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

The Stated Reason for the Closing the Counseling Program at SWBTS Is Finances

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary recently announced the cancellation of the licensure program for counseling. The stated reason for the closure of this educational program is finances, or more precisely, a shortfall of budget funds. Many Southern Baptist counselors have been trained in counseling through this popular and effective program, and many men and women are currently enrolled in the licensure program--and they were shocked when the announcement was made. I have heard from several of them. Some of the concerns expressed by these Southern Baptists include the following:

(1). Acceptance of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments seems to be an unwise decision on the part of trustees when programs like the counseling licensure program, the Children’s Center, and other ministries are being closed because of finances. Though the fragments were gifted by a trustee, the cost of proper care, public display, and other associated expenses related to "the hundreds of thousands" who will come to Fort Worth to see the fragments will be great. It seems to many that the seminary should function as an educational institution first, a cultural museum second. In times of financial crises, educational programs should have priority. Someone should politely tell the trustee "Thanks, but no thanks."

(2). The fact that the seminary has broken ground for a new chapel when the current one is not full during seminary assemblies is also troubling the counseling students. "Could this money have been used more effectively for educational needs of the students rather than capital needs proposed by the administration?”

(3). I do not know SWBTS trustee Gary Loveless. He is the trustee who made the "large financial gift to the SWBTS" to allow the SWBTS administration to obtain the Dead Sea Scroll fragments. I'm sure he is a fine man, and obviously a successful businessman and oil man. I heard Gary in an interview with CBS, and he revealed his motive for giving the money to purchase the Dead Sea scroll fragments (quote): "One day, when we are all standing before Him (Jesus Christ), and we got millions of people out there, when I hold my hand up, He will know who I am. That's really, for me, you know, what it is all about."

What? Did he mean what he said? I thought I might have misunderstood him, so I listened to the interview an additional three times. No. I understood correctly. Gary believes that the reason Christ will recognize him at the judgement is because he purchased the Dead Sea scrolls for SWBTS. That kind of thinking has more in common with Tetsel and the sale of indulgences than biblical, or even Baptist, theology.

(3). Once the licensure program for counseling is removed at SWBTS, it will be very difficult to start it up again. Further, with a desire to increase enrollment, not decrease it, the removal of this popular ministry program guarantees fewer enrolled ministerial students this next fall.

(4). Who is leading SWBTS? Are trustees actually governing and supervising the direction the seminary is taking, or are those who are serving as trustees of SWBTS doing so at the will of administrators? It seems to me that the Southern Baptist Convention had better wake up or SWBTS will soon be just a shell of her former self. Provided below are an additional two links about the changing of the counseling program and the Dead Sea Scrolls acquisitions.

(5). (Update) Another reason for concern, given in a crystal clear comment from my father within the comment section of this post, is as follows:

"With regards to the closing of one and the beginning of another counseling program whose purpose is, and I quote the President of SWBTS..."The program will emphasize biblical principles set in the context of developing a biblical worldview and perspective on life.”

I have to say that--having been pastor to many involved in leading and teaching in the soon to be former program, including Dr. Ted Dowell and his wife Omalee, while I pastored Southcliff in Ft. Worth--that WAS their goal, objective and desire also.

Just for the record."
My response to Paul Burleson's comment: "One wishes to accept the stated reason for abandonment of the progam (finances), but could it in reality be ideological?

In other words, could it be a statement that administration believes "licensed" counseling is wrong because it is not "biblical" or lacks a "biblical worldview?"

Just asking."

For futher reading, see:

SWBTS Press Release about the Dead Sea Scrolls Acquisition.

SWBTS Press Release about the Closing of the Counseling Licensure Program.

119 comments:

believer333 said...

without licensure capacity, what's the point of taking the course?

Bob Cleveland said...

With reference to the Trustee's quote, would that recognition be greater or lesser than the widow who gave the two mites? You know .. the one who gave from her poverty?

And the scrolls' presence is expected to have a "mammoth effect" on the seminary? So ... the seminary is about tourism, as opposed to education?

Amy said...

The stated reason is that it was not cost efficient to have a licensure program and a biblical counseling program. I have two questions: (1) what is the current enrollment in both programs; and (2) why was one chosen over the other as expendable?

Ron said...

The fact is that SWBTS is already a shell of its former self. It started when Owen Collins and the trustees of SWBTS fired Russell Dildy at the urging of Vines, Stanley and Rogers. It continued when Hemphill was run off because he wouldn't purge the remaining seminary professors. It reached its zenith under Patteson who gets to hand pick his rubber stamp trustees like Bart Barber as opposed the Dildy whose trustees were chosen to get rid of him.
When I walk across the campus today it is like walking through a morgue. I do not hear students laughing or talking like in the days when I was a student. I do not know but wonder what the enrollment in the MDiv program is today compared to 20 years ago.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

Gary Loveless said:""One day, when we are all standing before Him (Jesus Christ), and we got millions of people out there, when I hold my hand up, He will know who I am. That's really, for me, you know, what it is all about."

Unbelievable comment. What is he going to be holding his hand up for?

Also, if as many people are going to come and see these fragments why not charge admissions and use it to fund the Counseling Program.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

I thought the statement by Mr. Loveless was something. I'm sure he is a wonderful benefactor, and a great guy, but the idea that Christ eternally recognizes men who give money for the purchase of dead sea scroll parchments has more in common to Tetsel and the sale of indulgences than biblical theology.

Les Puryear said...

The statement by Mr. Loveless is a perfect illustration of the statement by Christ that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven.

We don't make news in heaven by how much money we give. Jesus said we make news in heaven when a sinner repents.

We need a Great Commission Resurgence now!

Les

parson said...

It seeems to me that Mr. Loveless' comment was as much full of pride and arrogance as that of Mr. Obama's.

Christiane said...

HOLD EVERYTHING.

" Loveless, founder and CEO of Square Mile Energy in Houston, provided the lead gift for the purchase of the fragments, which were acquired from a private collector in Europe."

Honestly, I have to say this, and I hope that I may be wrong. The circumstances of this purchase need to be explored. Did Mr. Lovelace, the donor, have protection from all the scams being perpetrated on those who attempt to purchase ancient documents? I hope that he was not a victim of someone who took his money and provided him with false document fragments. It happens all the time to well-meaning individuals who are victimized.

I just raise the question: what is known about the 'chain of possession' of the documents? And what is known about the 'private collector'? And were any international laws violated if these documents were the posessions of a nationality?
So many concerns.
I hope everything was done to protect Mr. Lovelace from a scam.
I think he meant well, but he sounds sadly 'vulnerable' from the statment he made concerning his recognition by Our Lord. I very much hope I am wrong about my concerns.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Southwest is a better place w/o the syncretistic counseling program. The Bible is sufficient for all things! Way to Dr. Patterson and Trustees for finally putting to rest this disease of a program.

The fragment purchase is excellent for SWBTS. Forget what the trustee said. It was more than likely meant in a specific context and not to be analyzed on this blog. Someone earlier said that SWBTS is a shell of its former self. GOOD! Now let's fill that shell back up with real Bible believing professors, and Christ honoring programs.

Patterson, Loveless, Barber, et al...keep up the good work of seminary revitalization! You all have my full support.

K

Debbie Kaufman said...

Kevin: I disagree with you. In fact it is a fool hardy, narrow minded person who would say that the Bible is sufficient for all. In the real world there are terrible things that happen to people that just reading the Bible doesn't heal. They need licensed Christian counselors to help heal the wounds. If no Christian counselor is available they will turn to a counselor who is not a Christian, and having been in a public college Psychology class, it's a whole different sack of potatoes. In fact if I would have gone with what I was taught in those classes, I would need a counselor.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Then me and the Holy Spirit are fool-hearted and narrow mind. I think I am good company Deb, but bless your for your comment and opinion.

K

believer333 said...

Lack of committed Christian, gifted and educated counselors is a huge chasm in Christianity. Because of this we have Christian leaders who are not equipped or gifted in counseling giving incredibly bad and sometimes harmful advice to families and individuals in need.

