Eric Johnson Lambasted by Heath Lambert and Fired by Al Mohler

"After listening to this sermon [Lambert’s diatribe], I signed the petition. Lambert’s treatment of Johnson’s words were horrendous… He built a straw man and condemned that straw man to unemployment, if not hell."

kuyperian.com

https://www.amazon.com/God-Soul-Care-Therapeutic-Resources/dp/0830851593Amazon

If you've been paying attention to social media during the last week or so, you probably know that there is a petition against the wrongful firing of Eric Johnson, a long-time member of the Southern Seminary faculty. Here is the information included in the petition:

In Short

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, under the leadership of Dr. Albert Mohler, has decided to fire Dr. Eric Johnson after 17 years of ministry in Christian scholarship and soul-care. His termination was not due to differing Christian beliefs or failed morality but rather due to pressure from an outside organization, the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC), and its leader, Heath Lambert.

What is Christian Psychology?

Christian psychology is a thoroughly Christian approach to counseling and soul care based on the resources available in the Bible, the Christian traditions, and good science. Dr. Johnson is known for his emphasis on union with Christ as the greatest healing for the human soul, as emphasized primarily in Scripture and also in the works of Augustine, Calvin, Edwards, Kuyper, Owen, and many others. Dr. Johnson also recognizes that common grace allows for quality science and research to further our understanding of the mind and body. Check out http://icpconnect.org/distinctives/ for more information.

What is ACBC?

ACBC is a non-Southern Baptist entity that believes Scripture to be "a sufficient and an authoritative resource to address everything essential for counseling conversations." They claim that the use of other resources besides the Bible in counseling is a "serious error" that requires repentance. ACBC is run by Heath Lambert, a 2009 counseling PhD graduate of SBTS. If you have a few days, check out Lambert's 95 Counseling Theses here: https://biblicalcounseling.com/ninety-five.

Who is Heath Lambert?

Heath Lambert is a pastor who has set himself against Dr. Johnson since he was an M.Div. student at SBTS. Now as the executive director of ACBC, he is able to influence large churches who have deep commitments to the Bible-only counseling philosophy. Lambert, along with pastors convinced of the ACBC philosophy, used their influence as leverage with Mohler by threatening to disparage the seminary and send students elsewhere if they do not fire Johnson.

What does Lambert have to say about Johnson?

Watch (or read transcriptions of) Lambert misrepresent, misquote, and condemn Dr. Johnson in a public sermon here: https://youtu.be/yPP4I3TNtKM

How can Mohler fire someone after 17 years of faithful teaching and scholarship?

Back in 2015, Mohler did away with tenure for good at SBTS. This was probably primarily for financial reasons, but it also is very convenient when faculty disagree with you.

Here is a screen shot that features not only Dr. Johnson's name, but the names of some of his colleagues.  


http://www.sbts.edu/doctoral/doctor-of-philosophy/concentrations/biblical-counseling/


Perhaps you recognize the name Dr. Heath Lambert, who is listed as a member of Southern Seminary's faculty (link) and serves as Executive Director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). Not only that, he is on staff at First Baptist Church Jacksonville (FBC JAX), serving as Associate Pastor and Executive Pastor of Discipleship and Community Life.

About a year and a half ago, Dr. Lambert addressed about 1,000 attendees at an ACBC conference. He had just written a book in which he severely criticized one of his colleagues, although he does not name him. Here is what Heath Lambert had to say about his colleague Eric Johnson. 

As the petition indicates, some allege that Heath Lambert was behind the recent firing of Eric Johnson.

Warren Throckmorton was quick to discuss this development in his post Biblical Counseling v. Christian Psychology at SBTS (UPDATED with Apology from Heath Lambert).

To get an idea of just how passionate Lambert is about Biblical Counseling, be sure to check out his 95 Theses for an Authentically Christian Commitment to Counseling. Here is someone who definitely has too much time on his hands…

Apparently, Lambert didn't realize that criticizing a colleague in a public forum (without naming him outright) would eventually get back to Eric Johnson and/or his supporters.

The petition regarding Johnson's recent firing and the media attention surrounding it left Heath Lambert with no choice but to issue an apology, which he did in a post entitled Clarifying and Confessing.

In this September 11th post, Lambert denies any involvement in the firing of Johnson. He states:

1. My involvement in Eric Johnson’s employment status

I’ll take the last one first because it is the easiest, and I can be very brief.

Al Mohler has more honor and integrity than any man I have ever worked for. It would never occur to me to try to force, cajole, or blackmail him into anything. If I tried, he would never be intimidated by it. Accusations that anything like that happened between us are dishonest.

Heath Lambert further explained (regarding the above video clip):

A year and a half ago I spoke at a biblical counseling conference and addressed the theological nature of counseling ministry, and how important it is for counselors to watch their life and doctrine closely. I wanted to make the point that our efforts at counseling care are only as good as our passion to take the Word of God into our own hearts and be changed by it.

In my talk, I sought to show how quick we are to see the flaws of a Christian psychology approach but slow to see our own failure to take the word of God seriously. In order to make a strong point of this, I read excerpts from a Christian psychology book that I suspected might induce listeners to congratulate themselves about their own theological superiority. My intention was to get people feeling superior about their own theological commitments, and then turn the tables on them by showing that we should not feel superior to those with whom we disagree, but must watch our own life and teaching.

The Christian psychologist I chose to interact with was, as is now obvious, Eric Johnson.

It was not my intention to skewer Dr. Johnson. I did not want people to think about him at all. I wanted them to think about themselves, their own sin, and their own need to cherish the Bible. Because I did not want Dr. Johnson to be the issue I did not name him.

Believing the author was anonymous I engaged in a much tougher and much less careful critique of him than I would have in a different environment. My intention was to get a room full of biblical counselors feeling really good about themselves and then indict them. My rhetorical strategy was the same one Nathan used with David. I was trying to say, “You are the man!” You cannot tell this from watching a clip of the talk, but dozens of people in the room who heard it in its entirety stuck around for an hour and a half to tell me how humbled they were by the reminder to watch their own life and doctrine.

Because I did not attach Dr. Johnson’s name to my quotation of him, I believed myself to have freedom that I did not have. This last weekend has proven that to be one of the most foolish misjudgments I have ever made in my ministry.

I should have known better than that. I should have considered that in a digital world with livestream, Google searches, and social media there is no anonymity, and so I am culpable for my foolishness.

That misjudgment brought people into the room that I never intended to be there. My foolishness brought people into the room that did not share the same presuppositions as the folks who registered for the conference. My miscalculation brought Dr. Johnson, his friends, and his students into the room. Perhaps it brought you into the room.

That foolish miscalculation led me to believe I was in a cone of silence. The cone of silence did not exist, but in the belief that it did, I said things that were harsh, unloving, and unkind. I sinned against my brother in Christ and against those who love him.

Soon after my talk that night I received a letter from Dr. Johnson’s elders. They rebuked me in very strong terms for the language I used against their friend. They were right to point out my sin. After receiving that letter, Dr. Johnson and I met together with a faithful brother in Christ where I confessed my sin to him, and he forgave me. I also responded with a letter of repentance to Eric’s elders on March 10 of last year. That was a year and a half ago. Since that time, Dr. Johnson and I have exchanged notes and shared two meals together, and I hope more are on the way.

In the midst of this, I also expressed a desire to repent publicly for the way I spoke, but in my meeting with Eric and the third party we agreed that this would be unwise. Since my quotation of Dr. Johnson was anonymous it was thought that only a few people knew about it, and that naming him in a statement of public repentance would only make things worse. We all agreed that we had sufficiently addressed the matter, and that it had been laid to rest.

In light of the last few days that calculation is now moot.

And so now I want to address anyone who was shocked and offended by the unkind and unloving way I spoke about Dr. Johnson. What I did was sinful, and I have no excuse. I am sorry.

Please forgive me.

One of the most humbling things about this for me is that I lead an organization that is focused on caring for hurting people. One of my responsibilities in that role is to host a podcast called Truth in Love. Now you all know just how much I have to learn about how to care for people and how much I need to grow in grace to speak the truth in love.

Please pray for me.

Lambert goes on to acknowledge that there are disagreements between biblical counseling and Christian psychology and states that these are some of the most important issues facing the church today. REALLY?

Perhaps we will get into these differences between biblical counseling and Christian psychology in a subsequent post.

Lambert concluded his confession with these words:

The importance of these issues leads to another problem with the way I spoke about Dr. Johnson that night. I believe the centrality of Christ is really on the line with whether or not we believe God has given us sufficient resources to help troubled people. But my sin took the focus off of Christ, and placed it on me where it should never be. I am so ashamed of that.

But I really believe what I teach about these things. I know that Jesus Christ has forgiven me, and I pray that now you will too.

We find it interesting that Dr. Johnson's firing coincided with the publication of his latest book God and Soul Care: The Therapeutic Resources of the Christian Faith (pictured above). Here is a summary of Johnson's book:

Christianity, at its heart, is a therapeutic faith―a religion of soul care. The story of Christianity is a story of divine therapy. God's therapeutic agenda begins in the perfect triune communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The triune God created human beings to flourish by participating in his glory, but human beings rebelled against this agenda and fell into the psychopathology of sin. God therapeutically intervened in Jesus Christ to bring about healing in body and soul. Through his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and exaltation, Christ put to death the soul-disordering consequences of sin and brought about a new creation through union with and conformity to him. The church as the body of Christ is where God's therapy is put into action―where people can flourish in communion the way God originally intended. Told in this way, the deep connection between Christian faith and psychology becomes evident. While many Christians are wary of therapy, the Christian tradition is thoroughly therapeutic and contains ample resources for engaging in dialogue with modern psychology. In God and Soul Care―a companion to Foundations for Soul Care―Eric L. Johnson explores the riches of Christian theology, from the heights of the Trinity to the mysteries of eschatology. Each chapter not only serves as an overview of a key doctrine, but also highlights the therapeutic implications of this doctrine for Christian counseling and psychology. A groundbreaking achievement in the synthesis of theology and psychology, God and Soul Care is an indispensable resource for students, scholars, pastors, and clinicians.

We recommend that you read Dustin Messer post over at Kuyperian Commentary. It's entitled Adams' Warrior Children: On the Firing of Eric L Johnson. Messer concludes his commentary as follows:

After listening to this sermon, I signed the petition. Lambert’s treatment of Johnson’s words were horrendous on two fronts. As a Christian, he should have interpreted Johnson with more generosity, and as a counselor, Lambert should have interpreted Johnson with more honesty. How can a man who gets paid to listen have been so deaf to another’s words? At no point in the sermon did Lambert present Johnson’s position in a way in which Johnson would recognize. Thus, he never actually engaged with the rival position. He built a straw man and condemned that straw man to unemployment, if not hell.

The petition claims that Lambert was behind Johnson’s firing. While I don’t know that his pushing of Johnson was the only, or even main, cause of Johnson’s termination, after watching the video Lambert’s intentions are clear even if Mohler’s are not. Lambert implicitly accused Dr. Mohler of hiring, aiding, and abetting a wolf in the sheep pen. Lambert’s disgust—and I don’t think that’s too strong a word—for Johnson was palpable. Lambert put Dr. Mohler in an untenable situation. One of them had to leave, and Lambert knew his side (the Biblical Counseling side) had the institutional advantage.

Almost 15 years ago, John Frame wrote a prophetic essay entitled Machen’s Warrior Children. The essay argued that John Gresham Machen faced a serious and dangerous enemy: namely, liberalism. Facing a bonafide enemy of the faith, he fought. Those after him, argued Frame, adopted the posture Machen took toward liberalism in each and every battle going forward. Their side was the “Christian” one and the other side was the “faithless” one, no matter how trivial the dispute. For these people, everything was a fight to the death.

I respect and have learned from many in the Biblical Counseling camp. Their perspective is laudable and needed. But even if one thinks Dr. Johnson’s approach to counseling is anemic or flawed, he’s no enemy of the faith. His newest book (which I’m excited to read!) is endorsed by Kevin Vanhoozer, Jeremy Lelek, Michael Allen, Kelly Kapic, and Richard Winter. My goodness, Dr. Johnson’s theology is about as orthodox and mainstream as it gets in Evangelicalism. At least in this particular sermon, Heath Lambert embodies the sort of immature, pugnacious attitude against which Frame so eloquently rails. Lambert was busy winning a war when he should have been having an honest conversation.

Whatever institution Dr. Johnson ends up teaching at will no doubt be blessed to have him. Through his writing, speaking, and counseling ministry he’s ministered the gospel of Christ to thousands. That such a father in the faith has been treated this way is a disgrace and, frankly, an embarrassment to a school which I love and treasure.

The goal of those who started the petition is to obtain 1,000 signers. In less than a week's time, they are well on their way…

Comments

Eric Johnson Lambasted by Heath Lambert and Fired by Al Mohler — 278 Comments

  1. @Deb:
    The link to Warren Throckmorton’s blog on Patheos doesn’t work – the URL is missing a colon.

  2. GMFS

    Comment 1 of 2: Forgiveness

    Fae the post, and quoting Mr Lambert:

    I know that Jesus Christ has forgiven me, and I pray that now you will too.

    As counter-intuitive as it sounds, this is beside the point. The important thing is that, at least according to the quote, Eric Johnson has forgiven him. Johnson’s is the important testimony here; it’s easy to receive forgiveness from a risen Lord you can’t see. But that same Lord stated that what we do for his people, and especially the less prominent and powerful, he takes personally. Moreover, if a brother or sister has something against us, then we are not to attempt to worship God without first being reconciled to our sibling.

    If indeed Eric Johnson has forgiven Heath Lambert, then inasmuch as it was he against whom Mr Lambert sinned, that specific matter is settled as far as I’m concerned. (And to whatever degree my concern is even relevant here.)

  3. Comment 2 of 2: Biblianism

    From Mr Lambert’s apology:

    I believe the centrality of Christ is really on the line with whether or not we believe God has given us sufficient resources to help troubled people.

    The most powerful delusions and deceptions that sidetrack professing believers, ISTM, are not the ones aimed at getting Christians to renounce Jesus and worship a statue with horns and a pitchfork. Professing Christians have, by and large, committed to keeping the first Commandment (having no other Gods before YHWH). It’s the second Commandment that’s the point of entry (not making an image). The most deadly and destructive Counterfeits and False_Gospels are the ones that look appealingly like the real one.

