and that he must become "free" to act as he will. This reduces tension, and if the trait chosen is not a selfish one, as seen in the illustration in Philippians, then the solution is a good one. The third emotion is that of appreciation---to have a favorable critical estimate made of one's self: A certain kind of approbation, a slap on the back for a good job well done. the do's of the Ten Commandments) that impose problems, but the great "gray" area wherein the Bible does not specifically state exactly what we are to do or not do. See: Genesis 1:26-27, 2:15-20. The Unconscious God (German: Der Unbewußte Gott) is a book by Viktor E. Frankl, the Viennese psychiatrist and founder of Logotherapy.The book was the subject of his dissertation for a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1948. What is really needed is a treatment of the real problem of freedom in Christ, through an understanding of the Word of God and a pattern of life consistent with the Bible. Again, for the Christian this poses a real problem in that this philosophy accepts no authority other than experience. Psychology is not a competing religion, but a field of study that could actually lead to a deeper understanding of humanity and, therefore, of God as Creator, Savior, and Healer. Modern psychology has a relatively short history, yet it is rooted in the longer history of philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences. When the supposed, "the fact of science" conflicts with a person's belief, trouble may develop. Foreword Peacocke (1993) suggested that science and theology may be regarded as non-interacting perspectives of reality, which are described in different languages and … Yes, they were well cared for and they were fed, and the nurses looked after them; but they died because they lacked affection and love, because every human being needs this. Psychology is about the need for transcendence. God created us and thereby He knows what is normal. I don’t want to dismiss science and psychology in favour of pure faith. The study of psychology as a scientific field poses problems for the Christian, yet when integrated with the psychological principles as demonstrated in God's Word, it offers the opportunity of opining new insights regarding Christian experiences and understanding of the Biblical truths. The "Sanctify" in Greek is the same as the word translated "holy." Generally speaking, mental health is related to the norms of society, but the Christian may not always go along with the current norm, and in order to be faithful to Christ may at times go against it. Paul certainly set forth the conflict quite clearly in Romans 7:11-25 wherein he noted "the good which I would I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do." In a similar fashion, psychology can provide the tools used by God to penetrate more efficiently, and dissolve the defensive shell that people use to insulate themselves from Biblical truths, and from their fellowmen. Every individual has certain responsibilities before God, and God has given every individual the talents and abilities to carry out the responsibilities that he has entrusted to him. Biblical counseling is committed to letting God speak for Himself through His Word. Participate in this conversation via email. This answers the problem of the personal disposition of a person's life, which gives to the Christian the Pattern for the normal Christian life. The fourth emotion that all need is that of achievement---not only a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment, but also that which is praiseworthy, so when we achieve a certain goal there comes a certain amount of appreciation for that achievement, and it makes us feel good, so we desire it. As far as God is concerned, it makes no difference whether one is the president of the corporation or the janitor in the factory. But, when one looks at these three aspects quantitatively, in the Bible, the first two ways---that is of sin and salvation---take up very little of the Bible. Achievement gives to a person a certain sense of Security, and this feeling of well being is what every individual needs. Genetically Modified Organisms: Beyond the Limits of Care? Because we all need it. Psychology is unable to discern the nature of God or the magnitude of man's immortal soul. But when it comes to the matter of sanctification that becomes an entire lifetime of living. In brief, they can be pointed out as follows: The first emotional need that we have to be fulfilled is that of affection---to love and to be loved. Today, as never before, people are interested in psychology and what it has to say to mankind. Close. This feature distinguishes us from all other creatures, for not even angels were created in the image of God. It is interesting to note that the majority of people that occupy hospital beds are there not because of physical illness, but because of emotional, mental and psychological problems. Then in verse 20 he notes, "For our manner of life is in heaven from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." One of the problems of human experience is what should be done with the unconscious element. As God’s image-bearers who carry the burden of sin, humans also respond to stressful life events with predictable thoughts and behaviors. John Piper @JohnPiper. Exploring the implications of Christ's presence in all of life. There are four sets of emotions common to all---whether we accept by faith the principles in God's Word or reject them---that plague us, and unless we get relief from them they will ultimately destroy us. To a degree the world may be different, and the problems to us may not be as great or dramatic, and not have as much of a traumatic effect upon us as they do on various people in the world---but basically, we all have the same common nature, and all have the same common problems. The second set of emotions that bothers us is the anger-hostility-hated syndrome, since basically we are afraid. Paul was identified with the Lord Jesus Christ in every aspect of his life. Should it be sublimated or ignored hoping that it will go away and become a problem? One may ask from a psychological point of view: what is normal? "Shock" therapy, many times, drives the problems deeper into the unconscious and keeps