I can do all to the glory of God as God gives me the strength to accomplish them. As Christians, we can enter into this exploration with an eye toward discovering the wonder and awe of God’s created order. He has the capacity for obedience by choice to follow the will of God. The more this happens the greater the potential for increased tension and eventually a blow-up of some sort. Thus it shifts the Christian into neutral and one is unable to "use today for doing good" (Hebrews 3:13), because of depression and guilt feelings along with all kinds of fears and frustrations due to past failure, and sometimes these go back for many years. Theology is concerned with how we should talk about God, and to God, especially in times of trial and pain. Our perception of the stressor as being a threat or a challenge begins the process. It is easy to see how he could have had a great amount of guilt feelings, or a sense of depression or sadness at what he had done. He has the mental, moral, and spiritual capacity for fellowship with God. 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. 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. . 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. 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. 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. 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. 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). The 'discovered' truths practiced by 'Christian' psychology are fast approaching the status once The sulfa drug does not kill the germ. Mark Christians is Professor of Psychology at Dordt University. 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. One of the problems of human experience is what should be done with the unconscious element. Your email address will not be published. Again, for the Christian this poses a real problem in that this philosophy accepts no authority other than experience. This bothers the Christian as well as the non-Christian. Another area that gets much attention in psychology is racial diversity and awareness. The most authoritative textbook on the subject of human behavior is the Bible. The answer is, no one knows what is normal. De Groat's book is a reminder to be honest in our own self-evaluation. Therefore, because of this we have fears, anxieties, and apprehensions, as to what is coming. The term "the unconscious God" refers to a "hidden relationship with the hidden God". How does Paul apply this? In my Dutch heritage, a common means of expressing love and appreciation is shown through preparing and sharing food with family and friends. This encourages one to break away from tradition and old patterns in order to find a better and more fulfilling experience in life. 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. A good example of this is seen in Philippians 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." What actually occurs more often than not, is that the individual becomes more guilt ridden and therefore these anxieties are heightened. Paul did not mean by this that he could do anything. and that he must become "free" to act as he will. He was affected by what Christ had done for him; it affected his whole life. 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. Exploring the implications of Christ's presence in all of life. 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. 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. The abundant life includes mature mental health, but it includes much more. 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 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. 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. The reader is encouraged to have people who…, Embodied, felt worship is the core of the church. This is the principle of life which constitutes that which is normal for the child of God. This story is really inspiring, it is the inspiration to peoples how to recover from... What a wonderful message! Psychology continues to explore the complexity of human nature. Genetically Modified Organisms: Beyond the Limits of Care? 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 assumes that the "super-ego" is determined by environment (parents, church, other Christians' super-imposed external standards, etc.) 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. Therefore, it behooves us to consider seriously what god has to say on this matter of Biblical psychology. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. 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. 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). Since God created us with "psyche" or a "sense," He certainly ought to know best how a person should operate in life. Nouthetic counseling , or biblical counseling, is a form of counseling that relies solely on Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit to achieve results. Every baby born into the world desires this. Persons who are depressed often feel distant from God or even feel judged by God for their depressive symptoms. Each of these paradigms is based on a distinct view of human nature that often excludes God and his sovereignty. Eric Johnson gives a helpful reminder about our work as Christians when he says, “Psychology, then, in the Christian framework, is not an independent activity that operates apart from God; it is dependent upon God’s mercy to illuminate human understanding and reveal things about human nature through human reflection, research, and creative insight.”1 May our reflection, research, and insight lead us to a greater knowledge of God. Paul was identified with the Lord Jesus Christ in every aspect of his life. 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. This then is the message of Philippians, which gives to us what God considers the normal Christian life. ), and the desire to know the future and the things of the non-physical world. In chapter 1, the Apostle Paul answers the problem of Personal Identification. A note of caution should be sounded at this point and that is, that experience and meaning are beneficial when based on Biblical truth and not experience alone. The third set of emotions that we are plagued with is that of the depression-guilt-psychic pain syndrome. Adam and Eve forfeited Godâs perfect human creation by giving in to Satanâs temptations. 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." The ego then becomes more insensitive and the individual less anxious. (Batavia, IL: Christian Association for Psychological Studies, 2007) 45. God is eliminated as well as are all moral laws. No, God does not evaluate His children in that fashion, for He evaluates us on the horizontal plain. Another example of a biological inquiry would be dementia and its direct impact on the person with dementia as well as the impact on family members and caregivers. Modern psychology has a relatively short history, yet it is rooted in the longer history of philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences. God has a good catharsis for the Christian in this regard. 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. astrology, etc. In the world, people many times are able to forgive but so many times they are unable to forget. Psychology and Religion [Carl Jung "God wanted to become Man, and still wants to."] An illustration may serve to help underscore this principle. And finally, we make a decision to positively respond to the stressor or choose to avoid the stressor. 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." 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. A by-product of this is mature mental health coupled with a joyful disposition. But by the large, as Christians, we are isolated from the realities of the world. This shows the simple trust of the Christian in Christ as an organizing principle in life. Other psychological areas to explore could be the emotional response to trauma and loss. The primary object of the science of psychology is human nature and how it is expressed in thoughts, actions, and feelings. 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. 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? Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods â¦ 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. Faithfulness to that responsibility which God has entrusted to us, is that which will count in the day of reckoning. 