    A lot of them seem to hang on the bait-and-switch, false equivalence, and false antithesis combination Mr Lambert demonstrates above. Nobody, certainly not Eric Johnson, has denied that God has given us sufficient resources. The real battle, and the real deception, is over the claim that the Bible is the only resource God has given us. This is not even remotely biblical.

    Seduced and captivated by the subtle lures of biblianism (for want of a better word for it), Mr Lambert among many, many others have indeed committed themselves to a battle. It’s the battle to assert the centrality of biblianism, disguised as “Christ”.

  4. Third. Sitting in ER with adult son in extreme pain (lower right abdomen). Elevated white blood cell count. CT being done now. Thankful for any prayers.

  5. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    . The real battle, and the real deception, is over the claim that the Bible is the only resource God has given us. This is not even remotely biblical.

    Seriously! It’s a good thing I’m not sitting at home reading my bible over my son while his appendix ruptures . . .

  6. Dr Lambert’s apology and statement seemed very thorough and genuine to me. If he has apologised as he stated to Dr Johnson and been forgiven, then that is a good thing.

    Having said that, his position is profoundly dangerous, in my opinion. The phrase “Biblical” has become one of those words that gets used as a weapon. I’ve had so many experiences personally of people criticising what I’m doing and patronising me because it’s “not Biblical”. Even from friends who knew that I uphold the Bible as the word of God, who I had spent time praying and witnessing with, who we supported financially in their overseas mission work – even they, as soon as there was a slight disagreement, started throwing that argument at me. When I agreed with them and was supporting their efforts, then I was close to God and being guided by Him, but when there was disagreement suddenly that wasn’t true any more? It’s almost like the Bible becomes an idol.

    It always amazes me how inconsistent Christians can be in this hugely negative view of psychology. The same people who wouldn’t think twice about going to the ER if they broke their leg, or taking insulin for diabetes, simply will not accept that similar resources can help people with emotional struggles or mental illnesses. And it’s not only those being counselled who miss out, but now others like Dr Johnson who are suffering because of this kind of narrow-minded arrogance. People like Dr Lambert seem to think that God needs them to defend Him and come up with all these extra rules to prove Him, and that’s really not necessary!

  7. Bridget wrote:

    appendix will be coming out in a few hours.

    I’m at least glad you’ve got a diagnosis. Praying for a steady recovery without complications.

  8. Bridget wrote:

    Didn’t hit post comment . . . on that one.
    appendix will be coming out in a few hours.

    Praying for you and your son.

  9. “Mohler has more honor and integrity than any man I have ever worked for. ”

    Of course. Just ask CJ Mahaney. He will agree.

  10. @ Liz:
    The game is played very differently than what we are reading. That is for public consumption. My guess is turf war/Johnson was too popular, etc.

    Lambert went after Johnson like only a coward does using a bully pulpit in public and even got him fired —and now it is backfiring. I can assure you Mohler is saying, ‘make sure I come out of this unscathed’ or else. Heath had to go public with a mea culpa. The petition is problematic and shows me Mohler is losing a bit of grip. I have not looked at signatories but would be shocked to to see SBTS employees signing. If so, Mohler is in weaker position than I dared dream.

    Can anyone say, Paul Debusman? 1994? Those were the good old days for Mohler when he could ruin a senior close to retirement for daring to respectfully disagree with a chapel speaker! .

    The only irony about this typical situation in that world is that now the enemies are inhouse. They are turning on each other as they vanquished their former non Cal enemies—as is what usually happens in due course.

    These are not nice decent guys. Never were. All the way around.

  11. “That foolish miscalculation led me to believe I was in a cone of silence. The cone of silence did not exist, but in the belief that it did, I said things that were harsh, unloving, and unkind. I sinned against my brother in Christ and against those who love him.”

    In other words, he sinned because he thought he could get away with it. Look, I’m glad he has repented, but I think we have reason to believe that never would have happened if he hadn’t been caught. His opinion of Christian Psychology, which I agree with Liz is a dangerous one, hasn’t changed one iota.

  12. Bridget wrote:

    appendix will be coming out in a few hours.

    As soon as I read “lower right abdomen” I thought “appendectomy”. I had it last year. Surgery was fine. All the antibiotics they gave me were a bit rough. Good probiotic helped a lot. Will be praying for your son!

  13. As someone who attended a SBC seminary, I can say that Biblical counselors receive very little actual training in counseling in those seminaries. They are not even qualified as counselors, much less to declare it’s the only way that works. And there is no training or education and barely a mention of serious mental illness and none on abuse.

    And I’ll be honest and say that I believe Lambert is probably less qualified than most, as his rant basically paints him as someone who never should have been a counselor in the first place. I think his intention was always to be in some sort of leadership/professor position and there’s probably less competition in that realm than in others that SBTS and the SBC might support. But he seemed very much of the same ilk as most New Cals I’ve known from SBTS. And I’m not buying his apology, because he could have publicly advocated against the firing, which he has not.

  14. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The real battle, and the real deception, is over the claim that the Bible is the only resource God has given us. This is not even remotely biblical.

    Amen to this!
    (and Liz’s comment takes it further as well)

  15. Psychologists study and document patterns and profiles of aberrant behavior, which is a threat to those involved.

  16. “Here is someone who definitely has too much time on his hands…”

    How does one be a pastor in Jacksonville FL and also be able to be a doctoral advisor several hundred miles away in Louisville KY? (Did I get the school location wrong?). I hope he isn’t also trying to fit a marriage into his time… (perhaps lots of Red Bull is involved)

  17. Lydia wrote:

    The only irony about this typical situation in that world is that now the enemies are inhouse. They are turning on each other as they vanquished their former non Cal enemies—as is what usually happens in due course.

    What do predators eat after they’ve eaten all the prey?

  18. Liz wrote:

    Having said that, his position is profoundly dangerous, in my opinion. The phrase “Biblical” has become one of those words that gets used as a weapon. I’ve had so many experiences personally of people criticising what I’m doing and patronising me because it’s “not Biblical”.

    During my time in-country (the late Seventies in the Calvary Chapel sphere of influence), the word was “SCRIPTURAL”…

  19. @ ishy:
    They aren’t board certified, are they? Or they don’t recommend that route?

    Someone getting that degree has to work in a church or religious organization.

  20. srs wrote:

    “Here is someone who definitely has too much time on his hands…”

    How does one be a pastor in Jacksonville FL and also be able to be a doctoral advisor several hundred miles away in Louisville KY? (Did I get the school location wrong?). I hope he isn’t also trying to fit a marriage into his time… (perhaps lots of Red Bull is involved)

    He’s married with 3 kids.

  21. ishy wrote:

    And I’ll be honest and say that I believe Lambert is probably less qualified than most, as his rant basically paints him as someone who never should have been a counselor in the first place.

    I finally made it through the 95 theses he wrote. First of all, he talks out of both sides of his mouth. Either he’s a poor communicator or he hasn’t thought this through in spite of being a PH.D. Second of all, if he’s the best the ACBC has, their movement is doomed. If he were to go up in debate against a secular or Christian psychology PH.D., my guess is that the other guy or gal would wipe the floor with him.

  22. That foolish miscalculation led me to believe I was in a cone of silence. The cone of silence did not exist, but in the belief that it did, I said things that were harsh, unloving, and unkind.

    Because the bible says we can be terrible people as long as no one hears us *eyeroll*

    This guy sounds like the worst counselor in the world to me, and far from ‘biblical’.

  23. Heath Lambert is merely giving voice to the increasingly hard line approach of the Calvinistas. They want to be the arbiter of true Christianity and you can be sure that all who disagree with them are heretics. Too bad they can’t burn at the stake…Heath’s apology’s a farce. He only apologized when he got caught. I don’t like these people and am so glad I am out of the SBC. I can’t imagine a dime of my money going to support these arrogant men.

    Anyone who is considering a counselor that likes Heath Lambert-beware!

  24. “ACBC is a non-Southern Baptist entity that believes Scripture to be “a sufficient and an authoritative resource to address everything essential for counseling conversations.” They claim that the use of other resources besides the Bible in counseling is a “serious error” that requires repentance.”

    “In my talk, I sought to show how quick we are to see the flaws of a Christian psychology approach but slow to see our own failure to take the word of God seriously.”

    This is far from taking the Bible seriously. The most serious way to take the Bible is to use it properly. Overuse of the Bible where it wasn’t intended to be used isn’t taking it more seriously, it’s diminishing and detracting from its own message.

    The most serious way to take a hammer is to use it to drive nails, and to leave it in the toolbox when it’s time to turn a screw, not to use the claw end to turn the screw, or just try to bash it into place.

  25. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Nobody, certainly not Eric Johnson, has denied that God has given us sufficient resources. The real battle, and the real deception, is over the claim that the Bible is the only resource God has given us. This is not even remotely biblical.

    Indeed.

    People drive in their cars, talk on their iphones, and use their computers and then claim that any knowledge not obtained from the bible is what, wrong? Heresy?

    What nonsense. God gave us brains. God gave us logic. God gave us the ability to learn for heavens sakes! Not just about things in the world, but about people.

  26. ishy wrote:

    As someone who attended a SBC seminary, I can say that Biblical counselors receive very little actual training in counseling in those seminaries. They are not even qualified as counselors

    I think it’s pretty strange to get a degree in counseling when you cannot be licensed! Apparently the programs that actually prepare student to be licensed counselors have been eliminated? That just seems crazy to me.

  27. This entire incident simply reinforces for me the misgivings I have about the different positions and believes among psychologists in the Christian world.

    I totally get criticizing some therapeutic endeavor that ignores God and blatantly contradicts the Bible.

    But some of the battles among Christian psychologists seem petty.

    I really don’t follow anyone in this crowd. I didn’t know their names before all of this blew up, and I won’t remember their names in a week.

    But that is just me, and I don’t expect that everyone should feel this way.

    And this matter is significant. Just not in my wheelhouse.

  28. I have a friend who is enrolled in a faith based counselling program at an evangelical college.

    This is an professionally accredited program and the emphasis is on meeting the standards of the profession with a faith based focus.

    The idea of Biblical based counselling is frightening. Who’s version of the bible? Who’s interpreting what passages and applying them to a persons issues? The bible is not a how-to manual much less a guide to counselling in the 21st century. You can make it say whatever you want depending on your agenda.

    Big problem with this – counselling can do so much damage if done wrong.

  29. Bridget wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    . The real battle, and the real deception, is over the claim that the Bible is the only resource God has given us. This is not even remotely biblical.

    Seriously! It’s a good thing I’m not sitting at home reading my bible over my son while his appendix ruptures . . .

    Or LOUDLY Rebuking (with SCRIPTURE) the Demon that’s Possessing his belly…

    (Under the Taliban, “Islamic Medicine” actually went that far. And a millennium ago, Islamic doctors had the most advanced medical knowledge in the world…)

  30. Lydia wrote:

    @ ishy:
    They aren’t board certified, are they? Or they don’t recommend that route?

    Someone getting that degree has to work in a church or religious organization.

    i.e. behind the Christianese Event Horizon, never able to step into the Big Bad Sinful World.
    Feature, not Bug.

  31. The course “Biblical Based Counselling” makes me think of those cards that used to be in magazines.

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    And so much more! With our patented “Magical Thinking ™” course material, you can train while being indoctrinated in your local house of worship.

    So relax in the safety of your own delusions and get started today!

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  32. dee wrote:

    Heath Lambert is merely giving voice to the increasingly hard line approach of the Calvinistas. They want to be the arbiter of true Christianity and you can be sure that all who disagree with them are heretics. Too bad they can’t burn at the stake…

    YET.
    “TAKE BACK AMERICA AND RESTORE IT TO A CHRISTIAN NATION(TM)!!!”

  33. When will people figure out that the Bible is not the Encyclopedia of Everything. And was never meant to be! OY!

  34. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    When will people figure out that the Bible is not the Encyclopedia of Everything. And was never meant to be! OY!

    “EVERY GOOD WORK”
    “THOROUGHLY EQUIPPED”

    2 Timothy 3

    16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
    17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

  35. In a choice between Johnson & Lambert I’d take Johnson every time. Not only because the fruit of the ‘Bible only’ is not therapeutic as I’ve seen it, but because Johnson’s book is recommended by Richard Winter, a British Psychiatrist (Is a Doctor! Has actual training! Knows about brains, not just sins!) who was a L’Abri worker for many years & who I know personally. He has done so much great work on changing the spiritual response to Christians with depression & other mental illnesses & those who need meds. He’s actually done the hard work on the wards with very seriously ill people. Lambert? Anyone know what his qualifications are?

  36. Just ask Damoredee wrote:

    Heath Lambert is merely giving voice to the increasingly hard line approach of the Calvinistas. They want to be the arbiter of true Christianity and you can be sure that all who disagree with them are heretics. Too bad they can’t burn at the stake…

    This sounds similar to the inner working of the recent Google firing. Mohler and Co appear to be the institutional religious reflection of that same oppressive culture that exists on many a college campus. Is ideological rigidity and silencing dissent the latest fad?

  37. Lydia wrote:

    Of course. Just ask CJ Mahaney. He will agree.

    Good one Lyds. I’d think long and hard before going up against you in a light sabre duel.

  38. Lydia wrote:

    I can assure you Mohler is saying, ‘make sure I come out of this unscathed’ or else.

    Darth Sidious to Darth Maul?

  39. NJ wrote:

    srs wrote:

    “Here is someone who definitely has too much time on his hands…”

    How does one be a pastor in Jacksonville FL and also be able to be a doctoral advisor several hundred miles away in Louisville KY? (Did I get the school location wrong?). I hope he isn’t also trying to fit a marriage into his time… (perhaps lots of Red Bull is involved)

    He’s married with 3 kids.

    I know it is off topic but how is it possible to do all these things together and do them all well? (I only have 1 child and my ability to stay focused at my one job has suffered. I can’t imagine having a second job on top of it perpetually.)

