We received an article written by Reverend Michael R. Burgos, Ph.D. titled “A Critical Evaluation of the Anti-Biblical Counseling Movement,” in which he describes us as “The leaders and most vocal advocates” of the movement. Burgos is a co-pastor at Northwest Hills Community Church in Torrington, Connecticut, and he has a Ph.D. from an unaccredited “free distance education” seminary. In spite of his Ph.D. and Reverend title, Burgos has failed to provide appropriate documentation where needed to support his claims against us. Burgos has misrepresented what we have written, falsely accused us, and brings confusion between what we have said and what he is saying, due to the fact that he failed to follow the normal and necessary format for writing, which causes some of his writing to be very misleading as to who said what. Over the years, we had hoped to have either a debate or a written interchange with one of the leaders of the biblical counseling movement (BCM) because of our extensive writing on the subject. No one, to date, in the BCM leadership has responded to our many challenges to them in our writing.
Before we begin, we wish to reveal that the sole book of ours that Burgos is critiquing is Against “Biblical Counseling”: For the Bible (ABC:FTB). ABC:FTB was the result of a request by Dr. Jay Adams, the father of the BCM, to evaluate the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) because of his concern about them. This is not to say Adams agrees with the content, but he did request that we critique those at CCEF.
The following is Adams’s endorsement for our book PsychoHeresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity:
Some people will say the Bobgans are hitting too hard—naming names and all that—but I don’t think so. Whenever someone writes for the Christian public he sets forth his views to the scrutiny of others, but if others think what he says is dangerous to the church they, like Paul (who named names too), have an obligation to say so.
Burgos refers to us as part of the anti-biblical counseling movement (A-BCM) and says in his first paragraph: “This movement, beginning in the late 1980s, has received little attention from within the BCM, likely due to its small size and somewhat inflammatory approach.” (Burgos, p. 1.) The definition of inflammatory is “arousing or intended to arouse angry or violent feelings.” The definition of somewhat is “to a moderate extent.” So Burgos is accusing those of us in the A-BCM of “arousing or intend[ing] to arouse angry or violent feelings” to a “moderate extent.” This accusation of those of us in the A-BCM lacks a needed footnote! His accusation of “somewhat inflammatory approach” without documentation is in itself “somewhat inflammatory”! Hopefully Burgos’s accusation of “somewhat inflammatory” does not mean “intended to arouse angry or violent feelings,” because he would be judging the hearts of those in the A-BCM.
In addition, referring to our movement as receiving “little attention within the BCM…due to its small size” requires evidence to reveal the proof for this accusation. Is the “little attention within the BCM” actually “due to its small size”? Burgos’s surmise results in a misrepresentation of the facts! The “little attention” could well be for another reason, as we reveal in the next paragraph. Regarding his reason of “small size,” Burgos does list two well-known and highly regarded supporters of our writings, but fails to mention many others. As to supporters: We have many pastors and seminary professors on our mailing list. In addition, we have a website with many of our 26 published books and over 300 articles offered as free downloads. Our webmaster tells us that every downloaded free book would qualify as a best seller because of the number of times each has been downloaded. Our website receives over 1500 visits per day with contacts from over 120 countries each month. This is an example of Burgos’s willingness to criticize without researching and documenting what he says.
Burgos states that “Despite any attention the A-BCM received in the early 1990s, it is virtually now ignored by the BCM.” (Burgos, p. 1.) We in the A-BCM group are ignored by those in the BCM for one reason. FEAR? We have challenged those in the BCM for many years to demonstrate that they are truly biblical, but not one has responded! This is the challenge:
With the thousands of individuals claiming to do biblical counseling and the Bible colleges and seminaries that teach it, one should be able to find a biblical counseling session (or a series of sessions) in writing or on audio or video that is truly biblical and therefore having no sinful speaking. We challenge biblical counselors to provide a word-for-word counseling session or a detailed description of one to demonstrate that they are truly biblical.
