The lack of church support or awareness for individuals with mental illness was the focus of a recent Science Daily article. The Science Daily writers featured a research study conducted by a Baylor University psychologist that demonstrated that although mental illness was quite prevalent among 6000 participants (27%), churches were ill-equipped to deal with the challenges these congregants brought. As Christian psychologists, many of us are aware that we are not only surrounded by hurting people in our churches, but that our churches do not always address the issues well. Hopefully, as Christian psychology continues to mature, we will be better positioned to help churches address these often difficult challenges.
On his blog, Phil Monroe wrote of the conflict that often seems to exist between the various schools of Christian counseling, whether they be biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or a host of other labels. He provides wise counsel about how we might more winsomely interact with one another and with our clients by building one another up. This article in many ways seems to get at the heart of what Christian psychology is seeking.
Michael Ruse wrote a rather scathing essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education directed at Calvin College and their upholding of the historical Adam and Eve in the censure of religion professor John Schneider (Schneider has since left). Ruse wrote, “if your religious beliefs conflict with science—deny absolutely and completely basic claims of science—and if you insist on the religion over the science, then don’t expect respect from the rest of us.” I am including a link to this article in Soul & Spirit because, whatever one’s perspective on evolution, it demonstrates one of the challenges Christian academics face. The pursuit of developing a distinctly Christian psychology must keep in view the modal perspectives of secular academe in the 21st century.
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