  40. Jack wrote:

    “Biblical Based Computer Programming”

    Speak for yourself. My code has been sanctified by scriptural peer review. (Whenever two or more are gathered…)

  41. @ Beakerj:
    “Dr. Lambert earned the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biblical and Theological Studies and Political Science from Gordon College in 2002; The Master of Divinity Degree (M.Div.) in Christian Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005; and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in biblical counseling from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2009.” (From his bio on ACBC website)

  42. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    A lot of them seem to hang on the bait-and-switch, false equivalence, and false antithesis combination Mr Lambert demonstrates above. Nobody, certainly not Eric Johnson, has denied that God has given us sufficient resources. The real battle, and the real deception, is over the claim that the Bible is the only resource God has given us. This is not even remotely biblical.

    Why, whatever do you mean?

    When I had to put a C.D. burner/player into my computer years ago, I consulted the Gospels.

    (Jesus of Nazareth gave a step by step set of instructions on how to go about that, right after he gave the Sermon on the Mount, and before his sermon about why he prefers Skinny Era Elvis to Chubby Era Elvis.)

    I sure hope you’re not suggesting that the Bible is not the end- all, be- all answer book for anything and everything in life?

  43. Bridget wrote:

    appendix will be coming out in a few hours.

    I’m really sorry to hear that. I hope he gets through the operation okay.

  44. Jack wrote:

    The idea of Biblical based counselling is frightening. Who’s version of the bible? Who’s interpreting what passages and applying them to a persons issues?

    Someone at BJU who was counseled in this method mentioned that she needed to hear about God loving her(and there are plenty of biblical verses about that) not that she was in sin, but that’s all she got. Plus forgive and don’t be bitter. She also mentioned that the school said you didn’t have to forgive when someone had not apologized, but counseling told her the opposite? And that they talked instead of listened.

  45. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ ishy:
    They aren’t board certified, are they? Or they don’t recommend that route?
    Someone getting that degree has to work in a church or religious organization.

    i.e. behind the Christianese Event Horizon, never able to step into the Big Bad Sinful World.
    Feature, not Bug.

    And if you ever have questions or doubts about anything counseling or otherwise you are likely to get kicked out and unable to earn a living (at least in your chosen profession). Basically blackmail.

  46. Liz wrote:

    It’s almost like the Bible becomes an idol.

    I think it’s worse than that. The Bible becomes an idol to the masses, but a sock-puppet to the “priests”.

    These men aspire to be pseudo-pagan priests, in a setting where they alone can speak for “god”. Now, the terrible thing about Christianity is twofold: nowadays, anybody can read the Bible for themselves, and even before widespread literacy, everyone has the same access to him. So, if these men are to maintain a privileged position, they have to work very hard at keeping people ignorant.

    This works the majority of the time because, as far as I can tell, a critical mass of folk just dinnae care. Another story…

  47. Daisy wrote:

    I sure hope you’re not suggesting that the Bible is not the end- all, be- all answer book for anything and everything in life?

    Oops… rumbled!

    Best regards,

    God

  48. From a “big picture” point of view, this is the same old story, which has been played out for almost a millennia…
    As mankind’s understanding of the created world continues to develop, it will clash with some aspect of the “established” dogma of some “orthodox” christian leader… They will then proclaim that believing the new “science” goes against “orthodox” christian thinking, therefore unbiblical, and possibly heresy..
    I was trained in young earth creationism. I am a 50th something practicing scientist that does biomed/biotechnology research, and knows a thing or two about applied physics.
    I went back and look for the best scientific proof of YEC with respect to just age of earth, NOT EVOLUTION, just purely physical/theoretical evidence for a young earth. There is NONE.
    In fact, the “evidence” that is put forward for a young earth is, at best, misleading, if not downright, blatantly false. But, saying this at a MINIMUM, gets me labeled as a “compromiser” of the faith… (P.S. my YEC training also taught me that modern physiology was all a lie, and could nto have any truth since it is does not start with a biblical view of mankind)

  49. In my view the “Biblical” counseling movement, the “calvinistas”, the “fundamentalists”, all the way down to the preacher boys in the small churches all want the same thing; they want to play the role of the Holy Spirit in someone else’s life. In essence, they want control over something or someone, and that is what drives them.

    Fact is, since they want to be the Holy Spirit for me, they actually want to be God. I have experienced this first hand over the course of the last 30 years, so much so that I have left evangelicalism permanently. No more do I have to listen as someone hold up a Bible and tells me that it stands for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”.

    Hogwash. I came close to going to a “Biblical” counselor. So glad now that I didn’t. In every one of these organizations, churches, seminaries, etc., all you see is this kind of political garbage.

    I ask again, where is the love? There isn’t any in any of it. God will hold them accountable for all that they have turned away from Him.

  50. @ Lea:

    I’ve mentioned elsewhere I grew up in an IFB church/school. BJU was considered the promised land, etc. IFB churches HATE to preach on any of the verses about God’s love. In fact, I was taught that the idea of a loving God was “heresy.” Needless to say it has taken a while to get rid of all the poison I was infected with.

  51. I understand what the problem is here: You’re all looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is: if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it because you’ll spoil it.

    Yours sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  52. Lowlandseer wrote:

    David Murray of Puritan Reformed Seminary lists his misgivings about Lambert’s approach here

    Oh man, did you read Lambert’s response to that?

    Regarding medications he says “If he were to ask me, he would have found out that I’m all for medicinal interventions when it comes to physical problems.” Do you know if he has clarified this? How on earth can someone only trained in bible verses diagnose whether someone has a ‘physical’ cause related to mental illness, or does he dismiss that entirely?
    Donnie wrote:

    IFB churches HATE to preach on any of the verses about God’s love. In fact, I was taught that the idea of a loving God was “heresy.”

    Really??? I didn’t realize that. I grew up SBC.

  53. Lea wrote:

    I think it’s pretty strange to get a degree in counseling when you cannot be licensed! Apparently the programs that actually prepare student to be licensed counselors have been eliminated? That just seems crazy to me.

    It goes much further than that. Many reject licensing entirely, but they couldn’t meet the requirements anyway.

    And Lambert’s “qualifications”? Graduate degrees only from one small school and one that is not exactly known for excellence in counseling? Not to mention that his master’s was not in counseling and that’s where any basics would have been taught.

  54. Lea wrote:

    Donnie wrote:
    IFB churches HATE to preach on any of the verses about God’s love. In fact, I was taught that the idea of a loving God was “heresy.”

    Really??? I didn’t realize that. I grew up SBC.

    Before the rise of the Sons of Calvin, IFB “splinter churches” were the type example of Extreme Fundamentalism to the point of destructiveness. Fred Phelps was a bit more spectacular than the usual IFB Pastor/Apostle, but there were (and are) a lot more like him ruling their IFB One True Churches.

  55. The larger issue here is not Lambert’s attack on Johnson–although that was itself unbecoming of a Christian minister–but rather Mohler’s termination of Johnson on the basis of that attack, assuming that was the reason for the termination.

  56. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Liz wrote:
    It’s almost like the Bible becomes an idol.
    I think it’s worse than that. The Bible becomes an idol to the masses, but a sock-puppet to the “priests”.

    Isn’t that called “Priestcraft”, with the Priest caste of ancient Egypt the type example?

    And wasn’t Romish Priestcraft a major bugaboo and rallying cry of the Reformation?

  57. ishy wrote:

    And Lambert’s “qualifications”? Graduate degrees only from one small school and one that is not exactly known for excellence in counseling? Not to mention that his master’s was not in counseling and that’s where any basics would have been taught.

    It does seem like his qualifications are rather thing to be presenting himself as an expert. didn’t he just finish his degree in 2009? What research has he done? What are the results of his methods????

    Also, I was reading the article lowlandseer posted explaining his thoughts and he says that biblical counseling is so much more important than cardiology because we deal with people’s hearts? (amusingly doesn’t see the joke there I guess!) But also, arrogant much? Imagine thinking you know everything you need to know at this point. Has he ever actually practiced counseling outside of teaching? How many hours? I wonder if he could even meet licensing standards on this…although I have no idea what is required of biblical counseling trainees, only regular schools.

  58. srs wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    “Biblical Based Computer Programming”

    Speak for yourself. My code has been sanctified by scriptural peer review. (Whenever two or more are gathered…)

    “Sanctified” or EXORCISED?

  59. @ Lowlandseer:
    1. I really dislike the way this guy writes. Doing some major skimming of ‘theology is counseling’ over and over again to get to the point…

    2. I finally got to the bottom and did not see anything about medicine, so I searched and all I saw was the bit about autism?

    I think what these guys *want* to do is make this distinction between physical brain illness and ‘mental illness’ and it’s generally wrong. They are also really squirrely about specifics. From what I’ve read thus far, I have ZERO confidence in biblical counselings ability to diagnose any serious mental illness that might need medical intervention. There is a reason psychiatrists are MDs. Other therapists use testing (depression screens/ptsd/etc) to see where someone might fall. Do biblical counselors?

    And they aren’t so great with medical history either (one lady going on about how all ‘real’ diseases could be dx’d with a blood test, which no). And then some make a big deal of psychology being ‘only’ 150 years old or so, without realizing the leaps and bounds all medicine has made in that time period! It’s actually really amazing.

  60. @ Lea:
    His only revision is that “There are, in fact, other solutions that lead to change, but these do not lead to changes that honor God. The statement would be more accurate if I had written, “There is no ultimate solution to our problem and no faithful process of change other than the one God has provided.”” That was after he had said ” If God has gone to incredible effort to explain his solutions to our problems in living then I do believe it is unfaithful and unhelpful to pursue other solutions.”

  61. @ NJ:
    Beakerj wrote:

    Lambert? Anyone know what his qualifications are?

    I would guess he read part of the Bible once about twenty years ago.

  62. @ dee:
    This is all about saving face because there was substantial pushback within the movement.. Amazing what pushback can accomplish. Why? Because for these guys to go those lengths to try and fix this is huge. Never forget how they handled CJ Mahaney. “The bloggers just don’t like strong leadership” Al Mohler to the Courier Journal. A few years later that article was deleted off their website. Did Mohler admit he was wrong? Of course not. We all know that story.

    The pushback they respond to is usually internal to their movement. ESS is a good example. All others are just rubes they can ignore. Evidently, Eric Johnson had made a name for himself. If it were a lower level peon, we would not even know.

  63. @ Beakerj:
    This is good to know. I tend to blow off anything that comes from SBTS. My question is how on earth did Eric Johnson survive there as long as he did? It’s a very closed system. Maybe he is a true academic who read outside the parameters?

  64. Having been in a Southern Baptist Church in the early 2000’s in Louisville, KY when this “Biblical Counseling” first started at SBTS I was quite appalled by most of the students that where majoring in this. There was a report that one student who originally took Eric Johnson’s classes had totally turned on Eric and rebuked Eric in Eric’s class. I found this easy to believe because I had seen so many of the “Biblical Counseling” students in action. As a whole they lacked any compassion for anyone. My advice is that if you find someone with a degree from this institution in Biblical Counseling run away from them. It will be a bad experience in a counseling situation or in any other personal relationship. Maybe they were taught compassion. But they didn’t get it if they were.

  65. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The real battle, and the real deception, is over the claim that the Bible is the only resource God has given us. This is not even remotely biblical.

    I’m really thankful that I didn’t encounter a “Biblical Surgeon” when my gall bladder went south. First century surgery can’t be fun.

    Once again, Louisville seems to be ground zero for all kinds of lunacy. I’m sorry that Eric Johnson had to deal with this transition, but I would guess that he might be thankful to be free from the toxic environment at SBTS.

  66. Lydia wrote:

    This is good to know. I tend to blow off anything that comes from SBTS. My question is how on earth did Eric Johnson survive there as long as he did? It’s a very closed system. Maybe he is a true academic who read outside the parameters?

    Sam Williams is still at SEBTS and he is similar to Johnson in qualifications. And I had him for a counselor for a year (required by the mission agency I was supposed to go with) and he’s very balanced.

    This is just my guess, but I don’t think counseling was very important to the Calvinistas until they realized fairly recently that they could use it to further their indoctrination. It’s not a discipline that gets all the glory and fame.

  67. Daisy wrote:

    @ NJ:
    Beakerj wrote:
    Lambert? Anyone know what his qualifications are?

    I would guess he read part of the Bible once about twenty years ago.

    Savage. I like it.

  68. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Oh boy, that is spot on. Bible as sock puppet. Perfect. Now it is their “interpretation” that is the only correct one.

    Anyone else notice they dropped Nouthetic and are using Biblical? I was told by a “counseling” student about 6-7 years ago they were doing this.

  69. ishy wrote:

    It’s not a discipline that gets all the glory and fame.

    Is that why this Lambert guy is so focused on and making a big deal of counseling being theology? Because he thinks it’s more important?

  70. @ ishy:
    That is probably it. Good point….. Counseling as discipleship.

    And it’s a possible revenue stream for churches so it might get more play there, too.

  71. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    Once again, Louisville seems to be ground zero for all kinds of lunacy. I’m sorry that Eric Johnson had to deal with this transition, but I would guess that he might be thankful to be free from the toxic environment at SBTS.

    I am hoping he is offered a better job at a better school. It may be a vain hope, but maybe a more moderate school will see the value he can offer.

  72. Lea wrote:

    Is that why this Lambert guy is so focused on and making a big deal of counseling being theology? Because he thinks it’s more important?

    I don’t know. It could be that he saw a void while doing his MDiv and decided to fill it. But I can say that there is some guiding and promising that happens at seminary. The New Cals do like to dangle bait for their true believers.

    But I have known people who were very anti secular counseling, and it was mainly because they thought God could give quick and perfect fixes to very difficult illnesses. And it hasn’t worked for any of them in the long term. I do believe in miracles, but I don’t think most people are capable of appreciating miracles or their lives when they happen. They don’t really want God. They just want an easy life.

  73. ishy wrote:

    It could be that he saw a void while doing his MDiv and decided to fill it. But I can say that there is some guiding and promising that happens at seminary. The New Cals do like to dangle bait for their true believers.

    I will clarify and say that there is guiding and promises made to men at SBC seminaries. And to generally to men who go all in or who are related to someone considered important in that world. And qualifications, intelligence, common sense, and general social skills are pretty much irrelevant.

    Even women who are related to someone important are just encouraged to marry one of the above men. :/

  74. Jack wrote:

    So relax in the safety of your own delusions and get started today!

    Operators are standing by!

    I’m thinking of starting a gospel centered brothel. All I need is investors…
    and if you act now, I can show you how to reap maximum ROI (return on investment) using other people’s money!

