This results because of an attempt to create an order in one's life. Over against these four sets of adverse emotions needs to be fulfilled, else these destructive tendencies will overcome us as human beings. He has the mental, moral, and spiritual capacity for fellowship with God. . Because we have been accepted by God into His family, and our lives are molded by His Word and the Holy Spirit who indwells us, it helps us with the problem of the disposition of life; how one disposes of the time and talent that he has in life. The "old nature" interferes with this desire as seen in Ephesians 4:22-24. Why? 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. This gives the Christian confidence, just as a growing child gains confidence in judgment as his parents increase his allowance to make the judgments. Theology is concerned with how we should talk about God, and to God, especially in times of trial and pain. Along with this are the ver-increasing problems of the mind, social relations in a complex world today, mental and moral break-downs, the increase of the occult (e.g. God appreciates His children when they respond to Him in this fashion. The sulfa drug does not kill the germ. is crucified in Christ, nevertheless I live, but it is not 'I', but Christ who lives in the through me, and the life 'I' now live in the flesh, is by the grace of God who loves me and gave His Son for me.". 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. 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. Paramahansa Yogananda describes God as Love, Consciousness, Absolute Existence and Ever New Joy. Your email address will not be published. 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." Despite the seemingly positive progression in racial awareness, citizens of our culture and many other cultures around the world continue to exhibit prejudice in their attitudes and behaviors, which lead to greater separation, rather than reconciliation, among races. Not even the psychologists who are searching for normalcy know, because none of them are normal. In this analogy, Christ is our pattern, and as Christians we are to cut our life, as it were, after that of the Lord Jesus Christ. In 3:13, he says, "Brethren I don't believe I've arrived---I'm not perfect---but there is this one thing I've learned to do, forgetting those which are behind and reaching for those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Why should we live like the people of the world? God does not measure these abilities. It is not the "black" are of life that bothers us (i.e. Genetically Modified Organisms: Beyond the Limits of Care? Close. Thank you, Caleb. When the supposed, "the fact of science" conflicts with a person's belief, trouble may develop. One of the problems of human experience is what should be done with the unconscious element. In order to overcome the emotions that plague a person and fulfill the emotions that one needs, God has provided the answer in the book of Philippians. Because we all need it. 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. 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." 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. Much of the problem in today's Christian society is a super-imposition of do's and don't's on Christian individuals that may or may not have a foundation on the Word of God. Traits or characteristic patterns of behavior are basic in the development of every individual's unique personality. 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." America is a deeply spiritual country. Just because the majority of people do a certain in one way or the other does not constitute that which is normal. Modern psychology has a relatively short history, yet it is rooted in the longer history of philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences. a common means of expressing love and appreciation is shown through preparing and sharing food with family and friends. God, Psychology, and Christian Care of the Soul, Part 3 â David Powlison Desiring God 2001 Conference for Pastors. 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. 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." Our forebearers of the truth stood fast in the midst of persecution so that we might have the gospel, and the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sin has a grip on all areas of creation and humanity, especially in the way in which we view our own ethnicity as well as how we think about and treat those of a different race. Within the last few decades, when the fields of positive psychology and neuroscience (some have termed this union positive neuroscience) started truly gauging with empirical data peopleâs SWB (subjective well-being), the findings have reinforced how happy Godâs commands can make us if we truly obey them with a full and willing heart. 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." Since man is constantly trying to explore the mind in human behavior, it seems logical to the Christian that his source of knowledge can best come through an understanding of the One who created the mind of mankind, as well as looking at the textbook He has written on the mind and human behavior. Frustration is the game that is played today, for people seem to be out of sorts or frustrated with many things, places, and people. He also was created to have dominion over the animals. In today's existential and pragmatic world, man is conditioned to become absolutely "free" of all restraints or bonds, that heredity and/or environment may inhibit him. He has the capacity for obedience by choice to follow the will of God. The biographical sketches that one sees in God's Word in the Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament, are given to show out of the lives of men, women, boys, and girls, who have had similar problems as ours, who have had their heights and depths, their "cloud-nine" and their "Monday mornings," how God's children ought to live today. Therefore, it behooves us to consider seriously what god has to say on this matter of Biblical psychology. 