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Has Christian Psychology Lost Its Place at Southern Seminary?

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President Albert Mohler speaks to CT about the controversy over a longtime professor’s departure.

Eric Johnson is a leading Christian psychology professor and a 17-year veteran at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Students praise his compassion; fellow psychologists, his scholarship; colleagues, his faith.

And many of them are confused why he apparently no longer has a job.

Johnson announced at an event earlier this month what he had already told friends in private: He would be leaving the Louisville, Kentucky, seminary at the end of the semester in December. They were shocked to hear his plans to retire, especially when the news came just weeks into his first semester back from a year-long sabbatical and amid the release of a new book.

Johnson was the sole proponent of Christian psychology—a counseling approach that draws distinctly Christian practices from the history and traditions of the faith—in a faculty focused on biblical counseling, which emphasizes the sufficiency of Scripture to shape counseling ministry.

As an online petition in his defense added signatories by the dozens, the seminary kept the details on Johnson’s status hush.

“One of the frustrations of being president is at any moment there are questions, for good policy and structural reasons, I cannot answer,” said Albert Mohler on Thursday night, in his first interview about the situation.

The Southern Seminary president declined to make any comment on Johnson’s employment, but repeated what he said in a meeting the day before: “I have tremendous respect for Dr. Eric Johnson. What I said to the faculty in private, I will say to you in public: I have no reason to doubt his character, his commitment to Christ, or his sincerity in signing our theological documents.”

Mohler’s assurances haven’t helped …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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