John is a professor of biblical counseling at The Master’s University and Seminary, and he serves as the chairman of the Masters of Arts in Biblical Counseling program. Prior to coming to this program, he taught at Cedarville and Cornerstone Universities. John also served as a pastor for 22 years, and as a church-planter in Ohio. He completed seminary at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, and earned his doctoral degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Currently, he is an elder at Grace Church and serves as co-pastor of the Joint Heirs fellowship group. John and his wife, Janie, have four children and six grandchildren.
What is the biblical view of the conscience? Academic psychology advocates the idea that the conscience is simply an unhealthy cultural/moral construct that represses natural inclinations leading to mental instability. Yet the Bible says that the conscience is given by God and that a biblically informed conscience is critical to mental stability. This leads us to an important question: how do we have achieve a clear and functional conscience?
It is common to hear people, and even many Christians, speak of “therapeutic wholeness,” “forgiving themselves,” “getting rid of the guilts,” or “loving themselves more” in order maintain a feeling of personal goodness or innocence. To most, guilt is an enemy to be suppressed, often at the cost of repeated sin, pharmaceuticals, or other harmful solutions. But is guilt the enemy? And what role does your view of sin and guilt play in spiritual growth and sanctification?