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John Mark Reynolds Weighs in On Moreland Paper Controversy

Director of Biola's Torrey Honors Institute, John Mark Reynolds, offers a wonderful assessment of J. P. Moreland's 2007 ETS paper and its critics, about which I have blogged here, here, and here. Under the title, "Moreland’s Modest Proposal Stirs Up An Immodest Response," Reynolds published his comments on the blog to which he and Moreland contribute, The Scriptorium Daily. You can read Reynolds' thoughtful entry here.

Comments (1)

I've now read the original Moreland paper, as well as Reynolds's column. It strikes me that people may object to Moreland's paper in direct proportion to their objecting to some of the specific things he wants taken more seriously. But I know little about those specific things. For example, I don't know anything about the ostensibly scientific work on demons that he mentions and on which he quotes critiques.

I know little about the specific aspects of contemporary psychology that he wants us to make more use of and that evidently some of the "Biblical counseling" folks object to. It's certainly true that my own indirect experience with semi-secular "Christian counselors" has been quite negative. It seems to me that the ones I knew of, who helped to break up a marriage of friends of mine, were spouting pseudo-scientific pernicious nonsense with the label "Christian" stuck on to their calling cards. They would have, IMO, done better to talk about Christian categories like forgiveness, love, vows, and sin. But that hardly means that I can disagree with the _general_ point that extrabiblical sources may well tell us things about helping people psychologically, things not found in the Bible.

It seems to me not implausible that evangelicals see things and realize by ordinary human instinct that they are baloney, but rather than saying, "That's baloney!" they say, "That's unbiblical!" Really, what they _mean_ is, "That's baloney!" Not that I know this to be the case with any of the particulars Moreland is seeking to have evangelicals embrace. But I wonder if the implication from some bloggers and such that there is "more to this than meets the eye" arises from their negative impressions of some of those particulars, which for some reason they are just not bringing to the fore.

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