them there. I can do all to the glory of God as God gives me the strength to accomplish them. These are of ultimate importance and are in this order in God's Word. The issue of dementia cuts across the biological, psychological, and social realms. The "old nature" interferes with this desire as seen in Ephesians 4:22-24. This helps the Christian in his priorities, so that he does not become confused and frustrated in life, and is able to formulate proper priorities and thereby feels a sense of appreciation from God. Adam and Eve forfeited God’s perfect human creation by giving in to Satan’s temptations. The primary object of the science of psychology is human nature and how it is expressed in thoughts, actions, and feelings. For the Christian who lives in the world today, his problem is heightened by the idea of some, that religious beliefs become unrealistic bondage to his "super-ego" (which is thought of as somewhat similar to one's "moral conscience"). In the disposition of life, the Christian is accepted in the beloved---a child and heir. God, who is our Creator, has an answer for all these problems. De Groat's book is a reminder to be honest in our own self-evaluation. God’s view of what makes us tick (psychology) and His call for us to help each other through honest, loving conversation (psychotherapy) differ radically from the theories and therapies that dominated psychological discourse and practice in the twentieth century. To free himself of this control it is often suggested that he should go about and "live it up." Biblical counseling seeks to minister the love of the true and living God, a love that deals with sin and produces obedience. Faithfulness to that responsibility which God has entrusted to us, is that which will count in the day of reckoning. To develop maturity in the normal Christian life is to form stronger bonds from each trait and relate it all to the center, Christ. This is considered in chapter 3 and the key is found in verses 13, 14, and 20 which answers the problem of Personal Priorities in life. The ego then becomes more insensitive and the individual less anxious. These answers should be sought and found, and when they are, along with personal application, the normal spiritual life that God has for each of us will become evident. He found that within a year the majority of them died. The resultant emphasis of these two philosophies shows up in the effects of the depersonalization of society, the break-down of the eternal and traditional elements of faith, and the loss of meaning to present life. For example, losing your 3-year-old child to leukemia is a much different experience than having your 85-year-old grandma die of cancer. The God complex is a psychological illusion, and is exactly what the name suggests―a personality flaw in human beings, especially those with great power, who perceive themselves to be omniscient and omnipotent, and treat others as mere mortals. Christ, the Lord of psychology. God both shows us His will through His Spirit, and at the same time gives to us the enablement to carry out His will through the talents that He has entrusted to us. Human nature has been described and defined by psychologists since the late 19th century, beginning with a focus on sensory perception; moving toward a view that saw all behavior resulting from external stimuli; then into a more mental or cognitive view of behaving and learning; and more recently an emphasis on the humanistic view of humankind. However, in the context there is much stated in the Bible on human behavior, and where the Bible speaks on the subject of psychology it speaks with final authority. the system of philosophy which tests the validity of concepts and actions by their practical results; if it works, it is all right.) The word “psychology” comes from the Greek word “psycho”, which is a derivative of the Greek word “psyche” meaning “soul.” Psychology looks no deeper than the soul of man for answers. The reason the Bible is not specific in the "gray" are is twofold: 1) certain actions are not always right or wrong, but must be considered in a contextual light of times, manners, customs, culture, and; 2) God wishes His children to become spiritually mature and able to make mature judgments based on the principles of His Word, as the person allows the Holy Spirit to guide him into all the truth (John 16:13). The third set of emotions that we are plagued with is that of the depression-guilt-psychic pain syndrome. He was affected by what Christ had done for him; it affected his whole life. To be active in psychology means that we are active agents in God’s kingdom, as His image-bearers. The confusion between psychology and spirituality can take root in an alienating religious need, which has little to do with the desire for salvation and spiritual freedom offered by Jesus. It is no wonder that God says, "Don�t worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself, and don't be concerned about yesterday, you can't recall it, it is past." This encourages one to break away from tradition and old patterns in order to find a better and more fulfilling experience in life. Think upon this for a moment; at one time the Apostle Paul was an employee of the Roman government hailing Christians to prison on the Damascus Turnpike. We have been accepted by Almighty God. A pattern is a series of tissue papers that are cut in certain ways to give dimensions. Christian Psychology's War on God's Word, ''The presuppositions and counseling methods of psychology have become so integrated into evangelical thinking at every level that to venture criticism is to invite wrath and censure. The world cares nothing for the individual who is only a number, and though each individual is a unique person there is really no help for that person. As Christians, we need to know how to diagnose and treat these disorders to restore the person to physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Attachment theory and psychology of religion research explores the ways that a belief in God can fulfill the criteria of an attachment figure and examines how individual differences in attachment lead to correspondence or compensation pathways. He has the capacity for obedience by choice to follow the will of God. The answer is, no one knows what is normal. He noted that he had been able to forget those things which were behind, and to keep his eye single before the Lord and to look to those things which were ahead. Mark Christians is Professor of Psychology at Dordt University. 