Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question: “Dear Dave and T.A. I appreciate much of what you guys have to say about the Bible. There is no doubt that you are well informed. Nevertheless, I get a little frustrated when you make the Bible seem to have superior insights at the expense of science. That’s especially true when you put down psychology. I think you do yourself a disservice and lose your credibility when you belittle a discipline that attempts to help people.”
Tom: Well, Dave, let’s try and approach this from the standpoint that, you know, let’s acknowledge something here. If we come across in some of this that we’re against people who are trying to help people, you know, then we have to apologize for that. That’s not where we are coming from! We just want to present some information and some facts. Number one: Psychology, that is, psychotherapy, psychological counseling, is not a science and can never be a science! Well, why is that, Dave?
Dave: Well, Tom, you’ve got a video that’s coming out, and it lays it out very clearly, a scientific study over a period of years that involved about 80 imminent scholars, and they studied that very subject: “Is Psychology a Science?” And they came to the conclusion. This is not us, the critics. They said it is not a science and it cannot be a science—that’s the concluding remarks. So, number one, it’s not a science.
Tom: Right, but you know, so okay, so here’s a study. But you don’t need a study. Just common sense would tell you there cannot be a science studying the body, mind, and spirit. Well, the body, to some degree, but what kind of science are we going to have of mind or of spirit?
Dave: Well, Tom, you can’t even make a science out of man physically—that’s Freud’s medical model, that’s Skinner, you know, behaviorism and all of this kind of nonsense. When the subject of your experiment is jumping about capriciously with a free will, and you don’t know what he is going to do next, you cannot make a science out of human behavior. If you make a science out of human behavior you have destroyed mankind. We’re no longer capable of our own thoughts or thinking. We are just stimulus response mechanisms, and that’s what they have tried to make of this.
Tom: Sure, Skinner went that way.
Dave: But it’s obviously nonsense. Everybody knows they make choices. Why do I make choices? Well, something that happened in my childhood caused me to do it? No! I am making a choice right now. I’m thinking. That’s why we have lawyers to argue these things; that’s why we have universities, to try to educate people. That’s why we have knowledge, okay. So, if it were science—we’re not opposed to true science. The problem is, Tom, most scientists—look, they are just little boys or little girls who grew up. And many of them have the same stubbornness that they had when they were children. And look, I think, God, who created this universe, probably knows more about the universe, and He probably knows more about human beings that He created. And look, science can’t even begin to touch the genes, the DNA: where did this come from? I think it was Michael Behe, in his book, Darwin’s Black Box, he says, “Nobody—nobody—has ever written a paper [you know, for a scientific journal] nobody has ever written a book, nobody has ever done any experiments to show how evolution works at the molecular level!
Tom: Well, Linus Pauling, Nobel prize winner—he says that one cell is more complex than New York City. And then, take the brain—it’s the most complex mechanism, if I can use that term, in the universe. So, what kind of science…I mean, how far are they going to get into this?
Dave: But Tom, I’m going to the molecular level. All of this is made up of molecules, everything, your brain is made out of molecules; so is the DNA, and you’ve got to get so many molecules lined up in the right order to have anything. And so, Behe is saying, “When you come to the molecular level, how did molecules begin to group together, and how did they begin, somehow, to grow and to become more complex?” He says, “Nobody has ever done a study on this.” They can’t! You can’t even begin.
Then Tom, I’m sorry to jump in here—just go on Google. Try to find anybody who has told you how plants evolved. What was the beginning of the plants? And how do you get blossoms, and how do you get fruit and melons and flowers and thorns and big huge trees and little trees? You try to tell me. They can’t even begin on this, Tom, okay? So, scientists—I’m not going to go to science to find the answer. And Erwin Schrodinger, one of the greatest scientists in the last century, he said, Where did we come from? Where are we going? What’s beautiful? What’s ugly? What about God? What about life? What about death? He said, “Science has no answer!”
Tom: And Dave, the last comment this individual makes is, “You belittle a discipline that attempts to help people.” As I said, we know that there are sincere people out there trying to help people, but you just look at the field of psychotherapy. It has helped no one, and if it has helped anyone even to a little degree it’s not because of the content—there are over 500 different methodologies, 10,000 techniques, all of them, you know, many of them in contradiction with one another, some of them so bizarre they are laughable, and they’ve really destroyed lives. So, that’s a problem; that’s why we keep addressing this because it’s not only destroying individuals, but it’s ripping the faith from believers who go to this.
Dave: Tom, you are being so gentle with psychology. Let’s just be blunt now. What field has the most mental problems, the most divorces, the most suicides? Nobody like the psychiatrists and the psychologists! They can’t answer their own problems. In fact, it all begins with trying to answer their problems.
Tom: Well, and it compounds itself, Dave. When you’re sitting across from somebody and you’re taking the garbage of their life into your head, into your mind, and then you are trying to help them, and you know you can’t do it, that’s why this occupation has the most hazards of anything out there.
Dave: But Tom, I remember the divorced wife of a psychiatrist telling me, “You ought to sit in on the cocktail parties when they get together and hear what they say about their clients!” And isn’t that what Freud said?
Tom: Well, let’s go to Freud…
Dave: Well, Freud said, “What is a client good for? Just to make some money.”
Tom: Dave, you mentioned earlier—we’re trying to address this in more than just the radio and our articles, but we do have a video that’s called Psychology and the Church: Critical Questions, Crucial Answers, and by the time this program airs we should have that available.
Dave: And Tom, I just got in on the sneak preview, and I think it’s terrific! It’s going to help a lot of people.