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This article seeks to review and analyze a book by David N. Entwistle called “Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity: An Introduction to Worldview Issues, Philosophical Foundations, and Models of Integration”. Entwistle’s book focuses on the relationship between theology and psychology.
The author looks at the history of the two studies as well as worldviews that arise from these two philosophies. He aims at showing and searching for the distinction between these two issues by using his expertise.
Further, he goes on to demonstrate on how to integrate those beliefs even though many view them as distinct (Entwistle, 2010).
Entwistle looks at theology and psychology in his book as different issues. The two subjects deal with the dimensions of life and human experiences. However, the two have different approaches towards these dimensions.
Psychological approach looks at human beings as the center of understanding human experiences. Conversely, theology places God at the core of understanding the sense of human’s life.
In his book, Entwistle discusses the influence of people’s worldviews in the way they think about everything including these two philosophies. According to him, “Everyone has a worldview – a window through which he or she views the world, assumptions, and beliefs that color what he or she sees” (Entwistle, 2010).
He writes about how people’s personal experiences, education, and culture affect their vision of the world. He adds that individuals construct models that they use to approach this subject. Further, he describes five typical examples of relational approaches that help us in understanding the various models.
He mentions enemies, spies, colonialists, neutral parties, and allies as the five paradigms. The author describes enemies as individuals who do not visualize the reconciliation between the two philosophies.
He talks of spies as people who hold allegiance to either philosophy but accommodate some components from the other philosophy. Entwistle describes colonialists as the ones who claim territory that they do not deserve.
Further, he portrays neutral parties as those who do not take either side. Finally, he talks of allies as individuals who accept the two philosophies and aim to understand how the two integrate under the God.
When concluding, Entwistle discusses the ways of finding balance in people’s lives. He says that accepting the theology and psychology combined is twice effective to an individual as compared to following just one study of concepts.
“Taken together, psychology and theology can illuminate the human condition better than an individual entity” (Entwistle, 2010).
After reading this book, I have recollected an experience I had in a local animal park, which relates to conflict of the two studies under review. I was looking around when I saw an elephant that looked amazing. The sight of this beautiful animal captivated me.
I appreciated the diverse way God created the world and thanked him for that. I went on to see other animals in the park. On my way back, I passed on the other side of the perimeter so I could take pictures of the elephant I had seen earlier. Something looked wrong from that angle. The elephant looked different.
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The skin seemed different, and I noticed the animal was ill. This dismayed me a lot. I asked myself, “Why have I thought this beast was beautiful? I am sure it will die soon.”
Later I realized that I had based my views on my experience. Therefore, I concluded that an individual can see something and completely acknowledge God’s work or can criticize something based on psychology.
This book raises many questions to the reader. For instance, I question the reason why the author does not mention the Holy Spirit. The Bible mentions the role that the Holy Spirit plays in individuals, which includes giving people understanding, wisdom, and guidance.
I expected that the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit would be a major part of consideration, when referring to theology.
The Bible mentions that the Holy Spirit manifests in individuals and helps them discern and make informed decisions. Therefore, the author should have addressed the influence of the Holy Spirit in the theology how it affects integration process.
One can consider this book as effective in attaining the intended purpose. It helps the readers understand the two studies. Further, it helps the reader understand the integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity. The arguments that the author considers are concrete and have good foundations. Overall, the contents of this book are relevant and applicable.
Nonetheless, Entwistle’s book has several shortcomings. Biasness of the author is evident in the way he refers to scholars who do not support theology, such as Sigmoid Freud. Further, the author bases his work on two sources, the Bible and the real world, and places them on the same level, which should not be the case.
The views of Entwistle’s book are important and applicable. This book has increased my knowledge on the approaches to psychology and theology. Therefore, I have decided that I would accommodate psychology to Christianity.
I will rely on integrating the two studies to make decisions. This is because they both combined are more effective than using only one’s concepts. This way I will have a more open-minded view on the real life issues. Consequently, this will contribute positively to my personal growth.
Entwistle, D. (2010). Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity: An Introduction to Worldview Issues, Philosophical Foundations, and Models of Integration (2nd ed.). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.