The key difference [between integration and Christian psychology] is how much we claim we can construct of a complete psychology from the Scriptures and Christian tradition and resources. Furthermore, some integrationists conclude that extracting one unified system of psychology from the entirety of the works of church history seems impossible, a conclusion that, ironically, even some Christian psychologists seem to acknowledge. With these differences in mind, a basic conclusion can be drawn that all Christian psychologists are, to some degree, those who practice a form of integration, but as systems of counseling, integration and Christian psychology are distinct. Christian psychology differs from classic integration by drawing distinctions in regard to goal of the system, the manner of integration, and the use of secular psychological research.
Integration and Christian Psychology Comparison Chart Christian psychology rightly observes that true “psychology” is not so much the professional, modern, scientific discipline that is thought of today but simply refers to the study of human beings.
Christian psychology is a relatively new movement, but its followers rightly point out that a uniquely “Christian” understanding of persons began with the writing of the Bible itself and was later developed by various authors throughout church history. This observation is important for understanding CP since its authors often refer to Christian writers in church history as “psychologists.” Utilizing the term “psychologist” to describe ancient Christian authors may seem odd to modern readers who think of a psychologist as a modern day professional in the mental health care field.
But Christian psychologists use the term “psychology” in a broad, general sense, referencing any study, insight, or reflections regarding the human condition.
First, CP is built upon a faulty view of the Scriptures.
Though Christian psychology rightly notes the need for proper presuppositions, it stumbles out of the gate in the area of bibliology.It requires the comprehensive study of the Bible as a primary source for “true” psychology, but also requires the careful reading of major theological and philosophical works of church history. In the integrationist model, biblical theology and some principles from secular psychology are integrated together. At first glance, Christian psychology does not seem to be distinct from integration, but there are three key differences.While no comprehensive, systematic Christian psychology work has yet been produced, the authors previously mentioned have all offered contributions toward this goal. Second, Christian psychologists strive to develop empirical research pursuits that derive from a distinctly Christian worldview. First, Christian psychologists seek to form their system of Christian psychology primarily from the Bible and works from church history, with only minimal reference to systems of modern, secular psychology. Roberts explains: Christian psychology starts with the ideas and practices already established by centuries of Christian tradition, and it develops psychological concepts and practices from these with a minimum of reference to or influence from the psychologies of the twentieth century. In contrast, Christian integrationists seek to examine and extract psychological and psychotherapeutic principles and insights from many sources, including the modern psychologies. This does not mean that Christian psychologists are against or do not practice integration.by Keith Palmer Christian Psychology (CP) is a unique form of psychology which seeks to develop a distinctly Christian model for understanding the human condition.CP represents one of several ways that Christians have attempted to think about the connection between Christianity and psychology. Today, CP does not describe an established Christian system of psychological understanding so much as it represents a loose movement of psychologists, counselors, theologians, and Christian philosophers who seek to develop such a psychology.-17), it would be backward to expect the Scriptures to conform to modern psychological terminology and categories anyway.Furthermore, with this more general definition of “psychology” in mind, rich resources of insight regarding human nature may be re-discovered in works like those of the English Puritans, who wrote deeply and biblically about the human condition. Christian psychology has also shed light on the all-too ignored problem of presuppositions in psychological systems.Utilizing Scripture and works from Christian writers of the past, psychologically-informed Christians seek to glean principles for understanding human nature and then systematize these findings into a comprehensive system of psychology.Roberts and Watson write: Much of the foundational work in Christian psychology will therefore require a careful rereading of Scripture, in the light of some of the great Christian psychologists of the subsequent past (Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal, Kierkegaard), by people who are familiar with contemporary psychology and can therefore sniff out a biblical psychology that effectively speaks to current circumstances. This task of retrieval is two-tiered. Morris are representative of Christian psychologists who have led and published research efforts of this nature. Integration refers to a related but different system for understanding the relationship between Christianity and psychology.Eric Johnson writes, “So if we define psychology broadly as a rigorous inquiry into human nature and how to treat its problems and advance well-being, Christians have been thinking and practicing psychology for centuries.” Hence, the followers of CP identify many authors throughout Christian history who wrote about the human condition and contribute to a Christian understanding of psychology.Johnson traces the emergence of the modern Christian psychology movement initially to the writings of Christian philosophers Soren Kierkegaard, and later to C.