can afflict many Christians. He uses thirteen chapters to address the subjects of dealing with self, anger and bitterness, interpersonal problems, the marriage relationship, parent-child relationships, depression, fear and worry, and life-dominating sins.

The book’s conclusion contains three chapters. The first is God standards for life which is designed to re-motivate the reader. This chapter charges the Christian with the importance and necessity of adhering to God's word and plan. The next chapter is the course exam. The exam is intended to be open book and the answers are taken from the material aforementioned studied. The final chapter gives an explanation of biblical counseling training. It briefly teaches the student about the nature of biblical counseling, why we should train believers to counsel biblically, and how to prepare oneself for training in biblical counseling.

Broger's Self-Confrontation Manual can be an extremely effective resource in counseling. It would not be very realistic however, to offer this as a homework assignment to a counselee. Its depth, detail, and amount of work required to complete the assignments would overwhelmed most, if not all counselees. Instead, I found it most useful as a reference manual in correlating topics to key areas of scripture, and as a resource to create homework assignments. In addition to being a helpful reference tool, it confronts the counselor with areas in his or her life that need to be brought under the dominion of Jesus Christ. This will improve the counseling process as counselors are required to remove a plank from their own eye before trying to "remove the speck out" of someone else's eye.

Author's Bio: 

Johnny Kicklighter is an instructor and counselor at the Gateway Biblical Counseling and Training Center, located at Edgemont Bible Church, 5100 North Illinois, Fairview Heights, Illinois, 62208.