OTOH I doubt SW can produce skilled counselors anyway under the leadership of P. Patterson and those who follow his type of counseling procedures. With that in mind, perhaps putting the program to rest at that university is an excellent move. Now hopefully some other university can come up with a truly Biblically based and anointed course.

Hefe said...

Kevin,

(1) I am not sure whether to have the cheerios or the bran flakes for breakfast tomorrow. Could you help me out with the part of the Bible that is sufficient for this?

(2) You remind me of the tobacco spokesman from "Thank You For Not Smoking". When you don't have a rational argument to make, then end it with a statement that can't be argued with. Like, "Me and the Holy Spirit...". Nice. Anyone who disagrees with you disagrees with the Holy Spirit. Enjoy your status as Holy Spirit Keeper.

(3) Come back and talk about the ridiculousness of real counseling when you have been torn apart by clinical depression and realize the place of counseling, medication, etc... or maybe we should just go all Benny Hinn and start claiming your version of the Spirit.


Sheesh.

Lydia said...

OTOH I doubt SW can produce skilled counselors anyway under the leadership of P. Patterson and those who follow his type of counseling procedures. With that in mind, perhaps putting the program to rest at that university is an excellent move. Now hopefully some other university can come up with a truly Biblically based and anointed course.

Fri Jan 29, 08:38:00 PM 2010

believer, You nailed it.

They would only produce counselors who would advise on teaching the tactics Patterson used on Klouda and the poor woman he told to go back to her abusive husband and get beat up on more.

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin M. Crowder said...
Southwest is a better place w/o the syncretistic counseling program. The Bible is sufficient for all things!


I don't know anything at all about the counseling program at SWBTS. I do know that there are some principles espoused by secular psychology that are at adds with scriptural teachings, and some that aren't.

I, too, believe in the sufficiency of Scripture. But, Kevin, your statement appears to indicate that you think the concept of the sufficiency of Scripture applies to every facet of life. The Reformers used the term to refer to the concept of sola scriptura -- that the Bible is the sole source of divine revelation and of authority for the Christian faith. This was in contrast to the Roman view that the traditions of the church and proclamations of the Pope (when speaking ex cathedra) were also authoritative sources of divine revelation and authority. It was not the Reformers intent to claim that the Bible was "sufficient for all things", just that it was sufficient for knowing and doing God's will.

If my car is broken, I consult a mechanic. If my heart is weak, I consult a cardiologist. If my brain chemistry is out of balance, I consult a psychiatrist. If my emotions or spiritual life are unstable, I consult a wise, experienced Christian who knows both what the Bible teaches and how the human psyche works.

John Fariss said...

Kevin old buddy,

I know nothing about this counseling program at SWBTS, and I do not know what strengths or shortcomings it may have had. But I am afraid you misunderstand the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. It does NOT mean that Scripture is all we need for everything. We cannot learn German or French or Chinese or Spanish from the Word. We cannot learn how to solve differential equations or logarthyms, how to use a slide rule (yes, I am dating myself) or a calculator. We cannot even learn how to use a computer, much less how to program one from the inspired Word. It can't even teach us how to turn the TV on--or off. It does not tell us how to pasturize milk or boil water to kill microbes, or create a vaccine for the flue or chicken pox, or create antibiotics. Actually, I could go on and on and on, but I won't. What the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture means is that Scripture is sufficient in matters of faith and practice, which includes everything from Biblical ethics to salvation--but not everything in the whole wide world. Quit trying to score sound bite points and think like a seminary student!

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Hefe,

I read some of your blog in preparation to bash you and rip you to shreds for your spitfire comment. But your blog, and your honesty there ignited a bit of compassion in me. But I will at least say this: while probably have a lot in common in life and theologically--this: "Translating the Church to Pittsburghese" is where we fundamentally and foundationally divide.


The Church of the Lord Jesus IS the constant. It is the people who must change by the power of His Word--which you have rendered powerless.



All that aside, the Lord's blessings on you and your family and ministry.

K

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Quit trying to score sound bite points and think like a seminary student!"

John,

The Bible is sufficient for all things. In the future you might ask me what I mean by that instead of bearing a false witness. You, along with the Rapper T. Kelley have completely misrepresented my position. Oh, and I assure you that my position on this is consistant with that of Southern Seminary--and that is how I will think.

K

John Fariss said...

All right Kevin: if not what the content of the words say, if not that "the Bible is sufficient for all things" (your exact words, in both the 7:04 and the 10:21 comment), then what exactly do you mean? And how have I borne false witness against you?

John

John Fariss said...

BTW, my "think like a seminary student" referred to the critical thinking skills which are (or should be) honed by the celebral challenges of attending Master's Level classes. It was no dig.

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"then what exactly do you mean?"

That the Bible is sufficient for all things. How hard is that for you to get? I think you are being silly with the "all things" part.

And I never said you were digging me, though it was condescending, I am simply stating that you can accuse me of thinking below my grade, but you better accuse a lot of Ph.D's and an at least two entire SBC Seminaries as well.

"The entire work of biblical counseling proceeds from understanding the Christian life as a transformation process that engages and redeems every aspect of our humanity. God Himself actively works to change us; we actively work to change; the process will be completed on the day of Christ. God initiates and sustains a change process [1] that is progressive throughout our lives, [2] that calls for our active participation in response to God’s word of promise and command, [3] that is incomplete in this life. God will perfect us when we see Jesus face to face." www.nanc.org

K

Lydia said...

Dr. Jay Adams is the one that ADDED a step in the Matthew 18 process for church discipline at the the True Church conference last year. A step that is NOT in there. I sat there and heard it. I was stunned. But most of the folks just drooled.

People who ADD to the Word in order to maintain their position scare me.

Kev, you put entirely too much trust in mere men. You are too impressed with academic credentials and titles.

Lydia said...

oops, It might have been 2 years ago. Time flies.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I assume this "shortfall of budget funds" hasn't adversely impacted the homemaking program at SWBTS. Priorities, you know.

Steve said...

I figure these scraps of real or imagined Dead Sea Scrolls will be passing through the hands of conservators or receivers soon enough after the continued leadership of the administration of this once-great institution has run its course. About the same time will be the public auction of some really neat interior furnishings, a painting of a dog, and several real estate salesmen rubbing their heads and straining their eyes.

Oh, and a portable typewriter.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Oh, and a portable typewriter."

{shudder}

Byroniac said...

Kevin,

You said that the Bible is sufficient for all things. Without qualifying the word "all" with some limitation, that would necessarily include all branches of science, works of art, and who knows what else. I prefer terminology that speaks of the Bible being sufficient in all matters of faith and practice of our religion. Because otherwise, the Bible is not even sufficient to reproduce an acceptable approximation of pi conforming to ancient standards of accuracy (I do not think the Bible is wrong in 1 Kings 7:23, but that no mathematical precision was intended or needed in that place, that the greater emphasis was on beauty in form and purpose).

I could not help myself when reading this blog post of thinking of religious relics and idolatry in worship contra the First Commandment. Historically these fragments are precious and virtually priceless. But spiritually they are not to be worshiped as idols or depended upon alone for the defense of the Bible.

Kerygma said...

"The Bible is sufficient for all things." Gee, I hope the pilots of my flight to NYC tomorrow have maps.

Rex Ray said...

Byroniac,
And all those trying to straighten Kevin out about the Bible being “sufficient for all things”.

What Patterson and Co. ought to do is find the Ark or better yet the cross of Jesus and tell the world look what we have that proves the Bible is inerrant.

The desire to have something ‘physical’ from God is like ‘doubting Thomas’.

Byroniac, I believe you hit the nail on the head when you said: “I could not help myself when reading this blog post of thinking of religious relics and idolatry in worship contra the First Commandment. Historically these fragments are precious and virtually priceless. But spiritually they are not to be worshiped as idols or depended upon alone for the defense of the Bible.”

What I see from your words is the danger of having something in our hands as an idol which violates the First Commandment.

You mentioned 1 Kings 7:23 as being in error to mathematics. (C= 3.1416 x Dia.) so 30 would not be the circumference with a diameter of 10; or visa-a-versa. The same thing wrong with Ecclesiastes 1:5. (The sun does not travel around the world.)

