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On The Sufficiency Of Scripture In A Therapeutic Culture

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists are committed to the authority, sufficiency, and relevance of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:15-17); and

WHEREAS, The Bible teaches that human beings are created in the image of God—made by Him, like Him, and for Him (Genesis 1:27-28)—and that because of sinful rebellion against the Creator, our entire being suffers from sin’s corruption (Genesis 3:6-19; Ecclesiastes 9:3; Romans 1-3); and

WHEREAS, All aspects of our lives—including our spiritual, moral, and psychological conditions—are to be informed and governed by the application of and obedience to Holy Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:31); and

WHEREAS, In this therapeutic culture, physicians and counselors often ignore human sin and its effects, neglect our most fundamental human and spiritual needs, and therefore, misunderstand our condition, mistreat our problems, and sometimes unintentionally do more harm than good; and

WHEREAS, An uncritical acceptance of the therapeutic culture too often has infected our pulpits, ministries, and counseling (Colossians 2:8); and

WHEREAS, Our churches often have neglected our God-ordained responsibility for the care and cure of souls, becoming practically ineffective, both marginalizing ourselves from the culture and being marginalized by the mental health establishment; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, June 11-12, 2002, affirm Christian counseling that relies upon the Word of God rather than theories that are rooted in a defective understanding of human nature (John 17:17); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that any method worthy of the name “Christian counseling” must address the root of our problems and reveal the crux of God’s solution—the redemptive work of Christ and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, by which the depths of sin and the fullness of grace are made known (Hebrews 4:12-16); and be it further

RESOLVED, That, while we affirm that there are real conditions that warrant legitimate medical treatment, we reject the assumptions of the therapeutic culture that offer a pharmacological solution for every human problem; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on all Southern Baptists and our churches to reclaim practical biblical wisdom, Christ-centered counseling, and the restorative ministry of the care and cure of souls.