"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Psychoheresy in the Southern Baptist Convention?

Searching the internet last night I came across an article entitled The Southern Baptist Convention and Pyschoheresy. This article was prepared by the people at Psychoheresy Awareness Ministries.

Reading the article below made me realize that Christian fundamentalists are never satisfied until those who express differing views, practice alternate methodologies of ministry, or attempt any form of cross-culturalism in sharing the gospel are called 'liberal.'

As we have often said, there is at least a little psychological leaven in practically every Bible College, seminary, denomination and church. We chose to examine the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) because it is the largest Protestant denomination in America and is number one on the list of the one hundred largest mission agencies by number of overseas personnel serving over four years. In fact, it has more missionaries than the combined total of missionaries from the last forty agencies on the list.

The SBC is comprised of two groups, generally referred to as "conservatives" and "moderates." However, there is one platform upon which both the conservatives and the moderates stand yoked together, which is neither conservative nor moderate. It is the "science falsely so-called" (1 Tim 6:20), liberal platform of psychoheresy. Psychoheresy is the integration of secular psychological counseling theories and therapies with the Bible. Psychoheresy is also the intrusion of such theories into the preaching and practice of Christianity, especially when they contradict or compromise biblical Christianity in terms of the nature of man, how he is to live, and how he changes.

We give two examples to demonstrate that psychoheresy abounds in the SBC. The first example is from the SBC mission agency and the other is from two SBC seminaries.

As we reported in Missions and Psychoheresy (M&PH):

The SBC representative reported that missionary candidates must see a psychiatrist as part of the screening process. Two of the tests that all candidates must take, which we will discuss later, are the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. We were told that, if any issues come out in the psychiatric interview and psychological testing, a clinical psychologist is used to counsel the individual.

With respect to mental health care of missionaries who are experiencing problems of living, the SBC has a self-funded health program, which includes the provision for mental health professionals. The representative said that their concern is to have the missionary who experiences problems see a professional, licensed, mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or marriage and family counselor. The SBC representative emphasized that the license, training, degrees and professional background of the mental health professional were all important (pp. 15, 16).

We demonstrate the heresy of this throughout the balance of M&PH.

The second example is a comparison of two seminaries, one known to be conservative and the other moderate. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Southern Seminary) in Louisville, Kentucky is regarded as an excellent representation of the conservative wing of the SBC. Logsdon Seminary at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas would be regarded as an example of the moderate wing of the SBC.

Southern Seminary and Logsdon are merely examples. All six SBC-owned seminaries, as well as other such seminaries, are guilty of psychoheresy to a greater or lesser degree. While a statement of faith is important, the application of that statement of faith is its true test. The application of the statement of faith through classes and programs offered at these seminaries, within which psychoheresy exists and thrives unchallenged from within, creates equality among the entire group of SBC conservative and moderate seminaries.

By reading pages 190 -194 in the Southern Seminary catalog, one will find course offerings that integrate clinical psychology and psychological testing with Scripture. The course description for "Psychological Testing for Pastoral Counselors" states "students will be exposed to the various types of psychological tests and their application to the assessment and treatment of individuals, couples, and families" (p. 192). The "Advanced Marriage and Family Counseling I, II" course description says:

This course is an advanced theoretical two-semester exploration of the prevailing models for doing marriage and family counseling. Attention will be given to a variety of models for the assessment of marital and family dysfunction as well as a review of the dominant theoreticians in the field of marriage and family therapy. Furthermore, the course will explore the historical foundations and evolution of marriage and family therapy as a profession within the mental health field as well as practical, ethical and legal issues related to the practice of marriage and family counseling as a specialization within pastoral care and counseling (p. 192).

The "Advanced Pastoral Counseling I, II" course description begins:

Supervised pastoral counseling of individuals, couples, families, and groups with guided clinical reading, case conferences, and in-depth study of personality theories of pastoral psychotherapy (p. 192).