The hundred picky little things in the Bible is like a dog having flees; but he’s still a dog.

I believe to argue the Bible is perfect in all things is to make the Bible an idol. I believe God permitted those ‘flees’ so we would not substitute ‘his Word’ for Him.

I believe “No other gods” includes the Bible.

Denn said...

Will these fragments be put next to the fragments of Lottie Moon's house? I am tempted to carry the "fragment" analogy futher as it relates to SWBTS but most of you will get that anyway.

John Fariss said...

Mornin' Kevin,

Look buddy, I did exactly as you suggested. I asked you what meant. And you replied, "That the Bible is sufficient for all things. How hard is that for you to get?" Except for the addition of a sentence that is nothing but sarcasm, you did nothing more than to restate your same earlier words. Then you added, "I think you are being silly with the 'all things' part" which suggests you disagree but fails to clarify anything. If you are using the word "all" with some limitations, then it is imcumbant upon you to define the limitation, else I (and others) will accept the words with the dictionary definition.

You then quote something from the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, which I have never heard of. But then I have said I know nothing about either the strengths or the weaknesses of the cancelled program at SWBTS anyway, so I never addressed that. Furthermore, it does not seem to address the sufficiency of the Word, but rather deals with transformation through God.

And yes, I believe you are not thinking like a seminary student. You are simply using your abundance of wit and capacity for argument to make quick points as if for sound bites. But you are not showing your critical thinking skills. Is that an insult? Well, I know it can offend. I remember the last time someone accused me of that (I'm sure not the last time it happened, just the last time someone said it to my face). It was when I began taking classes toward my doctorate. The professor's comments were that, prefaced by something about "thought processes having become dull." It offended me. It made me mad as the proverbial wet hen. But you know something? The professor was right. And I corrected it. Hmmm. . . doesn't the Bible say something about iron sharpening iron?

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"You then quote something from the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, which I have never heard of. But then I have said I know nothing about either the strengths or the weaknesses of the cancelled program at SWBTS anyway, so I never addressed that. Furthermore, it does not seem to address the sufficiency of the Word, but rather deals with transformation through God."


Exactly, Dr. Farris! The Bible is sufficient for all things (BSAT)does not always mean you get a nice neat little list of things to do each week. It understands progressive sanctification. It presupposes a regenerated heart. It recognizes the need for medical doctors to replace hearts and stitch wounds and treat cancer. But it also recognizes that what we do, how we act, the choices we make, even though regenerated, are a result of remaining sin. Psychology is more concern with giving names to odd behaviors and then putting people in those categories, and then attempting to normalize them through the use of psychotropic or psychopharmacological medications, none of which act the same form person to person--they are simply legalized drug dealers--dispensing escape.

Let me digress and give you a very simply example. I have been substitute teaching at the high school in town and they put me in a Kindergarten class earlier this week. The assignment covered "counting," "colors" and gummy bears. Most of the class finished rather quickly. Some of the class had a hard time with the instructions, but with a brief repeat and some quick one on one, they finished up shortly thereafter. But there was one little boy, bless his little heart, who I must have missed in my visual progress scans who had barely begun the project. I hunkered down beside him to try and help him out a bit and he looked at me and said: "It ok Mita Cowda, I'm just slow."

WHAT!!!!!

I wanna take the adult out to the woodshed who told this kid he is slow. As if its ok, and that his slowness is just him. I sat right there for 3 minutes and helped him step by step encouraging him, telling him good job, and pushing him to do each step in the process. His smile at the end was a blessing. He was FINISHED and could now work on the next assignment with the REST of the class.

I have more stories from subbing Special Services classes in middle school.

When a diagnosis becomes an excuse, the person can now justify their sin.

The Bible is sufficient for all things.

Byroniac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Byroniac,

Good word. To be an inerrantist, as I am, does not necessarily lead to idolatry of the Bible (commonly called "bibliolatry").

Evidence of idolatry is seen in not letting the Bible "touch the ground" or allow other books to be "on top" of the Bible, or refusing to allow someone to read the Bible unless they are properly credentialed, etc...

All of which Muslims do for the Koran.

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray,

Thank you. I have believed in inerrancy since I became a Christian many years ago. In that light, I have read your many comments related to this issue with interest, because you bring up difficult problems for someone like me who wants to reconcile and harmonize the texts. Some days I feel like giving up my belief in inerrancy, truth be told, and I may wind up doing that before it is over.

However, I do want to point one thing. I do not believe that inerrancy necessarily must lead to idolatry. Another believer cautioned me that my belief in inerrancy could be turning the Bible into an idol. I do not believe the warning was needed in my case, but I have no problem agreeing with you that some (perhaps many) are guilty of this, maybe without even realizing it. When it comes to inerrancy, better and more knowledgeable minds than mine have debated this issue since long before I was ever born. I am not nearly as confident in this issue as I once was. But I do hope you understand not everyone in this position is an idolater, but on the flip side, this is a real danger with some (Independent Fundamentalist KJV-only immediately spring to mind).

Byroniac said...

By the way, if anyone is interested, Wikipedia has some interesting articles on Pi and its history, including a very helpful approximation of 355/113. I used to have a program in BASIC that could generate approximations of it in the form of fractions, but software has gotten much more advanced now. Sorry for the off-topic.

Ron said...

Any discussion of pi reminds me of the formula called Euler's identity which is e to the exponent (i times pi) = -1. It contains 3 of the most significant numbers in mathematics, e, i and pi.

Euler was one of the most significant mathematicians in history and was also a supporter of Biblical inerrancy. He also had many interest and I believe would not be opposed to a program for Christian counseling. All truth is God's truth and we are free to pursue truth where every it leads.

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin M. Crowder said...
In the future you might ask me what I mean by that instead of bearing a false witness. You, along with the Rapper T. Kelley have completely misrepresented my position.


I apologize. It was not my intention to misrepresent your position, only to seek clarity. I said "your statement appears to indicate that you think the concept of the sufficiency of Scripture applies to every facet of life", and I went on to discuss the Reformers use of the concept. It was my hope that, if you did not intend to convey what I (and John, and others) thought your words might mean, you would see how someone could misunderstand you meant and you would seek to clarify your statements.

Kevin M. Crowder said...
Psychology is more concern with giving names to odd behaviors and then putting people in those categories, and then attempting to normalize them through the use of psychotropic or psychopharmacological medications, none of which act the same form person to person--they are simply legalized drug dealers--dispensing escape.


It is obvious to me that you are writing from ignorance when it comes to medications for mental disorders. I had the same mindset as you at one time. Although I would not wish you or those you love to suffer the pains of a serious depression, anxiety, schizophrenic, psychotic, or other brain disorder, if you or they ever did, you would learn more about compassion than you could ever imagine, and hopefully you would learn about the medical basis and treatment of these disorders.



Word verification: suball = the use of the word "all" to mean something less than "all". :)

Gary said...

Kevin,
I would encourage you to watch the video of the chapel talk that Tom Nelson gave at DTS on March 27, 2007 entitled "A Christian Looks at Depression. In this talk Dr. Nelson tells his story of how he was ambushed by clinical depression and had to seek help through counselors and medication to get his life back. Before this episode, Dr. Nelson saw very little value in counseling and did not even believe that such a thing as clinical depression existed. Now he speaks with great wisdom and compassion as one who has been through a severe darkness and come out the other side. I believe the video of this chapel talk is one of the best I have seen on the subject and should be required viewing for all ministers and seminary students. You can find the video at the DTS website or simply do a google search for Tommy Nelson depression video.
Blessings,
Gary

Lydia said...

"I had the same mindset as you at one time."

Me too.

I understand where Kevin is coming from, though. Such as alcholism being a disease and not a sin. We have done that with so many things. Even pedophilia (Well, he said sorry so all is ok now)

But then, many Christian pastors will 'counsel' a woman to go back and be abused. So there is that danger, too. Some even counsel parents of children abused by pedophiles at the church to just forgive and forget. (SGM did this to one poor family whose 3 year old was molested by a 16 year old male nursery worker)

So counseling can be abusive, too.

