Behavior Modification vs. Repentance

Evangelical psychology tells us we can re-wire the brain to get rid of our “stinkin’ thinkin,” but the Bible tells us there are no such shortcuts to circumvent true repentance.

Eric Davis over at Cripplegate has written a very good piece on this, and if you’ve ever been through one of those behavior modification life skills classes, you might want to rewire er, reconsider what you learned. Here is a snippet of his article:

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Oftentimes problems with the fruit on a tree are not because of problems with the fruit on the tree. Below the soil’s surface, there is usually a sickness present. Things like fungus, poor nutrient content in the soil, insufficient watering, and pests can plague the roots and subsequently damage the tree. So goes the root, so goes the fruit. Neglect the root, neglect the fruit.

Imagine an orchardist who addressed sickly trees by only addressing the fruit. He approaches the sickly lemon tree, puts up his ladder, and inspects the lemons. Some of the lemons are flaccid, some shrunken, and others cracked open and rotten. Then, imagine, that he breaks out a syringe with store-bought lemon juice and injects the emaciated lemons to fill them out a bit. To repair the sickly, split lemons, he breaks out some band-aids and closes up those holes. Finally, he notices some fruitless branches. So, he breaks out his duct-tape and tapes some nice-looking, store-bought lemons to the branches. He steps back and notices that, for the moment, the tree looks fruitful. For the moment.

Read it here: