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In Christ & Culture podcast with Dr. Ken Keathley, we explore how the Christian faith intersects all avenues of today’s culture through conversations with leading thinkers.
Today’s Episode: Does the Bible hold the answers for mental health and recovery? On today’s episode, biblical counselor Dr. Sam Williams shares his faith journey and discusses his thoughts on the sufficiency of Scripture in biblical counseling.
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Scripture gives us a paradigmatic lens through which we can understand all things.
How do we apply the sufficiency of scripture to counseling?
“Scripture gives us a paradigmatic lens through which we can understand all things. Obviously that requires some study of Scripture and systematic theology, and biblical theology can be very helpful for providing for us conceptual lenses by which we interpret whatever. For me, I’m trying to interpret people, their problems and how to help them change. I’m trying to understand depression panic attacks, marital problems or whatever it is.
“Scripture gives me a paradigmatic lens so I understand that God is, God has spoken, we are made in his image and likeness, we’re made like him and for him. As a Christian psychologist or biblical psychologist, I start at the gate with a very specific understanding of who we are, why we’re here, and where we’re ultimately headed. Scripture makes a huge difference there.
“If you read Freud, Skinner, Rogers, Stephen Hayes or Aaron Beck, any of the great psychologists, they’re not going to be starting with the same perspective concerning who we are, where we came from, and why we’re here, and what it’s all about. Most fundamentally, Scripture gives me a philosophy of life — a worldview.
“Second, it gives me also a basic understanding of what’s wrong with us — the fall, the doctrine of sin. We’re all born broken. We were born to worship, and yet we’re also born broken. So that gives me a fundamental understanding of what is wrong with us.
The incarnation and resurrection of Christ is the single-most therapeutic event that ever occurred on planet Earth.
“And then also it gives us the hope of the gospel — that Christ came to save us from our sins, from the effects of others’ sins upon us, and even someday the effects of sin upon my bodies. Our bodies will be redeemed as well. So the redemption we have in Christ, Eric Johnson said, that the incarnation and resurrection of Christ is the single-most therapeutic event that ever occurred on planet Earth. I think that really captures it well.
“So I have in the scriptures a paradigm, all the basic things and correct trajectories, that function as my compass in how I work with people, but also as my compass with respect with how I interact with some of the third-way behavioral methods. But how I interact with those is completely contingent upon my worldview, these fundamental trajectories and themes… and they then provide a lens through which I read Stephen Hayes, Kelly Wilson… Through them then I can decide what I can embrace, what I will oppose, and what may be redeemed.”
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