I think this is where relationships at church fall down. we have fallen for the happy church syndrome where folks are not encouraged to bear one another's burdens and help one another. Bring no negative into the Body...is the message. It is the product of the totalitarian niceness and presenting a certain image to the world. Christians have serious problems, too. And then we become guilty of hiding evil in the Body. People should be able to find help and encouragement from their brothers and sisters in Christ. Then they might not need specialized counselors so much.

B Nettles said...

Wade,
This post disturbs me on a few different levels. You attribute Loveless's comment to his "motivation," when in reality, we have no idea what question was asked of him, nor the context of his statement. You're being careless in this accusation. He could just as easily have been making a statement about the 2nd coming. News reporters regularly cut and paste things out of context. You probably should have talked with Loveless to gain the context.

What also disturbs me is the attitude of the SWBTS people that "thousands will flock to Fort Worth" to see 3 small scraps of leather. How is this different from someone flying somewhere to see Jesus in a water stain on the wall? Dead Sea Scrolls...so what? Now maybe the whole collection, that would be interesting, but I much rather invest my travel in going to visit a close friend rather than some parchment 1000 years removed from the originals. It borders on icon worship; PP's comment about "God smiling on us" is really puzzling. Please tell me what I'm missing that these fragments are such a treasure.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dr. Nettles,

The obvious and primary purpose in my opinion is to allow primary research at SWBTS. Now students can do this. Same goes for the Lottie Moon collection, or the Spurgeon library at MWBTS--or fast forward 100 years--the Al Mohler Memorial Library and Cultural Research Center at Southern. The early destinations of the DSS's were far less desirable being private collectors than present research museums and seminaries. I think this is a blessing from the Lord. This is of value to both the biblical languages department as well as those studying archeology.

I agree however, and stated so earlier, with your first argument.

Wade Burleson said...

Bill Nettles,

I would agree that motivation is something that only the person who has it can reveal. I do not know Gary's motivation; I can only hear his words.

In his comment about the purchase of the Dead Sea scroll fragments and then gifting them to SWBTS, he says that being known by Jesus when he holds up his hand (amidst the millions who stand before Him) is "what this is all about."

I can only go by what Gary says publicly--and frankly, his words aired on public television and it seems to me that they are very difficult to misunderstand.

Blessings,

Wade

John Fariss said...

Tom Kelly,

Ditto. Both about "all things" and depression, with which I have had close family dealing.

Kevin,

Sounds like your explanation of "all things" is pretty much the same as mine, once you finally got around to it.

You still didn't say how I bore false witness against you though.

Whatever. It's snowing, I'm going to put some more wood on the fire, and settle in for a nice evening.

John

B Nettles said...

Wade,
In his comment about the purchase of the Dead Sea scroll fragments and then gifting them to SWBTS, he says that being known by Jesus when he holds up his hand (amidst the millions who stand before Him) is "what this is all about."
Again, I want to emphasize that you don't know the context of his comment, just where the editor of the story put the comment. You're concluding that the comment is specifically about the purchase, when you have only your own speculation, based on what the main story is. TV sound bites are tremendously misleading. They also cut off his statement. As to his words aired on public television and it seems to me that they are very difficult to misunderstand, the words aren't, but the question which he's answering is. BTW, he doesn't say "what this is all about."

Kevin,
I agree that having the segments for scholarly and archeological study is great, but the "thousands" of people flocking to Ft. Worth just to see them is ridiculous, whether or not it becomes real. And if they are on constant display, how can they be studied?

Rex Ray said...

Wade said,
“Evidence of idolatry is seen in not letting the Bible "touch the ground" or allow other books to be "on top" of the Bible, or refusing to allow someone to read the Bible unless they are properly credentialed, etc... “

Byroniac - Thanks,
I agree with you’re saying: “I do not believe that inerrancy necessarily must lead to idolatry.”

I believe inerrancy becomes and idol when individuals make inerrancy more important than what the Bible teaches.

I believe ‘bibliolatry’ (Wade’s information) occurs with those that:

1. Believe non-inerrant Christians are non-Bible believers.
2. Cannot love/cooperate with non-inerrant Christians.
3. Prohibit non-inerrant Christians from teaching in seminaries, being missionaries, or holding positions of service in the SBC.

Inkling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inkling said...

Kevin,

My wife sustained years of emotional damage because of a well-meaning pastor who, like you, thought the Bible was sufficient to heal mental illness. It is not sufficient, anymore than anointing with oil is sufficient to heal a broken bone. Mental illness is far more complex -- and biologically/chemically based -- than you realize. I understand that you have latched on to a particular ideology because it satisfies some personal need, but if you insist on clinging to such ignorance you will be the source of much pain and heartache in church members you may counsel in the future. I hope you reconsider and take the time to educate yourself.

Mark

Byroniac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byroniac said...

Rex Ray,

I can certainly agree with you on points #1 and #2. I am not so sure about point #3. Inerrancy is a huge issue, no matter which side of the argument you fall on. In a way, I want to agree with you because not all Christians are inerrantists. On the other hand, for purely personal reasons, I do not. And I am not really sure how I would justify this.

Right now I technically have church membership in an SBC church. However, I am not sure I will bother ever joining another church, much less an SBC one. I do not need a piece of paper with my name on it to tell me that I am a child of God or that I belong to Christ's Church: He decided that when He regenerated me by grace. So all the rules of who gets to belong to what no longer impress me (though I certainly believe in attendance and fellowship with other believers wherever that takes place, traditional building or not). I have heard the saying, "membership has its privileges." But from where I am standing, soured on organized religion in general, "non-membership has its privileges" in all the particulars.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dr. Nettles,

How can folks in and around the DFW area visiting the campus of our seminary be a bad thing? How can prospective students coming to see the LM and DSS exhibits be a bad thing?

Any clue how much money Mohler and Moore spend each year flying around the country visiting prospective students? I imagine quite a bundle. Seminaries have to attract students. There is much precident historically for using a variety of methods.

We as SB's should be proud to have such collections at our seminaries.

And btw, just becasue an artifact is on display does not mean that it cannot be studied by students, professors, and visiting scholars from time to time.

Rex Ray said...

Byroniac,
I’m glad you responded with sincerity.

I believe #3 is putting #1 and #2 in action.

It’s like faith: When belief is put into action it becomes faith.

#3 would not exist without #1 and #2.

Therefore, if there is #3 (which is easy to see) it proves #1 and #2 exist in the hearts of those that make the Bible an idol.

Now if we included Pi into this, it might really be confusing. :)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Kevin: I have a problem with your statement on several levels, although I am sure there are many Christians who see things the way you do, most haven't gone through any traumatic experiences. It's condescending to those who have, it's a way of dismissing their deep pain, and it's can be a slap in the face to those who do, saying to them that they need to have more faith, read the Bible more.

Problem: It doesn't heal the pain. If reading the Bible was the only answer, then preachers are not necessary.

People need to talk about their problems, their deep seated pain, their abuse, the list goes on. Any Christian counselor worth their degree is going to use the Bible as their main source along with their counseling skills. To say Christian counselors are not needed is saying Physicians are not needed because the Bible is sufficient. If you had cancer would you forgo medical treatment and simply read your Bible?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"To say Christian counselors are not needed is saying Physicians are not needed because the Bible is sufficient."

Debbie,

I refuse to dialogue until you can anywhere show me where I have said this. Join the crowd in bearin false witness.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
On topic of World War II, but wrong post.

Got this email saying, “One of those 'mysterious' stories from WW2 you probably didn't know about.”

I believe it's amazing.

‘Special’ German prisoners were kept at Fort Hunt in Alexandria, Virginia. They were ‘sweet talked’ for valuable information that helped to win the war.

All the Americans were sworn for life to secrecy and most have died. The project was declassified in 1990 but no one told the vets. It became a public park in 1946 and managed by the Park Service. Not long ago by a chance remark, a vet was told of the declassification. Now the Park Service wants to turn the Fort into a visitor’s center showing/telling the stories that happened there.

http://www.npca.org/magazine/2010/winter/po-box-1142.html

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray, I cannot argue with your logic, so I have to agree with you.

