This is the third time I’ve written a post about something David Powlison has written, and the issue is pretty much the same each time.
Justin Taylor over at Between Two Worlds was given permission to reproduce material about lusts of the flesh from David Powlison’s book, Seeing With New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture. I liked and agreed with what was written, until I got to the part where he again criticised approaching sin using “systems” that incorporate “felt needs”, “empty love tanks” etc. That is not the biblical approach to take, he says. Rather, we are to change what we want by redirecting our desires through the gospel.
Now, if Powlison is talking about systems that address only surface “felt needs” or filling “empty love tanks” through human relationships, I agree. It is not enough. But if he includes in that criticism the idea of the human needs being satisfied in God, then do not John Piper’s Christian Hedonism and Tim Keller’s good news of gracious acceptance fall under the same criticism? And yet I see no hint of this being recognised anywhere. Those who accept Powlison’s thesis readily accept Piper’s and/or Keller’s theses at the same time! Who is right? Somebody tell me!!!