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Eric L. Johnson (USA)                             person and work of Jesus Christ and the uni-

             Is a Christian Psychology                         on of believers to him. The Apostle Paul, for
                                                               example, made many brief comments on psy-
             a Legitimate and Viable                           chological topics related to Christian salvation
                                                               (Roberts, 1995). In comparison with contem-
             Scientific Project?                               porary psychology, biblical teaching relevant to
                                                               psychology and counseling was much less em-
                                                               pirically rigorous, written in everyday language
             As is well-known, the word stem of psychology     for average readers, rather than in a scientific
             comes from the Greek word “psyché,” translated    genre. Nevertheless, the Bible provides Christi-
             “soul” in English, and along with most sciences,   ans with divinely-inspired “spectacles” through
             it adds a suffix derived from the Greek word      which they can interpret God and the world, in-
             “logos,” meaning “word” or “knowledge”, so        cluding human beings. Starting from Scripture,
             etymologically psychology refers to the “study    many Christians in subsequent centuries con-
             of the soul.” Nevertheless, contemporary psy-     tributed to a Christian version of psychology,
             chology is now widely considered to be a secu-    and especially the care of souls, with a pastoral,
             lar, positivistic discipline that since its founding   monastic, or philosophical agenda, influenced
             in the late 1800’s has rejected the existence of   some by previous ancient psychologists like
             metaphysical objects like souls. That is becau-   Plato,  Aristotle,  and  Hippocrates.  Christians
             se a scientific revolution happened in the study   like Augustine, Ireneaus, Gregory of Nyssa, and
             of human beings in the late 1800’s, because of    Augustine in the Early Church; Maximus the
             the appropriation of natural science sensibilities   Confessor, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Thomas
             and  methods,  which  has  led  to  an  enormous   Aquinas in the Middle Ages; and Luther, Pas-
             growth in psychological knowledge since that      cal, Edwards, and Kierkegaard in the Modern
             time. As a result, most psychologists today assu-  era, among many others, composed a substan-
             me that the contemporary form of psychology       tial body of Christian psychological and soul-
             is the only legitimate kind of psychology there   healing literature by the mid-1800’s. However,
             is or can be. Historians of psychology, however,   within 100 years this “old psychology,” based
             know that very different versions can be found    largely on theology and philosophy, had been
             throughout Western cultural history, going        decisively replaced by the “new psychology,”
             back to ancient times (Foucault, 2005; Nuss-      which was based instead on careful empirical
             baum, 1994; Robinson, 1981; Watson & Evans,       observation and methods like the experiment,
             1991), to say nothing of the well-developed       and quantitative analysis.
             psychologies of India and China, and the rela-    Severely complicating this conversion story of
             tively undocumented indigenous psychologies       Western psychology was the “secular revoluti-
             of countless peoples throughout human history.    on” (Smith, 2003) that occurred concurrently
             Philosophers in ancient Greece, like Plato (429-  and was tragically confounded with its remar-
             347, B.C.), Aristotle (382-322, B.C.), and the    kable scientific advances, constituted by the si-
             Stoics, wrote brilliant analyses of the soul, and   multaneous replacement of a Judeo-Christian
             Hippocrates (c. 460-379, B.C.), a Greek physi-    worldview by the worldview of naturalism as
             cian, attempted to describe the biological basis   the dominant set of basic assumptions about
             of mental illness. These early Western intellectu-  reality.
             als attempted to describe psychological aspects   Naturalism is the worldview that assumes that
             of human nature on the basis of personal expe-    only natural entities exist and that beliefs are ju-
             rience, reflection in light of prior thought, and   stified only by the methods of empirical science
             some careful empirical investigation.             (Goetz & Taliaferro, 2008; Post, 1995). As a re-
             More importantly for Christians, the Scriptures   sult, naturalism is especially oriented to the em-
             are saturated with psychological insights and     pirical, the objective, the measurable, and the
             spiritual wisdom and provide a divine frame-      material. All worldview adherents by definiti-
             work for the healing of the soul, based on the    on consider their basic assumptions to be true,

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