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. See: Genesis 1:26-27, 2:15-20. This differs materially from philosophical existentialism which is anti-God and posits a hopeless future.). Godâs 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. Sometimes people will spend their lives pursuing a goal and then find in the end that it was not worth-while. Each problem raised by life and psychology has its answer in the Word of God. Required fields are marked *. The conflict in a person stems from how much on believes heredity and environment shape his thinking. God’s true essence of love and grace doesn’t change, but our feelings can lead us to a distorted perception of God and his presence in our lives. (In one sense, existentialism does have meaning for the Christian when on is faced with the experience of real meaning in life. Mark Christians is Professor of Psychology at Dordt University. The 'discovered' truths practiced by 'Christian' psychology are fast approaching the status once One may ask from a psychological point of view: what is normal? But the problem here is this tends to be an end in itself, and the individual's ultimate fulfillment is limited by human nature. This answers the problem of identification with the resultant proper organization. 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. We need to be appreciated. 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. The third emotion that needs to be fulfilled is that of Appreciation. We give medals, letters of commendation, watches, appreciation banquets---we pass out awards and rewards, and various sorts of things. This is somewhat like the man who climbed the ladder of success, only to find that when he got to the top that the had the ladder leaning against the wrong wall. 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." 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. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Christ, the Lord of psychology. What Paul was plainly saying in this verse was that for him to live was Christ, and he was identified in this fashion. The second emotion that needs to be fulfilled is that of acceptance---of who one is, and each individual's unique character. Today, as never before, people are interested in psychology and what it has to say to mankind. Thus, the attempt to organize one's life may take on of two forms: 1) by consciously or unconsciously isolating the traits that are causing his conflicts into logic-tight compartments that do not allow for any problem solving or communication. This is the principle of life which constitutes that which is normal for the child of God. God, Psychology, and Christian Care of the Soul Resource with John Piper. And whether people accept the principles of God's Word and agree with them or not, all are subject to the principles found in the Bible. In Psychology and Christianity Integration: Seminal Works that Shaped the Movement. It then calls for a constant and consistent application to daily living of the integration of the traits of life to the center, which is Christ. The Bible is to the Christian what the automobile manufacturer's handbook is to the car. astrology, etc. Achievement gives to a person a certain sense of Security, and this feeling of well being is what every individual needs. 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. In verse 13 he states, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." This story is really inspiring, it is the inspiration to peoples how to recover from... What a wonderful message! To be active in psychology means that we are active agents in God’s kingdom, as His image-bearers. The Bible is not a textbook on psychology, rather it is a text on God and His relationship to mankind, whom He has created. This is a cover up, and thus we exhibit our fears which come out through anger, hostility, and hatred. This is part of our community of being together. It also answers the problem of Personal Security. The answer is, no one knows what is normal. Then the psychologist tells him, "I'll see you nest week" and the person thinks the psychologist has done a lot for him. 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. More than half of Americans say religion is âvery importantâ to them, and more than 90 percent profess a belief in a higher power. 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 needs for self-esteem, love and acceptance, and significance tend to dominate. Iâm going through an interesting time- the thing is I do believe in God and Jesus and what The Lord has done. The God of Jesus Christ does not take the place of Aesculapius. This feature distinguishes us from all other creatures, for not even angels were created in the image of God. The first is the fear-anxiety-apprehension syndrome. We need to feel accepted by other people. 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. Psychology and Religion [Carl Jung "God wanted to become Man, and still wants to."] 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. 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. 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. Four things provide for God's children the standard for the normal Christian life: 1) that we live worthy of the gospel, 2) that we stand fast in the faith, 3) that we not be terrified by what is coming, and 4) that we might be willing to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ---"For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." 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. But by the large, as Christians, we are isolated from the realities of the world. The ego then becomes more insensitive and the individual less anxious. Or, maybe those people had a certain sense of hostility, anger, or fear when it came to receiving the Apostle Paul himself, as well as his ministry. The Bible is given to mold or fashion us after Christ's likeness, and this is sanctification or holy living. Then we determine if we have the resources (past experience or current knowledge) to cope with the stressor. Participate in this conversation via email. A good example of this is seen in Philippians 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." When we cast all our cares upon Him, He does care for us (I Peter 5:7). 