We have seen and read many “biblical” counseling sessions and every one of them violates Scripture and is, therefore, sinful. That includes the following leaders of the BCM: Dr. Jay Adams, Dr. David Powlison, Dr. Heath Lambert, Dr. John Street, Dr. Jim Newheiser, Dr. Paul Tripp, and Pastor Randy Patten.
At the beginning of the second paragraph Burgos misspells Deidre as Diedre. He subsequently misspells it several more times. Deidre is spelled correctly in large letters on the cover of ABC:FTB and elsewhere. One would think that correctly spelling the name of an author of a book one is criticizing would be mandatory. In this second paragraph, Burgos makes the accusation that “the Bobgans began to attack the BCM continually.” Burgos lists the names of our books in his footnote, but no quote revealing that we are attacking, which results in another “somewhat inflammatory” remark on his part! The definition of attack is: “an aggressive and violent action against a person or place.” Using Burgos’s logic, we could accuse him of attacking us.
Burgos contends that ABC:FTB “articulates all of the major arguments of the A-BCM.” (Burgos, p. 2.) However, one of our major arguments in ABC:FTB, is that of problem-centeredness, which is more specifically articulated in later books, in which we reveal numerous examples of the sinfulness of problem-centered conversations. Such sinful conversations, which are endemic in both psychological and problem-centered biblical counseling, are quoted and described more thoroughly in our books Person to Person Ministry: Soul Care in the Body of Christ; Stop Counseling! Start Ministering! and Biblical Counseling Reviews, which includes an Appendix titled “Violated Bible Verses.” Also, our book Counseling the Hard Cases: A Critical Review carries a chapter that reveals “Scriptures Misused, Abused, or Missed” by those in the BCM. In viewing, hearing, and reading the content of biblical counseling conversations, we have found that counseling is full of sinful, self-biased conversations in which the natural man speaks from a deceptive heart (Jeremiah 17:9). The counseling environment both enables and encourages believers to talk sinfully about others, such as spouses, parents, children, and employers. In the process of seeking information and problem-solving, the counselor elicits what often falls under the sins of tale-bearing, violating the one-flesh principle of marriage, dishonoring parents, violating trust by unnecessarily revealing secrets, speaking evil of others, and distorting the truth.
At the end of his introduction, Burgos twice misquotes the title of our book. He first quotes the title of our book as Against the Biblical Counseling Movement: For the Bible and later refers to the title as Against the Biblical Counseling Movement (bold added). In the first instance Burgos has inserted the words the and Movement, and in the second case Burgos again inserts the words the and Movement, but does not include the most important part of the title: FOR the Bible. Against “Biblical Counseling”: FOR the Bible may sound legalistic to those who allow and even elicit sinful conversations in their data gathering and attempts to diagnose and solve problems, but these are real violations of Scripture. The major reason and emphasis of the book is the second part of the title: FOR the Bible. Here again one would think that correctly quoting the title of a book one is critiquing would be necessary.
Burgos gives three objections in his overall section titled “An Evaluation of A-BCM Objections.” In presenting Objection I, Objection II, and Objection III. Burgos incorrectly uses the format of indentation, which, according to the Chicago Manual of Style, is designed to indicate a long quotation from a single person and source. Each of these indented paragraphs contains his paraphrasing and summaries of what he believes we have said along with brief quotes from our book. This can mislead the reader into thinking we have said something we did not say. Using this type of format makes it look as if we said the entire statement, when it includes some of Burgos’s mistaken understandings. Readers can easily be misled into reading these indented paragraphs as quotations. This would never be acceptable in the accredited universities we attended.