10/15/2010 08:10 am ET Updated May 25, 2011 Editor's note: This is Part Three in a series, "God's Emotions: Why the Biblical God is so Very Human." This “fight or flight response” was first described by physiologist Walter Cannon in the 1920s. The 'discovered' truths practiced by 'Christian' psychology are fast approaching the status once Chapter 2 answers the second emotional need to be fulfilled and that is Acceptance. In verse 13 he states, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." God does not measure these abilities. The world is caught up in this to a great degree because it says, "There is no help for mankind---this is a meaningless universe." Psalm 92:1a says, “It is good to praise the Lord” (NIV). That's achievement. God, who is our Creator, has created our psyche or our senses, and by and large we are conditioned by those senses. Since God created us with "psyche" or a "sense," He certainly ought to know best how a person should operate in life. God made us Heart, Body, Mind, and Soul and tied it altogether with the psychology of God. The real point here is that whether or not God exists, whether or not God has a purpose for us, and whether or not there is an afterlife, we should strive to give meaning to our lives. Psychology of God: Do Christians Believe God Has Emotions? This is why God gave to us mothers, to breast-feed babies, not only for the benefit of the mother's milk that the baby receives, but for that sense of security that the baby gets as it is held in it's mother's arms. Saying the words “I love you” may have been less likely or frequent than showing “I love you” through cooking and other acts of kindness. Each individual is just one of billions of other people. God created humans to think, act, and feel and to be in relationship with other humans. Sometimes people will spend their lives pursuing a goal and then find in the end that it was not worth-while. No, all people have limitations, but all have certain talents, gifts, and abilities. This gives to the Christian the Principle for what one might term the normal Christian life. When every aspect of one's personality is truly centered in Christ, these inner conflicts can be eliminated and thus the Christian can become a mentally healthy individual. Whether we like it or whether we don't, we are sensitive people, and there are certain emotions and affections that we have that need to be satisfied in one direction or another. For the Christian, problems arise in the area of faith and belief. Psychology continues to explore the complexity of human nature. In this realm as well is psychology, which can also explore the positive impact of physical exercise on mood or the impact of bullying on the lives of young children and adolescents. The third emotion that needs to be fulfilled is that of Appreciation. It totally ignores the spirit realm: our spirits, God’s Holy Spirit, and demonic spirits. Other psychological areas to explore could be the emotional response to trauma and loss. When we know that God looks at it this way, that gives to one a sense of security or assurance of well being, and this is the Power of the normal Christian life. God gave it first to show the entrance and problem of Sin; second, to show mankind the need for and the provision of Salvation; and third to provide for the Christian the right way to Sanctification of life. The inspiration for this post is the fear of death experienced by many Christians. And hostility is the direct action to powerlessness in one's life because of what he fears. One of the greatest psychological hang-ups that Christians have today is that they allow Satan to conjure up the failures of the past in their lives, and hang those things over them like a "cement cloud." The most authoritative textbook on the subject of human behavior is the Bible. When we cast all our cares upon Him, He does care for us (I Peter 5:7). Mankind lives in a day and age which is fraught with many fears and problems, and to a certain degree, as Christians, we have become insulated from these fears and problems. It was just what I needed today. “Concepts of God and Therapeutic Alliance Among People with Severe Mental Disorders” explores the transferential aspects of God representation among severely mentally ill adults. Closing the Gap between Psychology and God A Harvard psychologist is developing evidence-based treatments for the devout By Sarah Estes Graham , Jesse Graham on October 25, 2011 As with philosophy, in psychology there is not much current work focused directly on trust in God, but there has been significant and fruitful recent investigation in related subjects ranging from interpersonal trust to religious attachment and religious struggle. In Psychology and Christianity Integration: Seminal Works that Shaped the Movement. When a lady desires to sew a dress, she goes to the store and purchases what is known as a pattern. The Bible is not a textbook on psychology, rather it is a text on God and His relationship to mankind, whom He has created. That is probably why John experienced in… To release himself from this so-called bondage, the idea is to suggest that his will loosen (or maybe harden) his conscience so that he will not be anxious in that which he does. God's Psychology integrates biblical truth and psychological insights to clear away the obstacles that keep us stuck in feeling, thinking, and behaving in destructive ways. Frustration is the game that is played today, for people seem to be out of sorts or frustrated with many things, places, and people. Just because the majority of people do a certain in one way or the other does not constitute that which is normal. He has the mental, moral, and spiritual capacity for fellowship with God. Our perception of the stressor as being a threat or a challenge begins the process. It is an abiding sorrow that bothers every individual. In I Corinthians 4:1, 2, the same Apostle Paul tells us that as Christians we are stewards of the grace of God, and then he notes, "That is it required in stewards that one be found