. Entwistle noted that “theological reflection typically focuses more on God’s workings in the world,” while “psychological reflection typically focuses more on the workings of God’s world.” What implications does this have for the relationship between psychology and Christianity?
Running head: ALLIES AND TRANSFORMATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
ALLIES AND TRANSFORMATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
Allies and Transformational Psychology
Entwistle states that the “theological reflection typically focuses more on God’s workings in the world (Entwistle, 2015).” He also states that “psychological reflection typically focuses more on the workings of God’s world (Entwistle, 2015).” There are some implications that we can gather between this relationship between psychology and Christianity that will be discussed herein.
Theological reflection shows us God’s involvement with the world in creation and redemption, and psychological reflection helps us to understand the mechanisms through which much of human behavior is mediated (Entwistle, 2015). The relationship that stands out is that in order to be redeemed, or saved, the workings of the mind must be healed. If there is no psychological healing, how can humanity be theologically saved from sin. If the person struggles with alcoholism due to abuse as a child, can that person truly be saved if they are not first freed from alcoholism and the pain they suffer in their mind? It seems very unlikely that a person who suffered abuse can truly depend upon God.
I met a man whom was severely abused as a child. This man hated God for the majority of his life. He had no problem admitting that there was a “God” out there, but he had trouble believing that God loved him, because if God did in fact love him, then why did he have to suffer so extremely. This is a question that a lot of people have. The theologically, psychological relationship can aid in understanding in this dilemma in a person’s mind and free them from the chains that have clung to them and drug them down for years.
The Christian faith shows us what the true Christian behavior should be (Tesu, 2018). Before the fall man did not know suffering, illness and pain, because they were in a state of perfection. They lived in happiness with the communion of God (Tesu, 2018). God’s creation was utterly perfect. The mind of man knew no suffering. Once man fell, there was a need for redemption. God had to make a way to redeem man and save them from all of the suffering from which they caused themselves.
In Genesis 3:2-5, we find Eve beneath the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This bad decision opened a door to all future bad decisions and brought pain and suffering upon mankind. This goes to show that the theological reflection and the psychological reflection work together in the healing of man. When Adam and Eve fulfilled their desires, and not to the glory of the Creator, the world became estranged to him. If we work on our relationship with God, He will bring healing into our lives and free us from the strain that sin has put on us. We may not be able to change our circumstances or the things that have been done to us in our past, but we will be able to have freedom in our hearts and minds. We will be able to help others who are suffering and lead them to the fulness of Christ. Psychology and theology may require a bit of independence, but the two cannot be completely severed from one another (Tesu, 2018).
References Entwistle, D. (2015). Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity, 3e. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books. Tesu. (2018). The sorrows or “the daily cross”–“sour medicine” for the health and salvation of the soul. Romanian Journal of Artistic Creativity, 6(3), 41+.
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