The Problem: “Christian Psychology”
The title of our new book, The End of “Christian Psychology,” is seemingly optimistic. The title tells what should happen and the book explains why. The biblical reasons are cogent and clear and the scientific reasons are equally clear for rejecting “Christian psychology.” The scientific and academic reasons are so clear that even numerous atheistic scholars have taken a similar stand against professional psychological therapy.
The reason for the quotes around “Christian Psychology” is because there is no such thing. “Christian psychology” involves the same confusion of contradictory theories and techniques as secular psychology. Professional psychologists who profess Christianity have simply borrowed the theories and techniques from secular psychology. They practice what they consider a perfect blend of psychology and Christianity. However, they use the same psychology as non-Christian psychologists and psychiatrists. They use theories and techniques contrived by such men as Freud, Jung, Adler, Fromm, Maslow, Rogers, Ellis, Glasser, Harris, Janov, all of whom we critique in this book and none of whom embraced Christianity or developed a psychological system from the Word of God.
The Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) is an organization of psychologists who are professing Christians. The following was admitted at one of their meetings:
We are often asked if we are “Christian psychologists” and find it difficult to answer since we don’t know what the question implies. We are Christians who are psychologists but at the present time there is no acceptable Christian psychology that is markedly different from non-Christian psychology. It is difficult to imply that we function in a manner that is fundamentally distinct from our non-Christian colleagues… as yet there is not an acceptable theory, mode of research or treatment methodology that is distinctly Christian.
Professional psychotherapy with its underlying psychologies is questionable at best, detrimental at worst, and a spiritual counterfeit at least. The purpose of this new book is to demonstrate the truth of that statement and to raise the challenge of purging the church of all evidences of this scourge. We reveal in this book enough biblical and scientific evidence to shut down both secular and “Christian psychology.” Those who read this book will soon run out of excuses and rationalizations for supporting the biblicizing of psychology.
In The End of “Christian Psychology” we deal with the overall picture of the psychological way and its false promises. We also reveal the fallacies of various biblical justifications for using psychology. There are no valid scientific reasons for using professional psychotherapy by either believers or unbelievers, but the psychological way should be doubly condemned and rejected by Christians. First, research does not adequately support the use of professional psychological counseling and its underlying psychologies. Second, the psychological way of understanding and changing people is condemned by the very Word of God.
There is a psychological way and a biblical way to understand human nature and to transform the lives of people. The psychological way is the way of psychotherapy, which is simply the treatment of problems of living by psychological, man-made means. By applying techniques and methodologies based on psychological theories, a psychologically trained counselor attempts to assist an individual to change attitudes, feelings, perceptions, values, and behavior.
Psychotherapists are those who are trained and licensed to perform a wide variety of therapies. They include psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, clinical psychologists, marriage and family counselors, some social workers, and many who call themselves Christian psychologists, Christian counselors, and even biblical counselors. In addition, many individuals practice psychotherapy without a license and many of the self-help systems are psychotherapies in practice without being named as such.
Furthermore, the psychological way encompasses all the psychological means of understanding the human condition, why people act the way they do, and how they change. These teachings have become so prevalent in secular schools, books, magazines and other media that they permeate the thinking of most people. Worse yet, the church is drowning in a sea of psychology. It is found in Bible colleges and seminaries, churches, and Christian schools at all levels. Church leaders and numerous other Christians are immersed in psychological thinking and are huge supporters of this bankrupt system.
Even when practiced by Christians, psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies contaminate the pure ministry of the Word of God and detract from the life of Christ in the believer. Today people wholeheartedly believe that psychological counseling theories, dressed in a wide variety of styles and shades, contain the secrets and answers for helping troubled souls. Their confidence in the curative power of psychotherapy has increased in spite of the absence of substantial proof of any great degree of effectiveness. Persuaded by the claims of psychotherapists, they fail to question the validity of its claims, refuse to examine research, and blindly believe popular myths about psychotherapy.
Many will not be interested in reading about the biblical and scientific evidence, because it will contradict their established assumptions about the psychological way. Most therapeutic practitioners, who rely on income produced by their therapeutically oriented clients, will not even read about the research condemning professional psychotherapy, which is presented in this book. And, Christian therapists will resist the potential demise of their therapeutically produced income and will pay little, if any, attention to the research results and criticisms of how contrary to Scripture are their wares.
While the Christian therapists can most profit from it, this book is really written for the discerning Christian as a compendium of the extensive and available biblical and scientific evidence to reject both secular and “Christian psychology.” As a further help, the book includes a description and critical analysis of secular psychologists whose teachings have heavily influenced “Christian psychology.”
We have been researching and writing in this area for over twenty years and believe this book represents the best available evidence to shut the mouths of those who support either professional, secular psychotherapy or “Christian psychology.”
The Biblical Care of Souls
Competent to Minister: The Biblical Care of Souls was published over a year ago and was first announced in the 1996 September-October newsletter. The book calls Christians back to the Bible and to the biblically ordained ministries and mutual care in the Body of Christ that have effectively cared for souls for almost 2000 years.
Most Christians agree that the Bible is the basis for living the Christian life, but very few seem to believe that the Bible is sufficient to deal with all problems of living, which include those nonorganically caused categories of behavior that now carry psychiatric and psychological diagnostic labels. Many in the church believe that the Bible provides preventative principles for mental-emotional-behavioral well-being but hesitate to accept that the Bible contains restorative power. We maintain that God and His Word provide a completely sufficient foundation for living the Christian life, which would include mental-emotional-behavioral health.
Competent to Minister helps break down walls of intimidation that have hindered personal ministry among Christians; reveals the excellent way that Christ works through ordinary believers, “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”; gives practical information about what churches should do for suffering souls; and encourages believers to minister God’s grace to one another through biblical conversation, prayer, and practical help.
(From PAL, V5N6)