  75. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Beakerj:
    “Dr. Lambert earned the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biblical and Theological Studies and Political Science from Gordon College in 2002; The Master of Divinity Degree (M.Div.) in Christian Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005; and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in biblical counseling from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2009.” (From his bio on ACBC website)

    Not exactly impressive is it? Are you going to trust your mental health to a man like this, or to those Christian Psychiatrists/Psychologists who have walked the walk with some very very unwell people, without loading them down with guilt?

  76. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Isn’t that called “Priestcraft”, with the Priest caste of ancient Egypt the type example?

    Is that like World of Warcraft? In which case, probably, yes.

  77. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    A lot of them seem to hang on the bait-and-switch, false equivalence, and false antithesis combination Mr Lambert demonstrates above.

    Over the last 40-45 years, Calvary Chapel has advanced these techniques (which assures the absolute linearization of Scripture) to an art form.

  78. One of these days I’m going to run a seminar on the pitfalls of operating multiple sock-puppets off the same WordPress-registered email address.

  79. Lydia wrote:

    Anyone else notice they dropped Nouthetic and are using Biblical?

    It was inevitable, TBH; “biblical” is the brand du jour. (I always thought “nouthetic” sounded new age; the only reason it ever stuck was that, back then, someone was trying to invent something and they needed it to sound unique.)

  80. Lea wrote:

    What are the results of his methods????

    No, no, no. That’s science, and science is for atheists.

  81. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    What are the results of his methods????

    No, no, no. That’s science, and science is for atheists.

    I’ve really been trying to parse through their defenses on this point. I *think* they would say that anyone who doesn’t benefit is ‘in sin’ or something, and thus dismiss bad results. It’s frustrating and circular. Where a general approach, and yet somewhat scientific, but also pretty much the way all things are evaluated if you want a good result!, would be to see if something is working. And if it isn’t, change it.

    Do you want results, or do you want to tell everybody how biblical you are? that seems to be the choice we’re making here.

  82. Lydia wrote:

    Oh boy, that is spot on. Bible as sock puppet. Perfect. Now it is their “interpretation” that is the only correct one.

    This sort of thing dawned on me a few years ago in regards to gender complementarianism. You have two groups of Christians, both conservative, one set goes by comp (which limits women), and the egalitarians, which gives women more opportunity…
    and complementarians still opt for an interpretation of the Bible that hinders women.

    I think former POTUS Jimmy Carter recognized that years ago. I saw a quote from him awhile back that said something similar. Quote:

    The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

    Reading the Bible is not enough. How you interpret it and apply it and insist others should apply it matters, too. And you better be very humble about it.

    You have these yokels saying that the Bible is all that is needed to treat depression (no meds or psychology necessary) which has led some Christians to take their own lives, or to suffer from depression in misery for decades.

  83. dee wrote:

    Heath Lambert is merely giving voice to the increasingly hard line approach of the Calvinistas. They want to be the arbiter of true Christianity and you can be sure that all who disagree with them are heretics.

    I don’t know Heath Lambert or Eric Johnson. However, anyone can watch Heath Lambert for ten minutes of that video and judge whether or not he is a trustworthy counselor. I would not trust that man to discuss my grocery list, much less my marriage or anything of importance. He is a mini-Mohler, for those of us who are familiar with Mohler and his homiletic mannerisms. The Mohleresque grasping of the pulpit while leaning forward intently. Just like Chandler is a mini-Mahaney and Platt is a mini-Mahaney. They adopt the mannerisms of their gurus in unconscious (or perhaps not?) mirroring. It would be funny if they were preschoolers, but they are adults.

    Public “apologies” are what they are, and everyone know it. I have little faith that the trustees of SBTS have done the right thing which would be to fire Mohler and Lambert and give Johnson a fine settlement. Lambert’s behavior is unseemly and unprofessional, and everyone knows that, too. They have been able to play this power politics game for a long time, but I think it is catching up with them. Certainly they have no place as counselors and cannot be trusted.

  84. Lea wrote:

    I’ve really been trying to parse through their defenses on this point. I *think* they would say that anyone who doesn’t benefit is ‘in sin’ or something, and thus dismiss bad results. It’s frustrating and circular.

    That attitude reminds me of Scientology.

    I’ve watched all the episodes of Leah Remini’s (dang, how does she spell her last name?) show on COS (Scientology), and it’s that same mind set with them.

    There was an episode or two where you learn that if some COS teaching does not work for you, it’s not that the teaching that is mistaken the Church says, but YOU are in error. Either you’re an immoral person, or you’re doing their teaching wrong is what they say.

  85. Lea wrote:

    I think what these guys *want* to do is make this distinction between physical brain illness and ‘mental illness’ and it’s generally wrong.

    And current research is finding links between depression and other mental illnesses and the state of one’s gut biome. Basically, my understanding is that a healthy, vibrant, diverse bacterial community in one’s digestive tract helps to keep one in good mental health by producing essential neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Diets which improve the gut microbiome may help prevent depression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662178/

    The interplay between the physical body and the mind/emotions/neurology is a complex and intricate dance.

  86. Well, fortunately, the Lord has now revealed to me why I’m diabetic. Most people simply receive insulin into their hearts through the spirit by faith, whereas I don’t receive it because I’m striving to work it out in my intellect.



    (Wartburgers who’ve been around the UK charismatic scene will recognise all of the above phrases, albeit with the insertion of “insulin” and “diabetic”.)


    It’s just occurred to me that “diabetic” rhymes with “nouthetic”.

    Pathetic.

  87. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Well, fortunately, the Lord has now revealed to me…

    Let Me state quite clearly that this “revelation” had nothing to do with Me.

    Best regards,

    God

  88. Lowlandseer wrote:

    “Dr. Lambert earned the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biblical and Theological Studies and Political Science from Gordon College in 2002; The Master of Divinity Degree (M.Div.) in Christian Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005; and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in biblical counseling from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2009.” (From his bio on ACBC website)

    And all of this didn’t teach him to love his neighbor, nor doesn’t give him a legitimate degree in counseling.

  89. ALL –

    Thanks for the payers! My son is recovering. The appendix had not ruptured, so recovery should be shorter without extended antibiotics. He did have an allergic reaction (hives) to something they gave him, so they are checking into that.

    We are all recovering from a sleepless night . . .

  90. Amir Larijani wrote:

    The larger issue here is not Lambert’s attack on Johnson–although that was itself unbecoming of a Christian minister–but rather Mohler’s termination of Johnson on the basis of that attack, assuming that was the reason for the termination.

    Absolutely agree. Until convincing evidence emerges to the contrary, it is probably safe to assume that it was politically expedient to remove Johnson and install a Mohler functionary in his place. Or alternatively, someone more friendly to Mohler needed a job. The SBC has been minting Ph.D.s like chocolate coins, and there are only so many positions…

  91. Lea wrote:

    If he were to ask me, he would have found out that I’m all for medicinal interventions when it comes to physical problems.

    Lambert needs medication for whatever physical problem results in his itchy nose. Either he’s got worms or a coke habit. It was distracting to the point that I had to listen only, no video.

  92. Lydia wrote:

    The pushback they respond to is usually internal to their movement. ESS is a good example. All others are just rubes they can ignore. Evidently, Eric Johnson had made a name for himself. If it were a lower level peon, we would not even know.

    Good points. I think you are right, and it goes with what Lowlandseer posted about David Murray. The pushback may be due to the confessional Truly Reformed getting muddied by this lunacy and finally calling Mohler on it as they finally did with ESS. IMO Mohler is not driven by doctrinal concerns. He is fundamentally political and not fundamentally Calvinist Baptist. Only when his personal prestige and political capital was at stake did he equivocate on ESS. That may yet happen with this naked authoritarian nonsense.

  93. I finally watched the video up top. As always when I see one of these clowns in their full efflorescence, I think “how in the world did this freak ever get into any position of authority?”. And this little twit got a good man fired from his job. Something is very, very wrong with this part of Evangelical Christendom. It is not funny, it is very not funny…

  94. @ Lea:
    Granted, I am no expert on Nouthetic or what they call Biblical Counseling but it seems to be predicated on the counseled as worm. Guilty. Sinful.

    So what is the approach to a rape victim? Someone molested as a kid? Do they tell them what SGM told a 3 year old victim that she was just as guilty a sinner as her molester?

    The irony to me is that I tend to agree with them that narcissism and sociopathy are sinful. But I think both are more of a choice in behavior if not thinking. However, how would they treat themselves? Because I consider that movement to instill and reward narcissistic behavior.

  95. Spartacus wrote:

    Lambert needs medication for whatever physical problem results in his itchy nose.

    No, he needs a spiritually mature older woman to lovingly but firmly knock the unctious snot out of his head which will exit his nose along with his haughty attitude.

  96. @ Lydia:
    That is exactly what Heath Lambert says. In his “textbook”, (now sadly used as such at SBTS) he just wants to jump to the victims sin. Beat em up with the bible and they will be healed. Lord have mercy on those victims of the noethetic movement.

  97. @ Gram3:
    Yes. It’s about position for Mohler not doctrine. He used to be egal, for crying out loud. The petition surprised me, though. And comments were interesting. I skimmed about the first 100.

  98. @ Daisy:
    And if a counselor does not obtain certification and practices it as part of a religion, they are protected from malpractice in most cases, right?

  99. Lydia wrote:

    So what is the approach to a rape victim? Someone molested as a kid? Do they tell them what SGM told a 3 year old victim that she was just as guilty a sinner as her molester?

    I’m pretty sure they had one of them call her molester and tell him she forgave him. Which…yeesh.

    There was another who was literally raped on campus, violently, and they told her to not be bitter and not tell anyone, because that would be..idk, selfish? Something stupid.

  100. Jack wrote:

    The idea of Biblical based counselling is frightening. Who’s version of the bible? Who’s interpreting what passages and applying them to a persons issues? The bible is not a how-to manual much less a guide to counselling in the 21st century. You can make it say whatever you want depending on your agenda.
    Big problem with this – counselling can do so much damage if done wrong.

    Biblical counseling was one of the factors that nearly destroyed our family. So yeah, I’d tend to agree with you.

  101. Beakerj wrote:

    Lambert? Anyone know what his qualifications are?

    He’s got the Right Doctrine. At least, he thinks so. He said so, anyway.

  102. How do these biblical councilors avoid being sued? I have a couple of relatives who are literally crazy. Suicidal crazy. Both will tell you without medication and psychological help, they both would-be dead. One lost her mind completing her doctorate during which her husband was murdered and her parents were killed in an auto accident.
    She is on so many prescription meds just to function.
    Sorry but Jesus alone wouldn’t have kept Lori from taking her life. (She is a research chemist with a major petrochemical company now….you using paint? She designed it)

  103. @ K.D.:
    Amen. I haven’t read through the whole thread, but I know Daisy could chime in with her personal experience of how she could not pray her way out of depression. You can’t pray your way out of anxiety, or OCD, or bipolar, or schizophrenia, or a host of other illnesses.

    Biblical counselors often tie heavy loads on suffering people and may end up “making them twice the sons of hell…”

    I know there are some out there who are well meaning, and even have done some good and approach problems with common sense along with scripture. But there are too many who are ready to slap a verse on a problem.

    “The Bible says ‘be not anxious…’ so you’re in sin if you entertain anxiety. Just pray more. Give thanks more. Be more thankful.” Okay, let’s pile more guilt onto the person who can’t seem to help feeling anxious. Yay! Now they can be anxious about being anxious!

  104. Lydia wrote:

    So what is the approach to a rape victim? Someone molested as a kid? Do they tell them what SGM told a 3 year old victim that she was just as guilty a sinner as her molester?

    Yes, that’s what they do.

    I was reading a book by – Ed Welch I think his name is – and I think he’s into this kind of counseling. He talked about a patient of his who was 30-something who came to seem him for counseling.

    This 30 something patient told him she had been raped when she was around 8 yrs. old.

    In the book, Welch pays lip service to having compassion for victims in the book, but he said something in the book about asking her to ask herself what role did she play in her own assault (very similar tactic to what Alcoholics Anonymous does too, btw, which I wrote about on my Daisy blog).

    I read this book by Welch to learn how to get over my anxiety around people, but his only ‘solution’ was to tell readers to remember God is in charge – and he was also sort of into victim- blaming.

    IIRC, he told readers to remember they’re not perfect and are sinners too, just like other people who hurt them. This is somehow supposed to help you lose your fear of people, though I didn’t then (and don’t know now) how that is supposed to help.

    (I apologize I cannot remember with more clarity how his book went, but it’s been a few years since I read it.)

  105. Lea wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    The idea of Biblical based counselling is frightening. Who’s version of the bible? Who’s interpreting what passages and applying them to a persons issues?
    Someone at BJU who was counseled in this method mentioned that she needed to hear about God loving her(and there are plenty of biblical verses about that) not that she was in sin, but that’s all she got. Plus forgive and don’t be bitter. She also mentioned that the school said you didn’t have to forgive when someone had not apologized, but counseling told her the opposite? And that they talked instead of listened.

    Ah, yes, I was told I needed to submit more; my spouse was told he needed to lead more; our children were told they needed to obey more… none of which addressed the root problem in the least.

    What happens when you try to put out a fire by pouring on gasoline? And if pouring on gasoline is not effective in putting out the fire, would you advise the firemen to simply double their efforts and the amount of gasoline until they get the fire out, finally?

  106. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Lydia wrote:
    @ ishy:
    They aren’t board certified, are they? Or they don’t recommend that route?
    Someone getting that degree has to work in a church or religious organization.
    i.e. behind the Christianese Event Horizon, never able to step into the Big Bad Sinful World.
    Feature, not Bug.
    And if you ever have questions or doubts about anything counseling or otherwise you are likely to get kicked out and unable to earn a living (at least in your chosen profession). Basically blackmail.

    It seems as if the system is set up for charlatans and con artists, then. Because the people who try to be honest and earnest get beaten up in the counseling and driven to despair, while the con artists have a knack for telling the counselor what he (she?) wants to hear and gets a clean slate–and no healing or correction.

  107. Lea wrote:

    It does seem like his qualifications are rather thing to be presenting himself as an expert. didn’t he just finish his degree in 2009? What research has he done? What are the results of his methods????

    “Research? We don’t need no stinkin’ research! We’ve got the Bible!”

