Ep. 424 A Few Integrationists Affirm My Point about BC’s Decline

Ep. 424 A Few Integrationists Affirm My Point about BC's Decline

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Shows Main Idea – Ironically, my podcast last week about the decline of the biblical counseling movement found affirmation in a most unusual place—integrationists. Though I was not writing to the integrationists who are adjacent (their word, not mine) to biblical counseling, they took my episode, ran it through their hermeneutic, and began game planning about bringing more innovation to their integrationists movement, not the biblical counseling movement. I think I need to clarify, so here goes.

Show Notes

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Purpose: When I speak of the biblical counseling movement, I am not talking about an integrationist hermeneutic, nor do I believe in what they are doing. I consider integrationistic ideas harmful to the actual biblical counseling movement, and those who practice it are hurting those souls who are looking for help. Every Christian’s call to action is clear: We must decide where we stand on these matters.

Some Caveats

  • I’m a third-rail guy, not someone enmeshed in the BC movement. I am more interested in discipleship from a historical, church history perspective than our current biblical counseling movement parenthetical.
  • My commentaries on biblical counseling—positive and negative—are because I care about the church, discipleship, and hurting souls.
  • It’s not lost on me that the BC movement is microscopic within Christendom and even more so in the culture, but there is cause and effect. Thus, I speak.

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Clarifications

  • Daniel Berger asked what my endgame was in response to all the integrationists who took up the argument on Twitter and ran with it. I told him that I answered that question in Ep. 423:

There are two poles when thinking about the BC movement (1) those who believe we can do no wrong and (2) those who believe we can do no right. I’m on neither pole, but in that great middle expanse where we need to talk about what’s right and wrong with us, which that episode explored.

  • I was not writing to integrationists because they are not part of the BC movement but adjacent (their word, not mine) to it. I was as surprised as anyone that they considered critiquing a movement they are not part of but are bringing damage to it.
  • Secondly, part of my critique of the BC movement was that there is little innovation within the BC movement and most books/resources are a rehash of the “same old concepts,” lacking sophistication and complexity. This comment was triggering for several folks. Here are five points of clarity:
    1. I stand by it.
    2. It was not an absolute statement, which I was careful to explain.
    3. The integrationists argued from their worldview and writings.
      • I was not talking about their books or resources because they are not part of the BC movement.
    4. The funniest responses were those who trotted out their works as proof that there is innovation and sophistication. E.g., “Hey, you say there are no great fathers; I’m a great father. Let me tell you how great I am.” To which I say, let another person praise you rather than you triggering yourself with self-congratulatory rebuttals.
    5. Let me provide you with five examples of sophisticated or innovative writing, two from the BC movement and three from the culture:

It is rare to find BC’ers writing on these levels, with innovative thought and interwoven complexity that provokes the reader to stop, think, reflect, and tell someone else what they are reading. At best, our writings gender responses like, “Good stuff” or “that was a good reminder” as we move on to the next thing.

Time for Courage

  • Everyone who thinks about these things cares and desires to bring purer discipleship to the church will have to land the plane on this matter and have the courage to take a stand.

Direct Video Messages

Know Your Friends

  • The upside to these integrationists taking up my episode and discussing it on Twitter is that we have a partial list of who these people are.
    • I did hear that one of them is not part of their camp but associates with them, hoping to influence them. That perspective is unwise, immature, and will not work because their commitment to their cause is as dogmatic as I am to biblical discipleship. But press on, my friend. Let’s see what happens.
  • Some of these integrationists in the Twitter conversation are Bob Kellerman, Brad Hambrick, Jeremy Pierre, Jason Kovacs, Nate Brooks, and others I have not heard of or do not know.
  • Some integrated organizations represented or supported are CCEF, ABC, IBCD, and the Biblical Counseling Coalition.
  • A few other integrationists are Chris Moles and Darby Strickland, though they were not part of that thread.

I contribute no ill-motive to these people and do not question their sincerity because I do not know their hearts and would be a fool to make those assumptions and speak accordingly. However, their views are harmful, and it is time that biblical counselors stand with courage and compassion while speaking against the integrated teaching that has infiltrated our churches and brought insufficient care to the body of Christ.

Call to Action

  1. Are you a biblicist, integrationist, or secularist when it comes to psychology—the study of the soul?
  2. Do you know the differences between these three disciplines, and can you defend your position?
  3. Do you have the courage, wisdom, and grace to stand for the fidelity of God’s Word? If not, what must you do to change?
  4. How committed are you to growing in “the study of the soul” and bringing biblical, practical care to those looking for answers?
  5. In what ways will you seek to mature in your discipleship practices?

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