Eclecticism is the thought that Christian counselors can take advantage of modern psychologies to enhance their counsel. It often comes on the heels of the following statement: “All truth is God’s truth, but not all truth is in the Bible.” From there, the argument proceeds to look at the problems in the world around us and proposes solutions, based on non-Christian psychology, as if they have equal or even higher authority. for the cure of souls.
But we are Christians. We stand on the Bible as the Word of God, the creator of Heaven and earth. It is true that all truth is God’s truth and that not all truth is in the Bible. But how we know what that truth is is measured by what is in the Bible, not by some standard outside the Bible. For example, we know from the Bible that God is a God of order (1 Cor. 14:33). We also know that he is not a man and thus cannot lie (Heb. 6:18). This is how we know that 2+2=4 and always will. We know a lot about the world around us because we observe different things. Because God made the world in a particular way, we can only make inferences from what we observe if the same events will happen the next time all the conditions are right. And it is the way it is and not some other way because the God of the Bible is the same God who created the world and he doesn’t change.
Our standard is the Bible. Everything that comes to us by way of observation or rationalization or any other means passes through the grid of the Bible, or it is rejected as being false.
This is particularly true in the area of counseling people with life problems. Counseling psychology often makes great observations about life. They compile statistics and ideas and theories and even hit on the truth from time to time. But when they do say something that is true, we only know it is true because the Bible says it, not because it fits with whatever the latest fad says it is.
I believe that Christians should study the counseling psychology world. Even blind squirrels find nuts. They do have a lot of money to do research into the human condition, and I believe we can learn a lot from this research. But we need to keep in mind the whole time that if they are not standing on the foundation of the Word of God, they cannot find real truth. When we study their work, we need to reinterpret what they find through the lens of Scripture and come up with truth.
One thing that helps keep all this in perspective is to be sure that the Bible is the standard. The world’s ideas and theories merely illustrate the Biblical truth. What happens in eclectic or integrationist schemes is that the truths of the psychology are the standard, and they back up their research with Biblical illustrations. They have it exactly backward.
Another way to keep things straight is to constantly ask, “By what standard?” Who or what do they say man is? And why do they think that? Why does man do the things he does? How does he make decisions? Is man basically good? Is man an animal like the other animals? Where is God in all of this? What is the standard for describing what they are observing? Is the Bible the secondary source or the primary source? What is the standard for what you are saying?