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. 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. 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. God is eliminated as well as are all moral laws. It is an abiding sorrow that bothers every individual. A pattern is a series of tissue papers that are cut in certain ways to give dimensions. Wherever God has placed His child that is his responsibility. Reflect upon what Paul said for a moment. Sometimes the trait of altruism (the unselfish concern for the welfare of othersbecomes the center and the results seem better. Every baby born into the world desires this. However, God has revealed that which is normal for His children, and the understanding of that normalcy is found in His Word. When this happens disillusionment may set in at a time when the personality is least able to cope with it. As Christians, we need to know how to diagnose and treat these disorders to restore the person to physical, psychological, and spiritual health. I can do all to the glory of God as God gives me the strength to accomplish them. Should it be any less that we stand fast in the faith, so that if God tarries, our progeny and the generations that shall come will have the same opportunity for salvation that has been provided for us, by those of our loved ones who have gone before, and who have stood fast in the faith? 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. In concluding this section, it may be suggested there are five ways by which each Christian may live a more satisfying personal life, as well as be a better steward of the grace of God. 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. This causes depression, anxieties, and fears which may result in guilt feelings, and there are many negative reactions and reinforcers that constantly pick up speed, so that the person gets caught up in the frustrations of the world from which there seemingly is no escape. This is also what Paul was talking about in Galatians 2:20, the "ego" or "I", ". Just as he was at one time all out as an employee of the Roman government, now he was all out ---his whole life was dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ. The God complex is a psychological illusion, and is exactly what the name suggestsâa personality flaw in human beings, especially those with great power, who perceive themselves to be omniscient and omnipotent, and treat others as mere mortals. Should Christians Call out Sin in Others. John Piper @JohnPiper. In the disposition of life, the Christian is accepted in the beloved---a child and heir. These are of ultimate importance and are in this order in God's Word. For the non-Christian, it is an unconsciousness sense of guilt, though that person may not acknowledge or recognize it. As Christians, we can enter into this exploration with an eye toward discovering the wonder and awe of God’s created order. In the world, people many times are able to forgive but so many times they are unable to forget. 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. 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. Since our mind controls our behavior and our behavior influences and is influenced in many ways, it becomes a challenging study. The "Sanctify" in Greek is the same as the word translated "holy." Psychology is about the need for transcendence. 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"). Psalm 92:1a says, âIt is good to praise the Lordâ (NIV). ", 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. God, who is our Creator, has created our psyche or our senses, and by and large we are conditioned by those senses. Islamic Psychology â Mankind and the Image of God The biblical message is that we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26â27) and that despite the Fall we continue to bear that image (James 3:9). This is why the Apostle Paul was able to say "I can do all things"---that is, all responsibilities and the area of influences that I have and which God has given to me. De Groat's book is a reminder to be honest in our own self-evaluation. He serves us in our desire for protection, for love, for punishment, for restriction of our desires, for exoneration, for perfection and power (while in each person these specific factors may play out somewhat differently). If as human beings we could be rid of these, there would be plenty of beds in all hospitals today. Modern psychology has a serious God problem. Our perception of the stressor as being a threat or a challenge begins the process. 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. ↩. 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. Adam and Eve forfeited Godâs perfect human creation by giving in to Satanâs temptations. I donât want to dismiss science and psychology in favour of pure faith. For the Christian it may be unconfessed sin which therefore leads to depression and guilt feelings. This is another form of fear; "I am myself, I have an ego, and I have desire to have it built up to a certain degree. Other psychological areas to explore could be the emotional response to trauma and loss. As regards the Incarnation, the idea of Godâs descent into human nature is a true mythologem. The fourth set of emotions that bothers us is what may be termed as destructive egotism. An illustration may serve to help underscore this principle. 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. We have these burdens that one constantly needs to "unroll" or to "get off his chest." the don't's of the Ten Commandments) or the "white" are of life (i.e. He found that within a year the majority of them died. and that he must become "free" to act as he will. 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. 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. 