  108. refugee wrote:

    It seems as if the system is set up for charlatans and con artists, then.

    It sometimes seems that evangelical Christianity was set up for charlatans and con artists, if you think about it.

  109. Injun Joe wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    So relax in the safety of your own delusions and get started today!
    Operators are standing by!
    I’m thinking of starting a gospel centered brothel. All I need is investors…
    and if you act now, I can show you how to reap maximum ROI (return on investment) using other people’s money!

    Sorry to tell you that your business is fated to fail. They already have a field that is white for the harvest in terms of women and children, who are on the wrong end of the power balance. There’s no need for them to pay for what they can get for free… unless they get caught, that is.

  110. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Granted, I am no expert on Nouthetic or what they call Biblical Counseling but it seems to be predicated on the counseled as worm. Guilty. Sinful.

    No, it’s always been called Biblical Counseling as a general term. The peons wouldn’t remember or identify with the word “nouthetic”. That’s what the “smart” people use.

  111. Lydia wrote:

    Yes. It’s about position for Mohler not doctrine.

    No doubt this is politics and not doctrine. What is curious is the part about pressure being exerted on Mohler by Lambert and a group of large churches like FBCJax who are into this so-called “Biblical” counseling. If Mohler caved, then who is the dog and who is the tail?

    Meanwhile, the pewpeons are subjected to abuse. Lambert’s demeanor is so much like the proud pups I’ve encountered who know everything about everything that matters. Cold and cruel.

  112. TW wrote:

    That is exactly what Heath Lambert says. In his “textbook”, (now sadly used as such at SBTS) he just wants to jump to the victims sin. Beat em up with the bible and they will be healed. Lord have mercy on those victims of the noethetic movement.

    Isn’t it a bit ironic that these people who say we should use only the Bible are busy writing counseling books and textbooks themselves? Apparently we need THEIR books in addition to the Bible?

  113. @ Gram3:
    Interesting you brought that up, I almost did, I can’t keep up with all of it but as Mohlers protégés move up and on there are more and more instances where he is either acting on recommendations or making blow off jokes about their behaviors, etc. Its as if the little Frankensteins he created start to become not only demanding (like him) but embarrassing. There comes a time they are unmanageable. I have several in mind but the incidents so subtle and fleeting they aren’t worth mentioning. But patterns emerge. And Mohler has set himself up as Pope so people naturally look to him as responsible. He has helped some pretty bad characters and even saved some careers not worth saving for allegiance. There was one incident here with a Baptist college that went beyond the pale. It was literally manufactured for effect. Thank God the college told the state association (Mohler appointed thugs) they no longer wanted their money.

  114. @ Lydia:
    There is also the non-trivial matter of two contradictory accounts of what actually happened (unless I am misunderstanding, which is always more than possible.) Lambert and his organization pressured Mohler and Mohler fired Johnson. Or Lambert and his organization did not pressure Mohler and Mohler just up and fired Johnson because…?

    Is anyone supposed to believe the Apology? How weird is it that Lambert writes the Big Apology and Mohler has already fired Johnson? If real people were not being harmed and this were not being done in the name of Jesus, this would be comical.

  115. refugee wrote:

    They already have a field that is white for the harvest in terms of women and children, who are on the wrong end of the power balance. There’s no need for them to pay for what they can get for free… unless they get caught, that is.

    And even if they do get caught, it’s no big deal. One commenter remarked upthread that they’ll even go so far as to force a three year old girl to ‘forgive’ her molester because she’s a ‘sinner’ too.
    But if said horndog gets caught patronizing Injun Joe’s brothel? Holy chit! His hash is settled and his goose is cooked and he might as well kiss his church life good bye.

  116. He did him a favor, albeit unintentional—he gets out of a place that should turn the stomach of any genuine lover of Jesus.

  117. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Liz wrote:
    It’s almost like the Bible becomes an idol.
    I think it’s worse than that. The Bible becomes an idol to the masses, but a sock-puppet to the “priests”.

    And there it was: “I did not want people to think about him at all. I wanted them to think about themselves, their own sin, and their own need to cherish the Bible.” Said Lambert!

  118. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    I ask again, where is the love? There isn’t any in any of it.

    Good question. They love “the good book” for it’s own sake. But the good book emphasises loving the author and your fellow human being.

  119. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Well, fortunately, the Lord has now revealed to me why I’m diabetic. Most people simply receive insulin into their hearts through the spirit by faith, whereas I don’t receive it because I’m striving to work it out in my intellect.

    You are on fire today, fire I tell you.

  120. Gram3 wrote:

    No, he needs a spiritually mature older woman to lovingly but firmly knock the unctious snot out of his head which will exit his nose along with his haughty attitude.

    I have a feeling you’d volunteer. And I volunteer to watch.

  121. Watched the movie, The Case for Christ. After a deep desire to sand blast my eyebrows off. I was touched by the human, messy element of the movie. The serendipity of God shining light particularly for each of us into our world in a particular time. It was emotional and very human. The problem with this is I was taught from day one as an Evangelical is that God hates and I mean hates emotion of any kind, grief being at the very top of the list. God is rational, effective, efficient, direct, strong etc. His followers are independent, rational, strong, islands unto themselves, they move on, they get over it, they don’t need, individual, move along, never fail, overcome, are strong, focused, doctrinally correct, etc.

    I liked the human element very much but as a follower of Jesus, I am supposed to loathe my humanity, actually all of humanity. I am always a bit frustrated when people try to prove Christianity they do their very best to make us ie pew sitters become nonbelievers. I get we are a dime a dozen actually a dime a billion or less. I get that as well. Like I said I was touched by the human element of the story, the compelling hope etc. I had to fight not to loathe myself for having such feelings.

  122. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Yes. He also responded in a guest post at David Murray’s blog. Much the same thing – medicine works but not in any life changing, helpful way.

    http://headhearthand.org/blog/2016/08/17/dialogue-with-heath-lambert/

    I haven’t yet read the entire comment thread, but I read what was at the link. Folks, I think I have found Heath Lambert’s central problem.

    “The position that I advance throughout the book is that God wrote the Bible to be about the problems we face in our lives before him. These are the kinds of problems that motivate people to look for counseling. The Bible’s own testimony is that it is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path in the midst of a dark world that plagues us with apparently limitless problems (Ps. 119:105). If God has gone to incredible effort to explain his solutions to our problems in living then I do believe it is unfaithful and unhelpful to pursue other solutions.”

    In other words, God authored the Bible not as a history and explanation of the redemption of fallen sinners through the person and work of Jesus Christ, no, no, no.
    The Bible is a glorified counseling manual. This man is not rightly handling Scripture, because his whole view of it is wrong. I wonder about the rest of ACBC.

  123. dee wrote:

    Too bad they can’t burn at the stake…Heath’s apology’s a farce.

    I have to say, I would never wish that on someone, not even the Calvinistas. Partly because I wouldn’t want to potentially sink down to their level, and partly because, well, have you ever read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs?

  124. “But I think David may be on to something with his question about this statement. Now that I’ve been pressed I would be forced to agree that there are other solutions to our counseling problems.”

    *facepalm*

  125. NJ wrote:

    The Bible is a glorified counseling manual. This man is not rightly handling Scripture, because his whole view of it is wrong.

    I don’t know if he honestly believes that, or if he thinks it makes him more ‘important’. He seems full of arrogance to me…

    I agree with you, though. The bible is not fundamentally about solving people’s interpersonal problems.

  126. brian wrote:

    The problem with this is I was taught from day one as an Evangelical is that God hates and I mean hates emotion of any kind, grief being at the very top of the list. God is rational, effective, efficient, direct, strong etc. His followers are independent, rational, strong, islands unto themselves, they move on, they get over it, they don’t need, individual, move along, never fail, overcome, are strong, focused, doctrinally correct, etc.

    Add chain-smoking, obsession with “Am I Getting Fat?”, and obsessive Objectivist lecturing and you have an Ayn Rand hero character…

  127. ZechZav wrote:

    “I did not want people to think about him at all. I wanted them to think about themselves, their own sin, and their own need to cherish the Bible.” Said Lambert!

    Who’s “him”? Christ?

  128. Mary27 wrote:

    Isn’t it a bit ironic that these people who say we should use only the Bible are busy writing counseling books and textbooks themselves? Apparently we need THEIR books in addition to the Bible?

    But THEIR books are PART of the Bible, superseding the other 66!

    (And they’ll have to duke it out with all the OTHER 67th Books of the Bible, from Hal Lindsay to Ayn Rand to Left Behind…)

  129. ishy wrote:

    The peons wouldn’t remember or identify with the word “nouthetic”. That’s what the “smart” people use.

    Recognition-code Shibboleth for the Inner Ring.

  130. refugee wrote:

    Beakerj wrote:

    Lambert? Anyone know what his qualifications are?

    He’s got the Right Doctrine.

    His Ideology is Pure, Comrades.

  131. @ NJ:
    This is a very good analysis.. The YEC do the same thing…. Science HAS to start with their interpretation of the Bible. Odd thing, I do not see the classical, relativistic, and quantum mechanical laws of physics written in the Bible! When i start with these laws, and measured, remeasured, and remeasured data, and make logical, straight forward, well accepted caliculations, I come to the conclusion that: 1. The earth is very old, 2. G$d made it to look old. The arguments Answers in Gensis trys to make to refute these two conclusions would be comical if this were not such a serious issue.
    These guys are trying to do the same thing with mental health….

  132. There seems to be some similarity between “Biblical Counseling” and “Christian Science” as it relates to solving problems of emotional and relationship challenges since both involve understanding of God’s laws, instructions, prayer, etc.

  133. I am a christian and have worked as a clinical psychologist for about thirty years. I started training aged about 38 years ago, having a ‘calling’ to be a psychologist. When I started out I was suspicious of psychology regarding therapy because what I perceived as the philosophical framework differing from Christianity. I also read J Adams and knew about nouthetic counselling. I had to work through things, and outside of work has to put up with the suspicions of christians and in work the suspicions of atheists.

    A problem with the approadh by Heath Lambert is that it does not do what it says it does. The ‘biblical counselling’ he espouses brings different assumptions about psychology that are not necessarily found in the bible but somewhat hidden in his approach. This is because we will live in a world in which we absorb different ideas and values within our own cultures. This is very obvious if you come from different culture of even country. The other problem is that biblical counselling ignores God given advances in psychology, which come fom the scientific frameworks that arguably go back to christians were scientists at the start of the Enlightenment. This includes the scientific empirical method that can tell objectively whether a particular therapy actually works. So we know, for example, from careful research that cognitive behavioural therapy can be used to treat anxiety disorders, curing phobias. We know that memory rehabilitation can be used successfully for people with memory disorder due to brain damage. We know the specialist skills needed to treat people with anorexia nervosa.

    However, what I learned over the years is that is it important for christians working in psychology to understand the philosophical assumptions of psychological approaches so these can be sifted. Take the good stuff and not necessary follow everything – discernment and contact with fellow christians who are psychologists is important.

    Just one example is Transactional Analysis, which made the assumption that people are born without sin – which arguably is not christian theology. This can be argued about, but the point is that if one were to use transactional Analysis, then due caution would be needed not to ‘buy in’ to the non-christian assumptions.

    For this reason, we need christian psychologist who will engage with modern psychology thoughtfully, such as Eric Johnson.

    Another example is mindfulness, which has become a very valuable therapy and discernment for a christian is needed to understand the elements that are Buddist and not necessarily accept them if you are a Christian.

    The sad thing about some so called biblical counsellors is that some of them are not really biblical counsellors because they do not have a fully Christian view of the world in which we are provided with knowledge and understanding as part of being humans and through common grace.

    I remember early on, when reading J Adams thinking – well this is disappointing because it does not provide many of the techniques needed to help people with mental health problems – I then thought that the biblical counsellists must be living in their own ‘bubble’ in which they were not treating people with serious mental health issues – but I realise it could have been worse than this – that they thought they were doing so but were delluded in their approach.

    I cannot say the extent to which substantial harm has been done to people who have not had their mental health problems properly recognised by Christians or the right approaches have not been used because of a false understanding of Christianity.

  134. To contribute my unsolicited and all-too-limited experience, I remember speaking with a professor of Biblical counseling at SEBTS in his office about a matter unrelated to any specific counseling. In the middle of the conversation he made the statement if people would do what I told them then I would have a 100% success rate.

    Let that sink in for a moment.

  135. Peter wrote:

    I then thought that the biblical counsellists must be living in their own ‘bubble’ in which they were not treating people with serious mental health issues – but I realise it could have been worse than this – that they thought they were doing so but were delluded in their approach.

    Enjoyed your perspective on this. I have some questions about if and/or when a ‘biblical counselor’ would elect refer a patient to a clinical psychologist or MD. And HOW would they decide? Do they use depression/ptsd/anxiety screens? Does anyone actually know?

    Do they know if the people they are treating are SMI, or have psychosis, or do they simply attribute it all to sin…

  136. Burwell wrote:

    if people would do what I told them then I would have a 100% success rate.

    Yikes!!!

    But then, they use this for abuse too, don’t they. Just submit, wives, and your husbands will stop being terrible. Does it work? Nope. But you know, they just aren’t doing it correctly! Would be eyerolly if not so damaging and potentially deadly.

  137. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Burwell wrote:
    To contribute my unsolicited and all-too-limited experience…
    It’s never stopped me here before.

    Bah.

    You’re all unsolicited and all-too-limited. As well as rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

  138. Peter wrote:

    I cannot say the extent to which substantial harm has been done to people who have not had their mental health problems properly recognised by Christians or the right approaches have not been used because of a false understanding of Christianity.

    Glad you came to share with us.

    This has been my experience with the many people in my life with mental illnesses. I have several that refuse all counseling and therapy now because they had such bad experiences with Christian counselors, even though they desperately need treatment. A couple of them go to churches where they would be put under church discipline for seeking therapy outside the nouthetic counselor or pastor at the church.

    And I took all the counseling classes required by an MDiv at SEBTS. There was no discussion of domestic abuse, child abuse, or advanced personality disorders like narcissism or bipolar disorder. Pastors that come out of SBC seminaries are NOT qualified to be counselors.

  139. Roger Bombast wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Burwell wrote:
    To contribute my unsolicited and all-too-limited experience…
    It’s never stopped me here before.

    Bah.

