About Integration Models

The Integrates Model for Relating Psychology and Christianity:
A Critique in the Light of BiblicaI Creation.
Paul D. Ackerman

The "Integrates Model," as described by John D. Carter and Bruce Narramore in their book The Integration of Psychology and Theology, is examined in the light of the biblical doctrine of creation. A basic component of the Integrates Model is the assumption of the "unity of truth," which has the problem in application of placing the reading of Scripture on the same plain as the reading of scientific data in understanding reality. The unity of truth doctrine overlooks the unique character of Scripture as propositional revelation introduced by God into a fallen world for purpose of communicating to fallen man. An approach is suggested that would center on the concept of captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5) based on the Ten Commandments rather than integration.

Religion in an Age of Science by Ian Barbour
Chapter 1: Ways of Relating Science and Religion
After surveying four broad patterns - Conflict, Biblical Literalism, Dialogue, Integration- Ian Barbour suggest reasons for supporting Dialogue and, with some qualifications, certain versions of Integration.

Benign models of science and religion and the resolution of conflict.
Richard Dimery, June 1999
Here Dimery address in some detail the concept of complementarity of science and religion, and especially one of the major difficulties with proposing such a model, the resolution of instances of conflict. He proposes to demonstrate that conflict resolution is a key problem that many complementarians have still to deal with, but it must be centrally addressed in any replacements to the model.

This module is concerned with how the theories underlying psychological therapy and research fit in with the Christian worldview. Are they compatible with Christianity or do they have vastly different ways of looking at the world? Should we be careful how much we “buy into” them? Should we avoid some of them completely? This is intended to give a broad framework within which
to view psychological theories as a Christian (inevitably there will be some overlap with other modules).

by the Southern View Chapel
By any standard psychology has had a major impact upon the Christian community during the past thirty years. Whether that impact has been positive, negative or simply neutral is often the topic of hot debate. Evangelical's seem to have been polarized into one of three or four camps:
• Integrationists believe that since all truth is God's truth the integration of scriptural truth
with psychological "truth" is no big problem. As long as psychological "truth" does not contradict the Bible it can be trusted. The Narramores as well as Minrith and Meier would be good representatives of this camp. See Bruce Narramore's book, The Integration of Psychology and Theology.
• Non-integrationists, on the other hand, believe that it is impossible to integrate God's word with the psychological views of man. They insist that the Bible and psychology have no common ground. In this camp would be Jay Adams, the Bobgans, and Jim Owen. An excellent book defending this position is Owen's book, Christian Psychology's War on God's Word.
• A third view would separate biblical truth from psychological truth and make no attempt to reconcile the two. The idea behind this position is that the Scriptures deal with spiritual and theological issues, while psychology handles mental and psychological problems that are outside the scope of the Bible. If one has a spiritual problem they should turn to the
Bible; if one has a problem such as anxiety, guilt, self-acceptance, insecurity, etc. they should turn to psychology.
• Then there are those who would claim to be biblical counselors who simply borrow the best that psychology has to offer without actually integrating it with the Word. Larry Crabb
takes this approach which he calls "spoiling the Egyptians" (Effective Biblical Counseling, p. 47-56). The following is what Crabb has spoiled from the Egyptians (secular psychologists) that he feels is necessary to his system. As can readily be seen, Crabb is an integrationist whether he accepts that title or not:
Man is responsible (Glasser) to believe truth which will result in responsible behavior (Ellis) that will provide him with meaning, hope (Frankl) and love (Fromm) and will serve as a guide (Adler) to effective living with others as a - self and other - accepting person (Harris) who understands himself (Freud) who appropriately expresses himself (Perls), and who knows how to control himself (Skinner) (Ibid. p. 56).
As we write this paper, we realize that Christian Psychology has become somewhat of a “sacred cow.” As Jim Owens states in Christian Psychology's War on God's Word, “The presuppositions and counseling methods of psychology have become so integrated into
evangelical thinking at every level that to venture criticism is to invite wrath and censure. The ‘discovered' truths practiced by ‘Christian' psychology are fast approaching the status once reserved for Scripture.” Yet, it is important that we analyze that movement in the light of the Word.

