We begin the summer session in a couple of weeks. I teach a 5-week intensive called Integration Capstone. I am going to have the students read two books, the first of which is Coming to Peace with Psychology by Everett Worthington, Jr. This is how the publisher describes the book:
Worthington demonstrates how the tools of experimental psychology shed light on human nature and the nature of God. Because people bear the image of God, the findings of psychological science help us understand both people and God more clearly. Psychological science provides new perspectives on theology and can help us address theological controversies and hot topics. Worthington gives recent examples of illuminating psychological findings, examines the distortions of the image of God through the effects of sin and points to ways that psychology assists Christians in living more virtuously.
Here is an endorsement by David Myers:
Everett Worthington–accomplished psychological scientist, biblically rooted person of faith and professional writer–is the perfect person to assist Christians in coming to peace with today’s psychology. With his conversational voice and dry wit, he introduces us to startling findings, differing perspectives, and evidence-based insights on faith and faithful living. Highly recommended!
Here is a blurb from Warren Brown:
Everett Worthington is a significant scholar and researcher in the field of psychology who presents in this book a thoughtful and personal view of the relationship between psychology and Christian faith. In a winsome and irenic style, he argues for a relational partnership between theology and psychology that neither simplistically pits the fields in a struggle for authority, nor inappropriately intermingles their concepts and ideas. Most importantly, Worthington argues for the value of psychological research in this very important conversation about theological and psychological views of the nature of persons.
The second book we will read is Integrating Faith and Psychology: Twelve Psychologists Tell Their Stories, edited by Glen Moriarty. Here is what the publisher has to say about the book:
In this book we hear about the developmental issues, the sense of calling and the early career insights that shaped their paths. They recount the importance that significant relationships had on their understanding of Christian integration, especially noting the influence of mentors. Struggles and doubts are common human experiences, and the contributors openly share the stresses they encountered to encourage others with similar issues. On a day-to-day basis, we see how spiritual disciplines and the Christian community assist them in their work and in their understanding. Finally, each writer offers a personal note with lessons learned and hard-won wisdom gained.
This second book is helpful because it can foster the students’ sense of their training as part of a larger narrative that is being written about their work in the field. By reading about the lives and careers of other Christians in the field, they can learn about what these other folks have found to be most meaningful in their work and lives. Should lend itself to some good discussions.