From G.B.: From your perspective, does the integration of extra-bibical truth in our ministry practice undermine a belief in the sufficiency of Scripture?
My Response: All this talk about integration makes me wonder if we are getting the right picture of what it really means to be “integrated.” I worked as a case manager for people with Schizophrenia. I never understood why my Christian clients had difficulty in reflecting Christ.
As a counseling student at Southern, I had the privilege of learning about the human psyche from Dr. Eric Johnson. He explained that because of the fall, people have been damaged by sin. In fact, his definition of sin is, “those aspects of human life that have resulted from sin including human evil, the self-destructive and God-resisting motive known as the ‘flesh’ and the warping of God’s good creation indirectly due to sin.” For instance, those with mental illnesses have been damaged at the biological level (chemical imbalance, etc.). Others who were badly abused during childhood are damaged at the psychosocial level (they may not have a chemical imbalance but are deeply impaired emotionally and mentally).
Counselors should be an instrument that God uses to help restore people to Himself. Unredeemed people are “warped” images of God. People cannot be whole without Christ. The counseling process should realign the person to God’s image. As counselees see the ugliness of sin and its effects, they can allow God to change their perception about themselves. Reading the Bible daily helps reinforce the concept of being a “new creature” in Christ.