Integrative Approaches – 1

Our faculty often select a book to discuss together. You may recall that last year we read Kingdom Triangle by J.P. Moreland. This year we are reading Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity by David Entwistle. Entwistle is Chair of the Psychology Department at Malone College in Canton, Ohio.

I met David Entwistle several years ago and had the opportunity in 2003 to present at Malone College. They hold an annual Worldview Forum, and that year the topic was the body. So I presented “What’s a body for? A Christian perspective on our physical existence.” This was in response to the other speaker, Chris Santilli, a hedonist and nudist (and author of Hedonism and Hedonism II), who presented a hedonic view of the body. It was an interesting trip to Ohio, I can assure you.

In any case, back to the book. The first chapter essentially challenges Tertullian’s rhetorical question, “What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” This is the claim that Christian faith is enough, that “human reason and biblical truth are essentially irreconcilable” [p. 11]. Entwistle’s conclusion is that one can be both a Christian and a psychologist, but that integration is best considered “as both a noun and a verb” [p. 19]. Integration is both discovered as something that already exists, and it is also “something we do as we create ways of thinking about, combining, and applying psychological and theological truths” [p. 19].

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