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Archive for the ‘Larry Crabb’ Category

Larry Crabb’s Theory of Biblical Counseling

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt 3 Comments

Dr. Larry Crabb has a unique approach to counseling. His system of counseling, called Biblical counseling, will be explained in great detail. Dr. Crabb’s first book, Basic Principles of Biblical Counseling, was published in 1975. The basic parts and theories of his system, along many changes in theology and emphasis’ will be also explained in detail. Crabb (1975) believes that ". . . the most basic problem of every human being is his separation from God, a gulf made necessary by the fact that God is holy and we are not" (p. 17).

Crabb, like most other Christian counselors, claims that his system is biblically based. The foundation of Crabb’s counseling style is the Bible. God has revealed truth to us in two ways, general and special revelation. Crabb (1987) believes that,". . . many Christian counselors have adopted a method of study that treats the bible as helpful, informative, and insightful- but neither authoritative nor sufficient" (p. 37). The bible is to be allowed the final word. The questions that are answered by the Bible are authoritative.


Misunderstanding Crabb – Index Page

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

Martin and Deidre Bobgan have written several books containing criticism of the teaching of Dr Lawrence Crabb (Larry Crabb). Their criticisms are widely read and frequently quoted, but in my opinion they are thoroughly wrong.

The purpose of this essay, Misunderstanding People, is to consider and rebut the Bobgans’ criticisms of Crabb’s position.

I first published the essay in printed form, in 1992, and republished it in 1993. Now, in 2000, I am making it available on the Internet.

Copyright Notice

I, Trevor James Morrison, assert the right to be identified as the author of this essay and owner of the copyright. You may freely print a single copy of the essay for your own use, but anyone who wishes to print a larger quantity must e-mail me (Trevor Morrison) to seek my permission.

Trevor Morrison

Auckland, New Zealand

December, 2000

*** Mr. Morrison has kindly agreed to allow to post his articles here. Be sure to check out his website. ***

Series Articles

  1. Introduction
  2. The Sufficiency of the Scriptures
  3. Need Theology
  4. Karl Popper and The Philosophy of Science
  5. What Crabb Teaches About the Unconscious
  6. Is the Doctrine of the Unconscious in the Bible?
  7. Confusion, Confusion
  8. Drivers and Shapers of Sin
  9. The Loss of Man
  10. Concluding Remarks
  11. Bibliography and References

Misunderstanding – Introduction

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments


I remember once taking a young Christian through an article which he had found by Herbert W. Armstrong. It was a formidable task explaining what was wrong with Armstrong’s article. Rather than being guilty of one easily refuted error, Armstrong slightly and subtly perverted every scripture he quoted. His article was a compound of a hundred small errors which summed to major heresy, and each small error had to be separately exposed from the first principles of evangelical theology so that his overall argument could be refuted. By the time I had finished, I well understood why Armstrong had been called "Mr Confusion."


Misunderstanding – Scripture Sufficiency

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

The Sufficiency of the Scriptures

How is the sufficiency of the Bible to be understood?

What My Net Don’t Catch Ain’t Fish

Before proceeding to the five propositions listed above, it is necessary to say something more about the sufficiency of the Scriptures, and how they are to be understood. Chapter 8 of Prophets of Psychoheresy I, entitled “Integration,” deals with the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture.


Misunderstanding – Crabbs Needs

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

Need Theology

Disregard of Crabb’s Words
Emotive Attack

Disregard of Crabb’s Words

The Bobgans’ unreflective prejudice against Crabb can be seen in the way they treat the shift he has made from using the word "needs" to using "longings". In the preface to Understanding People, Dr Crabb says,


Misunderstanding – Philosophy of Science

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

Karl Popper and The Philosophy of Science

The Bobgans Misrepresent Crabb

The Bobgans Misunderstand Popper

A Valuable Lesson: Believers Can Learn From Unbelievers


Misunderstanding People – Crabb’s Unconscious

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

What Larry Crabb Really Teaches About the Unconscious

Van Til on the Role of the Subconscious

The Bobgans’ Case against Crabb

Refutation of the Case


Misunderstanding – Unconscious Biblical?

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

Is the Doctrine of the Unconscious in the Bible?

Ill-founded Assertions against Crabb

Appeal to the Authorities Begs the Question

Romans 12

Jeremiah 17:9 (more…)

Misunderstanding People – Confusion

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

Confusion, Confusion!

In paragraph after paragraph of what the Bobgans have written, misinterpretation of Crabb’s words is intertwined with misapplication of Scripture, and the whole is bound together with faulty reasoning. It is a formidable task to unravel such material. It would be impractical to deal with the whole content of their critique of Crabb. In this section I will point out just a few more of the errors in what they write.

Misunderstanding – Sin Drivers

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

Drivers and Shapers of Sin

Development in Crabb’s Thought

Drivers and Shapers Illustrated

Random Sin Generator?


Development in Crabb’s Thought

In the preface to Understanding People, Crabb refers to development that has occurred in his thought since he wrote his earlier books. One of those areas of development, I believe, is in giving greater place to fallen mankind’s commitment to autonomy as the essence of sin: the commitment that each descendant of Adam has to be his own god, making his own decisions about good and evil. (more…)

Misunderstanding People – The Loss of Man

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

The Loss of Man

Man the Glorious Ruin


Simplistic Interpretation of Scripture

Selective Interpretation of Scripture


Man the Glorious Ruin

There is one more important error in the Bobgans’ thinking which needs to be discussed. This error can be called “the loss of man”. It occurs whenever Christians discount what the Bible teaches about man, believing that they have to devalue man in order to safeguard God’s glory. (more…)

Misunderstanding People – Concluding Remarks

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

Concluding Remarks

Four Prime Errors

Thoughtless Rhetoric?


Four Prime Errors

I have identified four errors in the Bobgans’ thought which have prevented them coming to grips with and understanding what Dr Crabb is teaching. Those errors are:

(1) They have a simplistic view of what the doctrine of the sufficiency of the Scriptures means. (more…)

Misunderstanding People – Bibliography

Posted on: December 30th, 2009 by Matt No Comments

Adams, Jay E. ( 1972 ) . Competent to Counsel, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House)

Bobgan, Martin and Deidre . ( 1987 ) . Psychoheresy (Santa Barbara: Eastgate Publishers)

( 1989 ) . Prophets of Psychoheresy I. (Santa Barbara: Eastgate Publishers)