Steve said...

After reading here, I understand more of where Tom Cruise gets his uncanny insight into psychology and the need for counseling, as well as the pharmacology that has restored so many to a full and productive life.

Paul Burleson said...

With regards to the closing of one and the beginning of another counseling program whose purpose is, and I quote the President of SWBTS..."The program will emphasize biblical principles set in the context of developing a biblical worldview and perspective on life.”

I have to say that___ having been pastor to many involved in leading and teaching in the soon to be former program, including Dr. Ted Dowell and his wife Omalee, while I pastored Southcliff in Ft. Worth___ that WAS their goal, objective and desire also.

Just for the record.

Wade Burleson said...

Paul Burleson,

Precisely.

One wishes to accept the stated reason for abandonment of the progam (finances), but could it in reality be ideological?

In other words, could it be a statement that administration believes "licensed" counseling is wrong because it is not "biblical" or lacks a "biblical worldview?"

Just asking.

Tom Kelley said...

Wade Burleson said...
In other words, could it be a statement that administration believes "licensed" counseling is wrong because it is not "biblical" or lacks a "biblical worldview?"


Or maybe there are those who just dislike the idea of a program at an SBC school that results in the same official credential being given to women who complete the program as is given to the men who do. :)

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

I believe the states say that, if you want to hold yourself out as a counselor, you must be licensed. That seems a reasonable thing for the state to do.

If you want to sell real estate, the state says "get a license".

If you want to carry a handgun, the state says "get a license".

If you want to drive a car, the state says "get a license".

If you want to practice medicine, the state says "get a license".

If you want to cut hair, the state says "get a license".

If I went to a barbershop, a doctor's office, a realtor, etc., and they said "We don't have a license .. but we believe the Bible", I don't think I'd stick around. That license is assurance the state concurs with their ability.

Ah .. but when it comes to counseling.....

??

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Part 1

Let's take for a moment bi-polar disorder. Here is the medicine.com definition:


"A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depression that characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania. Sometimes the mood switches from high to low and back again are dramatic and rapid, but more often they are gradual and slow, and intervals of normal mood may occur between the high (manic) and low (depressive) phases of the condition. The symptoms of both the depressive and manic cycles may be severe and often lead to impaired functioning.


Read the rest here


Unwise business or financial decision? Come on. "Stupid is as stupid does" to quote a Movie
Philosopher. When society begins to justify unwise, immoral, and downright stupid behavior by labeling it with fancy names, and drugging the "victim" then how are we ever going cure the root problem?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Part 2

Churches who advocate this type of treatment are sending their people into the arms of The Accuser. This so call "disease" beings my friends in the crib. Babies learn mood swings which best suit their pleasure senses. Parents who are absent, absent minded, ill-equipped, etc to discipline infants will end up with terrible 2's who bite and gnarl, or are repressed and silent. Thus filling the ED/BD (Now "Special Services") classrooms in America. The children are now in the clutches of a system which panders to their "disease" rendering no more discipline than the absent parent. Graduation Day = The Boot! Now in society, this person gets married and begins the process all over again. Medicated ups and down reek havoc on the family creating more of the same.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Part 3

So what is the problem? Sin. Yes, I said Sin. Un confessed, repentant, undelt with sin. Who on this earth is charged to teach the remedies of Sin (The Gospel) but the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ who became all these sins for us. Yet somehow we are resigned to dumping our sins off on psychology and psychiatry for a "quick fix."

The drug addicted church then become but an ember of the glory of that which it professes. Shame on us. We cannot offer a cure to sin because we do not understand what sin is. ALL those in Christ are free to choose to do good in Him. Selfish behavior (depression and anxiety) no longer need reign in the life of the believer. I know, I know--some of you really hate me by now--but what you really hate is to think that it is YOU who needs to smack yourself and wake up! Stop crying, stop whining, and give glory to the One you profess. Get out of the crib and walk to the savior. Your parents messed up, ok, we I get that. But your life exists so that you can give glory to the Lord of creation, yet you are sitting in the mud wallowing like a pig, eating garbage, living sedentary lives, failing to be disciplined. You'll never change until YOU take His outstretch arm and walk into the Light.

This next quote is titled: "Natural Cures for Bipolar Disorder"
By Nellie Day

First of all there is no "cure" for bipolar disorder from a clinical perspective, only a masking or lessening of the symptoms. But Nellie Day is on to something here. I am not sure if she is a Christian, but her perspective is ALL about discipline. And it is Discipline which will bring people with Emotional Disorders (ED)out of the darkness--In Christ all the more. ED's are nothing more than Spiritual deficiencies. If you have a Vitamin C deficiency you take Vitamin C--if you have a Spiritual deficiency you take the Spirit. Spiritual Disciplines for the believer are key to getting on track with one's progressive sanctification.


"Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that often limits the sufferer's quality of life. Though there are many treatment options that can control bipolar disorder, such as medication and electro-convulsive therapy, many scientists and sufferers have found that some natural remedies can treat this disorder. Depending on the patient, some of these natural remedies have been able to virtually eliminate the symptoms of bipolar disorder, while others simply keep them in check.


Read the rest here.


Btw, it is no secret that sinning takes a huge toll on the body. Depleting reservoirs of vitamins and minerals, as well as building up toxins in fatty tissues. We are creature who body, mind, and soul are fused into one for the purpose of life on earth. What affects one affects the others.

(Example: Person is depressed (mind is sad). This is because they are fat (body is sick). They are fat because they sin--they are undisciplined in eating and maintaining the Temple of God (spirit not giving glory to God). In fact they have defiled it. Cure? Look to Jesus, the Logos, now and live! It is recorded in... *where?* His Word! Halleluiah! Look! and Live my brothers and sisters!


...the body, building itself up in love.

Tom Parker said...

Tom Kelley:

You said:"Or maybe there are those who just dislike the idea of a program at an SBC school that results in the same official credential being given to women who complete the program as is given to the men who do. :)
"

Maybe you are right, other than women being in a homemaking degree they are not really wanted at SWBTS.

What will be the next program to receive the ax at this school?

Tom Parker said...

KMC:

Only one word can describe your latest postings--NONSENSE!

linda said...

Just a point to ponder:

While I strongly believe there is such a thing as brain disease which may manifest as depression, bipolar, parkinson's, etc and that these indeed need a physician, not to be told to read the Bible, Kevin has a point.

Counselling is not the same thing as dealing with biochemical disorder.

It addresses stinking thinking.

And when it does, it needs to apply clear Biblical principles, not the teachings of a cocaine addict such as Freud, or other sin excusing teachers.

If you have a biochemical disease it will manifest in the physical "housekeeping" jobs of the brain like sleep, appetite, etc. So see a doc if you have it.

But if you are practicing stinking thinking, Kevin is right. Consult your Bible.

I know. BTDT with both brain disease and stinking thinking.

One needed a doc. The other needed to be confronted with my sin and need of a Savior.

Paul Burleson said...

Bob,

Then there is the "license to preach" given often by many churches which the government views the same as an "Ordination to the Gospel Ministry" certificate giving all the rights and privilages with legal standing to any that hold that license.

If the bible is all we need for ministry let's count those "preaching licenses" out also.

[Typed in an atmoshere of personal humor with my own personal thoughts about the whole thing of ordaining or licensing anyway as well as using such things legitimately. Just sayin....]

Byroniac said...

Kevin,

Please go back and read John 9:1-3. Not every health problem is necessarily due to sin. Here God ordained one so that He could also work His own glory through a miracle of Christ.

I think it is a scary concept that the cure for physical problems is first and foremost more religion and spiritual conditioning, which sounds like bad religion gone to seed. Do you have any proof that sinning takes huge tolls on the body? For a very specific example, when I am standing in Best Buy coveting, exactly which vitamins am I depleting in my body and by what rate? How is this measured? Or, what are the Scriptures behind it?

