Why do Christians shoot their Bibles? [Excerpts]
The sufficiency of God’s Word can be seen throughout the Bible, but we quote two well-known passages here. One passage clearly shows that God intends His Word to be sufficient in matters of life and conduct and the other indicates the direct involvement of God Himself in and through His Word:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter:1:2-4).
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (Hebrews:4:12-13).
Considering the depth and magnitude of God’s Word and its application by God, who knows "the thoughts and intents of the heart," one wonders why so many professing Christians rush after the wisdom of men. The following question will surely reveal the confidence one has in the Word of God in contrast to the wisdom of men: Is the Word of God sufficient to deal with the same problems of living that Christians take to psychotherapists? If the Word sufficient confuses anyone, then use its synonym, the word "enough."
This question is usually sufficient, i.e. enough, to distinguish those who truly believe in and trust God’s Word from those who have confidence in the very wisdom of men about which the Scripture warns. Nevertheless, promoters of psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies often undermine confidence in God and His sufficient Word by clouding this clear distinction of sufficiency with smoke screens of logical fallacies.
One example of such a cloud cover can be seen in psychiatrist Dwight L Carlson’s article titled "Exposing the Myth that Christians should not have Emotional Problems," which appeared in Christianity Today (2/9/98). We printed Louis Whallon’s excellent response to Carlson’s article in the May-June 1998 PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter ("Exposing the Myth that Christians need Psychotherapy"). Here we only bring up one problem having to do with Carlson’s confused thinking.
In his article Carlson employs a number of logical fallacies which, when examined, reveal his illogical reasoning. If Carlson’s purpose in writing his article was to demonstrate that he knows how to use logical fallacies he succeeded. For example, he says, "I know it sounds unscriptural to say that some individuals need more than the church can offer—but if my car needs the transmission replaced, do I expect the church to do it? Or, if I break my leg, do I consult my pastor about it? For some reason, when it comes to emotional needs, we think the church should be able to meet them all." Notice that he is, by inference, equating "transmission replaced" and broken legs with "emotional needs." This tangible/intangible, physical/mental confusion is dominant in Carlson’s article. This confusion between the physical (transmission/legs) and the mental (emotions) is the same logical error made by many psychiatrists in the past when they labeled problems of living as "diseases." Thankfully, many in psychiatry have repented of this error, though some psychiatrists such as Carlson continue to perpetuate this myth. The error of confusing the mind and the body opens the door for the medical model to be used in the mental realm.
Quite often people resort to what is called the "medical model" in order to justify the use of psychotherapy. In using the medical model, they assume that mental illness can be thought of and talked about in the same manner and terms as medical illness. After all, these people reason, both are called "illnesses."
Carlson apparently does not believe that the Word of God empowered by the Holy Spirit is sufficient to deal with problems of living or why else is he so strongly supporting the use of psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies? What Carlson and others who have so little confidence in Scripture need to explain (without resorting to logical fallacies) is why Christians need the twentieth century opinions of men instead of only the Word of God to deal with problems of living. Carlson has written a book titled Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded? A more significant question to ask Carlson is "Why do Christians shoot their Bibles?"