Burgos declares that our writings “strike at the very heart of BCM.” (Burgos, p. 2.) Those in the BCM may believe that their system of counseling is based upon the Sola Scriptura of the Reformation. However, in emulating aspects of psychological counseling, they violate much of Scripture having to do with the tongue (e.g., Ps. 19:14; Eph. 4:29; James 3: 5-14) and such biblical admonitions as those regarding the marriage relationship (e.g., Eph. 5:21-33), and honoring parents (e.g., Eph. 6:1-3). Biblical counselors are at their worst when they elicit sinful speaking in their attempt to diagnose problems. Any teaching of sound doctrine is undermined by the sinful conversations that occur in biblical counseling. One can address problems, as Paul does throughout his epistles, without allowing and facilitating sinful speaking. There is no example of Paul engaging in the kinds of conversations that are typical in biblical counseling, such as where the wife complains about her husband and the husband demeans his wife.
Under Objection I there are misleading statements. For example, Burgos says, “The Bobgans claim that biblical counselors focus on problems and not sanctification” (Burgos, pp. 1, 5). We have never said those words Burgos attributes to us. What we do say in ABC:FTB is: “One of the biggest problems in biblical counseling is that it often focuses on problems rather than on spiritual sanctification.” Note the word often, which Burgos omits.
Moreover, such a statement is not a false dichotomy as he asserts on p. 5: “Hence, it is a false dichotomy to suppose that focusing on people’s problems is contrary to sanctification.” A false dichotomy is a logical fallacy suggesting that one is creating a sense that “there are only two possible alternatives in a situation.” The word focus is important here. One can focus on one thing (i.e., problems), but not exclude another (i.e., sanctification).
Burgos correctly refers to a concern of ours by saying we believe that “The counselor-counselee paradigm is unbiblical and derived from the secular therapeutic culture, and sets the counselor up as an expert.” (Burgos, pp. 2, 6.) The definition of an expert is “A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.” Just as psychotherapists are considered to be experts, so too are biblical counselors, especially if they have some sort of biblical counseling credential or Ph.D. In this criticism Burgos implies that he disagrees with us and apparently believes that the biblical counselor should not be considered an expert, but rather simply one who “has wisdom for the task.” Then why all the specialized training in biblical counseling and all the sought-after certificates? Why then would needy people seek out those who are trained if they do not expect some sort of trusted expertise?
Burgos says that we say that “one to one counseling is unbiblical and also a takeover from secular therapy.” (Burgos, p. 2.) We have never said “one to one counseling is unbiblical and also a takeover from secular therapy.” It is the counseling format that is unbiblical, not having a “one to one” conversation.
Burgos, in response to our accusation that those in the BCM use “counselor” language, says, “There is no text prohibiting the use of ‘counselor’ language.” (Burgos, p. 6.) This reveals that Burgos, as a pastor, is evidently willing to use any teaching as long as the Bible does not specifically prohibit it. That should be a concern to any discerning believer. We claim that the text and context of counselor language would prohibit it, as it is the very language that leads to sinful conversations that exist in counseling.If Burgos would send us a live, literal counseling he has done, we will demonstrate that to him, as we have shown to many in the BCM, that their counseling conversations are sinful.
There are more erroneous statements throughout Burgos’s three objections, but we take one more from his Objection I. Burgos says, “The rationale one would use in order to sell a book on the subject of counseling to Christians (e.g., the many books the Bobgans sell to Christians for profit), is the same rationale one would use in charging a fee for counseling” (Burgos, p. 6.). The rational to charge for biblical counseling one can use for paying everyone and anyone who provides a service to charge the church. Of course, if that were to happen, most churches could not exist. Apparently, Burgos has never explored our web site, where most of our books are offered free, neither has he downloaded any of the many free ebooks or over three-hundred articles available, which would debunk his added false accusation. Obviously it costs money to print, distribute, and advertise books. It does not cost money to extend love and care to one another in the body of Christ, which should be a desire of those who are truly in the faith and who counsel others.
In Objection II Burgos deals with the subject of “Specialized Education in Biblical Counseling Unnecessary and Unbiblical.” He correctly attributes the following to us: “The BCM movement is guilty of making pastors feel intimidated because of a lack of specialized training in biblical counseling,” and “Biblical counseling training serves to intimidate pastors, making them feel inadequate for ministry.” (Burgos, p.7.)