Plus, you seem to have quite an Arminian streak going on. I mean, "cure the root problem?" "offer a cure to sin?" "if you have a Spiritual deficiency you take the Spirit" How will a lost man take advantage of any of these things, except he or she is regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God?

I would expect some of your argumentation from someone in a third-world country who knew a lot more about religion than science or health. What next? We might as well try trephination to let all the evil spirits out, why not?

Byroniac said...

OK, but I can see Kevin's point that Linda brings out. It's just that every physical problem does not boil down to neat spiritual solutions. If God doesn't cure the sin nature that causes some of these spiritually born problems, the best that can be done is medication and physical therapy.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Why Thank you Linda, I am about to get clinically depressed with all the negative press I have been receiving on here. :)

I actually appreciate your point. I too see the clear need for the distinction. But I might make the distinction for another reason. And that reason is Christ. There are reasons to use simple medications all the way to mental hospitals and other savage methods such as shock treatments. For the unregenerate. NOW, let me clarify. In this present age of grace, the Spirit CAN indeed work to improve the mental faculties of SOME through secularly trained (and even Christian) mental doctors. But the goal for the believer must be to wean from the secular to the Spiritual.

Remember the problem is sin. Sin needs the Gospel.

Amy said...

No one has answered my question from early on in the comment section. I think this is the crux of the issue... so I will post it again.

The stated reason is that it was not cost efficient to have a licensure program and a biblical counseling program. I have two questions: (1) what is the current enrollment in both programs; and (2) why was one chosen over the other as expendable?

I also have a 3rd question now that I have thought about it -- 3)what happens to the female counseling profs when the BIBLICAL counseling program is the only one left?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Byron,

You are presupposing that mental issues are "sickness."

Sin is not sick. Sin is dead. (That Calvinistic enough for you?)

:)

I too noticed the Arminian flair coming out on that 3 part post, please understand I wrote that very quickly as I REALLY want to get 24 watched tonight so I am ready for tomorrow night live. I believe the Bible is Sufficient for All Things. But it is not efficient to cover the sins of those who reject Christ in their own sins. And so I agree with most of your points. Forgive my Arminian wording...maybe I am theologically bi-polar. lol

Thy Peace said...

I am all for the Word of God to be sufficient. But then this happens. How Do You Study the Bible After Someone Has Bludgeoned You With It? Cognitive Dissonance and Bible Study Following Spiritual Abuse Part I of V.

Please read Under Much Grace [Cindy Kunsman] for very interesting articles on spiritual abuse and recovery. An excellent blog for people who are recovering from Spiritual Abuse.

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin,
Now you are bearing false witness -- about both bipolar disorder and about sin. Please do some study on the the different types of bipolar disorder and the medical basis for it. Your ignorance is curable. But at this time I would be afraid for someone you would ever try to give advice to in these matters.

Of course there are behavioral and spiritual components to some mental disorders, including manic-depression. But I hope you wouldn't be so consistent in your position as to advise a diabetic that they don't need to heed their doctor's advice to use insulin to treat their disease, they just need to repent of unconfessed sin. You need to understand that there isn't a dime's worth of difference between a disorder of the pancreas and a disorder of the brain. Someone's life may one day depend on you learning this.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

The Rapper T Kelley,

No, I did not lie, I simply have a different opinion than you. The fact remains that secular treating of what is known as bi-polar disorder is a guessing game at best to regulate drugs. People are not cured form this crap. Studies only indicate a "normalized" reentrance into society which usually is accompanied by lifelong therapy, drug realignments, relapses, and other such imperfect quick fix side-effects. Additionally, the chances of someone who is co-dependent on medications of this sort seldom if ever seek the Lord for a renewed life.

Yet, data from NANC, AACC, NCCA, and other Biblical counseling training organizations show results of what the Lord truly does through the transforming power of the Gospel.

You my friend, are the one who should not remain in ignorance.

K

Tom Kelley said...

Amy said...
I also have a 3rd question now that I have thought about it -- 3)what happens to the female counseling profs when the BIBLICAL counseling program is the only one left?


That's a great question. I'd like to know the answer to that, too. Perhaps they will be told their jobs are secure, but then later told that keeping them on was a "momentary lax of parameters".

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin,
It is possible to lie out of ignorance, you know. I know more about this topic than you. It is always easier for the one who knows more about something to recognize when someone else knows less. Your "opinion" is ill informed and inaccurate. But I am confident that, since your heart is for Jesus, His Spirit will sanctify your mind in these matters one day.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Whatever T Kelley,

"I know you are but what am I..."


Even the most experienced person in the world can be wrong.





Of all the topics G&T2U has ever tackled, this one produces the most vitriol. Even tops "Chick Preachers for Jesus."

Its like trying to take a drug addicts drugs away from him. WE NEED A DRUG INTERVENTION!!!


The Bible is sufficient for ALL things!

Bob Cleveland said...

Paul,

I shoulda knowed you'd go draggin' religious stuff into this....

I'm just sayin'.....

:)

Tom Kelley said...

It's ok, Kev, I love you anyway. (Not in the romantical way, induced by brain biochemistry, but in the spiritual way, induced by the Spirit acting through the Word.)

Tom Kelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Kelley said...

Kevin,
Where is the vitriol? I see strongly held and frankly stated opinions, but nothing that appears to me to be highly caustic or severe in effect or bitterly abusive. I guess that's a matter of opinion, too. I have, however, seen great harm done to individuals with genuine brain chemistry disorders by those who would spout platitudes about how they would get all better if they just trusted Jesus more, or prayed more, or believed the Bible more. It's the same as the Word of Faith "name it and claim it" nonsense, and I want people who might be reading not to fall for it.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

T Kelley,


Would you like to just be my watchdog and report everything I do and say and run it through your filter, warning the world that Kevin is a comin'! Kevin is a comin'!?

I am one guy with an opinion. Why don't you go protest outside SBTS and SWBTS??? Or do you prefer to simply to takes my opinions, add a few fringe stereotypical beliefs and "warn" the readers for your own glory--since it is YOU who know more than me on the subject?


K

PS: The Word of Faith thing was a nice touch though. But everyone on here already knows where I stand on that so you are simply lookin' like a fool witcho pants on da ground!

Tom Kelley said...

Aww, Kevin, now that was just mean.


Word verification: explatin. "I'm tired of explatin this stuff to you, Kev."

Kevin M. Crowder said...

If I add:

:)


Would that make it all better? Or are you gonna need to see a psychiatrist?

Tom Kelley said...

Yes, Kevin, the smiley helps. I am cured. Wow, turns out that an emoticon from Kevin is sufficient for all things!

:)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

No, I got that out of the Bible. The two dots are my footprints, and the half-arc is my half of the icthus in the sand.

The Bible is sufficient for all things.

;) <------a wink

Shelly said...

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and a graduate of the SWBTS counseling program. As a result of my licensure, doors have opened and opportunities for influence have been afforded me that would not have been possible without licensure. Terminating the licensure program will close doors for Christian counselors. There are a myriad of non-profit organizations who employ counselors that also provide opportunities for spiritual discussions during counseling. Without licensure, seminary graduates will not be able to find jobs in these organizations.

Four and a half years ago I became a widow. My husband died in a car accident and left me with three small children. For two years I visited with a Christian counselor, who happened to be licensed and who also happened to be one the professors at SWBTS. I can not tell you how impactful and helpful that process was in rebuilding my life. My pastor is a great guy, but he did not have time to work with me in the way I needed help in terms of grief counseling. It is unfair to place that expectation on a pastor. Christian counselors have an opportunity to support what is done in the local church and free up the pastor to "preach, teach, etc".

In addition, how many churches can afford to employ a Christian counselor full-time? However, many churches are able to allow Christian counselors to work in their facilities and their income depends solely on what is brought in. In order to bring in income, you need a license. Students seeking to make a living doing counseling will not be able to go to a program like SWBTS offers. The ones who do go through the program will have, perhaps, a handful of job opportunities to fight over in the convention.

I'm thankful for the education I received at SWBTS (1995-1998) and the license I now hold. Without either one of those, my career opportunities would be severely limited and theologically handicapped.

