Sunday, November 7, 2010

Psychology, Just Another Broken Cistern That Cannot Hold Water

‎"Psychology is no more 'science' than the atheistic evolutionary theory upon which it is based. Like theistic evolution, 'Christian psychology' is an attempt to harmonize two inherently contradictory systems of thought. Modern psychology and the Bible cannot be blended without serious compromise to, or utter abandonment of, the principle of Scripture's sufficiency." -John MacArthur
Sigmund Freud,
the father of modern Psychology
There is a wonderful Christian movement today dedicated to reclaiming area that has been ceded in past generations to psychology. My family growing up was deeply "psychologized" - always running off to therapy for this or that childhood wound - or talking endlessly with psychiatrists about supposed problems. But nobody ever had relief from any of these issues. If anything, psychology just seemed to give permission for us to be (sinfully) self-absorbed, and also seemed to give permission to call sin by another name (as in, "Oh, he's just a Type A, so he has permission to be high-strung and obnoxious.")
"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." (Jeremiah 2:13)
This new movement is called Nouthetic Biblical Counseling - and it is truly biblically based.  By that I mean that it is not just psycho-babble with Bible verses sprinkled on top. I can give an amazing testimony of someone very close to me who was disagnosed as a narcissistic personality disorder. In psychology, "narcissistic personality types" are notoriously hard to treat, and are typically considered incurable (similar to sociopathic/psychopathic personality disorders in severity). Yet through the power of God's word, this person was radically transformed from being a hostile, angry, manipulative 'narcissistic' into a loving, gentle, humble, giving person.

Psychology has no ability from within its framework to explain such a radical transformation happening to a person with a supposedly "incurable" personality disorder.  But Christianity does...it's called being "born again:"
"Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new." (2 Cor 5:17)

photo credit: Psychology Pictures via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

NANC - National Association of Nouthetic Counselors

Psycho Babble - by Dr. Richard Ganz

Dr. Richard Ganz

The Psychologized Man