Approaches to Integrating Spirituality and Therapy
There are many different approaches to working with religious and/or spiritual issues in therapy. Achieving the desired therapeutic outcome depends, in part, upon choosing the right type of therapy/counseling. Seven categories are discussed below. These are not all-inclusive, nor are these categories universally agreed upon. The way these different terms are used may vary greatly from therapist to therapist. However, these categories provide a basic framework to understand some of the different approaches therapists and counselors use.


PSYCHOLOGY AND THE CHURCH: The "Biblical Counseling" Alternative.
by Bob and Gretchen Passantino.

Psychology, specifically psychotherapy, is one of the most controversial issues in the church today. Some Christians argue that psychology is a rival religion, others that inclusion of psychological principles into biblical counseling is essential, others that neither extreme is accurate. Psychology has adopted the scientific method, but that method cannot be consistently applied to its field of study. The theories that have developed from psychological research have given rise to three major schools and literally hundreds of psychotherapies (which are often unscientifically mixed in practice). Many Christians believe they have been abandoned by the church and consequently turn to psychology.

National Institute for Healthcare Research:
The Forgotten Factor
Recognize the pervasive and central influence of religious commitment in the lives of many patients and begin to examine how it may be relevant in treatment and therapy


Biblical Counseling & Anti-psychology

Why psychology won't integrate with Christianity
Many people want to say that psychology can be integrated with the bible and Christianity. This is sort of like mixing apples and oranges which results in fruit salad. Can there be any fellowship between darkness and light? Can a bad tree produce good fruit? Can there be any counsel against the Lord? Our God is a jealous God. He will not share his glory with another. Nor should He. Any created thing which would substitute itself for the word of the Creator is an idol and a false god. As Aaron told Moses, the people demanded a golden calf and they threw in their treasure and out came the idol. This is also true of the idol of psychology which seeks to supplant the pure word of God.

An interview with William Kirk Kilpatrick,author of Psychological Seduction.

Dennis L. Finnan, Commentator
What one thing today, is the most dangerous teaching found in the world of Christianity? Well regardless of what others might say, I believe it is the teaching of psychology now prominent in the historic Christian churches of our nation.

The Intrusion of Psychology into Christian Theology
Issues, Etc. Journal - September 1996 - Vol. 1 No. 9
Psychology and Christianity
A three-part discussion of the threat that modern psychology poses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Kerby Anderson: Pop Psychology Myths.
Pop psy chology myths as exposed by Dr. Chris Thurman in his book Self-Help or Self-Destruction.

Paul C. Vitz: Truth Journal: The Psychology of Atheism
"Psychology, since its founding roughly a century ago, has often focused on the opposite topic-namely the psychology of religious belief. Indeed, in many respects the origins of modern psychology are intimately bound up with the psychologists who explicitly proposed interpretations of belief in God".

Faith & Therapy.
About the dangers of mixing psychology with religious faith.

Christian Psychology:Is it Idolatry?
It is time to confront the church about its love affair with "christian psychology." To remain silent would continue tacit approval for the irreparable harm being done to the church, to Christian families, to Christian marriages, and to Christian lives by these so-called heroes of idolatrous adulation.

Psychoheresy Awareness Ministries:
PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministriesis a non-profit religious corporation for the purpose of informing and educating Christians about psychoheresy. Psychoheresy is the integration of secular psychological counseling theories and therapies with the Bible. Psychoheresy is also the intrusion of such theories into the preaching and practice of Christianity, especially when they contradict or compromise biblical Christianity in terms of the nature of man, how he is to live, and how he changes.


VISUALIZATION: God-Given Power or New Age Danger?
by John Weldon and John Ankerberg.

