The Psychological Anthropology of Wayne Edward Oates
A Downgrade from the Theological to the Therapeutic
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
"Samuel Stephens provides an excellent and thorough examination of Wayne Edward Oates' pilgrimage from biblical orthodoxy to a flawed psychologized theology. But his penetrating analysis cannot be limited to the perils that allured and entrapped this one man. Stephens' work exposes the dangerous path countless Christian counselors have journeyed from biblical light to darkness. Therein is also a perennial forewarning to Christians who think they can remain faithful to God by walking the same path."
--Ronnie W. Rogers, author of The Equipping Church: Somewhere Between Fundamentalism and Fluff
"The shadow of Wayne Edward Oates' influence on contemporary Christian and pastoral counseling is undeniable. He was vitally interested in the connection between secular psychology and faith, which is especially seen in the rewriting of his doctoral thesis in 1951, 'The Significance of the Work of Sigmund Freud for the Christian Faith.' In this revealing work Sam Stephens has carefully researched Oates' amalgamation of these two distinct belief systems into 'Oates' Christian psychology,' showing some strengths but also revealing significant problems and weaknesses. Oates had a strong reliance upon existential philosopher, Paul Tillich, in his approach to formulating his psychology. This is especially seen in the way that Stephens has uncovered Oates' anthropology, showing its secular roots and foundation. I believe this work is a significant contribution to Christian thinkers who are interested in recovering a biblical theology of counseling."
--John D. Street, Chair, Graduate Program in Biblical Counseling, The Master's University and Seminary, and President, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors
"There are several key subjects that define the way we approach ministry. Anthropology is a crucial one. Dr. Stephens helps us understand the importance of the subject and provides insight into how the American church's anthropology was shifted by psychological influences in the twentieth century. The effects of this shift are stunning. Dr. Stephens' research provides helpful context and warning for how we engage in ministry as we guard the way God has defined Man in Scripture, rather than defining Man by tenets of secular psychology."
--T. Dale Johnson Jr., Executive Director, The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, and Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary