Howard Hendricks

General Teachings/Activities

-  Dr. Howard G. Hendricks is Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Center for Christian Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has an AB and a DDiv from Wheaton and a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary. Hendricks has written many books about marriage and family life (e.g., Heaven Help the Home), and spends considerable time conducting so-called marriage enrichment seminars. He has spoken in more than 60 countries. It can be well documented that Hendricks has become quite psychological in his teachings over the years, not only in his seminars and in his books, but also in his endorsements (e.g., Larry Crabb) and his appearances (e.g., James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio show and Promise Keepers conventions).

-  Hendricks endorsed the Life Application Bible (along with Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, and D. James Kennedy), a study Bible with study notes in support of self-love and other humanistic concepts (e.g., study note to Rom. 12:3--"Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves ... the key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth -- our identity in Christ ..."; and Gen. 1:26--"Knowing that we are made in God's image, and thus share many of His characteristics, provides a solid basis for self-worth ... Because we bear God's image, we can feel positive about ourselves ... Knowing you are a person of worth helps you love God ..."). Hendricks is quoted as saying that, "I am bullish on the Life Application Bible because it is a serious attempt to relate truth to life, to transform belief into practice."

-  Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nevertheless, Hendricks is a promoter of this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's movement, as evidenced by his speaking at PK stadium rallies, writing chapters in PK-authored books, and his position on the PK Board of Directors. He has also endorsed Robert Hicks' blasphemous book The Masculine Journey (promoted by PK also) as "an eye-opening key to understanding the Bible's teaching on what it means to be a man." [Charisma magazine also says, "People tell me they sense the Holy Spirit's presence as they read the magazine (PK's New Man). We received rave reviews from a diverse group of leaders such as ... Howard Hendricks ..." (7/94, Charisma).]

-  Hendricks wrote the foreword to Christian psychologist Larry Crabb's 1991 book Men and Women: Enjoying the Difference. [Crabb's model of counseling is primarily a psychological system of unconscious needs that supposedly motivates all behavior; this system has been derived from Freudian (the "unconscious") and humanistic (a "hierarchy of needs") psychology, with great emphasis on so-called emotional needs.] Hendricks gives the book a high recommendation:

"Of all the information and statistics published to make marriages more meaningful, this 'report and recommendation' soars over most of them because of its biblical balance and real-life situations. For men and women who want to invest in a profitable marriage, here is a guide to the bottom line of beauty and lifetime benefits" (p. 12). (Emphasis added.)

What kind of "biblical balance" has Hendricks found in Men and Women? In this book, Crabb takes his need theology a step further than heretofore -- into the realm of the God-given male/female sexual relationship. Crabb teaches that a man's need for significance/impact becomes the need for "separateness, achievement, and entering," while the woman's need for security/relationship becomes the need for "involvement, attachment, and invitation." Crabb states that, "I do not think it stretches things too far to regard physical sexuality as a wonderful picture of personal sexuality: men feel complete as they strongly enter; women feel enjoyed as they warmly invite." (Emphases added.)

-  A description of some of Hendricks ecumenical activities follows:

(a) The Joyful Woman for May/June, 1994, pictured self-esteem promoter Dr. James Dobson and his wife Shirley on the front cover. Popular author and speaker Elisabeth Elliot is the keynote speaker for the 10/13/94-10/15/94 National Joyful Woman Jubilee at the Highland Park Baptist Church (Tennessee Temple) in Chattanooga. Howard Hendricks was a recent-year Joyful Woman speaker. (Reported in the 9/15/94, Calvary Contender.);

(b) Hendricks speaks frequently at the Billy Graham retreat center in Asheville, North Carolina -- The Cove (every year since at least 1994). He also speaks frequently at Moody Founder's Week. In 2/96, he shared the platform with hyper-charismatic E.V. Hill, church growth guru Bill Hybels, and "anti-psychology" psychologizer John MacArthur.

(c) Besides being on the Board of Directors of Promise Keepers, Hendricks also sits on the boards of Navigators and Walk Thru the Bible, all three highly ecumenically- and psychologically-oriented organizations.