One of the professors in the area of "Christian Counseling and Marriage and Family Studies" was interviewed about the various classes offered and general orientation of the program. This professor is a licensed clinical psychologist and a member of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) and also a member of the Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA). CAPS is a group of psychologists who believe in integration. KPA is a secular group of psychologists. As a result of this interview and investigation of courses offered such as the ones above, we conclude that Southern Seminary is guilty of psychoheresy.

Logsdon School of Theology (Logsdon) is at Hardin-Simmons University (HSU). Of particular interest is Logsdon’s Family Ministry program (FMIN). The FMIN lists core classes some of which are offered in the Family Psychology (FPSY) program of HSU. The FMIN course description for "Principles of Counseling Ministry" says:

The course will include subject areas such as marriage and family (systems), grief, crisis, group counseling, brief counseling, making referrals, and ethics of counseling.

The FMIN course description for "Clinical Supervision" declares:

Students gain experience in marital and family therapy through direct client contact.

Logsdon has the following "Clinical Experience Requirement":

Each student is required to complete successfully a semester of clinical work at the Family Psychology Center on the Hardin-Simmons campus.

After one reads the descriptions of the Family Ministry and Family Psychology classes one is led to conclude that Logsdon School of Theology has an integrated program of psychology and the Bible and is therefore guilty of psychoheresy.

Regardless of what may separate SBC conservatives and moderates there is one liberal, false teaching that comes right from the wisdom of men about which Christians have been warned (1 Cor. 2:5), which joins them together and upon which they have apostatized. It is the joining together of the Bible and the worldly, psychological wisdom of men, in a word: PSYCHOHERESY.

Well, I guess if Southern Seminary and the IMB are 'liberal,' then I'm in good company since my theology reflects that of the Abstract of Principles and my missiology reflects the official position of the IMB. Seems to me there is really no need to even respond to those Christian fundamentalists who wish to label me a liberal. :)

It's all in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes when certain groups wish to identify you as 'liberal,' you ought to wear the title as a badge of honor.

In His Grace,

Wade

42 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

I guess that self-funded health insurance plan also covers folks who engage in the practice of physioheresy when they get sick, too.

I sure engaged in some of that when they replaced my left knee, after which I engaged in theraheresy, too.

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

Good morning. I trust yesterday was a powerful snapshot of our Lord at work.

I read your post but I am not sure what you mean by its presence. Are you equating those who critique your views with the Bobgan's crusade against the entire Christian Church? Are the so-called "spooky fundamentalists" in the SBC of whose club I am presumably a member never going to cease demanding others conform to their views?

In short, I just don't get a connection on this issue.

With that, I am...

Peter

Kevin Bussey said...

I guess I have a psychomarriage since I married a psychology major who was a social worker for man years.

Why is there always a liberal under every rock and behind every bush for some people?

irreverend fox said...

Wade,

anybody not as fundamental as me is a liberal. anybody stricter than me is a Pharisee.

I thought I already explained this to everybody...

Rob Ayers said...

Peter,

I too am at a loss as for what purpose highlighting the Bobgan's crusade proves. It certainly gives them more web hits, and inflates their importance. The connection is tenuous to a vast majority of those who criticize Wade from time to time? So what purpose does it serve except to show there are all kind of abhorrent beliefs in the Christian church - and in Southern Baptist churches. What does that have to do with the needed conversation among Southern Baptists except ratchet up the rhetoric some more?

Rob

Anonymous said...

Wade,

That article was written in 2001, which you failed to mention. At that time there were still some professors at SBTS that were holdovers from the previous regime. Dr. Mohler graciously allowed these men to stay on until they reached retirement or found a new position. Since that time SBTS has completely adopted a Biblical Counseling stance removing all traces of secular psychology. You need to be more responsible in your reporting and less deceptive.

Carl Duffy

francie said...

I don't usually comment but am an avid reader - but i just came back a few weeks ago from my firt j-term at southern - i was accepted into the master's of biblical counseling track last fall - i'm a distance learning student- i.e. internet, thus j-term is a way for me to fit in my classes in my track

the class i took was contemporary models of counseling - taught by a wonderful guest prof. from westminster theol. seminary in philly - my experience was at all what the articel would have us to believe - that prof. nor southern engaged in psychoheresy - although early biblcial/christian counseling history does show that the secular models were christized with a verse or two and called christian counseling - but that's not what the field has moved to - true biblical counseling uses God's Word as the standard for assisting others in life change - and true change can only take place in the context of a submitted, regenerated heart. Although Dr. Powlison had us discuss models such as behavorism and folks like freud - we also discussed larry crabb, jay adams, and others - i have described my week as being not just in a class but in a daily chapel/devonational time - as we focused on man's flawed view of the human mind and behavior - Dr. Powlison always lead us back to the Word and what was true.

maybe i'm taking this article out of context - but i may not agree with every southern puts out or believes but i do feel that seminary is on the right track in regard to biblical counseling. i would not be busting my butt working a second job to pay my way through if it wasn't biblcial and on target.

francie said...

sorry - my hands can't type as fast as my thoughts run - but i hope i don't sound too hyper

i also wanted to add - while i was on campus, i picked up my dvd's for my fall classes - one of the classes i'm taking is intro. to biblical counseling with Dr. Scott - in an attempt to get a bit ahead, i watched the first 4 lectures - and again - Dr. Scott spends a considerable amount of time focusing on what biblical counseling is and is not - trying to dispell the heresy of old - all one has to do to see that the program has changed is just visit the new catalog and see what mabc students are asked to take - my very first class was an intro. to church growth and evangelism class - i registered late and all the class i needed to take was filled - my advisor welcomed my desire to take this elective - responding to my email with the the thoughts that all counseling in some way is evangelism - so, understanding how to connect and share the gospel in various contexts and ways would be very helpful to my counseling practices.

sorry - don't mean to go on and on - but coming from a christian college where i majoried in psy. - i was taught alot of the secular stuff with a bit of scripture in for good measure - but this program is different - as a matter of fact - Dr. Powlison responded to my comment in class that biblcial counseling is just a deeper form of discipleship - that was a bit profound for me.

francie

irreverend fox said...

MEMO

TO:
PETER LUMPKINS
ROB AYERS

FROM:
GARY FOX

While the purpose of this blog is to inform, provoke and at times entertain faithful readers like yourselves; it is not to be understood that the readers have the privilege of directing the content of the blog.

This is Wades blog and is about whatever Wade wants to discuss.

Of course any reader is free to discontinue participation at any time. Or may feel free to address issues they find most pressing on their own blog...they are free these days.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding about the direction and content of this blog. It’s all about what Wade is interested in. The agenda is whatever Wade says the agenda is.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

It seems to me that this group is taking shots at both the "moderate" and "conservative" camps within Baptist life. From what I could gather, this group is calling the practice of intermingling psychotherapy with Biblical counseling liberal. If this is what they are claiming, then I must wholeheartedly agree.

Psychotherapy and Biblical counseling go together like Forest Gump at a Black Panther party. They definitely aren't peas and carrots. All psychotherapy is based upon presuppositions that are in opposition to Scripture. Freudianism and Scripture are in opposition. Behaviorism (Skinner and Dobson) and Scripture are in opposition. As one who rests in the sufficiency of Scripture and the God of that Scripture, I cannot attempt to draw some sort of Hegelian balance between that which is true(Scripture) and that which is not true (Freud, Behaviorism, etc...). If I do this, then my practice truly is neo-orthodox.

Please understand...I am no fan of "spooky fundamentalism." If given the choice, I will vote for Al Mohler as next president of the SBC. If given the opportunity, the seminary that I would choose is Southern. I am a Calvinistic Reformissional Southern Baptist. Because of my stance and my practice with the "fruit of the vine," I could never be an IMB missionary. However, I agree with the definition of "psychoheresy" laid out in this article, and I agree that whenever it is taught or practiced within SBC life that it is wrong.