We have been dealing with the subject of training in biblical counseling for over 40 years. We have had first-hand experience and correspondence with pastors who feel intimidated. One example from a pastor follows:
I have just finished reading your latest publication, Against “Biblical Counseling”: For the Bible. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your willingness to go in print challenging the biblical counseling movement.
I studied under Jay Adams at Westminster Seminary. I was greatly blessed under Adams and was convinced of the necessity to counsel from the Word of God as a pastor in a local church.
I am blessed to pastor a church where I have preached the whole counsel of God. Very little counseling is needed apart from the preaching of the Word of God, and the counseling that is given each other by the members of this church.
I have counseled couples and seen marriages saved. I have also seen rebellious children changed (some also hardened). The changes came not after weeks and years of “biblical counseling,” but in the context of the fellowship of the church, and usually after one or two periods of confrontation or encouragement using the Word of God.
After being barraged by all the solicitation about getting degreed or certified by conservative seminaries and the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, I was beginning to feel inadequate again. Since reading your book, I will stay with the high calling of the biblical ministry in the local church.
Thanks again for your work. I’m sure you will get much negative feedback. Just count me among those who are greatly appreciative of your book.
While Burgos gives a footnote reference to page 11 of ABC:FTB, there is more evidence on other pages (e.g., pp. 15, 22, and 187 in ABC:FTB)—evidence enough to prove that the BCM is guilty of intimidating pastors and other believers as charged.
Except for one important word, Burgos rightly says, “The Bobgans reject the notion that any specialized education should be offered [needed] for those who are seeking to become equipped to engage in counseling.” (Burgos, p. 7.) We have repeatedly said that biblical counseling education should not be “needed.” Not only is it not needed; biblical counseling as conducted today is nowhere found in Scripture. According to Dr, David Powlison, biblical counseling as conducted in the BCM is newly arrived in the church. Powlison says:
Practical theology concerned itself with preaching, missions, education, evangelism, liturgical activity, church government, and administration. Good things all! Discipleship programs taught doctrine, morals, and devotional activity. Good things all! But what was the quality of corporate wisdom in comprehending the dynamics of the human heart? How rich was the human self-understanding? How well did the church analyze the destructive and practice the constructive in human relationships? What does change look like, think like, feel like, act like, talk like? How does change proceed? What sustains sufferers and converts sinners?
No systematic analysis of care for the soul grappled with the particulars of how souls needed curing and might find it. In 1955 the churches that took God at his word had little to say about “counseling.” The last significant counseling work from a believing theological standpoint predated the Civil War. Without a well-developed practical theology of change and counseling—and without the institutions, books, and practitioners to embody and communicate such—churchly resources were reduced to religious forms in abstraction from systematic understanding: a prayer, a Bible verse, a worship service, a banished demon, a creed, a testimony, an exhortation, a commitment. Should these fail, there were no options but referral out to the secular experts.
Contrary to what Burgos contends on page 4, the BCM was a newly created system of counseling. Whatever personal care was given in the church from its inception until after the mid-1900s lacked what Adams, Powlison, and other leaders of the biblical counseling movement gleaned and recycled from the psychological counseling movement, which preceded the BCM. If the psychological counseling movement had never existed, there would be no biblical counseling movement as it exists today. In fact, the Institute of Nouthetic Studies states that “Dr. Adams is the founder of the modern biblical counseling movement and is the author of the groundbreaking book Competent to Counsel,” published in 1970 (bold added). His adoption and inclusion of the psychological problem-centered counseling format for Nouthetic Counseling came from Dr. O. Hobart Mowrer, an atheist psychologist after Adams spent time with him.
When we were a part of the BCM, we heard several of the biblical counselors make the point that the psychological counseling movement was of recent vintage and then followed up with the rhetorical question: “What did the church do since the day of Pentecost onward without the psychological counseling movement?” We likewise ask: “What did the church do since the day of Pentecost onward without the biblical counseling movement?” Answer: They were much better off without the format and methods of counseling gleaned and recycled from psychological counseling theories and therapies, which have been incorporated in the BCM counseling, and teaching.
