Service Times ---> Sundays 10:45am; 6:00pm // Wednesdays 7:00pm

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

Welcome back to week 30. We hope the past week has been a blessed one for you. Last week we briefly considered the reality of guilt. God said, in His Word, that our guilt is real. Our feelings may hide our guilt, but they do not determine it. This week we will briefly consider the problem of eclecticism in counseling. What is it and what’s the problem with it?

As is our practice, let’s first define what our new teem means. Eclecticism is the practice of deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.[1]  In our context of biblical counseling and discipleship it means that a counselor has a counseling method that seeks to merge the best principles from Scripture and different psychological models. 

Eclectic counseling is also referred to as integrationalism. The two terms (i.e., eclecticism and integrationalism), mean essentially the same thing. On the surface level eclecticism does not sound so bad. A typical “Christian Counselor” will have purpose statements, telling us how and why they will counsel, such as: 

…an approach that integrates a person’s faith in Christ into the therapeutic process. This approach is anchored by the belief that all people are made in the image of God and…a Christian worldview…the foundation of healthy relationships, a healthy lifestyle, and all-around psychological health. We believe…counseling, psychology, psychiatry, and social work have much in common with the principles of a Christian worldview…. our practice offers a fully integrated approach that balances faith convictions with good mental health principles, research and professionalism.[2]

While volumes of books have been written on the multi-leveled plethora of problems nestled in the purpose statement above, this blog will examine only the core issue (in abbreviated fashion). The core issue of this problematic purpose statement is that its presuppositional worldview teaches that Scripture alone is not sufficient for counseling someone. Out of this worldview naturally flows the erroneous idea that psychology is as valuable, if not more so, as Scripture when attempting to counsel someone. This is the same old satanic lie that we can see in Genesis 3:1-7. Satan got Eve and Adam to doubt that God’s counsel was sufficient for them. Thus, they thought they needed to integrate other ideas with God’s Word. 

God’s Word affirms none of this eclectic nonsense. Scripture makes it crystal clear that it alone is all that man needs in order to counsel others and live rightly before God (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:2-4). God’s Word also makes it clear that Christians should not align themselves with the counsel of the ungodly (Ps. 1:1; Col. 2:8). Including the world’s counsel with biblical wisdom will only bring about error, confusion, more sin, and failure to glorify God. Man’s philosophical system and psychological “solutions” only muddy the waters of understanding and wisdom. God’s Word rejects eclecticism therefore, believers should too.

We hope our short time considering eclecticism was helpful. Scripture is sufficient for all of our counseling and discipleship needs. Man’s foolish systems are not needed. Lord willing, next week we will consider the “presentation level,” and “performance level” in biblical counseling. What are they and what do we do with them? Until then may our Lord bless you and keep you.

[1] Accessed 10/5/20.

[2] Example: Directions Counseling Group. “Types of Therapy”.

Foundations of Biblical Counseling: Guilt Foundations of Biblical Counseling: Presentation and Performance Levels