-  One of the concepts that Hendricks has been pushing is that of mentoring. (See Hendricks' chapter in the 1995 book Standing Together; his article titled "Vital Relationships" in the Sep-Oct 1995, New Man magazine; and his 1995 book As Iron Sharpens Iron: Building Character in a Mentoring Relationship.) This all falls right in line with Hendricks affiliation with Promise Keepers, which is very big on mentoring. [In fact, in AsIron Sharpens Iron, Hendricks states that the book "was prepared to coincide with the 1995 schedule of Promise Keepers conferences ..." (p. 10).] Mentoring is based on the belief that every man must have an older mentor to whom he can be held accountable for his decisions and actions in life. Another word for mentoring would be discipling or shepherding, which has gained prominence within the charismatic movement. Mentoring within the confines of self-help/small groups is also used; such groups by themselves (even without mentoring) are fraught with psychoheretical dangers.

As a part of mentoring, every man must be accountable to some other man, especially in the areas of one's finances, sexual life, and relationship to God. This partner gained through mentoring, then, must be given complete freedom to inquire into any of these areas at will, with the understanding that he may bring correction to those areas he feels are not in proper alignment. This is a kind of covenant relationship not found anywhere in Scripture. In fact, to the contrary, God takes such covenants far more seriously than does Howard Hendricks (cf. Num. 30:2). (Why would any man who had a relationship with the One true Mentor, the glorified Lord Jesus Christ, want to subject the intimate details of his family life to the type of mentoring Howard Hendricks promotes? What was good enough for the Apostle Paul should be good enough for Howard Hendricks!)

-  Hendricks is currently doing Teammates marriage seminars with Bruce and Donna Cook. The Cooks are not Biblically-based teachers, but are even more psychologically-oriented than Hendricks. Bruce Cook is President of Rapha Southeast, which a Teammates brochure describes as "a Christ-centered counseling ministry based in Atlanta." (See note at end of this report.) When Mr. Cook was president of Leadership Dynamics International, he developed "Biblically-based courses" now distributed by the ecumenical Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. Donna Cook has served in teaching and counseling roles with the Dallas Public School Board and Campus Crusade for Christ (ecumenical/psychological), and has authored the popular course entitled Time Management for Women.

The big bucks are in the video home study market, so that's where Hendricks and the Cooks have taken Teammates. The Teammates Video Kit consists of three, 10-session videos; one hardbound spiral notebook; overhead transparencies; leader's guide; and five course workbooks -- all for only $219.95! The ten video sessions address such things as (all below are direct quotes from a 1993 Teammates brochure):

(a) Building on your strengths: By taking an enlightening temperament survey, couples learn their mate's strengths and weaknesses while learning to understand, cope with, and even benefit from the differences;

(b) Understanding your mate: acceptance of their weaknesses ... personality traits;

(c) Relating to your mate: ... improve compatibility no matter what personality traits are involved;

(d) Meeting your mate's needs: Imagine each spouse listing his or her top individual needs and discussing them with their mate. That's what happens here ...;

(e) Developing your love life: Dr. Hendricks shares ten ways to increase fulfillment in marriage, including pleasure and respect, self giving, responsibility and privilege, the feeling of belongingness, and more.

(The bold words are BDM's emphases. They help to show where these teachings come from -- Larry Crabb's need theology and Tim LaHaye's temperament analysis/personality typing. Must reading for anyone desiring a fuller understanding of Crabb's teachings is Larry Crabb's Gospel, by Martin and Deidre Bobgan, EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA, 1998, 205 pages. Must reading for anyone desiring a fuller understanding of LaHaye's teachings on the temperaments would be Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing, pp. 49-66, by Martin and Deidre Bobgan, EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA, 1992, 213 pages.)

Teammates has even secured the endorsement of psychologizer Dr. Charles Stanley [who at the time of the endorsement was unbiblically-separated from his wife!]: "Teammates is one of the very best tools we have to help marriage partners. Many couples continue to express the incredibly positive impact of this program in enriching their marriage [but apparently not so "positive" nor "enriching" for Stanley and his wife]. I heartily recommend Teammates."

-  Hendricks has also become quite ecumenical over the years, speaking just about anywhere with anybody. For example, Hendricks spoke at a 10/91 conference at the Southern Baptist Church of SBC president Ed Young in Houston, Texas. Other speakers were charismatic Pat Robertson, psychologizer Chuck Swindoll, and left-brain/right-brain guru Gary Smalley. (Reported in the 1/15/93, Calvary Contender.)

-  In endorsing ecumenical evangelist Luis Palau's 1991 book Say Yes!, Hendricks says: "It is rare to find an individual who speaks the undiluted truth of God's Word in today's world ... Luis Palau is that type of person. I wholeheartedly endorse Luis Palau and the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association." In truth, Palau is a Catholic sympathizer whose ecumenical message is heavily diluted with pop psychology and Arminian easy-believism.