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. God created us and thereby He knows what is normal. Foreword Peacocke (1993) suggested that science and theology may be regarded as non-interacting perspectives of reality, which are described in different languages and â¦ Psychotherapy is needs-based. 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. One can easily visualize that as the Apostle Paul went to preach to the Christians at various places, that there were probably people in his congregation to whom he was ministering who may have been, many years before, in prison under his hand, when he was Saul, or had friends, relatives, or neighbors who had been in prison. Sometimes the trait of altruism (the unselfish concern for the welfare of othersbecomes the center and the results seem better. God does not measure these abilities. They rather create greater tensions harder to cope with, because the origins are hidden and forgotten. 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. 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. This answers the problem of identification with the resultant proper organization. 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. The "old nature" interferes with this desire as seen in Ephesians 4:22-24. Today, we live in a world dominated by the philosophies of philosophical existentialism (i.e. Chapter 2 answers the second emotional need to be fulfilled and that is Acceptance. 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. This is also what Paul was talking about in Galatians 2:20, the "ego" or "I", ". âConcepts of God and Therapeutic Alliance Among People with Severe Mental Disordersâ explores the transferential aspects of God representation among severely mentally ill adults. Learn how your comment data is processed. Your email address will not be published. God, who is our Creator, has an answer for all these problems. The issue of dementia cuts across the biological, psychological, and social realms. 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. Participate in this conversation via email. Paramahansa Yogananda describes God as Love, Consciousness, Absolute Existence and Ever New Joy. 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. God created humans to think, act, and feel and to be in relationship with other humans. Because we all need it. It also answers the problem of Personal Security. 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. That is something that no bottle will ever accomplish, and every human being needs this affection not only as babies, but for the rest of one's life. It totally ignores the spirit realm: our spirits, Godâs Holy Spirit, and demonic spirits. Adam and Eve forfeited God’s perfect human creation by giving in to Satan’s temptations. We have these burdens that one constantly needs to "unroll" or to "get off his chest." Because of this, God has given to mankind these understandings in His Word, and though throughout the Bible there are expressions that minister to one's senses, there is one book, that of Philippians, that has as its objective to combine spiritual health with mental health for the Christian. Should Christians Call out Sin in Others. 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. 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. In verse 13 he states, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ", 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. What Paul was plainly saying in this verse was that for him to live was Christ, and he was identified in this fashion. Satanic influence is increasing as never before as I Timothy 4:1, and II Timothy 3:2 state: "Now the spirit speaketh plainly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" and "evil men and deceivers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.". This is where the principles of God's Word are highly focused in the book of Philippians. The most serious problem that plagues Christians is that of the "old" and "new" natures. Wherever God has placed His child that is his responsibility. Evidence seems to point in the direction that unresolved conflicts of the conscience that are pushed into the unconscious do not remain dormant. Iâm going through an interesting time- the thing is I do believe in God and Jesus and what The Lord has done. 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. More than half of Americans say religion is âvery importantâ to them, and more than 90 percent profess a belief in a higher power. God created humans to think, act, and feel and to be in relationship with other humans. 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 Bible is to the Christian what the automobile manufacturer's handbook is to the car. It dissolves the hard protective coating around the germ so that the white corpuscles are able to kill the germ. This is the way that God wants us to live. The God of Jesus Christ does not take the place of Aesculapius. Modern psychology has a serious God problem. What does this look like in psychology today? And yet in my desires to have my ego built up, there is also a certain amount of fear, and so I am trying to balance my fears with my ego as an individual," and that gives everyone problems. As regards the Incarnation, the idea of Godâs descent into human nature is a true mythologem. 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. 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." We live in an amoral world that is hostile to the individual. God wants us to keep a clean slate before Him day by day, and this is why He constantly impresses upon us the fact that every day we need to pray, to read His Word, and to fellowship with Him. 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. This answers the problem of Personal Disposition---how one's life is accepted. 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." Bishop T.D. Christ, the Lord of psychology. Some of the areas of inquiry in psychology and human nature that would reflect this kingdom work lie in the biological, psychological, and social realms. 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. However, God has revealed that which is normal for His children, and the understanding of that normalcy is found in His Word. Reflect upon what Paul said for a moment. The study of psychology deals with the mind, its senses and human behavior. Ever since John the apocalyptist experienced for the first time (perhaps unconsciously) that conflict into which Christianity inevitably leads, mankind has groaned under this burden: God wanted to become man, and still wants to. God, Psychology, and Christian Care of the Soul, Part 3 â David Powlison Desiring God 2001 Conference for Pastors. Each individual is just one of billions of other people. 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. America is a deeply spiritual country. Why? Because of the multiplicity of involvements, and the choices that constantly need to be made in relation to one's priorities is that which causes much frustration in the lives of people. This “fight or flight response” was first described by physiologist Walter Cannon in the 1920s. When a lady desires to sew a dress, she goes to the store and purchases what is known as a pattern. 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. a common means of expressing love and appreciation is shown through preparing and sharing food with family and friends. God made us Heart, Body, Mind, and Soul and tied it altogether with the psychology of God. 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. It was just what I needed today. The Apostle Paul never tells us what to do---which is found in chapter1---but he follows it very quickly with how to do it in chapter 2. This results because of what he fears “ fight or flight response ” was first by. That which is normal is good to praise the Lordâ ( NIV ) and and! Appreciates His children when they respond to Him in this regard up an equally important role my! Of every individual that of the depression-guilt-psychic pain syndrome unconfessed sin which therefore leads depression. There would be plenty of beds in all of life that bothers us is the anger-hostility-hated syndrome, since we... 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