John Bettler (CCEF-East Director)

"Power Struggles in the Family"

Taped in October, 1991 at the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) Convention in Lafayette, Indiana. (See our CCEF-East report for more information about NANC, CCEF, and John Bettler.) This tape was the second of two messages by the same title -- the first given at the Convention's plenary session, and this one at a workshop on the following day.

At the beginning of this message, Bettler clearly demonstrates his infatuation with the teachings of psychologist Dr. Larry Crabb. [Crabb's model of counseling is primarily a psychological system of unconscious needs motivating behavior, which is derived from Freudian (the unconscious being a hidden reservoir of the mind with drives and impulses which govern a person's thinking and behavior) and humanistic psychology (with its hierarchy of needs [Maslow/Adler], with great emphasis on so-called emotional needs). (See Larry Crabb's Gospel for an excellent analysis of Crabb's teachings.)] The following is quoted from Bettler's message:

"We'll call this path, the path of manipulation, and we'll call this path, the path of ministry. Now, these terms are terms that I got from Larry Crabb. I understand that in some areas of this conference, that's a bad name to ascribe any indebtedness to. Quite honestly, I have tremendous appreciation for Larry Crabb.

"Now, probably, that was a dumb thing to say. I just created controversy here. ... At any rate, I've got tremendous appreciation for Larry Crabb. You read the first 70 pages [first three chapters] of Understanding People, where Crabb puts forth his view of the sufficiency of Scripture, and I doubt whether there's anyone in this conference here who wouldn't subscribe to that. I mean, it's excellent, excellent material! Crabb is upholding the Scripture as sufficient. [Oh really? At the beginning of Chapter four, Crabb pays homage to the great insights Freud gave us!]

"Now, the problem is how he goes about applying his understanding of the sufficiency of Scripture. But you see, that's an exegetical problem. I can disagree with Crabb, because it's an argument of exegesis. We've got the same authority. [It's not an exegesis problem; Crabb's authorities are Freud, Adler, and Maslow. But then, so are Bettler's. No wonder he "appreciates" Crabb!] He says his authority is the Scripture, not psychology. [Crabb is lying.] Now, I can say, 'Hey, you can say that, Larry, but you're misusing this passage when you jump to that conclusion.' We can have an argument because we have the same authority. I can't have that argument with Clyde Narramore. I can't have that argument with Gary Collins because he has a different authority. He's got the Scripture and psychology. He has two authorities. [So does Larry Crabb and so does John Bettler.]

"At any rate, tremendous appreciation for Larry Crabb. Lots of things I disagree with -- lots and lots and lots -- Inside Out is the worst book he wrote -- shouldn't have written it. But, one of the good books he wrote was The Marriage Builder. ... In The Marriage Builder, he makes this distinction between manipulation and ministry -- that's a great distinction." [Crabb's The Marriage Builder (1982) espouses the same "need theology" nonsense as his earlier and later books. Again, see the Bobgan's book, Larry Crabb's Gospel for an excellent analysis of Larry Crabb's heretical teachings, including the heresy in one of Bettler's favorites, The Marriage Builder.]

Biblical Discernment Misistries - 11/91