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logical  theory-building  that  is  foundationally   Translation of Modern Psychology Truth into
             and explicitly Christian. Not only will this ho-  a Christian Psychology
             nor God, but it will give us a more accurate and   Yet Christian psychology should not and need
             complete picture of human beings. For instance,   not do everything itself. So it is very interested
             classic social psychology studies on conformity   in the work of modern psychology. Wherever
             and obedience have frequently focused on how      modern  psychologists  have  done  good  work
             these features of social life can lead to negative   (that is, work that is not very distorted by secu-
             consequences  such  as  aggression,  also  a  con-  larism), Christians should receive it with grati-
             cern  to  Christians.  However,  with  Christian   tude (1Tim. 4:4–6). As Kuyper (1898) has said,
             assumptions of human nature Christians may        “What has been well done by one need not be
             more  readily  recognize  the  positive  role  con-  done again by you” (p. 159). This probably ap-
             formity and obedience can play in establishing    plies to most of modern psychology.
             and maintaining order in culture. Some Chri-
             stian  psychology  theory-building  has  begun    At the same time, in another sense, what is left
             regarding the emotions (Elliott, 2006; Roberts,   out is everything (the triune God and his sal-
             2008),  personality  (Spiedell,  2002),  Christian   vation and a Christian anthropology)! So, just
             postformal  cognitive  development  (Johnson,     how  much  a  modern,  secular  perspective  is
             1996),  happiness  (Charry,  2010),  and  Soren   distorting the psychological topic in a text or
             Kierkegaard’s psychology (Evans, 1990).           lecture will have to be carefully evaluated eve-
                                                               ry time. This requires reading, critiquing, and
             Second,  this  means  doing  empirical  research   wrestling  with  secular  theories,  research,  and
             that is grounded in the Christian faith, for ex-  clinical practice that may on the surface seem
             ample, studying the attribution beliefs of Chri-  reasonable  and  appropriate,  but  analyzed  in
             stians, indwelling sin, stages of spiritual deve-  the light of the Christian faith are found to fall
             lopment,  the  identity  and  self-representations   short  of  God’s  comprehensive  understanding.
             (like old self/new self) of Christians, true sha-  Because of modern psychology’s commitment
             me  and  guilt,  Christian  perfectionism,  same-  to study empirical reality rigorously, combined
             sex attraction and gender disorders, and so on,   with its secular orientation, there will generally
             all  from  a  Christian  perspective.  So  far  Chri-  be fewer sins of commission than of omission.
             stian  psychologists  have  begun  to  investigate   That  is,  from  a  Christian  standpoint,  the  pri-
             just a few psychological topics like beliefs about   mary problem of modern psychology is what is
             sin (Watson, Morris, Loy, Hamrick, & Grizzle,     left out, because modern psychologists do not
             2007), beliefs about grace (Sisemore, et al, 2010;   share  the  pretheoretical  assumptions  necessa-
             Watson, et al, 2010), Christian wisdom (Kwon,     ry to recognize features of human beings that
             2009), distinctly Christian therapy (Aten, Hook,   Christians do, like the image of God, sin, and
             Johnson, & Worthington, 2011), Christian post-    the activity of God.
             formal cognitive development (Johnson, 1998),
             and  Christian  self-representation  (Johnson  &   To oversimplify, the Christian student of psy-
             Kim, unpublished manuscript).                     chology will sometimes have to “translate” the
                                                               understandings  of  modern  psychology  into  a
             Finally, this means developing distinctly Chri-   Christian  psychology  language-system.  This
             stian models of counseling and psychotherapy.     requires  a  good  understanding  of  Christian
             More  work  has  probably  been  done  by  Chri-  psychology, the modern psychology concept of
             stians in this area of psychology than any. For   interest, and practice in such translation work.
             example, there are models of transformational     Concepts that are little distorted (like “neuron”)
             psychology (Coe & Hall, 2010), Catholic psy-      should be simply brought over into a Christian
             chotherapy (Dilsaver, 2009; Zeiders, 2004), Or-   psychology; whereas concepts that are antithe-
             thodox  psychotherapy  (Chrysostomos,  2007),     tical to a Christian psychology should be rejec-
             Reformed  counseling  and  psychotherapy          ted  (like  Maslow’s  notion  of  “self-actualizati-
             (Johnson, 2007), and many others.                 on”). Most modern psychology understandings

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