Burgos evidently skipped over or did not regard much of what we said on pages 7-11 in ABC:FTB. We excerpt from those pages here:
Recently a pastor called and asked about pursuing a degree in biblical counseling. We asked him why he thought he needed this additional training. He said he did not feel equipped to counsel, that he had not been trained in the methods of counseling. He hoped that such training would give him the ability to minister to his flock….
We asked this pastor if he knew the Word of God, if he knew how to preach the Gospel and teach the Word concerning the on-going walk of the believer in sanctification. He answered, “Yes.” We asked him if those pastors 100 to 300 years ago who were educated in the Word of God, preached the Gospel, and taught the Word concerning the on-going walk of the believer in sanctification had adequate resources to minister. He got the point and said, “Of course.”
To every pastor or lay person who says, “I need to be trained to counsel biblically,” we ask those same questions. Can you preach, teach, or confront an individual with the Gospel message of salvation and sanctification? Can you be used by the Holy Spirit to convert a sinner or reprove one who is saved? Can you come alongside to encourage righteousness or repentance? Can you give the comfort of the Lord whereby you yourself have been comforted? Can you lead another Christian to the same well of living water from which you drink? Are you willing to think and speak biblically and converse about practical theological matters when needful situations arise?
If your answer is “yes,” you don’t need biblical counseling programs. If your answer is “no,” you still don’t need biblical counseling programs. Instead, you need opportunities to learn the Word of God, ponder it, and apply it to your own life. That is practical theology: studying the Bible, thinking about it, and doing it. As believers practice theology in their daily lives they become prepared to minister to one another in the body of Christ. No counseling program can ever prepare a person to minister the counsel of the Lord. Only the Lord can prepare a person—through His Word and then through opportunities (life’s circumstances) to practice that Word through loving obedience to Him….
The Lord has been faithful to equip His servants to minister the Gospel for salvation and sanctification of believers throughout the centuries. He did all of that without the help of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler and other secular psychological theorists. And, He did all of that without the models and methodologies of the twentieth century biblical counseling movement.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “Didn’t the biblical counseling always exist?” Our response follows: The Lord’s counsel has been around since the creation of Adam. And the Word of God includes much biblical counsel. However, biblical counseling as a system is a twentieth-century phenomenon, which was created as a biblical alternative or replacement to psychological counseling.
In the effort to replace the wisdom of men (psychology) with the wisdom of the Word, those of us who attempted to formulate a model and methodology of biblical counseling inadvertently developed biblical counseling programs that more or less emulate or parallel psychological counseling. The attempt to develop biblical counseling confounded and compounded the problem of personal ministry by being a mirror reflection of psychological counseling with special training and techniques. No wonder the integrationists say psychological and biblical counselors do the same thing.
Indeed, there is a great similarity, especially in the fact that counseling conversations violate Scriptural admonitions in the words used and the tales told at the promptings of the psychological and biblical counselors. Our book Biblical Counseling Reviews of Dr. Jay Adams, Dr. David Powlison, Dr. Heath Lambert, Dr. John Street, Dr. Jim Newheiser, Dr. Paul Tripp, Pastor Randy Patten reveals the kinds of sinful talk that are both allowed and stimulated by the counselors. This book is available as a free ebook on our website.
Based upon his reading the above quotation from ABC:FTB, Burgos states our position as being: “If pastors 100-300 years ago could ‘preach the Gospel and teach the Word concerning the on-going walk of the believer in sanctification,’ and they didn’t have specialized education, no one needs such training today.” (Burgos, p. 7.) As we have stated in much of our writing, the “specialized education” that contaminates the BCM incorporates the psychologically tainted format of sinful conversations gleaned from the psychological counseling movement. Prior to 100-300 years ago there was no psychological counseling movement, with its format of problem-centered conversations leading to sinful talk, for those in the faith to copy. We paraphrase what we said earlier: What did the church do since the day of Pentecost onward without the modern-day specialized biblical counseling classes that thankfully did not exist then?
