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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Great Disconnect – Psychology/Sanctification/Love cutoff ("Broken cisterns", Dogmatik, vol. 3)

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik.... (Vol. 1a & 1b text is polished; working on Vol. 3a)
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"...without me ye can do nothing" John 15:5
      In my faith journey over 20 years ago, I broke free from secular counseling by professional Psychiatrists and Psychologists, also so-called counselors of various types.  I "graduated" to a "Biblical Counseling" program.  This was sponsored by one of the Reformed sects and was based largely on Jay Adams' "Nouthetic counseling".  Jay Adams is a committed Calvinist and I recall somewhere in his books that although he claims to have "strictly biblical approaches" to counseling, yet he taught Calvin's doctrine that God elected some to damnation – a thoroughly unbiblical doctrine.
      So the subject of "psychology", particularly as it is used to counsel people with personal problems, is close to me – I spent some years in it, was prescribed some drugs.  So when Franz Pieper uses the word "psychological" in his theology, I sit up and listen closely.  In the first few pages of Volume 3, at the section headed "The Relationship Between Justification and Sanctification in the Narrow Sense", (German here, English ed. pgs 7-13) I hit paydirt!  Franz Pieper spoke about a "psychological connection" („psychologisch vermittelt").  What "psychological connection"?  Between

Justification and Sanctification!

Now Pieper admits that the world knows something.  He says:
There is even an analogy available for us in the field of natural life.  Proven love begets reciprocal love.
This is what our natural knowledge knows, what Psychology is based on – reciprocal love. That we are supposed to love someone so that we may be loved... such as our spouse (e.g. "marriage counseling") or someone we are having problems with.  But what worldly Psychology does NOT know is the message of the Bible... only when I knew that God the Father actually loved me in Christ did the scales come off my eyes and I could see a "Father's heart".  Only then (upon hearing the Gospel) could I have the power – by faith! – to be sanctified and produce truly good works!  And here is where "Christianity" (in name only) and Christianity part ways.  Here is where "counseling" from the world is no counsel at all, no matter how good it may seem to our worldly way of thinking.  And here is where Franz Pieper stood, to defend against those false teachers who would have us make "The Great Disconnect".  This "Disconnect" then puts worldly counsel, e.g. "Psychology", in place of Sanctification or "Love" that is brought about by faith in the only Saviour of the world.  This is what was meant by the saying of the Reformation: Sola Fide!  The world's counseling says: "LOVE!", the Bible says: "God so loved the world...", only now can you love, now you can love!"

      Now Pieper brings in why we can take this connection to our grave – Bible passages to remember on our death bed:

  • John 3:16 – For God so loved the world,...
  • 1 John 4:10 – Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us...
  • Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
      I will leave it to the reader to follow Pieper's whole section starting here (English ed. pgs 10 ff.).  It is Franz Pieper who restores the field of "Psychology" to its rightful place, and shows that the world's "Psychology" is only "Broken cisterns":
Jeremiah 2:13 – For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
And so it is that
...without me ye can do nothing. – John 15:5

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