Why shouldn't Christians use the methods of men like Freud, Rogers and others?

Integrationists have no difficulty borrowing methods from others. They seem to think that methods are "neutral." They say such things as "so long as we don't adopt the philosophies or world-views of unbelievers, what is wrong with using their methods?" But the methods of unbelievers are not neutral; they are contaminated. They have been developed to achieve the ends of systems. These ends (solutions to problems) are not the same as Christian ends. Nor do Christians agree with unbelievers about the nature of counselee problems.

Consistent thinkers like Skinner and Rogers develop systems embracing methods designed to move counselees from a problem (as they see it) to a solution (as they see it). But because we can not agree with them about the nature of the problem or the solution, we cannot accept their methodology. If effective at all, it would produce results contrary to those we desire.

Skinner believed man is only an animal to be controlled by reward and aversive control (punishment). He believed that treating him as more than an animal, as a spirit, made in God's image was the problem. The solution, then was to bring peace and harmony to the world through his reward/punishment system. But we cannot agree with his view that the solution is to control man as an animal. Therefore, we cannot employ methods that were designed to produce that result. We disagree with both his view of man's problem and his view of the solution to it. His methods, then, will not produce the results that we wish to achieve.

Rogers believed man has the answers in himself, and the problem is that he looks outside of himself to others for those answers. His solution to the problem is to get men to look within. His reflective methodology was designed to produce that effect. By reflecting back to a person what he himself thought ("felt") about a question, the counselee would discover from within the best possible answer to it. But because we believe that man does not come prepackaged with the answers to questions, and needs God's help from the outside, the reflective method is inappropriate to Christian counseling. It fails to lead to Christian ends.

No one else but the consistent Christian sees man's problems not God's solutions to them in biblical terms. And, therefore, no one has developed methods that are designed to lead a counselee from problem A (as the Bible defines it) to solution B (as the Bible defines it). That is why Christians must develop their own methods-those that are so designed. A counseling system looks like the following:

Problem >>>>> Methods >>>>> Solution

A counseling system has all three elements within it. And all must be systematically self-consistent. Rogers' reflective method would not achieve Skinner's solution; it was designed to reach Rogers' solution! Skinner's control from without would never produce Rogers' solution. Neither of these men would have ever thought of using the other's methods; they knew better than that. Yet Christians foolishly think they can produce Christian results using methods not designed to produce them!

It takes work, however, to develop a biblical system containing methodology that will move from biblical descriptions of problems to biblically-oriented solutions to them. Yet that is what is necessary in order to develop a Christian system. Most Christians have not been willing to do this. They take the easy, but futile road.

It is important to understand the dynamic set forth in this brief answer. When you do, you will abandon all forms of integrationist borrowing.

Jay E Adams

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

100 White Meadow Ct
Simpsonville, SC 29681

(864) 399-9583




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