Objection III is “Parachurch Counseling Centers and Counseling Ministries Within Churches Unbiblical.” Burgos naively and notoriously says, “When the Bobgans say ‘discontinue all biblical counseling centers that operate outside of a church,’ they are implying that ‘church’ means what Christians do in a building on Sunday and other worship times.” (Burgos, p. 9.) No footnote provided, but this is an obvious straw man logical fallacy:
The straw man fallacy occurs when an arguer responds to an opponent’s argument by misrepresenting it in a manner that makes it appear more vulnerable than it really is, proceeds to attack that argument, and implies that he or she has defeated the opponent. It is called the straw man fallacy because, rather than attacking the “real man,” the opponent sets up and knocks over a “straw man.”
We are not “implying that ‘church’ means [only] what Christians do in a building on Sunday and other worship times” at all. As a matter of fact, we say in numerous places that mutual care in the body of Christ can happen anywhere.
In his final paragraph before his conclusion, Burgos says, “It would stand to reason, therefore, if parachurch counseling ministries are unbiblical, then so are parachurch anti-counseling ministries.” (Burgos, p. 10.) All parachurch counseling organizations we know charge a fee, expect a donation, or are not critical of those that do. Our parachurch organization gives free ebooks on its website with over three-hundred articles. It stands to reason, but not to Burgos’s reasoning, that a parachurch organization (biblical counseling center) that charges for a ministry that has historically been freely given in love would be logically different from a parachurch organization (PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries) that freely provides information to those who are interested and that sells very little and charges no one!
As we have shown, Burgos has continually eisegeted much of what he read in Against “Biblical Counseling”: FOR the Bible, failed to provide footnotes where needed, falsely accused us throughout, and failed to follow the accepted format required for clear academic writing, We hope and pray that Burgos’s article is not a self-justification for charging for counseling in his church, as many pastors are now doing to supplement their income. Since he brought up the subject of charging, Burgos needs to disclose whether he does, just as doctors and others who write articles in support of a system or substance in which they profit must do. We close repeating our challenge: We challenge biblical counselors to provide a word-for-word counseling session or a detailed description of one to demonstrate that they are truly biblical. To date no leading BCM counselor whose biblical counseling videos we have seen has responded to the challenge! All of the over one-hundred videos we have from the leaders of the BCM involve sinful conversation.
After we completed our response to Burgos’s article titled “A Critical Evaluation of the Anti-Biblical Counseling Movement” and notified him that we were sending it to him, he indicated, regarding his article, that “it is still technically a draft until published.” When Burgos sent us his article, it was not labeled a “draft,” as would be the appropriate manner in academic circles. We went to his website and found that this same article was not labeled “draft” there either.
After receiving our original article titled “A Response to Reverend Michael R. Burgos, PhD.,” Burgos emailed us his response to our article. We asked for his permission to forward his heart-judging email response to others and received a curt “no.”
Instead of thanking us for revealing his many obvious errors throughout his article, Burgos criticizes us for doing so. Burgos says we neglected his exegesis of 1 Corinthians 9. The definition of exegesis is a “critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture.” Burgos’s “exegesis” (Burgos, p. 7.) consists of six lines; hardly a critical explanation or interpretation of 1 Corinthians 9. However, if Burgos would respond to the question we raised in our response: Has he ever charged for biblical counseling? we will respond to his brief “exegesis.”
In his response Burgos judges our hearts by saying, “I don’t get the feeling that either of you approach these issues with a humble heart.” He also says we make ourselves “look rather juvenile, desperate, and aggressive,” and “you make like you are unstable.”
We said in our article, “Our website receives over 1500 visits per day with contacts from over 120 countries each month” (bold in original), but, in his response to our article, Burgos says that we have only “1500 web visitors”—period. This is a prime example of Burgos’s inability to read and digest what is written.
