Integrating Psychology and Theology

Question 1

Jay Adams is perhaps one amongst many others who have in the past questioned the practice of psychology owing to their claim that it does seek to undermine individual responsibility and spiritual doctrine by replacing instructions with alternative therapy sessions that never deal with the underlying issues of sin. In this regards they argue that this compromised approach has surrendered the biblical worldview and instead replaced it with a secular one which remains an unhealthy alternative. By definition, the study of psychology involves critical assessment of the mental states of the human mind and the behavior of persons. 

Theological teachings, on the other hand, involve the study of the human nature through the biblical lens and argues that the answers to some of the most pressing issues affecting human beings can, in fact, be found within biblical teachings. It is noteworthy, however, that I have continued to disagree with Adam’s argument based on the fact that the Bible itself does not provide definitive works detailing on the human nature but instead focuses on God’s nature. Therefore, this aspect has continued to hinder any attempts to understanding what informs human behavior and whether these very aspects can be modified in order to provide an outcome that enables them feel in control of their actions and emotions. 

My thoughts on this subject are in line with the fact that a singular worldview cannot exist when trying to decode the human mind and behavior. However, integrating both the spiritual and secular worldviews provides a perfect balance as provided by Entwistle’s arguments as he sees this as the only solution to unify the truth and provide an unbiased view of the human behavior and the thought processes that inform them (Entwistle, 2005).

Question 2

There is perhaps no doubt that both secular and spiritual worldviews provide conflicting approaches to resolving some of the problems pointed out in each of them. However, the integration of psychology and theology has continued to be seen as providing a solution for some of these problems. Looking at the world through the combined lens of both these two aspects provides answers to some of questions that have for years gone unanswered. For example, it is worth noting that even the individuals who have remained true to spirituality themselves have failed in agreeing on every aspect that pertains to doctrine teachings. 

In this regards, the church has continued to witness so much division amongst its ranks and this has had an effect with regards to maintaining the unity the church. It is worth noting, however, that most of this disunity stems from the fact that individuals have a unique view of things and interpret things with regards to how they view them. The Integration of psychology and theology has in recent years been shown to present new possibilities. For example, there is no doubt that the study of psychology strives to ensure that people live a joyous and happy life, however, it has been proven that those that believe in the spiritual teachings that there is life after death tend to live more fulfilling lives than their counterparts (Vitz, 2005). 

Additionally, it has been observed that solid instructions laid out in spiritual scriptures have continued to provide guidance on some of the problems that psychology has continued to address such as drug addiction, sexual abuse, and adultery amongst married couples. It is noteworthy, therefore, that integrating these two fields might provide solutions that would help people lead more fulfilling lives. 

References

Entwistle, D. (2004). Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity: An introduction to worldview issues, philosophical foundations, and models of integration. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers

Vitz, P. (2005). Psychology in recovery. First Things, 19. 

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