Paul's Passing Thoughts

The James MacDonald White Paper: “MacDonald’s State of Mind”; Post 6 of 20

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 23, 2013

“And the results? Consider the following quote by ‘Pastor’ James MacDonald:”

Correction: The quotation is from Donn Arms, an associate of  Jay Adams at the Institute for Nouthetic Studies (INS).   

This is a post I wrote this morning, and I think it is very applicable to the folks at Harvest Bible Chapel:

I have received some significant pushback for posting the following quote by Jay Adams:

Folks let’s get this straight. The mind is not a physical organ. It cannot have a disease or illness except in a metaphorical sense as in a sick economy or a sick joke.

Typhoid fever — disease

Spring fever — not a disease

Scarlet fever — disease

Bieber fever — not a disease

Most of the pushback pertains to a rejection of the idea that the brain is not an organ, but Adams isn’t saying that the brain isn’t an organ; he is saying that the mind isn’t an organ.

I haven’t done a lot of study in this area, but I have done enough to know that some solid conclusions can be drawn from such a study because the Bible, as well as medical professionals make a distinction between the mind and the brain.

Everyone agrees that the mind, unlike the brain, is not observable; hence, the field of Psychology. This is a whole different matter than brain malfunctions that are physical. The fact that there are at least 200 different Psychology theories should speak to the fact that this enters into the realm of theory. One may also note that the most popular theory, Freudian Depth Psychology, perceives the human conscience in a very negative way. And that is very dangerous.

Here we have yet another area of wisdom where Christians are far too ignorant. It is also another fusion debate; in this case, the fusion of medical science and psychology. In other words, the fusion of science and theory. Psychology is mostly theory; psychologists barely agree on anything.

I am not going to preach out of school here, but Christians need to think carefully in regard to the idea that the mind can be sick. Certainly, the mind can be hindered by the brain, but is the mind susceptible to sickness like physical organs? Can the mind catch a cold? The reason we need to think carefully about this is because the Bible explains the mind as that part of the Christian that is redeemed.

Not only is this an area that is biblically defined with many dots that can be connected, it is a paramount consideration with vast implications for the Christian. Another huge elephant in the sanctuary is whether or not the Christian mind is actually redeemed. Our Protestant fathers said, “no.” 90% of all biblical counseling in our day is predicated on the idea that the mind cannot be renewed. Therefore, actions that please God cannot flow from the inner self to outward action.* Many pastors, while not understanding these trends and issues, attempt to counsel parishioners from a contrary mindset. The pastor speaks, and the parishioner hears something totally different because of indoctrination by parachurch organizations like NANC and CCEF with secular psychology as science to boot.  Any pastor who doesn’t deem these issues worthy of focus and understanding is functioning in ineptness.

The Bible in fact states that the “mind” of the Christian is regenerated and is the engine behind new creaturehood. Christians are promised that with proper cooperation with the Holy Spirit, the mind can be “renewed.” This is not only a biblical promise; we are commanded to renew our minds with the study and application of Scripture.  If the medical model regarding the mind is true, all bets are off—every vestige of spiritual growth is now ambiguous. And look at the contemporary church if you want to see the results of biblical ambiguity.

Christians error woefully by letting the theories of “experts” inform their lives on this issue. And the church owes Adams an immense debt of gratitude for bringing this issue to the forefront.


*The fundamental thesis is that faith can only look outward to goodness outside of us, resulting in experiencing the obedience of Christ imputed to us while not being a participant in goodness that pleases God. This formula enables the Christian to live by faith alone—the same faith that saved us. So, faith is like an eye, it can only look outward to what isn’t inside of us. Any inward look is the dreaded, “existentialism” that is the unpardonable sin in our day.

And the results? Consider the following quote by “Pastor” James MacDonald:

“Why spend your life doing something neither required by the Lord, nor welcomed by others? Frankly, I gave up the job a while back, but felt constrained to make my decision known to all who read this blog. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see me at my post, I am really done this time. Yes, for me it’s over. No more fixing people—I resign ” (James MacDonald: My Resignation; April 30, 2013, The Vertical Church blog. Online source,

MacDonald then goes on to explain, in essence, that it is his job to primarily show forth more Jesus, and as folks gaze on that, Christ will either change them or not change them according to His sovereign will. Like the vast majority of pastors in our day, MacDonald has merely returned to Luther’s radical construct that often brought the charge of  antinomianism from his contemporaries (Martin Luther wrote down the following disturbing sentence in one of his letters to Melancthon in 1521: “Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ more strongly, who triumphed over sin, death, and the world; as long as we live here, we must sin.”).


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  1. Christian said, on September 23, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    I think Martin Luther lived up to his quote, also. It is easy to follow man in place of God! Most people sitting in the pew don’t seem to care enough to verify if they are being taught the truth!


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