    You’re all unsolicited and all-too-limited. As well as rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

    Nick, Roger, God, whoever:

    The poet Walt Whitman might be speaking for you when he wrote:

    “I am large, I contain multitudes.”

    🙂

  140. ishy wrote:

    And I took all the counseling classes required by an MDiv at SEBTS. There was no discussion of domestic abuse, child abuse, or advanced personality disorders like narcissism or bipolar disorder.

    That’s terrible!!

  141. @ Burwell:

    On a completely different note, I followed the link to your blogsite (don’t know why I’ve never done this before!). I was excited to see that you have two giant pet chipmunks.

    Respect.

  142. ishy wrote:

    And I took all the counseling classes required by an MDiv at SEBTS. There was no discussion of domestic abuse, child abuse, or advanced personality disorders like narcissism or bipolar disorder. Pastors that come out of SBC seminaries are NOT qualified to be counselors.

    In all fairness, I do know of one counseling professor at SEBTS who would bring in a victim of domestic violence (a woman who had divorced her abusive husband) to teach the class on what to look for, how to respond, etc. The lady is a friend of mine and my wife’s and she now runs a ministry reaching out to victims of domestic violence and abuse.

    I will not mention the professors name, however, because: 1. he is no longer at SEBTS and 2. he is the one who made the statement I quoted above. So there is that.

  143. @ Lea:
    But bipolar, multiple personality disorder, etc, are not in the Bible, and since all truth has to start in the bible, you do not need to know about them, or worse, they are not real since secular humanist came up with them.

  144. roebuck wrote:

    The poet Walt Whitman might be speaking for you when he wrote:
    “I am large, I contain multitudes.”

    Alternatively, maybe I’m ordinary sized and all my alter egos are just very small.

  145. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Alternatively, maybe I’m ordinary sized and all my alter egos are just very small.

    Always a possibility – you can pack a lot of ’em in if they are very small.

  146. @ NJ:
    Did you watch the video? I was both amused and disgusted that his strategy to refute Johnson’s approach was to give a theatrical reading of a Psalm! So, the lamenting or praise poetry of the Pslams is a how to Manual for counseling? Do they teach patients how to read the Psalms in a theatrical manner?

    ( it all boils down to they believe they have “special knowledge” of scripture that the people who come in for counseling cannot have)

  147. Lydia wrote:

    ( it all boils down to they believe they have “special knowledge” of scripture that the people who come in for counseling cannot have)

    Isn’t “Occult Gnosis” the Koine Greek for “special secret knowledge”?

    And “Gnostic” the Greek for “He Who Has Special Secret Knowledge”?

  148. @ Jack:

    “Or check out our other courses:

    “Biblical Based Auto Repair”
    “Biblical Based Computer Programming”
    “Biblical Based Travel Agent Technology”
    “Biblical Based Gunsmithing”
    “Biblical Based Gardening”
    “Biblical Based Legal Assistant”
    “Biblical Based Medical Transcriptionist””
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    …so this must be where the local Hiking Pastor, Cycling Pastor, & Scuba Pastor got their training!

  149. elastigirl wrote:

    Cycling Pastor,

    Ha! Would not be surprised if this was a real thing at all. Every man on staff in baptist churches is a pastor o’something

  150. @ Lydia:

    Yeah, I watched it yesterday. Dr. Lambert is somebody I would never seek counseling from. He strikes me as a person whose mind is made up, and don’t confuse him with the facts.

  151. @ Lea:

    I agree with you that he’s full of arrogance, but I also have the strong impression that he genuinely believes everything he’s saying, even when it’s convoluted and self-contradictory.

  152. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    1. The earth is very old, 2. G$d made it to look old. The arguments Answers in Gensis trys to make to refute these two conclusions would be comical if this were not such a serious issue.

    Yeah, I’ve never been satisfied with the appearance of age argument. You end up with a universe that is largely an illusion. Do they really want to end up agreeing with the secular theorists about all of us living in a giant hologram?

  153. NJ wrote:

    Yeah, I’ve never been satisfied with the appearance of age argument. You end up with a universe that is largely an illusion.

    Isn’t the Buddhist word for that “Maya”?

  154. ishy wrote:

    Peter wrote:

    I cannot say the extent to which substantial harm has been done to people who have not had their mental health problems properly recognised by Christians or the right approaches have not been used because of a false understanding of Christianity.

    Glad you came to share with us.

    This has been my experience with the many people in my life with mental illnesses. I have several that refuse all counseling and therapy now because they had such bad experiences with Christian counselors, even though they desperately need treatment. A couple of them go to churches where they would be put under church discipline for seeking therapy outside the nouthetic counselor or pastor at the church.

    And I took all the counseling classes required by an MDiv at SEBTS. There was no discussion of domestic abuse, child abuse, or advanced personality disorders like narcissism or bipolar disorder. Pastors that come out of SBC seminaries are NOT qualified to be counselors.

    It was the same way at Ft Worth in the 80s. I was not qualified to council people. In truth, other than preach, I was not minister. Thus my leaving and going into another profession.

  155. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    “When will people figure out that the Bible is not the Encyclopedia of Everything. And was never meant to be! OY!”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    this is no thesis, but 2 things strike me: monetizing ‘ministry’, and leisure.

    In the food chain of christian industry, seminaries need students who need careers which need fluffing up. publishers need writers who need ideas which need fluffing up.

    In this era most(?) people are lucky enough to have some leisure. I think christianity can turn into a hobby for one’s leisure time. experimenting, fiddling, exploring for new & fanciful discoveries. People are willing to pay money for these ‘new’ and ‘improved’ fluffed up ideas because it feeds their hobby.

    Since the concept of God is involved, everyone takes themselves too seriously, believing they have come up with or stumbled across the next big God thing. the “biblical” paperclip, post-it note, and safety pin.

    monetizing ministry and leisure — I can think of no other explanation for The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life by Barnabas Piper. And so many things just like it.

    my heart breaks for those whose lives have been altered due to the hurricane disasters. And other disasters. but i can clearly see how when disaster strikes all these fluffed up christian ideas evaporate (as well they should) and the only things that matter are the brass tacks of it all. brotherly/sisterly kindness, prayers of faith, action in helping hands.

    sure wish it didn’t take such things to break the spell of fluffy christian ideas and the market for them.

    (footnote: i don’t believe God sends hurricanes or other disasters to teach character lessons. i don’t believe he sends them at all.)

  156. Beakerj wrote:

    I have a feeling you’d volunteer. And I volunteer to watch.

    Certainly. I have some experience, though I doubt it would be effective since I suspect he lacks insight, despite the Apology.

  157. NJ wrote:

    Yeah, I’ve never been satisfied with the appearance of age argument.

    I think ‘God is just trying to trick us’ is really weird theology.

  158. brian wrote:

    Watched the movie, The Case for Christ. After a deep desire to sand blast my eyebrows off. I was touched by the human, messy element of the movie.

    The serendipity of God shining light particularly for each of us into our world in a particular time.

    It was emotional and very human. The problem with this is I was taught from day one as an Evangelical is that God hates and I mean hates emotion of any kind, grief being at the very top of the list. God is rational, effective, efficient, direct, strong etc.

    His followers are independent, rational, strong, islands unto themselves, they move on, they get over it, they don’t need, individual, move along, never fail, overcome, are strong, focused, doctrinally correct, etc.

    That sounds like how I was raised – by my father. My mom was okay with me being an actual human and going to her in private and admit to have in actual emotions.

    The rest of my family (dad, siblings), demand that I behave like a cross between a robot and a stoic, tough John Wayne cowboy.

    A lot of Christians are not comfortable or okay with other people (even other Christians) being vulnerable, crying in front of them, and admitting to having struggles.

    I really learned that in particular after m mother passed away and every Christian I went to, rather than giving me empathy, shamed or scolded me for being or feeling weak and to admitting to it.

    I’ve been thinking for awhile now of writing a post on my Daisy blog about grief, and how the majority of Christians I’ve seen are terrible at ministering to those who are undergoing it.

  159. Deb wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    And we wouldn’t know any of this it there was no petition.

    Somehow I missed who started the petition. Was it a group of students on Twitter?

  160. roebuck wrote:

    Are you mandelbrot or sierpinski?

    I think I’m more of a Cantor Dust:
     One-dimensional
     Infinitely many lines
     With a total length of zero

  161. Burwell wrote:

    In the middle of the conversation he made the statement if people would do what I told them then I would have a 100% success rate.

    Said every toddler, tyrant, and Cluster B in history.

  162. NJ wrote:

    The Bible is a glorified counseling manual. This man is not rightly handling Scripture, because his whole view of it is wrong. I wonder about the rest of ACBC.

    Not to mention… his view of the Bible as being sufficient for treating mental health problems simply does not work.

    When I eventually broke free of most of my clinical depression and fear of people (I still deal with some anxiety), it was NOT through the Bible, faith in Jesus, or through prayer.

  163. Daisy wrote:

    simply does not work

    They don’t care if it ‘works’. they just care if they can tell everybody they are ‘right’.
    elastigirl wrote:

    I think christianity can turn into a hobby for one’s leisure time. experimenting, fiddling, exploring for new & fanciful discoveries.

    Sometimes I think people treat theology like philosophy. Other times its more like they’re on about the latest self help book, but spiritualized. There isn’t room here for just being…

  164. Mary27 wrote:

    Isn’t it a bit ironic that these people who say we should use only the Bible are busy writing counseling books and textbooks themselves? Apparently we need THEIR books in addition to the Bible?

    Thank you, yes. This is a point I’ve brought up on older threads on this blog, but you put it much more clearly and succinctly than I ever did.

    I have read a small number of Christian authored books that were okay.

    Some of the ones that explain about customs in the times of Jesus, for example, can shed light on some of the stories in the NT and that kind of thing. A book or two by Christian psychiatrists that say that having boundaries is a good thing were works I found helpful, too.

    But most of the books I’ve read by Christians on many other topics are just not helpful.

    And like you, I find it puzzling why all these guys who say they believe in sola scriptura act as though you MUST have their book to “really” understand Jesus, or to be a good Christian, or to live life correctly.

  165. Peter wrote:

    Another example is mindfulness, which has become a very valuable therapy and discernment for a christian is needed to understand the elements that are Buddist and not necessarily accept them if you are a Christian.

    Your comment jogged another thought for me I was mulling over yesterday but didn’t post about at that time.

    This Lambert guy believes that the Bible alone or Jesus is sufficient to heal someone of depression or what have you.

    Putting aside the fact that Christianti did bup-kiss for me when I had depression and when I was a very devout Christian-

    Does Lambert expect Jews, atheists, Wiccans, Neo-pagans, Muslims, and Hindus to buy into Jesus alone, or the Bible alone?

    Or is his type of counseling meant to be helpful to professing Christians only?

    If Lambert is willing to treat atheists, for example, what does he propose – try to convert them to Jesus first before they can or will buy into the concept of personal sin, etc?

    How would Lambert expect to treat an atheist given his view of therapy, since atheists are not (I would imagine) going to believe in the notion of personal sin?

    Or maybe he and others like him just do not care about helping Non-Christians?

  166. Daisy wrote:

    Mary27 wrote:

    Isn’t it a bit ironic that these people who say we should use only the Bible are busy writing counseling books and textbooks themselves? Apparently we need THEIR books in addition to the Bible?

    Thank you, yes. This is a point I’ve brought up on older threads on this blog, but you put it much more clearly and succinctly than I ever did.

    No preacher believes in the sufficiency of scripture…

  167. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    But bipolar, multiple personality disorder, etc, are not in the Bible, and since all truth has to start in the bible, you do not need to know about them, or worse, they are not real since secular humanist came up with them.

    I’ve seen some Christians even express skepticism that depression is real. Even if you point out a few of the Old Testament people who seemingly had all the indications of having depression….

    Then you have the problem of Christians who recognize that there is such a thing as depression (or other mental health problems), and…

    They give really awful advice (like, “just read your Bible more and it will go away!”), or, they will shame you for having said mental health problem and say you are being “self absorbed”.

    I’ve also seen some Christians unfairly, insensitively, and inaccurately characterize having depression -or being in grief over the death of a loved one- as being “self pity.”

    (As if to say there is something shameful or sinful about having depression or grief.)

  168. Lea wrote:

    They don’t care if it ‘works’. they just care if they can tell everybody they are ‘right’.

    I realize that the preoccupation from Lambert’s view is he thinks he’s defending God or the Bible…

    but, if you are the one with the 20+ years of depression and want to overdose on pills or make a noose and hang yourself (I speak from experience), you don’t care if the relief, the solution, from your emotional pain is “biblically correct” or not.

    Had an atheist told me back when I was seeking a solution that getting ‘cured’ from depression and anxiety involved balancing a cat fish on my head and jumping up and down on one leg for five minutes, I would’ve tried it.

  169. @ Daisy:

    BTW, I’d also argue that if Lambert’s treatment does not work, it is not “right.”

    If I try his victim-blaming, read- the- Bible- only approach and still have depression, (or whatever malady), I question how “right” it really is, and how relevant or useful it is.

    With Lambert’s approach, God and/or the Bible is an utter failure at helping people with psychological issues.

  170. Lydia wrote:

    @ NJ:
    Did you watch the video? I was both amused and disgusted that his strategy to refute Johnson’s approach was to give a theatrical reading of a Psalm! So, the lamenting or praise poetry of the Pslams is a how to Manual for counseling? Do they teach patients how to read the Psalms in a theatrical manner?
    ( it all boils down to they believe they have “special knowledge” of scripture that the people who come in for counseling cannot have)

    At one point (IIRC–don’t want to re-watch) he read off the mystery author’s summary of statement of previous verses in the Psalm, doing so with a totally flat affect in his voice, and then proceeded to mock how un-excited the mystery author is about scripture.
    I also liked how he did a ten-finger drum-roll on the podium as he was about to bring forth the “good” stuff.
    Does Mohler do this sort of thing?
    As he went on about the mystery author, I found myself starting to ask back WHO? each time he said “he”.
    Of course most if not all in live audience knew of whom he spoke — but then why the charade?

  171. Dave A A wrote:

    At one point (IIRC–don’t want to re-watch) he read off the mystery author’s summary of statement of previous verses in the Psalm, doing so with a totally flat affect in his voice, and then proceeded to mock how un-excited the mystery author is about scripture.

