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Tropical_Man 68M
6573 posts
12/7/2011 2:03 am
Why can't we use the best insights of psychology along with the Bible? Isn't all truth God's truth?

taken from the Questions posed at Psychoheresy and is their answer:

This goes right to the heart of the matter which is: "Is the Bible sufficient for dealing with our deepest psychological and emotional needs or not?"

We need to look at the Bible's claims. Second Peter 1:3 states that through His power, God "has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge" of Christ. He goes on to specify that this gift consists of God's "precious and magnificent promises," which, of course, are contained in His Word. Furthermore, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

These claims are comprehensive - that God's Word is sufficient for life and godliness, for equipping us for every good work. Surely, "everything pertaining to life and godliness" includes our emotional or psychological well-being. Since people with severe psychological problems are not "equipped for every good work," we must conclude that Scripture claims to be sufficient for bringing healing to the whole person.

The list of the fruit of the Spirit ("love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control," Gal. 5:22-23) describes an emotionally balanced, psychologically stable person. If God's Word and Spirit can produce this, why do we need to turn to worldly psychology?

"But," some counter, "the Bible isn't comprehensive. It doesn't tell us in detail how to deal with many of the complex problems people struggle with. As long as psychology is in line with Scripture, why not use it?" Perhaps this can be answered by answering another question:

2. We use modern medicine; why not use modern psychology?

The answer is that the Bible doesn't claim to be sufficient for dealing with medical problems; it does claim to be sufficient for dealing with problems of the soul (psyche, in Greek). How can we determine which psychological "truths" are true? If we answer, "Whatever works," we're on thin ice, since many false religious and spiritual techniques produce results. Scripture is the only basis for determining absolute truth (John 17:17).

There are currently over 500 brand-name psychotherapies on the market, with the number expanding yearly. They come at problems from many varied angles, but one thing is common to them all: They start with a biblically defective view of the nature of man, namely, that man is basically good and able to solve his problems apart from God. If you start from the wrong base, you can't build a system that complements Scripture. If you mix dirt and water, you get mud.

The Bible warns us against turning to the world's "wisdom," since it is opposed to God's wisdom (see Psalm 1:1-2; Isa. 55:8-11; Jer. 2:13; 1 Cor. 1:18-2:16). As Christians, we are to depend solely on God and His Word as our support and wisdom in the trials of life (see Psalms 19-11; 32:6-11; 33:6-22; 119) so that He alone gets the glory (Ps. 115; Isa. 42:.

Serious problems have plagued the human race since we fell into sin. If a relationship with the living God and His Word was not adequate for coping with these problems, but we needed the insights of modern psychology to resolve them, then God has left people without sufficient answers for the past 2,000 years, until Freud and company came along to save the day. This is preposterous! The God who went to such expense to save us from sin would not abandon us to the world's ways to find answers to our deepest problems (Rom. 8:32). While some problems may be new to our times (anorexia, mid-life crisis, etc.), and thus are not specifically addressed in Scripture, the principles in God's Word are sufficient to deal with the underlying causes of these problems. There is no "new" problem for which Christ is not sufficient (Col. 2:10; 3:1-4).

The danger for modern Christians is that "Christian" psychologists read their psychological biases into Scripture and then cite Scripture as supporting and teaching these "truths." One flagrant example: In Worry-Free Living, [Thomas Nelson, 1989] Frank Minirth, Paul Meier, and Don Hawkins operate on the psychological premise that a lack of self-worth is the basis of most psychological problems (p. 140). This is not biblically sound. The Bible clearly and repeatedly states that sin is the basis of most problems.

But, the authors seek to illustrate this false psychological premise by claiming that the ten spies who brought back a negative report to Moses suffered from a negative self-concept, whereas the two spies who brought back the good report had proper self-esteem (p. 136)! They tell us that the reason that David could defeat Goliath, but Saul was a coward, was that David had good self-esteem, whereas Saul did not (p. 139)! This psychologizing of the Bible perverts its intended meaning (the Bible clearly attributes these varying responses due to the faith, or lack thereof, of the men) and leads the unsuspecting astray.

Tropical_Man 68M
6389 posts
12/9/2011 2:53 am

Jody, that is not even what this note was about. It was about exposing the false teaching of Psychology