Integrating Psychology With Christian Theology Essay

Integrating Psychology With Christian Theology Essay

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Integrating Christianity with psychology has been an interest of mine for a number of years. I have benefited personally from the writings of those who have brought together the truths of both perspectives. As such, I looked forward to the opportunity to take a course on integrating the two subjects, and I was not disappointed. Studying various theories, concepts, and models of integration has changed my perceptions and challenged my beliefs about integrating psychology with Christian theology.
The key concept that Entwistle (2010) proposes for integrating psychology and theology is the model of the “Two Books.” This model recognizes that there are two sources, or “books” for knowledge, the book of God’s word, the Bible, and the book of God’s works, or creation. Entwisle’s (2010) understanding “holds that both Scripture and the natural world have their origins in God’s creativity and revelation” (p. 136). Whereas I believed this perspective, Entwistle’s analysis would reveal biases I was not aware I held.
Entwistle (2010) outlines five different models of integration. The “enemies” model, the first model, views psychology and theology as incompatible with each other. Those who hold this view will reject one perspective while accepting the other. Secondly, the “spies” model recognizes the potential benefits of religious belief and seeks to identify religious elements that provide psychological benefits without accepting a religious worldview. Third are the “colonialists” who accept that psychology is beneficial, but only to the degree that it fits their theological understanding. The fourth, or “neutral parties” approach, accepts both disciplines as sources of knowledge, but keeps them separate to prevent one from influencing the o...

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...und I could remain faithful to the Bible and its teachings, and to my experience in life. This solution is an example of Entwislte’s “allies” model of integration, which I much prefer.
Integrating psychology and theology is an intriguing endeavor. Properly done, integration opens the possibility for significant advancement in our understanding of God and human nature. I appreciate how Nicholas Copernicus (n.d.) viewed science. To him, it was a, “loving duty to seek truth in all things, insofar as God has granted that to human reason” (p. 2). David, too, in Psalm 19:1-2 expresses it beautifully, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge” (The New International Version). The knowledge is out there, and God wants us to discover it—really, to discover Him!

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