(Part One)
(Part Two)

Care of Souls in the Classic Tradition by Thomas C. Oden. (Book on line)
Thomas C. Oden teaches at Drew University Theological School, Madison, New Jersey. Care of Souls in the Classic Tradition was published in 1984.

Carl Gustav Jung: Enemy of the Church
by Dr Pravin Thevathasan

"The teachings of Jung are wholly at variance with the Church. There is little scope for dialogue and none for a Christian-Jungian synthesis".

Psychiatry and religion: must they conflict?
by Dr. Pravin Thevathasan

"It is increasingly apparent that, in a number of cases, it is not the Church which opposes the findings of psychological studies but it is the spirit of the age, affecting everyone including psychiatrists".

Inner Healing and Visualization
by Gary E. Gilley

One of the increasingly popular methods of dealing with problems today is Inner Healing (also known as healing of memories, or healing for damaged emotions) through the use of visualization. Some of the better known practitioners of this methodology have been: Agnes Sanford, Ruth Carter, Dennis & Rita Bennett, and among Protestant non-charismatics, David Seamands. Seamands' books, Healing for Damaged Emotions and Healing of Memories , are perhaps the standard texts on the subject. These books come highly recommended by Gary Collins, James Dobson and the Narramore Christian Foundation, among others. The books are published by Victor Books (a division of Scripture Press) and have sold over six hundred thousand copies since 1981. Throughout this paper we will examine the teachings and techniques of Inner Healing in the light of Scripture.

The Biblical View of Self-Image
by Gary E. Gilley

The fact is that the self-image movement is neither Biblical nor scientific. It is a fad that will eventually pass away after doing incredible damage in our society and unfortunately in all too many churches. By God's grace and the truth of His Word, believers need not be taken in by Satan's lies. We can choose to live by the infallible, never changing Word of God!

Psychotherapy and Religion
Bob Potter

Therapy lives - okay! But why? There are, of course, spin-offs for the practitioner:
1. Every session convinces him more that his theory is true. The theory always comes first—the ‘understanding' differs according to the viewpoint of the therapist. ...2. The Freudian and Jungian practitioners make lots of money. A typical session of 50 minutes could cost £50 or more. Ideally there will be two or three sessions a week and the process should continue for several years. ...3. The counsellor therapist - client encounter is very much a power relationship. The situation offers a ready opportunity for persons of mediocre knowledge and ability to easily acquire *status' - there is a multitude of courses on offer to every applicant.


A Biblical View of Self-Esteem
An Explanation of New Testament Verses

The attached Bible verse explanations (New Testament and Old Testament) detail how God views us and how we should view ourselves. Taken in proper context, the attached Biblical references clearly indicate that there is no Biblical basis for self-esteem, self-love, self-acceptance, self-confidence, self-forgiveness, self-assertion, "proper" self-image, self-actualization, or any of the other selfisms advocated by the worldly system of psychology.

Can "Christian" Psychology Help Me?

Is it true that Jesus - who is the Word of God and the bread of life - gives those who choose to follow him everything they need to live a life pleasing to God and loving towards others? Is is true that the Holy Spirit provides all the power needed to live a life pleasing to the Lord? "Christian" psychology or counseling is religious peoples attempt to try and 'help' other respectors of religion with their world-centered beliefs, dressed up in biblical words and phrases and calling it all "christ-centered". "Christian" psychologists and counselors simply mix humanistic philosophies with the some of the truth in the scripture. Of course, they would never admit to their primary beliefs being humanistic, for they believe themselves to be both biblical and uniquely enlightened "experts" and "professionals". The false, self-centered beliefs of that which call's itself "Christian Psychology" are ensnaring most people who participate in christianity. The religious system's leaders are entirely embracing the philosophies of christain psychology and are thus hastening both the nullification of Jesus' teachings and thus deepening the deception of the people who submit to them.

Pastor Steven J. Cole
Ho w John Calvin Led me to Repent of Christian Psychology

We don't need psychology. We need the Lord and His Word. I thank the Lord for His servant, John Calvin, who helped me to repent of so-called “Christian” psychology!