I'm also grateful that the Christian counselor (and professor) that helped me through the death of my husband didn't reprimand me for my grief or suggest I minimize the loss by spiritualizing the intense pain. In the end, my relationship with Christ is stronger and my respect for Christian counselors is far greater.

John Fariss said...

Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. What experience have you with bipolar disorder, or clinical depression, or any other mental illness? Frankly: I hope you never have it firsthand experience. But I have, with my darling wife. She struggles still with depression and with obsessive-compulsive tendencies (in part, due to physical and verbal abuse as a child in her Christian home, and in part from the fishbowl existance in a parsonage at dysfunctional churches). I could tell you stories, Kevin; I could tell you stories. It almost destroyed our marriage; and BTW, I know no one who is more dependent on the Lord Jesus Christ than my wife. But for the moment, I will just say that being a Christian does not make one immune to psychological problems, and just reading one's Bible is usually not a cure, because our brains get programmed in "faulty" ways of thinking and processing information. It is not a matter of society labels; it is a matter of either faulty learning, or chemical imbalances which alter neurlogical processes, or both. Once that hapens, it requires outside intervention--those whom God has gifted and placed in the "path" (so to speak) of those with problems, that they helped empower her to relearn how to process things; and sometimes it requires chemicals to restore the brain to its proper and God-intended functioning. I hope you will take prayerful consideration of Tom Kelley and Bryoniac on this one. And I love you, my brother.

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Shelly,

I will humbly suggest that it was the Spiritual Gifting of this professor and not his license which helped you. It was his knowledge of the transforming power of God's Revelation to the broken reed not his classes on psychology which brought light to your grief.

You see I believe it IS the responsibility of the pastor(s)/deacons, or the Body in general to build each other up in times of grief.

And here in Missouri we have plenty of Christian Counseling ministries with certified biblical counselors verses state licensed counselors.

For me it boils down to the extra-biblical food for the soul. I do not think it is health. I think it closes a door to the Great Physician.

I think every church who can should hire a certified biblical counselor as a ministry to the Body.

Kevin

Wade Burleson said...

Amy,

I don't know the answers to your questions but hope someone reading here can help answer them.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Shelly,

Powerful, powerful testimony.

Thanks for sharing it.

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

I think you are a really great guy, though we have never met.

I rarely offer advice to anyone, and can't recall ever offering any to you.

Until now.

From my pastor's perspective, to "humbly suggest" to Shelly that a pastor or deacon "should have helped her" instead of a licensed professional counselor--who actually DID help her--would cause Shelly (or anyone else to whom you offer such humble suggestions) to discount everything you say.

Therefore, there are times when we pastors may find ourselves disagreeing with people and their approaches to life, but wisdom calls upon us to remain silent rather than offering humble suggestions.

Wade

Shelly said...

Amy,

The figures that were quoted to me by a person currently in the program are that there are 230 students in the licensure program and 12 in the bibilical counseling (not leading to licensure) program. It seems the demand and interest is for the licensure program.

Kevin,

As a person who has been through the licensure program there was nothing in the process that caused me to compromise my biblical convictions. In addition, the current program (at SWBTS) that leads to licensure is most definitely a biblical approach to counseling. You would be hard pressed to find more committed men and women of God than you find at SWBTS. They have a bibilical worldview and teach biblical principles in every course. They are some of the finest people I have ever known.

Just curious if your local church employs a full time Christian counselor? Mine doesn't but we do have 7 counselors on staff who work on a part-time basis off fees they collect. They are all licensed or in the process of being licensed and are all graduates of SWBTS. Last year we had 1092 families come through our counseling center. I praise God for the way He has used this ministry in our community.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

Thank you for your kind remarks and indeed for your advice. I in fact agree with you and would gladly take the advice had I made the comments you suggested.

If your will kindly re-read my comment you will find that I stated that it, in my opinion, IS the responsibility of the church and her leaders to help the flock through times such as these mentioned. I also, though indirectly, suggested that the brother (who is part of the Body) she went to was quite qualified (by her results and testimony) though directed that qualification to what I believe actually qualified him.

I have been very careful to engage those directly who have chosen a path of healing other than that which I personally advocate. I believe the Lord can and does work in a variety of means. I have given my opinion of the program at SWBTS (similar to the defunct program at Southern years ago) but have offered no specific advice in term of suggesting folks do a 180 to another program. Not even the best Neuthetic Counselors in the country would suggest that. My views are no different than the perfectly legitimate organizations whose acronyms I gave earlier.

So again I appreciate your pastoral concern. I think you are a really great guy as well (though we have never met) else I would not be here.


~Kevin M. Crowder

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Shelly,

The answer to your question is no. My pastor is an MDiv, 86 I think from SWBTS. He is very uniquely gifted in "pastoral counseling" but I do know that there are areas he feels that are beyond his expertise. He may or may not refer folks to other programs, I do not know. We do have a Gentleman who is a member of our church and a Ph.D in biblical counseling (Liberty) and a LMFC. I suppose we somewhat support him indirectly through our association as there is some ministry connection there. I also know that my pastor was a trustee of SBTS for 12 years and in full support of Mohler's proposal to dump the School of Social work.

Please know that while I love my pastor and my church, I am not defined by them. They would be happy to tell you so. :)

Byroniac said...

Kevin,

I believe the Arminianism I noted in your comments is a legitimate concern and not just an aside to the discussion. I have found myself several times in life trying to use religion as the foundation of a self-empowerment or self-betterment program. With Linda's help, I think I see a little better the point you are trying to make, but at best I think you are overstating it, and at worst, you seem to be implying that the use of religion or spirituality can essentially leapfrog medicinal knowledge in producing a cure, kind of like a religious "magic bullet" of sorts.

I have to admit up front that when it comes to most physical problems, I start with a base assumption that a purely medical problem is the cause (however I am NOT a counselor and all I have to offer are friendly opinions and not medical advice), because many spiritual problems that I have heard take a good bit of spiritual discernment to evaluate and attempt to cure. And I, for one, am simply not equipped for most of these spiritually, so beginning with what modern science DOES understand is usually a helpful starting point. That does not mean it is always right, or that it accomplishes the most moral good, in light of your point, I admit. But sometimes I am guessing it is a necessary first step before an ultimate (and spiritual) solution can be found, if one is needed. And it is always better to recognize when something is out of your expertise whether that is medical or spiritual, right?

What I have found with the Christian religion is that it usually "works" better when enforced from within, rather than imposed from without.

Gregory said...

As a former student in the counseling program at SWBTS, I know from experience that the program was/is biblically-based. I also am a firm believer in the idea that the Bible is sufficient for all. What is not sufficient for all, however, is how biblical truth is delivered to and received by the recipient. I have always seen nouthetic counseling, what most people mean by "biblical counseling," is a sort of "beat them over the head with the Bible until they get it" approach. Perhaps that works for some. The counseling program at SWBTS teaches counselors to work through life's difficulties with a client, using the Bible as a launching pad. If a client doesn't accept the validity of the Bible, sitting there and saying to him or her, "But the Bible says," "But the Bible says," over and over again isn't going to do anyone a whole lot of good.

I returned to SWBTS a couple of years ago to attend the retirement reception of my major professor. The morale on campus saddened me. I've seen nothing since then that would show the school's direction has changed for the good. In fact, at times, I'm embarrassed enough to consider returning my diploma to the school.

Amy said...

One of my concerns, and please those who advocate biblical/nouthetic counseling correct me if I am wrong, is the position that they will not counsel those outside of the church or non-Christians. If this is so, I have a question -- where is the salt/light in this equation?

MiMi said...

One of the greatest mission fields we have in our country is a mental health agency or counseling clinic. Salt and Light must not be confined within the walls of our churches.

I am a former counseling student who graduated from the licensure program. We were challenged by our Godly professors in how to approach every secular theory with the Word of God. We were also taught how to treat psyschopathology from scripture. Pathological behavior has recognizable patterns that allow a trained professional to diagnose and treat. For the Licensed Christian Counselor- in a church or secular setting, treating these behaviors come from Scripture. A well-grounded Biblical foundation,a strong relationship with the Lord, along with an understanding of psychology gives Licensed Christian Counselors a 3-D approach to help broken and hurting individuals receive mental, emotional and spiritual healing.