God Bless,
Jeffro

Wade Burleson said...

For those who may be confused.

I posted this article only to show how easily people use the label liberal.

Southern and the IMB are the bastions of conservatism - for which I am thankful.

It is silly to call liberal those who are in reality conservative because you lose your credibility.

Even if the article is five years old - Southern was conservative five years ago too.

In His Grace,

Wade

P.S. Peter, you may not be as unenlightened as you imagine.

Darby Livingston said...

Others will always try to put their mark on you. The key is to be content facing your only Master someday with a clean conscience. I'm thankful that biblical counseling is becoming so prevalent across much of evangelicalism. I'm thankful for men like Powlison and Tripp and Scott. On the other hand, I think the words "liberal" and "heretic" are thrown about way too callously and carelessly. Most of the disciples could fall under those terms within a fundamentalist framework.

Rob Ayers said...

Dear Brother Fox -

My intent was not telling Wade what he should or should not post. It is his site, and he can post anything he wishes. I appreciate him allowing us the opportunity of making comments on these posts. It is okay that posters can question the relevancy of posts, and okay for others to respond in defense - such as your self. Anyone can do so on my blog as well.

My confusion was the relevancy of this particular post. Wade has plucked examples from various places (even going so far as to pratically rewrite an historical poem) to challenge and make comparisons to the SBC. This one seemed a little out of phase with that stated purpose. Thus my question. Methinks you are being a little too sensitive.

Rob

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Fox,

Thanks for the memo. Unfortunately, it is more confusing to me than Wade's post, concerning which, I might add, he attempted to clear up.

On the other hand, to cast my words or Rob's as "the privilege of directing the content of the blog" is, at least from my standpoint, only a knat's breath better than nonsense.

I inquired the house's price. Rob questioned the sale. However, you, my brother Fox, offer only a vacant lot. Whatever were you thinking?

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Correct me if I am wrong. Since you are on the BoT of the IMB, you will know first hand of the change since this article was written. It is stated in this article that IMB "missionary candidates must see a psychiatrist as part of the screening process. Two of the tests that all candidates must take, which we will discuss later, are the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator" I believe that the psychiatrist and MMPI are no longer a part of that. The MBTI is still a part.

I have enjoyed the MBTI as a useful tool. It's kind of fun, and it's pretty close in it's assessments and is useful in dealing with all of us 'characters' out here on the field :-)

M with YOUR organization

Michael said...

I'm kind of curious, in specific what freudian theories are in opposition to scripture?
Also, the same with behavioralism?

All I remember of Freud's Theories is his theory of the subconscious which by the way is not in mainstream psychology today. Is there an explicit declaration in scripture which opposes these theories?

Michael

Rex Ray said...

Fox,
You’re on the right trail with your first comment.

Anyone I’m trying to pass on the highway is a slowpoke, and anyone who passes me is a speeder.

Rex

Darby Livingston said...

"I'm kind of curious, in specific what freudian theories are in opposition to scripture?
Also, the same with behavioralism?"

If you're truly curious, I'd recommend anything by the counselors at CCEF, "Why Christians Can't Trust Psychology" by Ed Bulkley, and "Competent to Counsel" by Jay Adams. These are pretty good assessments of psychological theories, though I don't believe Adams went far enough.

Merely changing behavior cannot lead to righteousness. It falls far short of the grace and power of the Gospel. I deal with this notion quite extensively in the marriage book that Wade reviewed several weeks ago.

BTW, at the risk of putting words in Wade's mouth, I think he was using the article on "psychoheresy" as an example to make a different point than what kind of counseling is most biblical. That's my guess.

Bennett Willis said...

It is good to know that Southern has corrected their courses and are now properly lined up with the right way.

Clearly we have some pastors who should have been evaluated for "fit" before they entered seminary--but I suppose testing of any sort would have been inappropriate.

