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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Humility and the Word

How should believers respond to movements that seem to illuminate weaknesses in the church? From the footnotes in The Christian Counselor's Manual:
False teachings, whether they be the teachings of cults like Mormonism or whether they be pagan systems of counseling, usually make gains by capitalizing upon those areas that have been neglected by the church. Rather than rush to adopt the views and methods of such groups, one should thank God for the chastening He has given and return to the Scriptures, the one and only proper source for all that is necessary to life and godliness. Group therapies, for instance, have shown the need for stressing community and fellowship among Christians. The answer to the problem, however, is not to bring Integrity Therapy or Transactional Analysis or Encounter Groups into the church; rather, it is to search the Scriptures faithfully to discover what God says about groups, beginning with such passages as Hebrews 10:24-25. (76)
But some worry, if we go to the Word, and teach others what the Word says, aren't we being arrogant for claiming to know what the Word says? Adams offers this analogy:
Constructing a biblical methodology takes critical care; it is going to take much time and much effort to build that foundation adequately. No one has a foundation and methodology that is totally scriptural. Such work has only been begun. My foundation surely has planks that are rotten and some that are missing. The reader must watch where he walks. There may be planks that have been nailed in backwards or upside down. But of one thing I am certain: there are a number of biblical planks that are solidly nailed down. At present I am measuring and sawing others. But in order to get them nailed all the way across, other Christians must also lay hold of the hammers and nails and help. On a foundation of biblical presuppositions, there must be built a fuller methodology that grows out of them and that is appropriate to them at every point. The methodology must be oriented biblically and remain within the framework of scriptural principles. When you have constructed a platform like that, then you are able to stand upon it, look around at what is happening elsewhere, and you can pick and choose and adapt from that perspective whatever nuggets that an unbeliever (in the common grace of God) has unearthed. (92)

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