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.". God created humans to think, act, and feel and to be in relationship with other humans. Paul was identified with the Lord Jesus Christ in every aspect of his life. Live for today; God will take care of your need for tomorrow, and if you have confessed your sins He's faithful and just to forgive you of your sins, and don�t worry about what's past; live for today. The word âpsychologyâ comes from the Greek word âpsychoâ, which is a derivative of the Greek word âpsycheâ meaning âsoul.â Psychology looks no deeper than the soul of man for answers. In the world in which we live today, every person is caught in a myriad of many things, with many avenues of opportunity to control us and spend our time. The inspiration for this post is the fear of death experienced by many Christians. For the Christian there should be a day-by-day problem dealing, in confession of sin, eliminating the conflict, and allowing the Holy spirit to resolve the problems by guiding the individual in the truth of God's Word. Hence, the need for day-by-day Bible study and prayer, committal of that day into God's hand, and asking for God's grace for each day, that one may walk in the path of God's righteousness. Your email address will not be published. This assumes that the "super-ego" is determined by environment (parents, church, other Christians' super-imposed external standards, etc.) In other words, in the depths of our mind God becomes an idea, a construct, associated with different parts of our selves and our internal parental figures. How does Paul apply this? It totally ignores the spirit realm: our spirits, Godâs Holy Spirit, and demonic spirits. God does not measure these abilities on a vertical plain as the world does, like a person who achieves a certain plateau or status in life as he climbs the ladder of success. He was the incarnation of God Himself in human manifestation. 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. 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. God created humans to think, act, and feel and to be in relationship with other humans. In the social realm of human nature, we can study and examine the effects of our cultural background and how this is reflected in our actions, traditions, families. Therefore, because of this we have fears, anxieties, and apprehensions, as to what is coming. What actually occurs more often than not, is that the individual becomes more guilt ridden and therefore these anxieties are heightened. Each of these paradigms is based on a distinct view of human nature that often excludes God and his sovereignty. This has to do with Affection. 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. Learn how your comment data is processed. Biblical counseling is committed to letting God speak for Himself through His Word. For this, one doesn't need to go to the psychologist---it's found very simply in I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Jakes delineates between people having experience of God yet the inability of the human mind to explain God. 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 The issue of dementia cuts across the biological, psychological, and social realms. Yes, it is true, we watch the news on television, we read the newspapers, we understand in a measure what is going on in the world, we hear much about the problems that the youth of today experience, the drugs, and all that goes with it. God created humans to think, act, and feel and to be in relationship with other humans. In my Dutch heritage, a common means of expressing love and appreciation is shown through preparing and sharing food with family and friends. This comes through submission to the direction of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. 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. Only when this takes place can the latent power of the personality be combined with the power of God to produce a productive usefulness in the Christian life. For the Christian, problems arise in the area of faith and belief. Man: Man has been created in the image and likeness of God. Evidence seems to point in the direction that unresolved conflicts of the conscience that are pushed into the unconscious do not remain dormant. (Batavia, IL: Christian Association for Psychological Studies, 2007) 45. The primary object of the science of psychology is human nature and how it is expressed in thoughts, actions, and feelings. "Shock" therapy, many times, drives the problems deeper into the unconscious and keeps them there. Sometime ago, an experiment was made in Colorado, in which a doctor took a group of unwanted babies who had been abandoned. And hostility is the direct action to powerlessness in one's life because of what he fears. What does this look like in psychology today? This gives to the Christian the Principle for what one might term the normal Christian life. For example, if a person chooses a certain place to go and is not appreciated by the group of people with whom he associates, or does not appreciate what he has anticipated he would, so that he does not receive a good feeling out of it, he may then become frustrated. Faithfulness to that responsibility which God has entrusted to us, is that which will count in the day of reckoning. As God’s image-bearers who carry the burden of sin, humans also respond to stressful life events with predictable thoughts and behaviors. 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). And loss 's likeness, and each individual 's unique personality they rather greater... Descent into human nature is a series of tissue papers that are cut certain. To positively respond to the car this sinful nature happens the greater the potential for tension! Exploring the implications of Christ 's likeness, and is influenced in many ways, is! Meaning for the non-Christian, it behooves us to live is Christ. `` diametrically opposed to each,. The capacity for fellowship with God from all other creatures, for the Christian when on faced! 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