This should remind us that anyone can label anybody anything for a multitude of reasons.

Bennett Willis

Les Puryear said...

Wade,

Why does the attitude in this article to which you refer remind me of a similar position by Scientology? :)

Les

Jim Paslay said...

Wade said:

"I posted this article only to show how easily people use the label liberal."

Is it possible there are people who easily use the label "fundamentalist" as well when people don't agree with them? The street is two-way and not one-way!

Anonymous said...

I figure the Bobgans and the Scientologists are so angry at psychologists because they are the only folks that can have you locked up if you're healthy-looking and haven't broken the law... not that they have any personal experience being incarcerated for observation, of course.

P.S.: Any of y'all who're skinnier than me is obviously bordering on anorexia, while any o' y'all bigger than me surely need to get y'selves on a diet!

Steve Austin

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

The more I read (including Comment Streams) the less I know, and the happier I am about THAT.

Aaron A. New said...

As one who has studied, practiced, and now teaches psychology and counseling within a Christian context, it would be easy for me to drift from the original intent of Wade's post on this issue. Instead, I'll try to limit my comment to Wade's main point.

I am not as fond of the Bulkley and Adams as Darby is and I feel compelled to clarify that there are many conservative Christians who would disagree strongly with the Bobgans, Bulkley, Adams, and others who decry "psychoheresy." It is quite possible to view the relationship between Christianity and psychology differently than they do and yet still be conservative.

Isn't that the point of Wade's post?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious: how many of you who have criticized counseling courses at pre-CR SBC seminaries ever took counseling at a pre-CR SBC seminary? Granted it is anecdotal, but in my experience, most who do are merely reporting second-hand information from rather biased sources. It is very much like many of my experiences in the 1990s, when I ministered within 2-3 hours of SEBTS. We frequently had professors from SEBTS as speakers at our Ministers Conference (including when I was its president). And the one thing that irritated me about them was how frequently they said things like, "NOW, SEBTS is an excellent seminary, a seminary that values higher learning, a seminary that is about higher education, a seminary that is academicly rigorous, etc."

If you want to say that post-CR counseling or other courses at SBC seminaries is excellent, that it is Biblical, that you received useful information, that's fine. If you want to say that your education at a post-CR SBC seminary takes a different direction, promotes another perspective, etc. from pre-CR seminaries, that is probably accurate (I must limit it, since I have no post-CR experience at SBC seminaries). But value-judgements are both unnecessary and seem to me unverified.

I say this as a conservative Southern Baptist who is tired of the in-fighting, and who received his education pre-CR; and I say it without anger, and simply in the hope of promoting grace and Christian love among brothers and sisters.

John Fariss

Stephen Pruett said...

Do most Christian counselors indicate that it is OK to use methods that work as long as any underlying anti-Christian assumptions associated with them are refuted? If they don't, then there is a problem. In God's sovereignty some people suffer physical ills and some suffer psychological ills. I think it is wrong not to avail ourselves of the best treatments for both. God does not heal all physical ills and there is no reason to expect Him to do so for all psychological ills. We are also not promised that salvation and being filled with the Spirit will solve such problems.

However, I don't want to overreact. If Christian counselors are now using methods that have been demonstrated to be effective (whether secular or not),but they are placing them in the context of a Christian world view,that's great. If they are suggesting that psychological illness needs to be treated only by prayer, worship, or so-called Bible based methods that have not been scientifically tested, then I would be very concerned. The problem is that the Bible was not given as a psychology text. Some inferences about psychological health from scripture are undoubtedly true, but some may be unwarranted and unintended. The only thing that makes modern psychology more effective than the version Freud practiced is that clinical trials have identified methods that actually work, as opposed to acceptance of anecdotal evidence and authority of an "expert" as in Freud's day.

Anonymous said...

The MMPI is still used. I don't know about the other two.

One in "The Process"

irreverend fox said...

