Integration Of Psychology And Theology Essay

Christian psychologists acknowledge the impossibility of truly objective, value-free research.[12] In order to compete with secular studies that are laden with secular worldview assumptions, Christian psychologists endeavor to develop their own body of psychological research from a Christian point of view. However, Christian psychologists note that integration is very difficult and seem to be more sensitive to the need to establish a uniquely Christian psychology first before pursuing additional insight from non-Christian systems.[18] Second, Christian psychologists are more sensitive to the anti-Christian worldviews and methodologies of modern psychological research and thus are less likely to utilize this research compared to integrationists.Christian psychologists prefer to do their own research based on a distinctly Christian psychology and methodology, while integrationists believe that much of secular psychology can be “redeemed” for Christian counseling purposes.[19] Third, Christian psychology differs from integration in respect to the goal of the system.Christian psychologists affirm a form of the authority, necessity, sufficiency, and primacy of the Scriptures, yet they define these qualities of Scripture in such a way as to actually undermine them.[26] For example, Johnson affirms that, “the Bible has ultimate authority over all of psychology and soul care,” but later admits that “the Bible’s authority also varies depending on the subject matter.

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The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy affirms: Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms, obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.[29] Scripture does not teach a sliding-scale of authority which varies depending upon the amount of information revealed on any given topic.

Rather, the Bible is equally authoritative in all the matters it addresses.

This perspective may help people to recognize how the Scriptures speak insightfully and powerfully regarding human nature, though it does not sound like a modern-day psychology textbook.

Since Christians believe the Bible is the authoritative Word of God and is the sole, God-breathed source of truth (2 Tim.

Christian psychology is a relatively new movement, but its followers rightly point out that a uniquely “Christian” understanding of persons began with the writing of the Bible itself and was later developed by various authors throughout church history.[3] This observation is important for understanding CP since its authors often refer to Christian writers in church history as “psychologists.”[4] Utilizing the term “psychologist” to describe ancient Christian authors may seem odd to modern readers who think of a psychologist as a modern day professional in the mental health care field.

But Christian psychologists use the term “psychology” in a broad, general sense, referencing any study, insight, or reflections regarding the human condition.

Utilizing Scripture and works from Christian writers of the past, psychologically-informed Christians seek to glean principles for understanding human nature and then systematize these findings into a comprehensive system of psychology.

Roberts and Watson write: Much of the foundational work in Christian psychology will therefore require a careful rereading of Scripture, in the light of some of the great Christian psychologists of the subsequent past (Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal, Kierkegaard), by people who are familiar with contemporary psychology and can therefore sniff out a biblical psychology that effectively speaks to current circumstances.[10] This task of retrieval is two-tiered. Morris are representative of Christian psychologists who have led and published research efforts of this nature.[13] Integration refers to a related but different system for understanding the relationship between Christianity and psychology.

They endeavor to form a psychological system that is presuppositionally Christian, and recognize that this system will reflect a true picture of humanity because it is distinctly Christian.

In addition, the worldview awareness of Christian psychologists often allows them to detect unbiblical commitments in psychological systems that integrationists sometimes fail to see.


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