The Washington Post discusses some recent changes with regard to the self-esteem movement. Promoting self-esteem, regardless of success, has met with some academic failings. Though confidence levels are often high, performances are not. As Christian psychologists, examining the construct of self-esteem from a biblical worldview may be a useful endeavor.
One of the distinctives of Christian psychology seems to gain wisdom by looking backward. We learn about psychology not only from modern conceptions of mental health, but also by considering biblical wisdom, church history, and Christian philosophy. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement based upon two decades of scientific research that has shown that children raised in toxic environments grow up with problems. Laurie Fendrich, writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education, identifies a common modernist bias. She writes, “No matter how obvious the observation, how eternal the topic, how great the works of literature that have tackled any given theme, or how insightful the philosophers who have studied a matter, the modern mind cannot fathom reaching a conclusion without relying on scientific studies.” We can learn from a variety of disciplines and traditions and should continue seeking to do so.
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