We recently went to Burgos’s article on the “Biblical Trinitarian” website after we had sent him our article pointing out his errors regarding the name of our book he is critiquing and the spelling of one of the authors. He did correct the spelling of Deidre in most, but not all, of the places; however, he still mistitled our book.
Additionally Burgos originally indented his three objections to our ABC:FTB, mixing what he said with what we said and thereby violating The Chicago Manual of Style required format. Burgos corrected this error on his part, but never thanked us for how we assisted him to improve his writing.
Burgos lists in his educational background his “Ph.D. in Polemic Theology” from Forge Theological Seminary (Forge), which, as we said in our article, is a non-accredited “free distance education seminary,” at which Burgos is a professor. In addition, Burgos has an “M.A. in Biblical Studies” from Andersonville Theological Seminary, another unaccredited seminary. Burgos is currently working on an “M.A. in Biblical Counseling” at Forge. His work is being supervised online by a fellow professor.
We emailed Forge Theological Seminary at info@Forge.Education requesting the name of the president of Forge and the address of the institution. We found that the email address on the Forge website goes directly to Burgos, himself, who responded that “It has neither a physical address nor a president.” We do not know that Forge is a “diploma mill,” but, if Burgos’s article and subsequent response to our article represent academia at Forge Theological Seminary, there is certainly something lacking academically in this non-accredited “free distance education” seminary. We want to make it clear to our readers that there are some excellent unaccredited Christian schools. However, credits and degrees are typically not accepted by accredited schools, Christian or otherwise, and accredited schools will not employ those individuals like Burgos as professors unless they have distinguished themselves in other ways.
BTW, we have been reading books and papers for over 40 years, and we have never encountered a writer like Burgos who uses his surname both with and without a “Jr” designation. Confusing!
Burgos has written an article titled “On the Logic of the Biblical Counseling Movement & the Question of Accreditation.” The article is an attack on Christian schools, colleges, and universities that are accredited. In his article, Burgos also levels a criticism at accredited seminaries. He alludes to the idea that accreditation by either “a regional or national accreditor that is recognized by either the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) or Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) comes with government control.” He quotes Jamin Hübner, as saying: “Higher education in the ‘developed’ world, whether religious or not, tends to be arranged to favor education that is validated by a government,” and “Accreditors generally function as an arm of the state.”  Hübner is in error, probably out of ignorance, about the limitations of accreditation.
Any doubt about government control through recognized accreditors should have implied that Gordon College’s policy on homosexual practice was out of step with its accreditation standards. A similar example can be seen in the treatment of the Master’s University by one of its accreditors, the Western Associaiton of Schools and Colleges (WASC). WASC has sought to enforce ethical standards and practices upon Master’s, just as with NEASC [New England Association of Schools & Colleges] and Gordon College. One would expect a Christian institution to form its ethical practices upon the basis of a Christian worldview rather than the trnsient mores of a regional accreditor. (Bold added.)
The fact that Burgos has advanced degrees from unaccredited institutions raises questions about his ability to be objective about our book and accreditation. He mischaracterizes both Gordon College and The Master’s University as capitulating to “government control” under accreditation. Burgos is sorely ignorant about “government control” via accreditation. Go to the article titled “Gordon College Keeps Its Faith and Its Accreditation,” and read the bottom line about Gordon College, which is that:
Gordon, under intense pressure, refused to compomise its core principles…. The college reaffirmed its commitment to Christian orthodoxy and thus to its policy against sex outside (traditional) marriage for students and faculty. At the same time, it found that it could improve its supiritual support to students who identify as LGBTQ. In other words, it held firm on its faith while being open to internal critique on the way in which it put its faith into practice…. In its moment of crisis, Gordon doubled down on faith. May other Christians under cultural fire do the same.”
We also invite our readers to go to the article titled “The Master’s University Placed on Probation by Regional Accrediting Organization,” cited in the next endnote, and see that nothing is said by the WASC organization about The Master’s University’s statement of faith, doctrine, or teaching, though Burgos may want the reader to think so. Instead, the issues addressed were related to business and administrative practices of the university and seminary in relation to “Board Independence,” “Personnel and Management Practices,” “Operational integrity,” and “Leadership.”
