Sherrita L. Hedgepeth
July 14, 2012
David Entwistle's (2010) Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity appears to be a text with a primary audience which appears to be conservative evangelical Christians. The basic ‘meat’ of the book is the premise that "weaving together perspectives from psychology and Christian theology can help us understand and appreciate humanity more fully than we could with either perspective alone" (p. 3). Entwistle’s view is that in faithful reading of both the book of God's work (nature) and the book of God's word (theology), this textbook seems to be the work of an individual whose true request is for a form of psychology that is aimed at the treatment of the total patient, mind, body and soul. "Christian understandings of personhood, the purpose of human life, our need for God, and the ethical teachings of Christian faith," Entwistle argues, "are integral to psychology, not merely parallel to it" (p. 199). By making his opinion clear throughout several sections within the text Entwistle is projecting his position on the subject of integrating theology and psychology very clear. The main focus in this text is on the "integrative approaches in a well-conceived Christian worldview" (p. 63) and far less of the text is about any particular theory or theological view point. Like anything in life if you do not know where it came from you cannot see its future and that’s the foundation laid by the earlier chapters of the book in which he covered the history of psychology, theological beliefs and the development of the current relationship between the two. A large theme within the book is the theory of worldviews. The definition of worldview provided by the text states “a worldview is a set of presuppositions which we hold about the basic make-up of the world” (pg 56). Worldviews were then broken down into four major groups syncretism, polytheism, pantheism and monotheism. Later in the text Entwistle displays his personal opinion clearly when arguing for his preferred approach science and Christianity as allies. He concludes that psychosocial and spiritual thought, is both science and theology in its elements, as well as acknowledged the ways in which human sinfulness distorts what we claim to know, and employs a Christian worldview. Entwistle argues that optimal integrative efforts combine personal and spiritual as well as intellectual knowledge and application. Concrete Response
There is a sentence in the endnotes of the text that really hit home for me and it was “nevertheless, we can never fully rise above our own assumptions, and none of us can completely rise above our cultural and historical conditioning” (pg. 118). When I read this my mind went back to a time when I thought I could take no more of what life was handing me. I went to my chaplain with what felt like the world on my shoulders and anger in my heart because I thought that I had been stupid to give my boyfriend a second and third chance, he had hurt me just like ‘everyone else’ but my chaplain reminded me that it is my faith in god and my heart that is why I kept giving him new chances. He did so by having me recall one of my favorite passages from the bible “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (NIV, 1Cor 13:4-7). When I walked out of his office I was a peace in my heart and in my mind in knowing that being true to myself and not what my friends say about my love is what’s right. Today’s society walks away from relationships at the first sign of trouble and it’s not in my heart to do so. Remembering this time in my...