Curing Souls

The following is my own summary of a paper by David Powlison, "The Cure of Souls."

The world of Christian psychology is fraught with name calling and mudslinging today. Christian counseling is still coming into its own as a self-aware and mature "movement." We find two parties to the debate. As labelled unhelpfully by each other, they are psycho-bashers and psycho-heretics. Psycho-bashers call themselves Biblical, and say that Scripture is sufficient so we should reject secular psychological models or theories. Psycho-heretics call themselves Christian counselors, and see value in those theories, but believe evangelical faith is needed to make them whole and workable. Jay Adams is a leading example of the first; Larry Crabb of the second.

These two perspectives have developed over the years, and each shares elements of the other - this is a spectrum of views, not a black and white line. Still, the summary above outlines two opposing answers to the question: what is the role of secular theories in Christian counseling?

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