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The “Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity: An introduction to Worldview Issues, Philosophical Foundations, and Models of Integration” is a book written by David N. Entwistle and published by Wipf and Stock Publishers in August 2004. As we have known for several years, Psychology and theology have been opposing each other in their thinking perspective concerning basic questions of life and human experiences. In this book, David Entwistle gives a clear case for incorporating Christian faith with the psychological discipline. Entwistle employed two distinct depictions to describe these concepts. He defined psychology as the “Athens or Academy” depicted as the voice of reason (what the scientist do) and described theology as “Jerusalem” depicted as the virtue of faith (Entwistle, 2004). Psychology employs empirical system of study where it employs specific methods for defining physical and behavioral observation of man while theology examines human interpretations of the word of God. During the ancient times of Copernicus and Galileo, the church prosecuted scientists for doubting and questioning the truth found in the Bible.
The science proponents like J.W. Draper disparaged those with faith as being less intellectual. This showed that the two fields differed in some ways proving that there was some enmity between Christians and scientists. Entwistle (2004) provides a thorough look at how the two distinct means of depicting human behavior can be brought together and improved upon. The ultimate aim of this book is actually to let its readers fully familiarize themselves with incorporation of the two disciplines. Entwistle took a lot of his time talking about worldviews. A worldview refers to a window from which a person views the world. It involves assumptions and beliefs that people make about the events (Entwistle, 2004). If an individual has an indistinct worldview, it distorts their thinking. A person’s worldview can help or distort percepts of these two subjects; therefore, it is essential to have a firm worldview with a reliable foundation on rightly interpreted Biblical laws in order to appropriately corporate psychology and theology. Entwistle (2004) outlines that worldviews are more learned than selected and several people are not even conscious of the worldview they hold.
Therefore, he discussed five paradigms for integration. The first is enemies, which encompass both Christian and secular combatants. The combatants do not view any resolution and understanding between theology and psychology. Spies, both foreign and domestic hold all commitment with one way of thought but obtain ideas from the other. They “cherry pick” ideas to use that they feel will be helpful for their own view. Colonialists are individuals who demand for regions they did not work for or discover. Neutral parties have a tendency of minding their own business and staying in their own land while carrying out their own activities. A good example of the neutral parties according to Entwistle (2004) is the Switzerland of philosophies. Lastly, there are those who are allies whose believe in both theology and psychology because they feel both belong to God and thus, ‘all truth is God’s truth.’ Who meant that when assessed together, psychology and theology could light up the human condition better than either could have done personally? Entwistle winded up his work with an account of two books of God that are centered on Bacon's work. He examines the fact that when science and theology do not correspond to it as they often comes down to right interpretation (Entwistle, 2004). In conclusion, Entwistle goes back to the issue of worldview and prejudice and the way they alter our view of the world. The book ends with a sentence, which is worth recalling, and no one can ever wish to forget as we struggle to find out the truth: “We will sometimes have to live with vagueness and unsure, but we assert that God is the author of all truth…..” (Entwistle, 2004, p. 275). Therefore, it is clear that David N. Entwistle’s book is a very fantastic book that tries to bring together theology and psychology subjects that have been both allies and enemies.
I must admit that this book triggered some memories in my life concerning the enmity between Christians and scientists. I recall very well at certain times when I was arguing with my friend about the worldview. Our argument actually begun with the differences in concepts of Christianity and Islam where my friend, Davis defended the Islam religion while as a Christian I was defending the fact that Jesus Christ was crucified on cross for our sins. Davis began by arguing that it was not true in any way that Jesus died on the cross (Entwistle, 2004). Then I noticed that the argument was not leading us to any solution and decided to ask my friend why he was defending Islam religion so much and yet he was not one. I was shocked to hear him respond that he only attempted to prove to me that Christ did not die on the cross and he added on that he also believe that there is nothing like existence of God or devil. He believes that life is just life and nobody controls life.
Any bad accident is caused by bad fate and any victory is just a good luck. Nobody is behind such things. In fact, success comes from hard work while failure is a result of laziness. He believed that human being evolved from baboons and nobody created them. There is nothing like God, in fact those who prays and reads the bible are just wasting their time. I was indeed shocked to hear that from a person I thought was my friend. I stopped arguing with him when I recalled Jesus Christ saying in the film ‘Passion of Christ” that the word of God is for those who believe in Him, who hears the word, meditate upon it and put it in practice (Entwistle, 2004). These people shall see the kingdom of God. I also recalled where the scriptures says that the world contains two seeds of persons; the seed of God and the seed of the devil meaning that only the children of God shall inherit the Kingdom.
Therefore, through this book by Entwistle, I realize that there is a great enmity between the scientists and the Christians especially concerning the beliefs of the two groups. Most scientists do not agree with the fact that God created the world. This argument by my friend, Davis made me to start asking myself several questions in comparison to Entwistle’s book. The first question that rung in my mind was why should there be enmity between Christians and Scientists? Why can’t every person mind his or her own problem? Then I recalled the point that the model of Neutral highlighted by Entwistle, which talked about people who think every person, should just mind his or her own business (Entwistle, 2004). Then another question criss-crossed my mind, just as Entwistle outlined, why did the church persecute scientists during the times of Copernicus and Galileo? Why did the scientist decide to belittle the people with faith as being intellectual? The answer to those questions was that there was a big difference in worldview and interpretation of the truth by Christians and Scientists and that is what caused all the enmity. Now what bothers me most concerning this book is how can psychologists and theologies come to an understanding in their thinking?
I do not think that is possible in fact, the reasons that Entwistle gave out are inferior and unsatisfying. There is no way a scientist can convince a Christian that God does not exist and that human beings exist due to evolution process where they began as apes. I am a Christian and just like any other Christian; I cannot concur with such assumption (Entwistle, 2004). However, the positive thing about the book is that Entwistle states that although most psychologists view the world differently from how the Christians view it, they also support the fact that Christians should pray when in need or in trouble. They also concur with Christians that although they differ on the approach of finding the truth, indeed the “truth comes from God” (Entwistle, 2004, p.260).
Now that I have agreed with the issue brought out by Entwistle that both psychology and theology seek to find the truth about life and the world as a whole, I am going to advice all my friends to look for this book and read it because it acts as the background of bringing the psychologists and Christians together. I am going to communicate to them through the word of mouth and through email so that they may develop interest in it. I have to convince the counselee that Entwistle is very correct in his argument that there is the need to integrate Christians and scientists because that is one way of enhancing peace in the world. I will let him know that both Christians and psychologists are seeking to find the truth concerning the world although they are doing it from different perspectives. The Christians seek to obtain the truth from a biblical point of view where they believe in God as their creator while the scientist seek to find truth from their own reasoning and their perspective of the world. The scientist believe that with secular worldview, science is the only answer while the Christians believe that God is the only answer. Since we can agree on that, then there is no need to be enemies, we ought to be allies. That is the point emphasized by Entwistle in his book where he believes that we can integrate and come together as well as live in peace and unity.
Since I have learned that psychologists and Christians need to integrate and be allies, I will have to change my attitude towards the psychologists and try as much as possible to establish or maintain friendship with friends who are scientists or who wants to be scientists. I will begin with Davis who believes that neither God nor Satan exists (Entwistle, 2004). If every person can read this book and concur with it, then psychology and theology can easily fuse and become one thing in terms of unity among the members.