-  Lee Strobel, while a pastor on the staff of church growth guru Bill Hybels' Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois (he is now a pastor at Rick Warren's Saddleback Valley Community Church), authored a number of heretical books, one being a 1993 book titled Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry & Mary: How to Reach Friends and Family Who Avoid God and the Church. The book is endorsed in its Foreword by Bill Hybels, and on the jacket is endorsed/recommended by thirteen even more neo-evangelical psychologizers, including Max Lucado, Tony Campolo, Howard Hendricks, Stuart Briscoe, C. Peter Wagner, Joseph Stowell, Elmer Towns, Bill Bright, and Gary Collins. In this book, Strobel makes it clear that he was drawn to Hybels' church, not by the message of truth, but by the music of the world. After he found himself comfortable with the music and modern style of worship, he simply reasoned his way to a conversion experience. Strobel is completely geared to a needs based religion. His purpose is to meet man's needs, based on his own perception, rather than honoring man's obligation to worship and glorify God. Strobel's purpose is to find out what works, and not to find out what is Biblical. His purpose is to please lost, unregenerate men, and not to please God. To read Strobel's book (and by nature of endorsement, Howard Hendricks' thoughts also) you come up with the idea that the problem with people is that they are simply unchurched. To the contrary, they need to be seen as lost and in need of a Savior. (Source: 1/96, Plains Baptist Challenger, pp. 5-7.)

The National Pastors' Convention is an event sponsored by Youth Specialties (America's most influential evangelical organization for youth pastors and leaders), and Zondervan (publisher of The Purpose-Driven Life, the NIV-Message Parallel Bible, and evangelical distributor for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ DVD). The 2004 Convention began its daily program with contemplative prayer (see Richard Foster report) and  "Yoga & Stretching" exercises. Emerging church liturgies based upon Roman Catholic and Orthodox rituals and sacramentals were introduced, including daily "labyrinth prayer" opportunities. The latter is a meditative prayer walk around a circular, maze-like pattern copied from a floor design found in Chartres Cathedral. This mystical Catholic ritual dates back to the Middle Ages, when it became a substitute for journeying to the dangerous, Muslim-controlled Holy Land in order to trace the "Passion route" of Jesus. As Catholics walked the labyrinth and meditated on the sufferings of Christ in their imagination, they obtained the same indulgences (pardons that would shorten their time of suffering in Purgatory to expiate their sins) as for making the actual pilgrimage. The Convention's evening programs included Christian comedy acts, The Jesus Painter (who "paints portraits of Christ in under 20 minutes"), "Tribe Church Drumming Experience," "Personal Emotional Health Discussion," an "emergent Pub with Live Music," and "Late Night Contemplative Prayer Services." 

The greater percentage of speakers were practitioners of mystical Christian prayer and worship forms (referred to as "authentic faith"), and the rest appeared to be advocates of, or at least encouragers for, the development of new methodologies and liturgies for the emerging culture of the 21st century. One topic was titled, "A New Theology for a New World." The double-location conference attracted thousands, and featured many influential church leaders, including Gordon MacDonald, Henry Cloud, Brennan Manning, Dallas Willard, Joseph Stowell, Howard Hendricks, Gary Thomas, Tony Campolo, and Rick Warren. The 2005 convention promises to be more of the same, with Christian contemplative, experiential, and emerging church headliners such as Richard Foster, Calvin Miller, Philip Yancey, Ruth Haley Barton, Doug Pagitt, and Dan Kimball. (Source: 3/2005, The Berean Call.)


Note: Rapha Hospital Treatment Centers is an organization that heavily promotes Alcoholics Anonymous, 12-Step codependency/recovery programs as a "Christian" methodology for the cure of "dysfunctional" relationships. Rapha specializes in the "treatment" of so-called codependent and/or addicted Christians by employing an amalgamation of Adlerean-Maslowian need psychology and the Bible. Rapha debuted in 1986 and claims to have treated over 20,000 psychiatric inpatients since then. Today Rapha operates 120 hospital beds in twelve psychiatric units with an annual income of more than $12 million. (Must reading for anyone desiring a fuller understanding of the "codependent" heresy sweeping the church today would be 12 Steps to Destruction: Codependency/Recovery Heresies, by Martin and Deidre Bobgan, EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA, 1991, 247 pages.)  [Back to Text]

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 3/2005