Amy E. Yesalavich
Dr. Alan Cheney
May 27, 2012
Psychology has been primarily viewed as a methodical system that seeks empirical evidence to explain nature, while theology is often viewed as reasoning based on man’s eternal destiny as discussed in biblical teachings. Falsities are held within both of these historical beliefs. Psychology often “considers questions for which empirical evidence is not available, or even possible,” (Entwistle, 2010, p. 125). Theology must not “ignore the fact that man is solidly a part of nature,” (Entwistle, 2010, p. 125). By drawing attention to facts that conflict with common views, Entwistle is able to express the commonality found in the disciplines. He states that psychology and theology mutually seek an “interest in understanding the ambiguity and mysteries of human behavior,” (Entwistle, 2010, p. 51). Because of these crossing interests, a mutual comradery can be established between the two disciplines. The book, Effective Biblical Counseling: A Model for Helping Caring Christians Become Capable Counselors (1977), written by Lawrence J. Crabb Jr. is a text that agrees with this relationship and explores the context of this comradery in regards to the field of counseling.
To date, there are several techniques that have been used to integrate Christianity and psychology. Crabb (1977) dissected these attempts and categorized them into four distinct approaches labeled: separate but equal, tossed salad, nothing buttery, and spoiling the Egyptians (p. 33-47). The separate but equal method does not truly encapsulating integration. This approach sees biblical principles and psychological principles as holding certain truths; however the relationship between the two is not observed. Biblical ideals in this attempt are only used for spiritual and theological problems, and psychology is valued for issues surrounding emotions and mental health issues (Crabb, 1977, p. 33). The tossed salad approach delves further into integration. In this approach, biblical truths supported by scripture are added to psychological truths. This approach yields a nice mix of both disciplines; however, users must be careful not to compromise biblical truths with secular ideals (Crabb, 1977, 35-36). The third approach Crabb (1977) discusses is nothing buttery (p. 40). This integration attempt discounts the validity in psychological principles. Users of this method see psychology as unimportant, and reduce counseling to the identification of sin and the concurrent spurring of change. The last approach discussed by Crabb, (1977) is spoiling the Egyptians (p. 47). In this method the two disciplines overlap and psychology is appreciated but its views are only accepted as legitimate when they correspond with biblical truths. By finding correlating wisdom that is professed in both disciplines, spoiling the Egyptians is the model suggested for use in the text (Crabb, 1977, p. 47).
Using the suggested model, spoiling the Egyptians, Dr. Robert Hawkins created a model for guiding the counseling process by viewing the client as a derivation of the image of God that has been compounded by physical, temporal, and supernatural stressors (Hawkins, n.d.). Hawkins model illustrates “what makes up the human personality and how it relates to problems that people have,” (Hawkins, n.d.). The model begins with the core of the human personality, consisting of the Image of God, the breath of life, the human spirit, and the Holy Spirit (if saved). Surrounding the core is the soul which consists of thoughts, emotions, feelings, and consciousness. Encapsulating the soul is the physical body, which can be pressured by temporal (friends, church, government) and supernatural systems (God, Satan), (Hawkins, n.d.). When conceptualizing these sources as part of the human being,...