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Discuss the appropriateness of using Biblical principles in the field of psychology

Discuss the appropriateness of using Biblical principles in the field of psychology

This question is still a subject of debate in the academia. One of the two definitions of psychology is through the biblical vantage point and thus using religious material to enrich it would be welcome in the broad sense that psychology finds a place in the biblical arena. Outside this consideration, psychology is generally considered as the subject interested in studying human and animal behavior. Nevertheless, the soul is a very important subject in the study of psychology. First off, psychology attempts to address issues such as the nature of human soul, explores the origin of a soul, and attempts to establish the purpose of man’s soul and what might be at the final destiny of a soul.

There have been mixed reactions to whether biblical principles should be used in the field of psychology. For instance, Whitley (2009), in his dissertation, vividly demonstrates that a biblical framework offers a good alternative for discerning and understanding whole or part of human behavior especially the developmental theory developed by Erik Erikson. Further, Whitley (2007) observes that the use of biblical principles in the field of psychology offers a better alternative for anyone pursuing discipleship to have a better framework to do it without reservations. In addition, it would seem that the relationship existing between theology and social-scientific research (where the humanist viewpoint of psychology majorly centers) would be well brought out if the biblical principles are also evoked into the field of psychology.

Wayne (2010) while assessing the appropriateness of using biblically inclined approach in psychology points out that it is important to assess the questions posed in psychology and see how both fields address them. For that matter, Wayne (Ibid) argues that since one major question posed by psychology relates to whether humans have a soul, logic demands that a human should indeed have one. While logic demands that human have a soul, the bible affirms that there is a soul in every human. Therefore, when the humanist approach to psychology would clump human behavior and animal together and call it psychology, there is a uniqueness that sets man apart from all other forms of life and cannot just be viewed as mere animals.

Now that there is a soul in human beings, the other question that a psychologist is interested in finding the answer to is the nature of this soul. In 2 Cor. 4:16 the bible talks of human beings possessing some inward human essence that is renewed day by day and those who believe in the bible as the word of God are bound to believe this. The soul is also used to mean the entire living human being as the way it is used in some places in the bible (1 Pet. 3:20). These observations induce Wayne (Ibid) to strongly believe that using biblical principles in the field of psychology is appropriate and called for. This is because, first, the bible offers immediate answers to the questions psychology seems to ask and also because the two fields have a link that can be explained.

Another argument that springs up is that given the efficacy of the bible in offering complete guidance for discipleship, the extra-biblical use in psychology would not pose any problem to the Christian user but would rather add more value to the faithful by helping them establish a link between the two disciplines (Whitley 2009). However, the question one would ask is: which discipline needs the other? Is it the Christianity that needs psychology or vice versa? Before answering this it is important to note that both fields are dynamic.

Since its development, psychology has changed considerably while Christian education has also changed and has come to embrace subjects such as developmentalism as its theoretical foundation (Whitley 2009). Therefore, early propositions in psychology find appropriate application in the Christian education. Development has not been explained in its entirety or a meta-theory developed to explain it due to huge amount of material and literature on human development, which in its part serves as a barrier to the development of the meta-theory. While psychology may offer (together with sociology) contributions that provide insight into the human development processes, there is still one question that is left out by these contributions: what are the goals of the development? Biblical principles can be used to help in providing insights to this.

Prominent people in the filed of psychology who led to the early development of the field were however atheists. If they held that founders of religion were frustrated at some point in time found it necessary to personify forces of nature to make the overwhelming helplessness tolerable (Cosgove 1979) then we would think they might have thought it any relevant to use biblical principles in psychology.

In conclusion, biblical principles can be used in the field of psychology because they offer a better alternative to some of psychology theoretical models and also provide the Christian faithful a basis for undertaking their quest without reservations. Biblical principles may also offer a better explanation or insight into the destiny of the soul thereby explaining the ultimate goals of the processes of human development.