Rex,

I'm glad you understand. I also feel that anyone who loves Jesus less than me is backslidden and anyone who loves Him more than me is either a weirdo or fanatic.

with that, I am...

totally fine.

gmay said...

Great point Wade. The same could be said for Calvinist, Arminianist, Pelagianist, fat, skinny, pretty ugly, Landmarker, Norrisite, Separatist, Puritan, Baptist --- OOOPS , did I mean that? I may have gotten carried away with the ist! The one who defines the label controls the conversation.

Lin said...

"I have enjoyed the MBTI as a useful tool. It's kind of fun, and it's pretty close in it's assessments and is useful in dealing with all of us 'characters' out here on the field :-)"

As a certified MBTI facilitator and trainer for 18 years, I would suggest you go and research the foundational premise and consequent development of this tool.

I quit using it about 7 years ago after administering some controlled but experimental testing with over 500 people that seemed to prove my growing suspiscion that it was actually causing more problems in the long run than helping people in their relationships.

Anonymous said...

To take a step back, there are a variety of approaches when it comes to the Christian faith and the academy.

Greg Bahnsen summarizes the different approaches well here in this quote:

"Christians have long disagreed over the proper strategy to be assumed by a believer in the face of unbelieving opinions or scholarship. Some renounce extrabiblical learning altogether ("Jerusalem versus Athens"). Others reject extrabiblical learning altogether ("Jerusalem versus Athens"). Others reject Biblical teaching when it conflicts with secular thought ('Athens versus Jerusalem'). Some try to appease both sides, saying that the Bible and reason have their own separate domains ('Jerusalem segrated from Athens}. Others attempt a mingling of the two, holding that we can find isolated elements of supportive truth in extrabiblical learning ('Jerusalem integrated with Athens'). Still others maintain that extrabiblical reasoning can properly proceed only upon the foundations of Biblical truth ('Jerusalem the capital of Athens')."

* Quote from Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith by Greg L. Bahnsen, edited by Robert R. Booth. Covenant Media Foundation, 3420 Piccadilly Circle, Nacogdoches, TX 75961, 1996, Pg 236. Copyright 1996 Robert and Virginia Bahnsen.

I think the quote on Wade's post is charging that there is an existing integrative approach within the SBC. While I do strongly disagree with an integrative approach in favor of the last approach Bahnsen mentioned, I still would not go so far as to call it heresy.

Benji Ramsaur

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I'm so tickled I got to post a comment on your latest post I could spit.

Us dial-up fellers are at a disadvantage :)

Grace

Benji Ramsaur

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, I should have said "I think the quote on Wade's post [was] charging that there is an existing integrative approach within the SBC."

Especially since it was some years ago and Southern Seminary has changed in their counseling department to a Biblical counseling approach.

R. L. Vaughn said...

I don't think it is any great surprise to discover that terms like liberal, moderate, conservative, and fundamentalist are on a sliding scale whose degree is determined by the person assigning the terminology.

Perhaps what does surprise us is when someone to the right of Oliver B. Greene calls him a liberal or someone to the left of Harry Emerson Fosdick calls him a fundamentalist. Terminology and language is breaking down at that point. But we should be aware that many usages of "als", "ates", "ives", "ists", "ians", and "isms" mean "to a greater or lesser degree than I am." Perhaps it is unfortunate, but it often proves to be so.

Anonymous said...

lin,

Thanks for your comment on the MBTI. I am sure that as one who is trained and used this even in research can see all the faults of it. For me to go and do all the research that you have done on it and come to your conclusion would be really a waste of my time, as I have other pressing things that need more attention. It's a tool that I don't take very seriously. I did say it was 'fun'. I wouldn't say I use it a lot to 'assess' people, but when there has been conflict with someone, I can usually adjust some ways I am handling the situation that might align with the MBTI assessment of that individual. In most circumstances it helps the situation rather than hinder. I just speak from my experience and you are speaking from your experience and study. But, thanks for pointing out that this can be harmful rather than helpful. I will take that information with me and use it accordingly.

