Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity.

Entwistle, D. N.(2004). Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity. Wipf & Stock Publishers.

ABSTRACT: Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity gave me a better understanding of the history of psychology and theology. It left me with the belief that you cannot have psychology with out the basis of understanding the Christian concept of doing what is right. The environment and history shapes our society. Knowledge is acquired by what has happen in the past and Christianity has played a major part in molding our society and worldview.

Entwistle helps to understand that God presents truth in His word and His works shaped by thinking and reflection of both. The Bible being the word of God and His creation being the book of His works shows us His power. Entwistle uses five paradigms to relate psychology and theology. The paradigms were Enemies, Spies, Colonialists, Neutral Parties and Allies as Subjects of One Sovereign.

Psychology not intended to be similar to theology is very much alike in its goals to understand and improve ones life and give meaning to ones life. Each person has its own talents and qualities to contribute to the whole world. God as our creator made us a work of art, one of a kind with our own individual purpose to contribute to the world. Psychology and theology are both apprehensive with human nature and function. The book explains that there is no difference between sacred and secular combatants when it comes to truth. Human nature is that we are all born with sin having good and evil with our hearts.

Integration of psychology and theology seem to go hand in hand in helping people with various issues and the author does stress his points in the end of the book of its importance in changing worldview and setting an example for others to follow. I agree it would be helpful in working with clients or in everyday life communication with others. Truth from God is the basis of theology and relatively to psychology in the conclusion of Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity.

There are obstacles of integration that will cause a struggle in our society through the educational system, government laws, philosophies and human sinful motives on a personal and corporate level. Both Christian and secular combatants need to set aside the ego and work together to accomplish the real goal, to help people over come issues in their lives. The search for truth using psychology and theology can move mountains in people’s lives if applied. The book, Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity, gives example of overcoming issues that may arise with integrating theology with psychology to help the people move the concept forward into a nationwide movement.

CONCRETE RESPONSES: I have not been a psychologist or a counselor in any form. I can however relate this book in my life as I have learned about psychology over the years of studying various self-help books and psychology classes and books. I understand that there are similarities with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs used in psychology and theology. I desired to obtain self-actualization in life. Although Maslow didn’t include God he should have for He is our provider of all things.

Truth in His word and works has been something I was raised on in my life and I have lived and learned from experiences of trying to do things my way rather that God’s way. I have rebelled many times in my life, from doing so I have had to suffer the consequences of my choices. Before I had my accident I was living a life of living for myself. I did what I wanted, working and striving for money to the point of not having fellowship with God. I worked sometimes six days a week and when I was not working I was skydiving, a hobby I was addicted to the adrenaline. I was going so fast in life I could not even enjoy the simple things in life nor care for others enough to have empathy. I was focused only on my own agenda and fulfilling my own needs. I never understood the consequences of my actions nor did I care. I would just continue driving on with out a care in the world.

God gave me a wake up call on September 29, 2002, when I had my accident skydiving. Real quick I was humbled to realize that my life was going to have to change. I would have to rely on others not myself. I was going to psychologically analyze my situation and go back to my roots of studying His word. I was going to need to find out what God’s purpose was for my life and not my own self-desires were. Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity has confirmed many things that are close to my heart and soul. I do believe it is important to integrate theology and psychology and that everyone should seek counseling on a regular basis.

REFLECTION: Questions I have found in reading Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity, were how can we encourage people to seek Christian counseling over conventional counseling? Promoting Christina counseling with in our community and helping it spread nationwide. Educating our children and those around us the importance of Christian counseling. The format of Who are we talking about, how do we accomplish the goal, what is the objective and why do we want to accomplish the goal seems to simplify to focus but gets the job done in communicating to others the importance of integrative psychology and Christianity.

What bothered me about this book was that it didn’t seem to flow well. It used big words complicating the intent to get the message out. It was difficult to retain the information and totally understand. It seemed to jump around a bit leaving me confused about the subject. In the end I did grasp the concept and interest of integrating psychology and theology and the importance of doing so.

ACTION: I am going to advise others that they would benefit more from a Christian counselor and I will seek to find one for myself. I will share my experiences and how they have helped contribute to my success in life. If I am counselor to some one I will use His word and works as a foundation for my work to counsel others. I will share my own experiences to help others overcome situations that maybe similar. Going into Human Services, I will be able to encourage others to seek truth and understand how psychology and theology work best when they work together.