The Rev. Oscar Pfister was an evangelical Protestant pastor who was a close associate and friend of Sigmund Freud. Although Freud respected Pfister as both a cleric and also a scholar, Pfister focused on points of his agreement with Freud’s research and psychoanalysis rather than making much of the faulty presuppositions in Freud’s worldview. Most disturbingly, it seems this “man of God,” whom Freud and his whole family clearly loved, never insisted on the gospel’s demands on Freud’s life. Not only was Freud never converted, he was even lulled into thinking there were powerful areas of overlap between his worldview and Pfister’s. The story is a cautionary tale for those who mistake “relational evangelism” and “cultural engagement” for gospel-oriented worldview apologetics predicated on incommensurable presuppositions.
Workshop Leader: Gregory Thornbury
Date: April 4, 2017
Event: The Gospel Coalition 2017 National Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana