Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity: David Entwistle Yvonne M. Garcia
David Entwistle’s (2010) book, Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity: An introduction to worldview issues, philosophical foundations, and models of integration, opens the reader’s eyes to unexpected possibilities, beginning with the often combative regimes of faith and reason using Tertullian’s symbolism of Athens as the seat of reason and Jerusalem as the seat of faith; which is the basic ongoing battle between science and religion (Entwistle, 2010). What Entwistle addresses is his belief that integration of the disciple of psychology and Christianity is possible, each contributing to the whole allowing effective therapy, where the therapist becomes a type of shepherd that invites the client into the goodness of God and introduces Christ as his savior. Psychology attempts to understand, describe, and diagnose human behavior but Christian theology seeks to understand “what it means to be human” (Entwistle, 2010, p. 3). In the end Entwistle (2010) reoccurring theme throughout the book is that this integration is possible because “all truth is God’s truth” (p. 13). All the reasoning, precise measurements, and descriptives of psychology are possible because of God’s work in creation.
Entwistle expands on the concept of worldviews and how each individual interprets everything around them. Each person will search for the truth but it will be biased according to the individual’s worldview. To understand these biases it is important for each individual to examine their own presuppositions because these effects the way the person interpret the world and the Bible. Entwistle (2010) expands on five models for integration: (1) Enemies, (2) Spies, (3) Colonists, (4) Neutral Parties, and (5) Allies. Enemies of integration believe science cannot be in agreement with Christianity. Either they believe that psychology and science holds a prominent place and reject Christianity; or they believe that the Bible holds all relevant information for mental health and reject psychology. Spies are usually those that have a psychological background but do not specifically embrace Christianity. They are able to see how spirituality and religion can benefit their clients but they do not have these specific beliefs themselves. They just see it as another skill or tool to use to treat their clients. Colonists see psychology and theology as disciplines that are isolated and both are not seen as devoted to God’s will. Instead of seeing psychology and theology as connected entities united through God’s work, they “see psychology as a collection of findings and theories that must be filtered through their interpretation of Scripture” (Entwistle, 2010, p. 189). This model dismisses the importance of the individual’s interpretation and worldview; it fails to address the fact that interpretations may be faulty. Neutral parties, according to Entwistle (2010), keep theology and psychology separate. They realize both are important but they are not able to integrate them. They see the importance of psychology and they have their beliefs about God but they are like isolated worlds without anyway to connect them. This compartmentalization leaves them confused and not completely understanding the contribution each can make if they are united into a whole. Allies finally begin to realize that both theology and psychology are united. That God’s truth is in the Scriptures and that God’s work is found in creation. Therefore, both psychology and theology ultimately come from God. Entwistle (2010) tells us that the allies model confirms “that psychology and theology can shed light on human behavior and that we can find numerous points of overlap between them” (Entwistle, 2010, p. 206). According to Entwistle (2010) each of these models ask different questions and have different answers; they vary in the assumptions...