Rex Ray said...

Gregory said: “The morale on campus saddened me. I've seen nothing since then that would show the school's direction has changed for the good. In fact, at times, I'm embarrassed enough to consider returning my diploma to the school.”

Gregory, if Patterson was fired, how many students do you think would offer to quit school in protest like they did when Dilday was fired?

Gregory said...

Rex, I don't have any way of knowing that. Dr. Hemphill was president of SWBTS during my entire time as a student there, so I missed the whole Dilday episode.

If I had to speculate, though, I would say that as time passes, and more and more students attend Southwestern because Dr. Patterson is President, the number of students who would leave would increase. But that's just a guess.

A further guess is that students now attend SWBTS for one of two reasons: because of finances or because specific leadership is in place. My fear is that not many attend SWBTS any longer solely because of its reputation as a top-notch theological school; it has indeed lost that reputation. I say that not to denigrate Dr. Patterson. Perhaps the same would be true under someone else's leadership. But he's the one that's there at this particular time.

Benji Ramsaur said...

This goes back to what one's perspective is concerning the relationship between Scripture and the academy. Personally, I think it is good to take a step back and see what the perspectives are and where you land.

I think Greg Bahnsen describes the different perspectives well:

"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 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 segregated 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 foundation of Biblical truth ('Jerusalem the capital of Athens')."

http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pa045.htm

I have taken classes from a professor who received his Ph.d from a "nonChristian" Psychology school [California School of Professional Psychology] who held to "Jerusalem the capital of Athens". Therefore, I would encourage folks to not be quick to think that all those who take that view are "ignorant/stupid" [yes, there are those who hold that view who have actually heard of Skinner and Freud...mental illness...depression...medication:)]. He was a presuppositionalist and if one does not know what that is, then one might want to read some primary source material on that perspective. I think that would be better than one criticizing what one thinks that view means or implies out of possible ignorance.

I would also encourage folks to not try and debunk views that one disagrees with through mere name calling. I think it would be better to actually have a reason or reasons why one disagrees, than merely to call it _____________".

I would hope folks do not base their perspective on the majority view [as if the majority view is always right].

And if one wants to base their view on what those who are called "the experts" say, then I would remind them that sometimes those very people disagree among themselves.

Wade Burleson said...

Gregory makes a good point.

A seminary should be known for its atmosphere of academic adventure, scholarly and published professors, and the ability to equip students to be lifelong pursuers of knowledge.

When a seminary becomes more well known for a particular ideology than genuine scholarship, then the reputation of that seminary is tarnished -- no matter the number of students at the seminary or the President of the seminary at the time.

And ideologies that demand absolute conformity fall both ways - far right and far left.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I'm not asking for names. But do you think anyone at SWBTS would even dare to oppose PP on his thoughts and ideas for the college.

Chris Dinwiddie said...

Amy,
I am a graduate of the program for both masters and doctorate. I do not know the actual numbers right now, but the licensure program farrrrrr outdraws the "biblical counseling" program. about two dozen students and two faculty in the "biblical counseling" program compared to about 200 students and five full time faculty in the licensure program. Additionally the licensure program attracts many international students (especially from Brazil and S. Korea).

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

I don't think so. It must come from trustees, and the way the system operates (at least now) is the trustee selection is very tightly controlled.

wade

Wade Burleson said...

Chris,

Thanks. That's the information we needed. Amy, does that answer your question?

Elisabeth said...

Considering how popular the licensure program is and how many more students (in other words, revenue) that the program draws in vs. the biblically based one, there seems to be an agenda for dropping it.

I wonder if the agenda is the fundy fear of mental health services? :-/

Amy said...

Wade,

My questions are answered ... except for what might happen to the female faculty members. I suppose only Dr. Patterson knows that answer ... who will ask him? I can't because the last time I asked a question I was told by his assistant that I did not ask it properly enough. So who will ask?

Lydia said...

I can't because the last time I asked a question I was told by his assistant that I did not ask it properly enough. So who will ask?

Mon Feb 01, 08:04:00 PM 2010

LOL! I have heard that a few times myself when they did not like the question.

Byroniac said...

Lydia and Amy,

I have had similar recent experiences with fundamentalists who find it more convenient and Christ-like to ignore repeated attempts at communication and sincere inquiries, for some unknown and ultimately obscure (to me, at least) reasons. It is actually quite funny at times. I hope someone can eventually get answers for these questions, but who knows?

Rex Ray said...

I asked Gregory: “If Patterson was fired, how many students do you think would offer to quit school in protest like they did when Dilday was fired?”

He replied: “Rex, I don't have any way of knowing that.”

At times I’m slow, but ‘that’ and ‘it’ are words easy to misunderstand.

I thought Gregory was referring to him not knowing if the students under Patterson would ‘walk out’ or not.

But I see now he was referring to not knowing the students under Dilday offered to walk out because he had no way of knowing.

Gregory, you could know if you talked to the students under Dilday, or you read Dilday’s book, or others might make comments on the subject if they wanted to.

I’ll rephrase the question: ‘If Patterson was fired, how many students do you think (in your opinion) would offer to walk out’?

My thanks in advance.

Christiane said...

"“introduce the student to all of the findings, history and theories of psychology and counseling.”

I can't imagine Paige Patterson 'allowing' some of the best known counseling theories to be taught, if he is attempting to 'create' a Baptist Identity-focused seminary.

I am sure that Behavioral, Rogerian, and the writings of Victor Frankl might meet with some resistance. Any exposure to 'values clarification' would also probably be thrown-out. And yet, without a basic knowledge of counseling theory and practice, a license may not be attained.

So perhaps Patterson is doing the 'Baptist Identity' thing in ALL areas of the seminary curriculum.

I don't understand. Why is exposure to ideas so feared? You would think that the better educated a minister was, the more he could help the Church. I may be wrong, but it is apparent that Patterson wishes for his counseling graduates NOT to be considered 'professionals' by the wider Christian community.

But WHY?

The reputation of the Seminary will be lowered by this decision, I think. That is a shame for sure.

Peter said...

My only solace in this whole mess is that Paige Patterson will go down in Southern Baptist history as the man who caused the demise of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Gene S said...

This whole thing smacks of more PP pomp and circumstance along with no concerns other than "will this make me look good?"

I was at SEBTS from 1986 to the present as an observer / frequent visitor. I was a student 1967-70.

The school and its teachings were nothing of what the CR folks claimed. It was nowhere near "liberal" by my personal observation---it was, at most, middle-of-the-road. (Lie 1)

In 1986 they were claiming a boom is students and a need for new classroom space. SO, I took my 35mm camera over at the most popular class hour: 11:00 Tuesday. I went to every classroom and documented on film its usage. I found about 80% of the classroom chairs empty throughout. I found only 20% of the entire available classrooms--UNUSED!! (Lie 2)

Things have not changed. Our alumni publication at SEBTS went from newsprint and communication to a National Geographic quality slick publication at quadruple the cost! I was primarily a "pretty picture of the new SEBTS." When Patterson came, it was more an accolade to him as President over what students were doing in missions, evangelism, and educaton.

I shall never forget the fancy article about a mission project students did in Brazil. They did it WITHOUT an initial connection with a local missionary. They were complaining about initial difficulties and then told of winning X number of people to Christ as if they had accomplished much despite adversity.

I asked my DOM, a former Brazilian Missionary, about the truth of the article. He quickly told me that it was a part of Brazilian culture to tell strangers and foreigners what they wanted to hear--and go about their business with no changes as soon as they left!

Are any of our Seminaries about anything real these days?

Why are the names of Patterson, et.al., on the buildings along with wealthy Board Members who paid the freight since CP giving is down so much?

Since when has Social Ministries become of no import when Scripture clearly states, "Jesus went about doing good, healing the sick, comforting the poor, etc.???

Gene S said...

Correction: only 20% of SEBTS classrooms were in use / 80% were unused.