Integration Of Psychology And Theology Essay

Integration Of Psychology And Theology Essay-60
by Keith Palmer Christian Psychology (CP) is a unique form of psychology which seeks to develop a distinctly Christian model for understanding the human condition.

by Keith Palmer Christian Psychology (CP) is a unique form of psychology which seeks to develop a distinctly Christian model for understanding the human condition.

It is a set of practices for making the transition from unhealthy to healthy traits, behaviors, desires and emotions.

That is essentially what a psychology (and its allied psychotherapy) is.[2] As a movement, CP seeks to understand both the nature of human beings (psychology) and appropriate practices to address life problems (psychotherapy).

Eric Johnson writes, “So if we define psychology broadly as a rigorous inquiry into human nature and how to treat its problems and advance well-being, Christians have been thinking and practicing psychology for centuries.”[5] Hence, the followers of CP identify many authors throughout Christian history who wrote about the human condition and contribute to a Christian understanding of psychology.

Johnson traces the emergence of the modern Christian psychology movement initially to the writings of Christian philosophers Soren Kierkegaard, and later to C.

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.

As a discipline, psychology has been around for 2500 years and yet no agreement regarding the nature of human psyche well-being has been achieved. Roberts and Watson insightfully note that the concept of well-being cannot “be settled to everyone’s satisfaction independently of metaphysical, moral and religious commitments…

[nor] by purely empirical methods of research.”[24] Christian psychologists have been more careful than other Christian thinkers regarding worldview commitments and their impact on psychological conclusions.

The key difference [between integration and Christian psychology] is how much we claim we can construct of a complete psychology from the Scriptures and Christian tradition and resources.[20] Furthermore, some integrationists conclude that extracting one unified system of psychology from the entirety of the works of church history seems impossible, a conclusion that, ironically, even some Christian psychologists seem to acknowledge.[21] With these differences in mind, a basic conclusion can be drawn that all Christian psychologists are, to some degree, those who practice a form of integration, but as systems of counseling, integration and Christian psychology are distinct.[22] Christian psychology differs from classic integration by drawing distinctions in regard to goal of the system, the manner of integration, and the use of secular psychological research.

Integration and Christian Psychology Comparison Chart Christian psychology rightly observes that true “psychology” is not so much the professional, modern, scientific discipline that is thought of today but simply refers to the study of human beings.


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