 Michael R. Burgos, “A Critical Evaluation of the Anti-Biblical Counseling Movement,” http://www.biblicaltrinitarian.com/2019/09/a-critical-evaluation-of-anti-biblical.html.
 Distance education is a method of studying in which Burgos did not need to attend classes at the seminary. In addition, credits earned at an unaccredited institution are not recognized by an accredited institution, such as a state university. The two of us have six university degrees, including a doctorate, all from accredited state universities.
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. PsychoHeresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, First Edition. EastGate Publishers, 1987, Jay E. Adams’s endorsement in “About this book,” page prior to Foreword.
 “Inflammatory,” www.google.com.
 “Somewhat,” www.google.com.
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan, “A Critical Review of The Master’s College & Seminary Biblical Counseling Program, Part One,” PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, July-August, 2012, Vol. 20, No. 4, p. 3, www.pamweb.org.
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Biblical Counseling Reviews of Dr. Jay Adams, Dr. David Powlison, Dr. Heath Lambert, Dr. John Street, Dr. Jim Newheiser, Dr. Paul Tripp, Pastor Randy Patten. Santa Barbara, CA: EastGate Publishers, 2018.
 “Attack,” Online dictionary, google.com.
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Counseling the Hard Cases: A Critical Review. Santa Barbara, CA: EastGate Publishers, 2016, Chapter 4, pp. 69-88)
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Person to Person Ministry: Soul Care in the Body of Christ (2009). Stop Counseling! Start Ministering! (2011); Biblical Counseling Reviews, op. cit. Santa Barbara, CA: EastGate Publishers.
 “Block Quotations,” Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,, 1993, Section 10:28, p. 365.
 “False dichotomy,” www.mometrix.com.
 “Expert,” Online Dictionary.
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Christian Response to Mental Illness: Mutual Care in the Body of Christ. Santa Barbara, CA: EastGate Publishers, 2019. Chapter 9.
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan, “Confronting the Biblical Counseling Foundation’s Self-Confrontation Manual,” PsychoHeresy Awareness Position Paper, pp. 2-3.
 David Powlison, “Cure of Souls (and the Modern Psychotherapies),” www.ccef.org/cure-souls-and-modern-psychotherapies.
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Person to Person Ministry, op. cit;Stop Counseling! Start Ministering! op. cit.
 Institute for Nouthetic Studies, http://www.nouthetic.org.
 Jay E. Adams. Competent to Counsel. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1970, p. xv.
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Against “Biblical Counseling”: For the Bible. Santa Barbara, CA: EastGate Publishers, 1994, pp. 7-10
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Biblical Counseling Reviews of Dr. Jay Adams, Dr. David Powlison, Dr. Heath Lambert, Dr. John Street, Dr. Jim Newheiser, Dr. Paul Tripp, Pastor Randy Patten, op. cit.
 For example: Biblical Counseling Reviews, op. cit.
 Robert M. Johnson. A Logic Book, Second Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company,1992, p. 260.
 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Christ-Centered Ministry versus Problem-Centered Counseling.. Santa Barbara, CA: EastGate Publishers, 2004, p. 113.
 Michael C. Burgos, email 10/15/2019.
 Michael Burgos, “On the Logic of the Biblical Counseling Movement & the Question of Accreditation,” 9/27/2021, http://www.biblicaltrinitarian.com.
 David French, “Gordon College Keeps Its Faith and Its Accreditation,” https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/05/gordon-college-keeps-its-faith-and-its-accreditation-david-french/.
 Warren Throckmorton, “The Master’s University Placed on Probation by Regional Accrediting Organization,” https://www.wthrockmorton.com/2018/08/17/the-masters-university-placed-on-probation-by-regional-accrediting-organization/.
 Jamienne S. Studley, President, WASC Senior College and University Division, official correspondence to Dr. John MacArthur, President, The Master’s University and Seminary, July 18, 2018.