    How childish.

    Daisy, in case it isn’t obvious, I believe in doing things that work. My statement that he wanted to be ‘right’ was meant to be a criticism.

  172. Lea wrote:

    My statement that he wanted to be ‘right’ was meant to be a criticism.

    And I didn’t mean medically right but ‘biblically’. It’s all about theology for him, not helping actual people. If it were about the later, their therapy model would be completely different. Psychotherapy is not perfect, but at least therapists are willing to change treatments (and medications) when things don’t work.

  173. Daisy wrote:

    And like you, I find it puzzling why all these guys who say they believe in sola scriptura act as though you MUST have their book to “really” understand Jesus, or to be a good Christian, or to live life correctly.

    This is something that can easily throw the YRR if they are being obnoxious and switching from “Bible only” to “Augustine” to “John Piper says…”. It’s something that doesn’t occur to most of them. They aren’t taught to actually think about what they are saying, only to regurgitate it.

  174. Daisy wrote:

    With Lambert’s approach, God and/or the Bible is an utter failure at helping people with psychological issues.

    But this is where the New Calvinist theology comes in–it’s always the fault of the person. And many would go so far to say that if it’s not working at all, then that person must not be Elect and therefore they need to be disciplined more or kicked out of the church and the counseling program.

    Their whole theology is set up around finding true believers, controlling them, and getting as much out of them as they can while promising them Heaven if they just submit more.

  175. Check out the recent tweets of Mac Brunson going back a couple of weeks and you will observe some things that relate to the story and others that may relate to the people involved. Go back at least a couple of days before the hurricane hit Jacksonville.

  176. @ Daisy:
    I wonder how these “counselors” react to the studies that show specific drugs can have validated improvements in people with bipolar and some types of depression? Is the data all false, or from the “evil one”? There are actual documented chemical pathways that these drugs interact with….

  177. Gram3 wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    @ Gram3:
    And we wouldn’t know any of this it there was no petition.
    Somehow I missed who started the petition. Was it a group of students on Twitter?

    Evidence indicates it was started by one Layne Hancock. https://twitter.com/Layne_Hancock
    Indeed, evidence for this is far stronger than any evidence presented by Hancock to back up his assertions.
    WT asked him to DM him so he could get the facts of the case– Hancock refused, because WT might not like SBTS. Others asked him to substantiate claims he tweeted, or to say what results he or the petition-writer hoped to achieve by it — crickets.
    So he sent 30 tweets. The first 19 are good. Then he starts making unsupported accusations of “jihad”, “blackmail”, and “scandal”.
    If anyone can find anyone else who may have contributed to the petition, that would be helpful. What it asserts may well be true, and is believable given Mohler’s track record. But for all we know Dr Johnson took early retirement to tend his ailing mother, or because he’s turned Arminian or some-such. After all — Dr Lambert’s rant was some 18 months ago and he claims to have apologized and made up.

  178. Dave A A wrote:

    If anyone can find anyone else who may have contributed to the petition, that would be helpful. What it asserts may well be true, and is believable given Mohler’s track record. But for all we know Dr Johnson took early retirement to tend his ailing mother, or because he’s turned Arminian or some-such. After all — Dr Lambert’s rant was some 18 months ago and he claims to have apologized and made up.

    This is like trying to figure out what’s REALLY going on at the top in North Korea…

  179. ishy wrote:

    This is something that can easily throw the YRR if they are being obnoxious and switching from “Bible only” to “Augustine” to “John Piper says…”. It’s something that doesn’t occur to most of them. They aren’t taught to actually think about what they are saying, only to regurgitate it.

    Because “Augustine” and “John Piper says…” IS the Bible to them.
    So everything Augustine wrote (or Piper says) IS “the Bible only”.

    “I AM WITH PAUL!”
    “I AM WITH APOLLOS!”
    “I AM WITH AUGUSTINE!”
    “I AM WITH PIPER!”
    “I AM WITH MOHLER!”

  180. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Because “Augustine” and “John Piper says…” IS the Bible to them.
    So everything Augustine wrote (or Piper says) IS “the Bible only”.

    They really get befuddled if you point it out, though. They don’t realize it’s what they are taught to believe and do.

    Then ask them when the last time they heard a sermon on the words of Jesus….

    It’s really interesting to me how many New Calvinists and former New Calvinists say “But it’s so LOGICAL!” but really, it’s not. You have to jump through lots of hoops to come to the conclusions they do and avoid a lot of verses. I mean, I think I’ve heard, “You’re just not understanding right” as much as anything from them. They are taught to believe it’s more logical just as much as they are taught to just regurgitate information.

  181. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    This is like trying to figure out what’s REALLY going on at the top in North Korea…

    THAT is simple. Glorious Leader Kim Il Sung is still at the top as Eternal President, despite unfortunate events of 1994.

  182. Dave A A wrote:

    If anyone can find anyone else who may have contributed to the petition, that would be helpful. What it asserts may well be true, and is believable given Mohler’s track record.

    OK, that is helpful since I am not active on Twitter. It is regrettably true that Mohler’s political power plays make a political firing believable on its face and Lambert’s video and “apology” make the coercion charge believable on its face. How sad is that when speaking of the flagship seminary of the SBC? I think his denial language is overly precise — leaving wiggle room for later — when it could just as easily have been a flat and broad denial.

    Who is Layne Hancock and what is his interest in this? Is it possible that he has created trouble where there is none? For example, perhaps Johnson has taken early retirement from SBTS to teach elsewhere or join the staff of a church? A timeline might be interesting. Another question is who are the publishers of Lambert’s and Johnson’s books, and which of them are textbooks in the seminaries? Is Johnson’s new book the fuse? Because I don’t think this is about the sufficiency of scripture.

  183. ishy wrote:

    I think I’ve heard, “You’re just not understanding right” as much as anything from them. They are taught to believe it’s more logical just as much as they are taught to just regurgitate information.

    But when pressed to show their logical work, they cannot do it. It became somewhat amusing when their Ironclad Arguments did not work. They were never tested, and it simply never occurred to the Pastor Pups that they even needed to be tested.

  184. ishy wrote:

    But this is where the New Calvinist theology comes in–it’s always the fault of the person. And many would go so far to say that if it’s not working at all, then that person must not be Elect and therefore they need to be disciplined more or kicked out of the church and the counseling program.
    Their whole theology is set up around finding true believers, controlling them, and getting as much out of them as they can while promising them Heaven if they just submit more.

    I was asking in a post above that one, then who is it they are trying to help, professing Christians only?

    How would they go about helping an atheist?

  185. Jeffrey J . Chalmers wrote:

    I wonder how these “counselors” react to the studies that show specific drugs can have validated improvements in people with bipolar and some types of depression? Is the data all false, or from the “evil one”? There are actual documented chemical pathways that these drugs interact with….

    Those are good questions. It also drives me nuts that a lot of these guys who are anti depressant medication are just fine with Christians seeing doctors for conditions considered purely physical

    They’re okay with Christians getting heart surgery, wearing eye glasses, taking an aspirin for a head ache.

  186. @ Gram3:
    This is so true. They simply were never prepared for any push back. They almost always fall back on ad hominem.

  187. @ Gram3:
    If the severance packages are anything like they are in megachurches he won’t be saying anything negative. There is usually something to sign before you leave.

  188. @ Dave A A:
    The problem has always been with these scandals is that you can rarely prove them if the person wronged does not speak out. That is why you hear a lot of prove it prove it prove it from that wing. And frankly the person who has been wronged might need a couple of years to process the whole thing. Not to mention get the rest of their severance pay because they signed a piece of paper that said they couldn’t say anything negative. They always have people over a barrel.

  189. Daisy wrote:

    How would they go about helping an atheist?

    They don’t if New Cal. Many New Cal churches will not allow their counselors to treat non-members unless from a closely like-minded church. And members hear preaching, therefore, possibly Elect until can prove otherwise. BTW, any information you give to a counselor in a New Cal church does not stay private. It is given to pastors so they can discipline you if needed, even publicly. This unfortunately has happened to a friend of mine and made them very weary of counseling.

    I don’t think there are lots of ACBC counselors who are actually New Cal, though. There’s probably many who are other denominations, though they do sway heavily Baptist and maybe charismatic, I think, because most of the other denoms don’t believe secular psychology is bad or doesn’t work. But I would think that those counselors would heavily focus on evangelism if anyone came to them without being a Christian and that means not focusing on the issues they are facing. Some ACBC counselors are both, I think, but ACBC as an organization is heavily against secular psychology and always has been, even before Lambert.

    BTW, IMB and NAMB have been anti-counseling for years. When I was preparing to be a missionary, people at seminary told me to not reveal that I had ever been to counseling, even though at the time I had just done premarital counseling and grief counseling. Even before the New Cals, IMB would refuse any applicant who had counseling for any reason, except premarital counseling, and only if you had a nouthetic counselor for that. It was pretty extreme even then.

  190. Daisy wrote:

    It also drives me nuts that a lot of these guys who are anti depressant medication are just fine with Christians seeing doctors for conditions considered purely physical
    They’re okay with Christians getting heart surgery, wearing eye glasses, taking an aspirin for a head ache.

    They can’t pretend that scripture is sufficient for physical ailments with clear, visible symptoms because they can’t heal them. Plus, healing (even in new testament) has too strong a historic association with the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit, whom they deny. Double whammy: they could effortlessly be proven wrong, and the contradiction would be too uncomfortable for them.

    Much simpler to confine themselves to mental illness, the mechanisms of which are invisible, so that their claims to be able to “heal” it cannot be independently disproved.

  191. Daisy wrote:

    How would they go about helping an atheist?

    How likely is an atheist going to go to Christian based counseling? B

  192. So, while we do not know all the inner workings of SBTS, nor the current situation, I nosed around the SBTS web page some, and I have a observation. First, some perspective… i am a fifty something person that has been continuously in the academic world since 18 years of age. Three of thoses years were at a Christain College, 4.5 at a ivy league, and the rest at large state U’s.
    I have never seen a “institute of higher education” in which the President’s “Presence” is made more apparent than at SBTS. A runner up would be Bob Jones, and Liberty. If you “stand back” and try to look at it “objectively” this is very odd. Further, I have over the last 4 years visted over 20 Colleges/Universities as a perspective parent, including several christain colleges. Again, no strong presence of the “President” and his/her “ideas”.

    Given that an “institute of higher education” should have vision/purpose greater than one person, especialy so in a “christain school” that should have the ” heavenly kingdom” some how in this vision, I find seeing President Mohlers’ name and thoughts in many locations on the SBTS web page very disturbing….

  193. Jack wrote:

    How likely is an atheist going to go to Christian based counseling? B

    I guess not likely, but I don’t see how valuable their counseling is if it’s applicable to only one particular religious group.

    But then. When I was a teen, one of the psychiatrists I saw for depression happened to be a Christian. It’s possible this guy had atheists who saw him for treatment as well.

    I also read an article once by a Christian marriage therapist who had Christian and atheist patients.

    Maybe an atheist would be willing to see any kind of counselor, even if that counselor were a theist.

  194. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Much simpler to confine themselves to mental illness, the mechanisms of which are invisible, so that their claims to be able to “heal” it cannot be independently disproved.

    That’s a good point.

    There are some branches of Christianity that believe in faith-healing for physical ailments. If you don’t get your cancer or paralysis healed, they say you lack faith. These are usually the Word of Faith preachers you see on American Christian TV, such as Benny Hinn.

  195. Bridget wrote:

    A lot of them seem to hang on the bait-and-switch, false equivalence, and false antithesis combination Mr Lambert demonstrates above. Nobody, certainly not Eric Johnson, has denied that God has given us sufficient resources. The real battle, and the real deception, is over the claim that the Bible is the only resource God has given us. This is not even remotely biblical.
    Seduced and captivated by the subtle lures of biblianism (for want of a better word for it), Mr Lambert among many, many others have indeed committed themselves to a battle. It’s the battle to assert the centrality of biblianism, disguised as “Christ”.

    This is a misrepresentation of biblical counseling.
    See #84 – https://biblicalcounseling.com/ninety-five/
    See V. C. – https://biblicalcounseling.com/certification/standards-of-conduct/
    See III. (especially 2. and 3.) – https://biblicalcounseling.com/2014/10/statement-regarding-mental-disorders-medicine-and-counseling-from-acbc/

  196. drstevej wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    When will people figure out that the Bible is not the Encyclopedia of Everything. And was never meant to be! OY!

    “EVERY GOOD WORK”
    “THOROUGHLY EQUIPPED”

    2 Timothy 3

    16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
    17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    “Useful” is NOT the same as all-sufficient. Is prayer not necessary? Is faith not necessary? Is fellowship not necessary? Is agape not necessary?

    BTW at the time Paul wrote those words, most of the NT had not been written, let alone canonised. So if the entire Bible — OT and NT — was all-sufficient for everything, then Paul and his contemporaries were out of luck.

    Quick question: What does the Bible say is “the pillar and foundation of the truth”?

  197. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Jack:

    “Or check out our other courses:

    “Biblical Based Auto Repair”
    “Biblical Based Computer Programming”
    “Biblical Based Travel Agent Technology”
    “Biblical Based Gunsmithing”
    “Biblical Based Gardening”
    “Biblical Based Legal Assistant”
    “Biblical Based Medical Transcriptionist””
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    …so this must be where the local Hiking Pastor, Cycling Pastor, & Scuba Pastor got their training!

    Lol!!!

  198. Robb wrote:

    This is a misrepresentation of biblical counseling.
    See #84 – https://biblicalcounseling.com/ninety-five/
    See V. C. – https://biblicalcounseling.com/certification/standards-of-conduct/
    See III. (especially 2. and 3.) – https://biblicalcounseling.com/2014/10/statement-regarding-mental-disorders-medicine-and-counseling-from-acbc/

    I’m not sure how my name was associated with the comment you quoted. I do tend to agree with the quote, though.

    It doesn’t matter how much you quote the manual for biblical counseling. What matters is that probably 99.9999% of the people practicing biblical counseling are unqualified to diagnose mental illness or physical illness. They are running around doing more harm than good. They think they know what they are doing, telling even young children that their problems and actions are due to their own sin, when many (most) times they are not.

    These pseudo couselers cause untold damage, and they do it in the Name of Christ, causing young and old alike to forsake God altogether. You will never convince me otherwise, and I will tell it from the rooftops because I actually care about the people being harmed by this harmful pseudo counseling.

