Christianity and Psychology Personal Theory Research Paper

  • Length: 10 pages
  • Sources: 15
  • Subject: Religion
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #48124203

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Personal Theory Paper


Since mid-1970s, a serious matter for integration between Christianity and psychology developed among Christian counsellors. The integration movement developed as a result of reaction to psychology being accepted in the sector dealing with pastoral counseling where it did not face any criticism from the Christians’ point of view. The efforts for integrating psychology with Christianity developed more energy in the last twenty years since the time when Jay Adams refused to have psychology included in the pastoral care sector (Kim, 2004). Attempting to create an integration in psychology with Christian faith is a tedious experience as a result of the different approaches of the two academic disciplines.

According to Alan C. Tjeltveit (2012), the daunting questions that come as a result of taking psychology as well as Christian faith in a serious manner have to be dealt with. The queries that come from the sectors in which the two conflict need extra emphasis. There is need to get a hold of what psychologists assume, inclusive of their metaphysical and physical assumptions and coming up with ideas about how we can envision psychology with the same data bearing different interpretations which are consistent with the understanding of Christians (p. 20)

The given comment bears the same similarities to the philosophical arguments that I have and have presented them at the University of the Southern Caribbean during the fourth Mind of Christ Conference (Santrac 2011).

Classical Greek Dualism

Relating to the classical Greek dualism, existence of spiritual and a physical realm which separates the body and the soul (Pojman, 1999), philosophers came up with only two classifications of people to put into use when approaching humanity. This creates lots of trouble. If this case is taken up, it means that in physical issues like medicine, there is no need of one bothering themselves with morality (Polkinghorne, 1998, p. 60). On the other hand, the spiritual realm was put in place for things that do not concern material or mental perspective. Social sciences, including psychology, are classified under the spiritual realm. The separation has been brought over to the modern world. Because psychology is somehow classified as part of the spiritual realm, then Christians continue to criticize it. In the Christian beliefs, psychology does not meet the standards of any doctrine, and it could not sustain as it was passed as true and inerrant. Therefore, Christians opt to decline psychology as they highly esteem the stronger part in the spiritual dimension which is the Bible. However, psychology is not part of the spiritual dimension. The two sectors overlap but they are very different (McCarron, 2004).

Compared to theology, psychology is a totally different discipline. If a man moved into a church and claimed that he knows how to handle group dynamics, this would not classify him as a theologian. His results and interpretations maybe a supplement to what a theologian says because a theologian dictates what God has said should be done. In situations when religion takes up a dichotomous reasoning, modifying itself from other sectors exactly the same way that the Greek Philosophy would modify the matter and spirit, it destroys the way God together with the world relate (Jones, 1996, p. 152). It is true that the divine is equipped with a unique nature but it is not eliminated from the entire life. Although psychology is known when it comes to theology, it cannot be used different from it.

Written and Spoken Revelation

The Bible is basically about how one relates with God and how one relates with people. The Bible however, does not claim to have the whole truth about God in relation to association with people. As an example, there is group theory stated there. According to Dr. Lawson from counseling department at Liberty University, this is known as a two-book theory. He stated that God holds a written revelation as well as a
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spoken revelation, which is the world. The two of them should go hand in hand and if they do not, it means that they are based on human understanding (Carter & Narramore, 1979, p. 13), if it is found in the Bible or in the natural life.

Paul also gave his sentiments on this topic to the Church of Rome around two thousand years ago. The translation of Romans 1:20 in the King James version states that God has brought his revelation down to us thus making men to be accountable to him for the sake of truth, whether they have access to the Bible or not. All the true and right things come from God and they should bring glory to Him (McCarron, 2004).

Consideration of General Revelation

There are Christians who go against psychology because they claim that before Maslow and Freud appeared, people were well with using the Bible only. With their basis on this statement, they clarify further that there is no need for adding irrelevant things to the Bible when carrying out counselling even taking it as far as calling the discoveries of counseling repeating what the bible has already said. This argument confirms that the bible is sufficient for counseling and no additional information is needed from somewhere else, making this argument defeat itself.…

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…to Williams and Lynn (2010), there are five ways to describe acceptance

1) Non- attachment: This defines agreeing to objects of experience and that they wane and wax and then permit them to come and go naturally, can be preferred to any attempts geared towards controlling or retaining them

2) Non avoidance: this is keeping away from meaningless refrain where there is no physical threat.

3) Non judgment: it is a conscious abstention from the categorization of an experience whether it is good or bad. It is describing a stimulus rather than evaluating it.

4) Tolerance: it is the ability to be able to remain present and stay aware despite the fact that the stimuli is undesirable or frustrating

5) Willingness: it is the ability to exercise a choice in order to get an experience

In the modern-day practice of self-acceptance, there are two big historical streams that influence it - theological and psychological streams. For example, in the theological stream, Christians use the bible during therapy in order to help Christian clients get self-acceptance. The potential of a human being to have self-acceptance can be grown through education or in therapy. Enhancing self-acceptance has grown to become a very essential part of comprehensive programs meant for dealing with a wide range of mental issues that adults and children experience in different aspects of life (Nielsen et al., 2013).

Counselors can make their clients to get the fact that God is the one who created creatures around the world and God is not pleased when these creatures think less of themselves. Jesus Christ as well urges people to love who they are and accept themselves. The Christian theology emphasizes on self-acceptance and negates the feelings of being unworthy because God loves everyone equally.


When using psychology, a great deal of wisdom is needed. There are quite a number of pitfalls which are experienced in the field. Discernment is highly required to determine the things which can be acquired from it and used practically (?McCarron, 2004). Basically, human personality is developed from separating from God, human beings, self and nature. The plan of God to redeem mankind is basically what is required in human pathology. God has given us an ultimate example to be used for counselling. Jesus is the one who should take preeminence in the restoration process. Therefore, counselling is known to be a two-step process where evangelism and sanctification are the main stages in the process. For evangelism, Christian counselors should lead their clients through the basic theory of personality in relationship to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In…

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