The Less Traveled Road and the Bible, A Scriptural Critique of the Philosophy of M. Scott Peck by H. Wayne House and Richard Abanes (Camp Hill, PA: Horizon Books: 1995), 248 pp.

M. Scott Peck, M.D., and his philosophy of life, has made considerable in-roads in the evangelical community, especially after his celebrated claim of conversion many years ago. His emphasis on discipline, love, religion and grace seems to fit well with biblical theology. Yet, as Wayne House and Richard Abanes document, all is not as it seems.

Peck may claim to be a Christian, and he uses much biblical terminology and Christian lingo which at first glance may seem to be in line with conservative Christianity, but the fact is Peck’s teachings are often quite foreign to Scripture. For example Peck:

  • Sees God more in line with Hindu pantheism (pp. 27-32, 107, 209-211), and New Age “we are god” myths (pp. 129, 179, 209-211) than with traditional Christianity.

  • Sees the Bible as a mixture of truth, myth and error (pp. 60, 200-205), and no more inspired than he is (p. 10).

  • Is a strong proponent of psychotherapy (pp. 15, 140), especially Jungian collective unconscious theory (pp. 24-25). With this core philosophy it is not surprising that he sees all actions, even those of love, as being motivated by selfishness (pp. 18-19, 153, 157-159), and believes that evil can be blamed on circumstances and parents (p. 46).

  • Understands Jesus’ death as a mere example, not redemptive (pp. 68, 200), and His resurrection as only spiritual (p. 69), not physical.

  • Views salvation as found in community, of which Alcoholics Anonymous is a great example (pp. 94, 98, 113, 239-243).

  • Sees open marriage as desirable (pp. 84, 232-236), pornography as acceptable (pp. 233), and believes Jesus had sexual relationships (pp. 217, 230-232).

  • Understands God to be in the process of development or evolving (p. 214).

This book critiquing Peck’s philosophy is twenty years old at the time of this review but, as it is drawn from primary sources, still holds much value. It is well documented, gracious yet pointed. For those attempting to unravel Peck’s view it would be an indispensable resource

Peck died in 2005, but not before showing that his philosophy of life led neither to happiness nor God.

Reviewd by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher, Southern View Chapel

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