Frequently Asked Questions

Question of the Month

Can a Christian work as a psychologist? Should Christians integrate psychological and biblical methods?

The answer depends on what you mean by “work as a psychologist.” If you mean that you have the freedom to implement biblical truth in the lives of broken people, go for it with gusto and be, as the term psychotherapist means, a real healer of souls. If you mean that you will be forced to use secular psychotherapy, the answer is an absolute NO. Almost all secular institutions will never tolerate any form of truly biblical counseling. Read chapter 1 of my book PsychoBabble and you will see the consequences of implementing biblical counseling in a secular institution.

Regarding the second part of your question, “Should Christians integrate psychological and biblical methods?” let me ask you a question: Why would you want to pollute the clear stream of God’s Word with the filthy water of secularism? Certainly, you can read the secularists so that you know what they are saying. Their ideas have shaped, and will continue to shape, our culture. Much of this has brought about great evil. There are times, though, when a secular principle will trigger biblically based ideas. This may happen to you through your reading. For example, O. Hobart Mowrer is a former president of the American Psychological Association. He wrote the groundbreaking book Crisis in Psychiatry and Religion. In this book, he called for the necessity in counseling of dealing with sin and seeking forgiveness. It is easy to say, “What is secular about that?” The answer is, “Everything.” Mowrer meant for sin and forgiveness to be understood as a purely anthropological construct. That is, sin and forgiveness were entirely meant to be understood in a person to person relational sense in totality. Sin and forgiveness for Mowrer have nothing to do with God. Dr. Jay Adams read this book while studying under Dr. Mowrer. Seeing this, Dr. Adams realized the need for a theological understanding and usage of these constructs. From these seminal insights, Nouthetic Counseling and the Biblical Counseling movement, were born. They came through biblical study interacting with subtle secular error. Knowing what the secularists are saying, as well as understanding their theology, anthropology, and methodology, can be useful. However, implementing their ideas, even ideas such as sin and forgiveness, is deadly because it is not using a biblical grid! Integrating a secularist idea of sin and forgiveness is in fact not a subtle error at all. Such integration is the antithesis of using only the biblical meaning of any construct. We are not at liberty to integrate secular constructs into our biblical counseling. Sadly, even most Christian counselors refuse to see or accept this.

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Question of the Month

Can a Christian work as a psychologist? Should Christians integrate psychological and biblical methods?