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Psychology of Worldviews (12) (ELCA)

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Notes for:

Christian PerspectiveEdit

The Soul and Fallen Human NatureEdit

  • Mind/Body Dualism – the belief that the mind and the body exist as separate entities. The mind is not mere matter.

For the Christian, something more than the physical brain – something spiritual or supernatural – must exist.

"The basic psychological problem is trying to be what we are not and trying to carry what we cannot carry. Most of all the basic problem is not willing to be the creature we are before the Creator."

Francis Schaeffer

In order to understand human nature properly, the psychologist must understand that we have a natural tendency to revolt against God and His laws.

"The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good."

Psalm 14:1

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

Jeremiah 17:9

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

Romans 3:23

"as it is written: 'None is righteous, no, not one;'"

Romans 3:10

Christian psychology sees men and women as not only physical, but also spiritual; as morally responsible before God; as created in God's image; and as having rebelliously turned away from their Creator. Only Christianity is prepared to face the problem that necessarily arises out of our nature; the existence of guilt.

GuiltEdit

Both Humanists and Marxists speak only of "Psychological Guilt" because for them only society is evil – people do nothing individual that would incur actual guilt. Christianity understands our nature, including why the guilt arises and how to deal with it. While other schools of thought must invent fancy terms to explain away the existence of guilt as the result of real sin, Christian psychology deals with the problem at its roots – the human heart, soul, and mind. We must stress moral responsibility. Without this responsibility, we may deny any real guilt caused by our sins and thereby avoid the heart of our problem – our alienation from God.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

I John 1:9

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

II Corinthians 5:17 - 21

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

James 5:16

"Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I Thessalonians 5:23

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.


Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
'My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.'

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

Hebrews 12:1 - 11

The Problem with SufferingEdit

Christian psychology believes that God can use suffering to bring about positive changes. For the non-Christian, suffering is a harsh reality that must be avoided at all costs; for the Christian suffering may be used by God to discipline and lead us – indeed, Christians are sometimes called to plunge joyously in suffering in obedience to God.

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

– Hebrews 12:7 - 11

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly instigated men who said, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God." And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and they set up false witnesses who said, "This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us." And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

And the high priest said, "Are these things so?" And Stephen said:

"Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, 'Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.' Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect—that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. 'But I will judge the nation that they serve,' said God, 'and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.' And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.

"And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

"But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.

"When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, 'Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other?' But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?' At this retort Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

"Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.' And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.'

"This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?'—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 'God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.' This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us. Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, saying to Aaron, 'Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:

"'Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices,
during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
You took up the tent of Moloch
and the star of your god Rephan,
the images that you made to worship;
and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.'

"Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,

"'Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is the place of my rest?
Did not my hand make all these things?'

"You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it."

Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

– Acts 6:8 - 7:60

Fruit of the SpiritEdit

This is how the world should view us as, those in the fruit of the spirit. Christians are to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

– Galatians 5:22-23

"(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),"

– Ephesians 5:9

"You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

– Matthew 7: 16 – 20

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

– Romans 8:7 - 8

"Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them."

– Ephesians 5:11

Society and the IndividualEdit

Christian psychology's view of human nature grants each individual moral responsibility, works to reconcile him or her with God, and gives meaning to suffering. For Marxist and Humanist, society must be changed in order for humanity to do right. For the Christian, the individual must change for the better before society can. Blaming individual sins on society is a cop-out.

Islamic PsychologyEdit

Human NatureEdit

Muslims believe that the original religion of humanity is Islam and thus every human being is born a Muslim

"Then set your face upright for religion in the right state – the nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah's creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know –"

– The Quràn: The Romans (30:30)

Man is born in a natural state of purity.

Islam harmonizes with Humanism, Marxism, and Postmodernism about being born sinless.

Fall of HumanityEdit

According to Islam, Adam and Eve's sin was only a "slip-up" and was completely forgiven after their repentance. It had no further effect on the nature of man and the rest of creation.

"Man is not born a sinner and the doctrine of sinfulness of man has no place in Islam."

– Badru D. Kateregga

Islamic SalvationEdit

"Each person must bear his own burden and be responsible for his actions, because no one can expiate for another's sins."

– Hummada Abdalati
  • Expiate – removal of sin from the sinner.

Secular Humanist PsychologyEdit

  • Psychological Monism – the belief that the mind and the body exist as part of the same entity, i.e. the mind is a part of the material body.

Are We Good or Evil?Edit

"As far as I know we just don't have any intrinsic instincts for evil.

– Abraham Maslow

Why do good people do bad things?


Secular Humanist psychology blames social influences rather than the individual. Maslow explains that our good impulses "are easily warped by culture – you never find them in their pure state."

Hierarchy of NeedsEdit

  • Hierarchy of Needs – A theory contending that as we meet our basic needs, we seek to satisfy successively higher needs.
Hierarchy of Needs
  • Self-Actualization – the highest level of a person's potential and the ultimate goal of Maslow's "hierarchy of needs".

ConclusionEdit

  1. We are good by nature and therefore perfectible.
  2. Society and it's social institutions are responsible of for the evil we do.
  3. Mental health can be restored to those who get in touch with their inner (good) self.

Marxist-Leninist PsychologyEdit

  • Traditional Behaviorism – a branch of psychology which asserts that human behavior can be reduced into terms of principles that do not require consideration of unobservable mental events, such as ideas, emotions, and a mind.
  • Conditional Reflexes – animals can learn to respond in specific, predetermined ways when exposed to certain stimuli. (Ivan Pavlov)

Marxist hold society responsible to regulate us. This regulation exposes us to the proper stimuli that will elicit proper behavior. The stimuli is found only in the communist society that regulates us to be faithful to the collective and to the internationalism.

Cosmic Humanist PsychologyEdit

Higher Consciousness – the ever increasing awareness of one's spiritual essence and the underlying spiritual nature ins all things.

"Health and disease don't just happen to us. They are active processes issuing from inner harmony or disharmony..."

– Marilyn Ferguson

Postmodern PsychologyEdit

"All ideas about human reality are social constructions"

– Walter Truett Anderson

"Man is a culture being, not a natural being.

– Allan Bloom

This is the belief that one's identity is constantly chanding as a result of everchanging social factors. This ideology was developed by Jacques Lacan, a French psychologist.

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