Psychobabble Book Review

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In Psychobabble Richard Ganz characterizes modern psychology as ‘psychobabble.’ Dr. Ganz is a Jewish Christian who, prior to his conversion to Christ, earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He served in the Clinical Faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York and taught at the university there. After he gave his life to Christ, he was fired from his position, because he could not separate his faith from his practice. He earned a Master of Divinity at Westminister Theological Seminary and worked with Dr. Jay Adams at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation.. He has since lectured at major secular universities including Harvard. He is the Senior Pastor of the Ottawa Reformed Presbyterian Church, and the Founder and President of Ottawa Theological Hall, where he is also Professor of Biblical Psychology and Counseling. His other books include: Take Charge of Your Life Before It Takes Charge of You, Twenty Controversies That Almost Killed a Church, The Secret of Self Control, Thou Shalt Not Kill: The Christian case Against Abortion and Free Indeed: Escaping Bondage and Brokenness for Freedom in Christ. Psychobabble develops the biblical counseling theme that pastoral care has been abdicated to secular psychology and the dangers of integrating worldly theories into biblical soul care.
Dr. Ganz states that his goal is to “help readers understand that the counseling concepts woven into psychoanalysis (and its secular psychotherapeutic offshoots) are inherently opposed to the Word of God.” He sets out to, “reveal the direct conflict,” between the two and, “strip back to its ugly roots the psychotherapy that the church has baptized and embraced.” (27). He begins with an overview of the secular psychological views of man that have had incalculable influence on the culture and unfortunately the church. Freud, Young, Skinner, Rogers and Erhard are included in his breakdown and the common thread among their philosophies is, as Gantz states, the “belief that people are free from God” (30). He then invalidates the myth of neutral counseling, “Beliefs about humankind, God, and values always enter into counseling"(43). He contends that counseling change cannot truly take place without a biblical understanding of the psychology of man and what he calls the tension between man’s nobility and his depravity. These two cannot be reconciled without the sacrifice of Christ. Gantz laments the misguided attempts to integrate secular psychology with pastoral care. He identifies offenders and invalidates their attempts to mix the two opposing worldviews. Beginning in chapter six he changes his focus from the folly of secular counseling to the principles of biblical counseling and how those principles are in opposition to secular therapy. For example, the biblical concept of confrontation is...

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