Does the Christian worldview provide a suitable guide to human psychology? The late counselor Lawrence J. Crabb, Jr. thought so, inspiring his bestselling counseling text Effective Biblical Counseling, first published in 1977 and reprinted in 2013, all in all selling over 200,000 copies. In this essay Timothy Chambers outlines Crabb's Bible-based model of how the human mind works, shining a light on the broader Christian view of "fallen" human psychology that it represents. Chambers then subjects this model to critical scrutiny, noting both the ways in which it echos more mainstream theories in psychotherapy and deviates from them and related sciences (such as when Crabb seems to suggest that non-Christians' moral development is arrested at a self-centered stage). This central theme throughout the book delineates what Crabb takes to be essential psychological differences between "saved" Christians and "lost" non-Christians. As one might imagine, nonbelievers are characterized as enslaved to sin, self-serving, and self-glorifying in multiple places. In addition to substantial questions about Crabb's model's testability, the model is out of step with contemporary psychology in a number of places, particularly concerning child development, human altruism, neurobiology, and psychopharmacology.
Published on the Secular Web
[ Modern Library ]
In his Secular Web essay "Nonbelief as Support for Atheism," Theodore M. Drange raises objections to J. L. Schellenberg's formulation of the atheistic argument from inculpable nonbelief (sometimes called the divine-hiddenness argument), but no reply to those objections has ever been published. Are Drange's objections sound? Has he established that his own so-called argument from nonbelief (ANB) is superior to the argument put forward by Schellenberg? In this paper, Timothy Chambers attempts to address these questions in part using St. Anselm (and St. Augustine) as his muse. Chambers concludes that if the evangelical Christian worldview were true, we would find unequivocal evidence of God's existence—no intellectually honest inquirer would remain a nonbeliever—and that all nonbelievers would suffer a conspicuous existential "restlessness" or dissatisfaction that they do not in fact suffer. The fact that neither unequivocal evidence of the divine nor universal existential restlessness among nonbelievers are found invites the inference that God does not exist.
[ Modern Library ]