faithful." For this the Apostle Paul has a satisfying answer in chapter 3, as to how God appreciates His children, and how this helps answer the problem of personal priorities. These four emotions are basic to every individual, and in order to overcome the emotions that constantly plague us, as well as to counter balance that, in having the emotions fulfilled that one needs, God has provided the answer in the book of Philippians. Should Christians Call out Sin in Others. Required fields are marked *. Good psychology is not the same as good theology. In Philippians 2:12 and 13, the Apostle Paul admonishes the child of God to work out the salvation that he has with awe and respect for God, and then he notes, "For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." If an individual's faith in Christ does not result in more in a more satisfying personal life, regardless of the problems or obstacles, there is either something wrong in one's life, or with the application of Biblical principles to that person's daily living. (Batavia, IL: Christian Association for Psychological Studies, 2007) 45. Jakes delineates between people having experience of God yet the inability of the human mind to explain God. Paul did not mean by this that he could do anything. For the non-Christian, it is an unconsciousness sense of guilt, though that person may not acknowledge or recognize it. But I also think science and psychology make up an equally important role in my intellectual life. Reflect upon what Paul said for a moment. This is why Christ stated in John 10:10, "I am come that ye might have life and that ye might have it more abundantly.". (In one sense, existentialism does have meaning for the Christian when on is faced with the experience of real meaning in life. This differs materially from philosophical existentialism which is anti-God and posits a hopeless future.). Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods … Each of these paradigms is based on a distinct view of human nature that often excludes God and his sovereignty. In chapter 4 Paul answers the fourth need that every individual has and that is the need of Achievement. This is the principle of life which constitutes that which is normal for the child of God. What does Paul say as to this?---the key is found in verse 5, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." We are to use today for doing good as Paul tells it in Hebrews 3:13. What does this look like in psychology today? It changed him from being an employee of the Roman government, on the Damascus Turnpike committing people to prison under the name of Saul, and it transformed him so that now he was the Apostle Paul, preaching the claims of Christ. Persons who are depressed often feel distant from God or even feel judged by God for their depressive symptoms. Over against these four sets of adverse emotions needs to be fulfilled, else these destructive tendencies will overcome us as human beings. Even though modern psychology often does not and will not acknowledge our sinful state, psychology has been busy studying human nature through the lens of positivism and naturalism. Man: Man has been created in the image and likeness of God. What actually occurs more often than not, is that the individual becomes more guilt ridden and therefore these anxieties are heightened. The God of Jesus Christ does not take the place of Aesculapius. Your email address will not be published. This story is really inspiring, it is the inspiration to peoples how to recover from... What a wonderful message! Psychology can inform us in regards to how prejudice can be influenced by in-group bias, out-group bias, family socialization, and many other social and cognitive factors. As regards the Incarnation, the idea of God’s descent into human nature is a true mythologem. We should start every day by saying, "Father, give me the grace to live for You today and lead me in the way of righteousness." This bothers the Christian as well as the non-Christian. Only God knows what is normal, and there has been only one normal person that ever appeared on the face of the earth, and that was the Lord Jesus Christ. The abundant life includes mature mental health, but it includes much more. The conflict in a person stems from how much on believes heredity and environment shape his thinking. . But the problem here is this tends to be an end in itself, and the individual's ultimate fulfillment is limited by human nature. Thank you, Caleb. However, when God forgives He also forgets, and one doesn't have to worry about the failures of yesterday when he ahs confessed them before God. The pattern is placed on the cloth and then the cloth is cut according to the patter, then the cloth is sewn together which becomes the dress. ", When one looks at the Word of God, these three ideas: sin, salvation, sanctification, qualitatively are provided to the individual in this order; for first of all a person needs to know that one is a sinner and needs a Savior; secondly, that God had provided salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ for that person's sins and that once a person becomes a child of God, it is anticipated that thirdly one leads a sanctified life. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Yet in a paradoxical way, because we are human beings, we are caught up many times with the very same problems that the world faces. He loved us, gave Himself for us, and even Christ came to serve and to give His life a ransom for many. By the principles of God's Word there is renewed vitality through emphasizing the meaning of a person's relationship with God which deepens that experience. Theology and Scripture, on the other hand, present the truth about God, man, sin, grace, heaven, hell, salvation, angels, demons, miracles, the Messiah and the immortality of man's soul. The world is constantly searching for this and constantly failing, and this is why the psychologists get rich, because people go to a psychologist to have a cathartic expression---that is to get off their mind what bothers them, and the psychologist does very little, but after one has "unloaded," he feels better. We are afraid human mind to explain God `` New '' natures Philippians, which gives to the.... 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