Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wilkens and Sanford find three ways Christians conceive of the relationship of psychology and Christian living/theology:In some ways that's not much of a taxonomy since that third category holds just about everything, and yet says absolutely nothing. But that said, the two poles described are pretty accurate.
1. All problems are spiritual; forget the psychologist and dig into the Word. Sometimes called "biblical counseling."
2. Salvation comes by discovering your inner self -- therapeutic approach to salvation.
3. Various degrees of combination.
Like all polar extremes, the truth lies somewhere in that third category - the question is where? McKnight begins to hint at the answer:
They then dip into Freud, Rogers, Skinner and Family systems, and they are right to see them as worldviews.We tend to conflate things that are not really there. Saying psychology is a worldview is a little like saying science is, and we know where that has led us.
There are three maxims I try to live by. 1) Psychological counseling is all about finding the right counselor. You need one that looks at the world pretty much the same way you do - meaning a person of faith at minimum. 2) Christ does not guarantee happiness, just goodness. 3) Pastors are not generally trained as counselors. Some are, but its is not part of the "core curriculum."
You remember those three things and you are likely to find what you are looking for in church and counseling.