Theory Critique 2 - Anderson
Anonymous Graduate Student
Theory Critique 2 – Anderson
In what proves to be a compelling presentation of the journey to spiritual freedom, Dr. Neil T. Anderson (2000) presents his theory of how one may be liberated from negative thoughts, irrational feelings, and habitual sins in his book, The Bondage Breaker. Anderson (2000) suggests the cause of a majority of problems which are discussed within the walls of a counseling session may have roots in the supernatural. This critique will examine Anderson’s theory of ways to combat the dark forces which cause spiritual conflict within the mind. Theory Summary
In his clarification of the nature of psychological problems and mental illness, Anderson (2000) places a high emphasis on spiritual warfare; reminding the reader, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4, KJV). Anderson provides many examples of counselees whom he believes have succumbed to the deceptive tricks of Satan, explaining what may have been diagnosed as mental illness is actually spiritual oppression; or in cases of non-Christians, actual demon possession (Anderson, 2000). By drawing attention to scripture in Paul’s letter to Timothy, Anderson illustrates his point: “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (I Timothy 4:1, NASB). Thankfully, Anderson (2000) provides a detailed method of obtaining daily victory over the spiritual forces of darkness by outlining what Hawkins (2010) would refer to as a method of “discipleship counseling” – the seven steps to freedom in Christ. The freedom and protection which is afforded by the Christian is stressed, as well as the position of authority Christians have over the enemy. Freedom is accomplished by taking the first step of acknowledging one’s dependence upon and affirming one’s identity in Christ and renouncing past or present involvement in any practice, teaching, or ritual which could be considered demonic or non-Christian in nature. Anderson (2000) further explains, not only is it important to renounce non-Christian activity, but also to recognize and renounce instances of idolatry. Additionally, forgiveness, submitting to higher authority, adopting a humble attitude, confession of sins, and finally breaking generational curses is necessary. As every thought is taken captive and brought into alignment and obedience to Christ (i.e. II Corinthians 10:5), the deception which has caused one to live amidst shadows, shackled by the power of the enemy, may be traded for truth, grace, and a freedom in Christ (Anderson, 2000). Evaluation of Strengths and Weaknesses
While readers of The Bondage Breaker may consider the handling of the subject matter controversial, depending upon their background and experience in things which occur in the spiritual realm, Anderson (2000) does well in his presentation of the influence Satan has on the thought processes of individuals. A great amount of focus is spent on encouraging readers to grasp the main objective of truly knowing their value or self-worth in Christ. Not letting one’s guard down is imperative. Once the enemy is given a foothold into a person’s life via a thought process, it can become overwhelmingly disabling to try to maintain a positive outlook (Anderson, 2000). In adopting the principles of The Bondage Breaker, the counselor becomes equipped to engage in spiritual warfare within the counseling arena (Anderson, 2000). Through the use of prayer, and “warfare theology” (Hawkins, 2010, slide 5), the appropriation of freedom may become a reality in the life of the counselee. Anderson (2000) references the scriptures throughout and is careful to confirm his writing with God’s Word. As is it this author’s opinion that God’s Word is the...
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