Dr. J. Vernon McGee expressed concern over the psychologizing of Christianity, which he contended “will absolutely destroy Bible teaching and Bible churches.” In an article titled “Psycho-Religion—The New Pied Piper” he wrote:
If the present trend continues, Bible teaching will be totally eliminated from Christian radio stations as well as from TV and the pulpit. This is not a wild statement made in an emotional moment of concern. Bible teaching is being moved to the back burner of broadcasting, while so-called Christian psychology is put up front as Bible solutions to life’s problems.
In the same article he declared, “So-called Christian psychology is secular psychology clothed in pious platitudes and religious rhetoric.”
It would be difficult to find someone who has psychologized the faith more than James Dobson and it would be extremely difficult to find someone who had more popularized self-esteem teachings in the church.
Probably no book we have written has caused as much controversy as Prophets of Psychoheresy II (PPII) in which we critiqued James Dobson. The book came out in 1990 and caused many individuals to become upset with us. It was a reaction on their part based on the subject of the book (Dobson) and not on its contents, because they had not read it. One of the recently received letters to the editor in the Letter section of this issue condemns us for criticizing Dobson and addresses us as, “Dear Servant of Satan.” It is characteristic of the way many felt at the time and many still do. With the republishing of PPII under the new title James Dobson’s Gospel of Self-Esteem and Psychoheresy and with much of the original content, we will no doubt receive more of the same comments, criticism, and confrontations.
Preceding the publication of PPII on Dobson, we had been called by a number of radio stations nationally to be interviewed about our earlier books. Following the publication of the book on Dobson, there was a dramatic drop in interest in our work. Some stations bluntly asked us to not mention Dobson. Currently we continue to be interviewed on some stations but nothing like prior to the appearance of PPII.
Whenever a new book of ours comes out we advertise it in various publications. In attempts to advertise PPII at the time we found more resistance than for our prior books. One of many examples was our attempt to advertise PPII in the Voice, which is a publication of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA). The National Executive Director, Richard I. Gregory, wrote the following to us at the time:
I appreciate your desire to share your insights on the abuses of psychology within the church. However, at this time in our Fellowship’s history, I do not think it would be best for us to get involved in such a personal exposé as apparently is directed toward Dr. Dobson. Many of our people have been greatly blessed by his ministry, and the danger at this time would be for them to “take up his cause.” We find ourselves already embroiled with controversy over the ministry and teachings of Dr. John MacArthur, and the responses received from previous advertisement of your material would indicate that this advertisement would be the source of another controversy.
At this time, I am not prepared to contribute to engendering an additional controversy in our Fellowship. Therefore, I am returning your advertisement.
In deciding to reprint this book we knew from our prior experience that it would be an investment of time and money and may even result in a financial loss. However, we strongly believe this book will benefit enough people to be worthwhile redoing. Reducing the length of the book, while keeping the most important parts, made it more financially feasible to reprint.
For those who already have PPII, please obtaining a copy of the revised edition for a pastor or friend. For those of you who do not have a copy we encourage you to obtain one, read it, and share the information with others—but very carefully!
(From PAL, V6N6)