In the January-February issue of PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter we published an article about the biblical counseling program at The Master’s College. Dr. John MacArthur, Jr. has now responded to that article. Before presenting and discussing MacArthur’s response, we will give a background against which the response can be considered.
A few years ago MacArthur was enthusiastically supporting the work of psychologist Dr. Larry Crabb. Many faculty and students of The Master’s College and Seminary and numerous members of Grace Community Church were enamored of Crabb and his teachings.
During that period of time we were speaking out about Crabb and his teachings. In our March-April newsletter we wrote an article titled “Has Larry Crabb Changed?” Over the years we recognized that Crabb changes his language but yet remains wedded to psychology.
During the height of the Crabb popularity at the Grace Community Church/ Master’s College and Seminary complex we spoke with a number of faculty, students and church members about our concerns. These faculty, students and church members were as concerned about Crabb as we were and they were the ones who initiated the dialogue.
Eventually it became apparent to MacArthur that Crabb was indeed unbiblical and something needed to be done. As a result, Crabb is no longer invited to the Grace/Master’s complex, faculty were notified of the change, and Crabb’s books are no longer available at the Grace Book Shack. At one time the most well-known name next to MacArthur’s at the Grace/ Master’s complex was Crabb. However, after MacArthur examined Crabb’s teachings, Crabb is no longer followed there and his name is less known there than before.
Prior to the current biblical counseling program, The Master’s College had a Behavioral Studies Program. At that time we were still involved in and promoted the biblical counseling movement. We thought it would be wonderful if the Behavioral Studies Program would be replaced by a biblical counseling program and even strongly recommended that it be done. Eventually it was decided to replace the Behavioral Studies Program with a biblical counseling program, and Dr. Bob Smith from Faith Baptist Counseling Ministries was hired for two years to establish the program. After Smith’s two-year stint, Dr. Wayne Mack of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation was employed to carry on.
During this period of time, after considerable soul searching and discussions with trusted friends (some of whom disagreed with us), we wrote and published Against Biblical Counseling: For the Bible. We did not come to the conclusions contained within that book quickly or easily. And, we did not expect those immersed in the biblical counseling movement to make an immediate about-face. We know that some never will.
In summary, MacArthur reversed himself on Crabb and we reversed ourselves on the biblical counseling movement. In order to clarify our position, we wrote articles indicating that we could not support a number of biblical counseling organizations and activities. As a result of the article about the biblical counseling program at The Master’s College, MacArthur was quoted by Doug McMasters, who is employed at the Grace/Master’s complex as saying:
I am shocked by the utter misrepresentation of everything we stand for and teach. I can’t believe Martin Bobgan is saying the things he’s saying. It’s the most ridiculous distortion and has no basis whatsoever in fact. Things are taken out of context and misrepresented. And godly men who have given their lives to the truth are being treated in a manner that must grieve the heart of God. I won’t dignify the accusations by a response. I don’t know what else to say. I hope you will pray for Mr. Bobgan.
While MacArthur says, “I won’t dignify the accusations by a response,” he has already responded and accused us of “misrepresentation,” “distortion,” “no basis whatsoever in fact,” “out of context” reporting, and mistreatment of others. Contrary to not responding, MacArthur has responded and made serious charges against us. Since he did respond and made public such serious charges, we are asking that he document them.
We wrote to MacArthur, but to date he has not responded to our letter.
MacArthur was initially mistaken about Crabb, and he is mistaken about the biblical counseling movement. We openly criticize MacArthur about the very thing for which we openly criticized ourselves. We should have seen the biblical counseling movement for what it was from our first involvement with it. Against Biblical Counseling: For the Bible outlines the reasons why we left the movement—the very reasons why MacArthur should remove the biblical counseling department from The Master’s College.
As we stated in the January-February issue of PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter:
We hope The Master’s College faculty will realize that there is no need for a Biblical Counseling specialty at The Master’s College and speak out against it. We hope that students will not enroll in such a program, no matter how highly promoted it is. And, most of all, we hope that MacArthur will realize how unbiblical it is and call a halt to it. This program does not deserve the support of biblically-minded believers.