A Sermon by Dr. Neil Chadwick: The Christian and Self Esteem
There are many problems with this emphasis on self-esteem. Among other things, the call for self esteem will likely: lead to false praise; produce an unwillingness to give or accept criticism; result in the making of self-serving demands; condition us to adopt an attitude of entitlement; bring about personal comparisons (thinking well of myself is facilitated by thinking less of others); focus on external measurements of worth; and contribute to the misunderstanding that it's important for us to feel good all the time.


Levels of Explanation

Malcom Jeeves.
Lecture delivered in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College, Cambridge on Tuesday, 28th November 2000.

David G. Myers
Articles and Books on Psychology and Religion

By David G. Myers
Wanting More in an Age of Plenty: Our wallets are fat, but our souls are empty.

Article excerpted
from the Book "The American Paradox: Spiritual Hunger in an Age of Plenty"

Christian Psychology
Rich Milne : Christian Psychology: Is Something Missing?
A Review of Larry Crabb's Book "Connecting"
Crabb says, "The center of a forgiven person is not sin. Neither is it psychological complexity. The center of a person is the capacity to connect."

John H. Stoll, Th.M., Ph.D.
Biblical Principles for Christian Maturity - online Book

Harold D. Delaney and Timothy E. Goldsmith: Scientific Psychology and Christian Theism

Christian theism has much to say not only about metaphysical issues, but also about human nature, and what we can know, and how we should think and behave. In many such areas there is overlap with the realm of psychology, and there are numerous points of at least apparent conflict as well as agreement. In the current paper, we attempt to explore some of these points of contact by giving a brief review of scientific psychology from a Christian perspective.

Where Healing Belongs: Return soul care to the local church.
Larry Crabb
"In the end, all counseling—intentionally or not—deals with issues of sanctification. The primary context for healing, then, should be the Christian community, not the antiseptic world of a private-practice therapist."
Put simply, Crabb has had a conversion experience, and his new thinking has direct implications for pastoral work.

Truth Journal
The Mystery of persons and Belief in God
C. Stephen Evans

Portions of this article taken from the Book "The Quest for Faith by C. Stephen Evans". 1986
"There are good reasons for believing in God, even though it seems plausible that a person may be reasonable in believing without such reasons. The reasons can be seen in the pervasive clues or signals that God has provided in human experience. These clues can be presented to form a weighty cumulative case for theism, and that case can be a part of a cumulative case for Christianity. To this evidence we must also add the evidence of religious experience and revelation. The evidence is real and genuine, not coercive to the person who wants to reject it, but easily accessible to the person who is looking for evidence for God".

Psychology’s "Two Cultures": A Christian Analysis
Christian Scholar's Review

Mary Stewart Van LeeuwenIn

In this essay Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen analyzes the stance of Christian psychologists with respect to the "two cultures" in contemporary academic psychology-one of them "positivist and scientistic," the other "post-positivist and humanistic."
" Christians can legitimately use a basic biblical anthropology ... one which recognizes the impact of nature, culture, and human freedom, but places all of these in the context of creational norms, the reality of sin, and the promise of redemption. As they do so, they can (in Evans' words) "join the contemporary conversation and participate in scholarly work, but with a healthy irreverence and suspicion of the contemporary scholarly establishments. [They] need to clearly tell an increasingly secular world what Christians think about human beings, and show them the power of such a perspective."

Christian Psychology and Spiritual Care: Approaches to Ministerial Health
by Beverly K. Yahnke

In what ways have some within the church abdicated appropriate care for self and sheep? What are the perils of neglecting psychological tools? Why is Christian psychology regarded with such suspicion by many (particularly clergy)? What is Christian psychology and how does it differ from secular psychology? What are the limitations of Christian psychology which invite partnership with spiritual care? In what ways can Christian psychologists collaborate with clergy to provide spiritual care?


Copyright ©2007 Nikitas Kafkios