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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lutheran Confessions ... and a woman psychologist?

1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

The above Bible verse is not unclear... all Christians who can read get what the Scripture says above. But in the 2nd Edition of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, General Editor Paul T. McCain presents a comment by Dr. Beverly Yahnke, Executive Director of Christian Counseling Services. The comment is supposed to encourage lay readers to read and understand the foundational writings of the Lutheran Church.

But what is this... it is written by a woman.  Hmmm, aren't the Lutheran Confessions supposed to uphold the Scriptures as God's Word?  The editors of this book point out on page 2 how the original Lutherans emblazoned VDMA on their banners to emphasize the eternal truth of God's Word?  How is it that I am supposed to reconcile this fact with the clear teaching of the 1 Timothy 2:12 Bible verse?  I don't get it...

But let us go on.  A quick search to find out more about Dr. Beverly Yahnke reveals she is a Professor of Psychology. Prof. Robert Kolb, in a presentation (2008 Aus Lecture 1) on video (16:14 - 16:36), said psychology and sociology were gifts of God that are needed to be used to serve the church.  But God gave us all the counsel we need in His Word and therefore the church needs no admixture of human wisdom and counselling in His church.  My comments concerning psychology in the church are summarized in my comments in previous postings here and here.

Continuing this research trail, we find that Dr. Yahnke is part of the organization "Doxology – The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel".  In that capacity, she provides "assessment, counsel and care for pastors".  Those involved in this counseling and training organization would likely say that they are a "confessional Lutheran based counseling service" as opposed to other "evangelical Christian" counseling services.  Rev. Harold Senkbeil, the founder, wrote a book pointing out the errors of "evangelical Christianity" and "proposes a new Lutheran initiative in the face of the Evangelical challenge".  Unfortunately his new initiative is to add worldly psychology and call it "Christian".  A certain Romanizing tendency is confirmed by the fact that all locations for training venues and conferences are Roman Catholic facilities.

Dr. Beverly Yahnke, I appeal to you directly. If you believe God's Word as the Confessors did at Augsburg, then you believe it is true and that all of it true and applies to even our modern world.  The Bible verse above constrains us and so your position of teaching as a woman and a psychologist over not only men but also pastors militates against the Scriptures... and causes all lay Christians to doubt the truth of God's Word, an effect that I believe you would not want.  You cannot in good conscience continue as you are.  A good way to back out of this confusion caused by your comment published in Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions would be to:

1) request withdrawal of your comment in this published preface in any future editions by CPH,
2) re-publish via a website your comment again as a Christian woman but with an apology for the confusion caused by the book's printed preface, and
3) re-assess again if your psychology based counseling to pastors measures up to the true Christian counsel contained in the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification. (see parts 13 - 16 here).

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