M with YOUR organization.

Morris Brooks said...

It seems to me most of the comments have missed the point of Wade's post. The point is not about what is being taught @ Southern or Logsdon, but about how easy it is to assign labels.

There are those who have assigned a label to Wade because he refuses to ride on their bus because he doesn't like its color and the route it is taking. Some may call him liberal just because he doesn't want on their bus. Others may call him liberal to discredit him so that he won't influence others to not get on the bus. Others will use the "L" label to demean him or demonize him because they are angry and feel threatened.

I have always said that Satan's greatest tool in impeding the work of the kingdom and attacking the brethren is our own sin, both yours and mine.

I don't personally know Wade, but from reading his blog he certainly is not theologically liberal, in fact, far from it. So it is obvious that if he has been given the liberal tag by some it is for one of the reasons listed above.

Personally, I think that the SBC tent is still too big. There are people whom I don't want to cooperate with even for the sake of missions because I don't want their leaven in our convention. So I guess that makes me a fundamentalist. However, I also don't agree with those who are demonizing people because of the differences on the tertiary doctrines or on the doctrine of salvation. So I guess I am a liberal too.

SBC politics has always been a bloody mess, unloving, unkind, vitriolic, a poor witness inside and outside of the convention. It is our great shame that we behave the way we do.

Bezner said...

Wade, as one of your "moderate" readers and a grad of Logsdon, kudos for including Logsdon in your excerpt from the web article. The Baptist theological vision is greatly enhanced when we remember that Jesus exhorted us to glorify God with our whole minds. I would guess that includes the field of psychotherapy...er, psychoheresy...

Blessings on you and your ministry.

Esther said...

Mr. Morris, Maybe you can help me. People are always asking me if I am a moderate or conservative and I just don't know. I have no idea what category to put myself in.

Here are my particulars: I am a reformed Baptist who believes in the inerrancy of scripture. That includes the fact that I cannot find any clear cut command that women cannot teach men. I believe in evangelism, missions and am very gun ho on street preaching. I believe the church has become much more 'institutionalized' than what we see in the NT. I believe we should be seeker sensitive to Jesus not unchurched Harry. I believe we should witness to unchurched Harry using the FULL Counsel of God.

What am I??? Please help!!

Morris Brooks said...

Esther,

You sound conservative to me, but I am not sure what you mean by seeker sensitive to Jesus.

morris

R. L. Vaughn said...

Esther, for what it's worth, I generally view conservative not as what one believes, but how one approaches Scripture. First, like you, one must believe it is inerrant and then that it is authoritative for our faith and practice.

Let me give you two examples of how I look at this. I know some Baptists who believe in women preachers/pastors. Now I'm speaking from experience, so this doesn't apply across the board. Of those I've known personally (not speaking of anyone I've run across on the internet), they held women pastors based on cultural, progressive and even feminist ideals, without particular regard to what the Bible might have to say on the matter. On the other hand, I've known Pentecostals who believe in women preachers/pastors, and approach it in a completely different way. They based what they believed on what they thought the Bible teaches and of which they think it gives examples. Now, totally apart from what might be right or wrong on this matter, I would call those who hold the first approach "liberal", and those who hold the second approach "conservative".

That's just an example of how I see it. Many people see "conservative" and "liberal" in regard to what they themselves believe -- and I guess we all can't help approach it that way to at least some extent.

Dave Coffield said...

Wade, Lodsdon Seminary and Logdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University are governed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas and not the SBC. We've been associated with the BGCT since 1941. If you'd like a document that compares the beliefs of the two organizations, please forward your email address and I'll send it. The BGCT seems to be labeled "moderate" by those who label.
Dave Coffield
Director, Public Relations
Hardin-Simmons University
dcoffield@hsutx.edu

Dave Coffield said...

I guess that would be Logsdon not Lodsdon or Logdon....all thumbs today.
Dave