  199. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    “Useful” [specifically describing scripture] is NOT the same as all-sufficient. Is prayer not necessary? Is faith not necessary? Is fellowship not necessary? Is agape not necessary?
    BTW at the time Paul wrote those words, most of the NT had not been written, let alone canonised.

    One might add, is the Holy Spirit himself not necessary? The early church seemed to think him important. (For one thing – if scripture is greater than the Holy Spirit, how could the Holy Spirit have inspired or authored it? It would have to be the other way around!)

    You’ve captured very well the false antithesis I mentioned upthread – TBH, I’m a bit of a stuck record on the subject – that
     IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE that the 66 books as we currently have them ARE IN VERY NATURE GOD AND ARE GOD’S ULTIMATE AND MOST PERFECT CONCEIVABLE REVELATION OF HIMSELF TO HUMANITY (Jesus’s incarnation being just a dry run),
     THEN YOU MUST BELIEVE THE BIBLE TO BE NOTHING MORE THAN TOILET PAPER and it therefore follows that YOU ARE A LIBERAL

    Why is it so hard to love the scriptures as God-breathed and useful without bowing down and worshipping them? Why is the Holy Spirit so feared and disliked, and why are so many churchgoers and church managers so determined to make the bible replace all the other things God gave us?

  200. @ Robb:

    Actually, I do not think it is a misrepresentation whatsoever. Let me give you an analogy. The Gospel Coalition writes on and on that they are against child sex abuse.(Like anyone would say they are not.) But then, the continue to push a guy who presided over the largest child sex abuse scandal in evangelical history. Actions speak louder that words.

    This blog has been in existence for 9 years. I wish you could see the numbers of people who have shown up here telling me their horror stories. In fact, let me connect you to one. Maria Notcheva was heavily involved with biblical counseling- having been taught it and practiced it. Then, when she decided to leave an abusive marriage, the biblical counseling boys came at her with a vengeance. She is about to publish a book dealing with her story.

    Sad to say, but most so called biblical counselors are woefully undertrained and have no clue when it comes to physiological issues surrounding mental illness. And to pretend that the Bible is the mental health manual is ridiculous. That is like saying that it treats illnesses because it tells you to anoint the head of a sick person with oil. The treatment might cure dandruff but little else.

  201. elastigirl wrote:

    Biblical Based Auto Repair”
    “Biblical Based Computer Programming”
    “Biblical Based Travel Agent Technology”
    “Biblical Based Gunsmithing”
    “Biblical Based Gardening”
    “Biblical Based Legal Assistant”
    “Biblical Based Medical Transcriptionist””

    This is officially the best laugh of the week!

  202. @ Robb:
    One further point, the Bible can be a source of wisdom and encouragement for those who are struggling with mental illness. But, it is not the cure for it and anyone who thinks it is is treading on dangerous ground.

  203. Bridget wrote:

    I’m not sure how my name was associated with the comment you quoted. I do tend to agree with the quote, though.

    Nor am I – it was mine!

    Robb – I appreciate your pointing out an inaccuracy in what I wrote: Mr Lambert doesn’t quite claim that the bible is sufficient for literally everything. For instance, if he is physically dehydrated, I’m guessing he drinks some literal, physical water (or similar) rather than availing himself of the Precious Living Water Of Scripture; and similar.

    On the other hand, he does seem, to me, to insist that the bible is the only resource God has given us for “spiritual” matters. I don’t think he’s clear on the distinction, and even if he were, I don’t think it’s a helpful one. The three quotes you provided involve Lambert’s concession that a “medical” issue (Lambert’s word) should be treated by someone with equally “medical” qualifications. He’s ambiguous on what he thinks would qualify as a medical treatment – Prozac? Lithium? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? I genuinely don’t know.

    When Paul was harassed by a slave-girl with a spirit of divination (this from Acts 16), he eventually responded; but not by quoting scripture. And that was most certainly a spiritual problem.

  204. dee wrote:

    One further point, the Bible can be a source of wisdom and encouragement for those who are struggling with mental illness.

    I’m both unemployed and depressed (the latter caused overwhelmingly by the former). I’m always open to the Holy Spirit drawing my attention to scriptural instances, precedents or illustrations etc as a basis for pointing out a way forward. But the last time he drew me out of a long spell of unemployment and McJobs, he didn’t just use scripture.

    Actually, it was interesting. (I’ll try and be brief, as Mum’s just arrived – she comes over to ours for dinner most Sundays.)

    A while before, God (long story short) drew my attention to the story of Samson: who, you remember, got nearer and nearer to telling Delilah his secret, until eventually he gave it away. He expected to get up and paste the Philistines as before, but didn’t know the Lord had left him. By contrast, God told me that I was fighting a long battle, was getting nearer and nearer, and there would soon come a point where the enemy was defeated although he wouldn’t know it. (“The enemy” was partly satan, undoubtedly, but also the leadership of the congregation we were part of… another long story.)

    Shortly thereafter, one night while I couldn’t sleep, I was pacing the lounge and found myself praying a particular thing about my struggle to obtain work. From that point on, everything changed. God directed me (i.e., he spoke specifically to me) in a particular direction that a) is not mentioned in scripture, and b) had never worked before. He showed me, on one occasion, how specifically to answer a question on an application form; though this was mainly to make a more general point on how I could go about filling in that kind of application. This time, it did work.

    All of the above was very specific to me and the situation I was in at that time; to anybody else, I don’t doubt that it raises at least as many questions as it answers. My only point is, that’s how I believe the Holy Spirit works: he certainly does use scripture, but he has full divine authority to use anything else, and is not confined to quoting bible texts.

  205. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Why is it so hard to love the scriptures as God-breathed and useful without bowing down and worshipping them? Why is the Holy Spirit so feared and disliked, and why are so many churchgoers and church managers so determined to make the bible replace all the other things God gave us?

    I also wonder why it is so hard. I do think that Scripture is easily manipulated. What better way to gain power and control over church goers than to point them to scripture as “the only truth” and then manipulate those scriptures to your advantage?

  206. @ dee:
    While I also laughed, unfortunately if you read AIG (Answers in Genesis) “articles” they really do push “biblically based physics”… they say when the laws of physics are applied and come up with a conclusion that differs from their view of what the bible says, there is somethink wrong with either the laws of physics, or the application of them…. they outright say that all sciences have to start with their interpretation of the bible… the same with the biblical counciling for which this whole specific post started…

  207. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    they outright say that all sciences have to start with their interpretation of the bible…

    Indeed, which is ironic when you consider that they are the single biggest piece of evidence that the bible can’t possibly be “the word” of any God you could realistically put any faith in.

  208. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    For example:
    “What should be the reaction of Christians to such “weird physics”? We must be vigilant to avoid the nonbiblical influences on modern thinking. However, if a scientific model does not contradict the Bible, then we should be excited to see what new insights we can gain about the Creator and His workings. As with the question of origins, we must interpret the data through the lens of biblical revelation.”
    From AIG web page on Physics.. “weird” Phyiscs refers to qunatum mechanics, realtivity, and string theory…

  209. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    “weird” Phyiscs refers to qunatum mechanics, realtivity, and string theory…

    … walking on water, controlling the weather verbally, summoning rotted corpses from tombs (apparently unscathed), rising from the dead…

  210. Lydia wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    I doubt if they know any atheist personally.

    And jeopardize their Salvation through cross-contamination?

  211. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The three quotes you provided involve Lambert’s concession that a “medical” issue (Lambert’s word) should be treated by someone with equally “medical” qualifications. He’s ambiguous on what he thinks would qualify as a medical treatment – Prozac? Lithium? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? I genuinely don’t know.

    He doesn’t know how to dx a ‘medical’ mental illness. Because he has no training or skills for it, and probably believes there is no such thing. How can he know when to refer when he doesn’t understand??? The sheer arrogance of everything he is saying!

    If a properly trained psychiatrist were conducting experiments and had good data to say that a biblical approach worked, I would listen to them. We know that some non-medical/therapy approaches work for things like mild depression – because we have DATA. None of these guys are even curious to know if their methods work. They are reckless with other people’s lives and health.

  212. Lea wrote:

    biblical approach

    Sorry, I meant to say ‘biblical’. Because I do not believe their approach is biblical at all.

  213. @ Lea:
    I would like to know what campus someone was raped on and told to forgive and forget the attacker? Or where a 3 yr old was held in responsibility for something? Where did this stuff happen?
    I am in Biblical counseling, (well, some weeks anyways) at the fbcjax counseling center and I haven’t found what you are saying to be true. I am reading this in interest because of receiving counseling in that center. I’m trying to decide for myself what is true here and what isn’t. You get out of Biblical counseling what you are there to receive. If you are there to learn more about the Bible and then apply THAT knowledge to your issues, then it’s interesting and helpful. I can’t honestly say that anyone has even referred to my medication that I take in any way…pro or con, or even asked me about it, and I’ve been on a med for 16 years at least (since I was robbed at gunpoint). It hasn’t come up. My counselor is, to my knowledge, in training there and about to receive certification. I’ve gotten a lot out of the counseling, and I consider myself to be in complete respect to the Word of God. Do I believe that the only counseling that can ever help anyone is Biblical counseling and that any other form of counseling or help is a sin? Well, no. Have I received other help and been hospitalized before? Yes. Did I ever get one thing out of being hospitalized the 2 or 3 times I was in my life (and I am older)…NO. Only terrorized. Did I receive anything out of any other counseling..yes at times. Am I receiving equal help with Biblical counseling..yes. As with many physical problems, which don’t just heal or that cause issues the rest of your life, so do mental issues such as depression and anxiety. So do I think I will be “cured”, NO. Helped? Yes. Do I think this thing about Eric Johnson is right…no,not on the face of it, and that’s why I’m reading to find out about it. What I’ve found to be different about Biblical counseling is this…you don’t necessarily discuss your “issues” in Biblical counseling. You discuss the Bible. And then you can find the way to apply it to your issues. It’s interesting…

  214. Cindy Treadway wrote:

    @ Lea:
    I would like to know what campus someone was raped on and told to forgive and forget the attacker? Or where a 3 yr old was held in responsibility for something? Where did this stuff happen?

    The 3year old Lydia mentioned was related to SGM/CJ Mahoney. You can probably find that somewhere.

    The ‘forgive your attacker’ was a story I read from a woman who attended BJU, I believe? That might have been two different people (one told to call her molester, another told not to be bitter about being violently raped on campus). You can probably find it looking at the BJU survivor site? I think it came up when GRACE was investigating.

  215. @ brian:

    Got the film from red box and watched it. I thought it was well crafted and acted.
    Strobel does make a compelling case for The Christ.

  216. @ Lea:
    I take that back I know that BJU story…I had relatives who worked there….at least the way I heard it. I won’t go into details though…there may be more than one story like that…

  217. Lydia wrote:

    They always have people over a barrel.

    CT posted an article today in which Dr Mohler answered everyone’s questions: “One of the frustrations of being president is at any moment there are questions, for good policy and structural reasons, I cannot answer.”
    Glad he cleared everything up!

  218. Dave A A wrote:

    “One of the frustrations of being president is at any moment there are questions, for good policy and structural reasons, I cannot answer.”

    In other words, cowardice and secrecy allow us to keep doing what we are doing . . .

  219. Bridget wrote:

    cowardice and secrecy

    And money– so long as students keep forking over the tuition and benefactors the endowments, there’s no incentive to change.

  220. elastigirl wrote:

    you’re kidding… it wasn’t backwards-toe-curling?

    All kidding aside, no it wasn’t a toe-curler, and here’s why (in my opinion):

    1) There was no obdurate and brain-frying theology anywhere in the film.

    2) The screenwriters didn’t rely on cheesy christianese memes at all.

    3) It simply laid out what I consider to be a preponderance of evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed murdered by a corrupt religious establishment in collusion with the Roman Military of the time, and that he truly did come back to life, literally, and bodily.

  221. @ Lydia:
    Yes, I’m guessing that “if” is a big one. It still kind of shocks me (although I’ve read enough that it shouldn’t) that men claiming to be followers of Jesus can be so manipulative and have this PR stunt thing down so well. I don’t doubt that there is way more going on behind the scenes than any of them will ever admit.

  222. Spartacus wrote:

    Lambert needs medication for whatever physical problem results in his itchy nose. Either he’s got worms or a coke habit. It was distracting to the point that I had to listen only, no video.

    Is that not also fairly standard body language for when someone’s being dishonest?

  223. ishy wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    And like you, I find it puzzling why all these guys who say they believe in sola scriptura act as though you MUST have their book to “really” understand Jesus, or to be a good Christian, or to live life correctly.

    This is something that can easily throw the YRR if they are being obnoxious and switching from “Bible only” to “Augustine” to “John Piper says…”. It’s something that doesn’t occur to most of them. They aren’t taught to actually think about what they are saying, only to regurgitate it.

    I think this is a really good point, and it’s one reason why I began to question that movement. I used to admire Mohler (in my younger, more naive days!) until I started reading some of his buddies and recommended resources, and realised that not only did they have similar ideas and interpretations of Scripture, but that they were actually directly quoting one another, endorsing each others’ books etc etc. It became like the “no true Scotsman” discussion, and anyone who even questioned it – not even disagreed, but simply asked a question – was labelled a heretic or a liberal, which I think might be worse in their view.

    I can’t remember if it was here or elsewhere that I read it, but anyway. The thing that really got me was after the whole SGM debacle become public, and someone pointed out that a lot of these guys don’t mention Jesus all that much. We hear about The Bible, and The Gospel, and GOD, but there’s not actually much about Jesus. There’s no love for Him, no talk about what He’s done for us or how close we are to Him, no consideration of how Jesus ministered and what that would have looked like to the people at the time without the benefit of hindsight. How messy compassion can be sometimes. It was all about Correct Doctrine and toeing the line, with no space for human emotion and reaction and actually dealing with life as it really is. It’s like, I can stand there shouting at my kids about how messy the house is, and quoting Bible verses about order and obeying your parents and ranting about how a house should look. Or I can get on my knees with them and show them how to tidy and clean. And that’s what these guys are not willing to do.

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  225. FYI – Lambert was just named Branson’s co-pastor and “successor” at FBC Jacksonville.

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