Works Cited:

Cosgrove, M. “Psychology Gone Awry” Grand Rapids: Zondervan 1979

Wayne, J. “Modern Psychology and the Bible” 2010 Online <http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/469-modern-psychology-and-the-bible>

Whitley, B., M. “Applying a comprehensive-internal model for the evaluation of social-scientific research to the identity crisis stage of Erik Erikson’s developmental theory” The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 2009

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Discuss the appropriateness of using Biblical principles in the field of psychology

This question is still a subject of debate in the academia. One of the two definitions of psychology is through the biblical vantage point and thus using religious material to enrich it would be welcome in the broad sense that psychology finds a place in the biblical arena. Outside this consideration, psychology is generally considered as the subject interested in studying human and animal behavior. Nevertheless, the soul is a very important subject in the study of psychology. First off, psychology attempts to address issues such as the nature of human soul, explores the origin of a soul, and attempts to establish the purpose of man’s soul and what might be at the final destiny of a soul.

There have been mixed reactions to whether biblical principles should be used in the field of psychology. For instance, Whitley (2009), in his dissertation, vividly demonstrates that a biblical framework offers a good alternative for discerning and understanding whole or part of human behavior especially the developmental theory developed by Erik Erikson. Further, Whitley (2007) observes that the use of biblical principles in the field of psychology offers a better alternative for anyone pursuing discipleship to have a better framework to do it without reservations. In addition, it would seem that the relationship existing between theology and social-scientific research (where the humanist viewpoint of psychology majorly centers) would be well brought out if the biblical principles are also evoked into the field of psychology.

Wayne (2010) while assessing the appropriateness of using biblically inclined approach in psychology points out that it is important to assess the questions posed in psychology and see how both fields address them. For that matter, Wayne (Ibid) argues that since one major question posed by psychology relates to whether humans have a soul, logic demands that a human should indeed have one. While logic demands that human have a soul, the bible affirms that there is a soul in every human. Therefore, when the humanist approach to psychology would clump human behavior and animal together and call it psychology, there is a uniqueness that sets man apart from all other forms of life and cannot just be viewed as mere animals.

Now that there is a soul in human beings, the other question that a psychologist is interested in finding the answer to is the nature of this soul. In 2 Cor. 4:16 the bible talks of human beings possessing some inward human essence that is renewed day by day and those who believe in the bible as the word of God are bound to believe this. The soul is also used to mean the entire living human being as the way it is used in some places in the bible (1 Pet. 3:20). These observations induce Wayne (Ibid) to strongly believe that using biblical principles in the field of psychology is appropriate and called for. This is because, first, the bible offers immediate answers to the questions psychology seems to ask and also because the two fields have a link that can be explained.

Another argument that springs up is that given the efficacy of the bible in offering complete guidance for discipleship, the extra-biblical use in psychology would not pose any problem to the Christian user but would rather add more value to the faithful by helping them establish a link between the two disciplines (Whitley 2009). However, the question one would ask is: which discipline needs the other? Is it the Christianity that needs psychology or vice versa? Before answering this it is important to note that both fields are dynamic.

Since its development, psychology has changed considerably while Christian education has also changed and has come to embrace subjects such as developmentalism as its theoretical foundation (Whitley 2009). Therefore, early propositions in psychology find appropriate application in the Christian education. Development has not been explained in its entirety or a meta-theory developed to explain it due to huge amount of material and literature on human development, which in its part serves as a barrier to the development of the meta-theory. While psychology may offer (together with sociology) contributions that provide insight into the human development processes, there is still one question that is left out by these contributions: what are the goals of the development? Biblical principles can be used to help in providing insights to this.

Prominent people in the filed of psychology who led to the early development of the field were however atheists. If they held that founders of religion were frustrated at some point in time found it necessary to personify forces of nature to make the overwhelming helplessness tolerable (Cosgove 1979) then we would think they might have thought it any relevant to use biblical principles in psychology.

In conclusion, biblical principles can be used in the field of psychology because they offer a better alternative to some of psychology theoretical models and also provide the Christian faithful a basis for undertaking their quest without reservations. Biblical principles may also offer a better explanation or insight into the destiny of the soul thereby explaining the ultimate goals of the processes of human development.

Works Cited:

Cosgrove, M. “Psychology Gone Awry” Grand Rapids: Zondervan 1979

Wayne, J. “Modern Psychology and the Bible” 2010 Online <http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/469-modern-psychology-and-the-bible>

Whitley, B., M. “Applying a comprehensive-internal model for the evaluation of social-scientific research to the identity crisis stage of Erik Erikson’s developmental theory” The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 2009

"Get 15% discount on your first 3 orders with us"
Use the following coupon
FIRST15

Order Now

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