Ng, Edmund. The TIME Approach to Grief Support: An Easy Technique for Every Christian. Enumclaw: WinePress Publishing, 2011. 154 pp. $18.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.
Divided into 8 chapters, the author offers a text book of sorts on how to help Christians grieve. The first chapter lays the foundation of a biblical perspective on grief support beginning in the Old Testament, moving to the New Testament and ending with the culture of the modern church. Chapter two introduces the acrostic TIME which is what the the book is centered around in seeking to help others grieve the death of a loved one. Chapters 3-6 explain the acrostic and gives reasons as to how and why this will work. The chapters are as follows: Talking the Loss, Issues are Resolved, Meaning is Sought, Ending and Referral. The final two chapters map out a ministry model of using the TIME approach to grief counseling and a conclusion which includes a challenge to all Christians.
I appreciated greatly Edmund Ng’s biblical approach to grief counseling. The play on the word “time” as both an acrostic and a reality, is beneficial to both the counselor and, more importantly, the counsellee. As one who holds to a nouthetic counseling paradigm, I did find just enough “other” foundations outside of Scripture to be a bit concerned, but, I am also aware that this is a debate that rages at a higher plane than this website goes. That being said, if a person finds himself dealing with the loss of a loved one or is counselling a widow or widower, the biblical support for Ng’s work is prevalent to the point that reading this work will equip the reader to support and guide another or, in the case of the one who is grieving, will equip them to wrestle with Scripture regarding what is happening throughout the grieving process.
Ng’s approach is simple, effective, and contains a depth and reality that I have found lacking in many books on this subject. He offers many practical exercises and examples to help clarify what is happening and what needs to happen in the grieving process. At the end of the book, he includes an appendix that lists numerous helpful Scripture references to direct one’s grieving and to redeem it back to the cross of Christ.
While I do fall in the nouthetic camp (Bible alone) of counseling, I did find The TIME Approach to Grief Support to be a quality resource worth having in your library. In it you will be pointed to a sovereign God who is able. Often times, that is exactly what the one grieving needs to hear. In the end, that is the truth we all need to hear and know. I can safely recommend this resource to all Christians.