An Evaluation of Belief Therapy

 
The Lifeline Caregiving Course that I am facilitating presents a summary of Robert McGee’s book, The Search For Significance. Here is the basic outline:
 
1. Our greatest fear is failure
God’s provision: The doctrine of justification
 
2. Our greatest fear is rejection
God’s provision: The doctrine of reconciliation
 
3. Our greatest fear is condemnation
God’s provision: The doctrine of propitiation
 
4. Our greatest fear is no one will understand
God’s provision: The doctrine of regeneration
 
This summary has merit in that it addresses the functions of the soul, core needs and applies key biblical doctrines. It is an improvement of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rational Emotive Therapy because it adds biblical core beliefs as foundational. This opens the door for more explicit biblical solutions..
 
Drawback
The theme of “self identity vs. God’s identity” is commendable, but clear instruction is needed for
 
  • the basis for one’s essential identity,
  • the description of our new identity in Christ, and
  • the “doctrine of identification” (Gal. 2:20; Romans ch. 6).
Spirituotherapy would acknowledge this content, but go beyond it. Belief therapy is still about the mind and self worth; Spirituotherapy is about the Holy Spirit revealing our identification with Christ. He enables the believer experience the Christ-centered life.
 
Some of the Network 220 ministries use the Exchanged Life message, but in a Belief Therapy approach.
 
We advocate for the Holy Spirit being the Therapist.The counselee needs correct beliefs, but he/she also needs the Spirit-filled Life and freedom in Christ (Eph. 5:18; Gal. 2:20). The message of the Cross should be central in guiding the counselee to personally know Jesus Christ as Lamb, Lord, Life, Liberator and Leader. The goal is not only improved functioning, but life transformation!
 
Sources
McGee, Robert. The Search For Significance (Houston, TX, Word, 1985).
Carlin, Paul. Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life (Crockett, TX, Kerusso Co, 2004)
 
– John Woodward

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