My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Review: Integrating Psychology and Faith: Models for Christian Engagement

Integrating Psychology and Faith: Models for Christian Engagement Integrating Psychology and Faith: Models for Christian Engagement by Paul Moes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The was very interesting exploration of what we believe about ourselves with respect to agency/freewill, morality and self. The book is divided into two (2) parts with the first part looking at prevailing concepts and ideas within psychology and the second part looking at the integration between secular and religious approaches to understanding the human person. Each chapter was well explained in accessible language for somebody new to the concepts (without going into too much detail) and summed up with reflections and conclusions as well as questions for discussion.

Part one brings the reader up to speed on a large number of terms and concepts, such as cosmology, ontology, epistemology and teleology, that form the basis for knowing what we know about ourselves with respect to ideas and concepts such as is there free will (or are we completely controlled by environment and physical makeup … with behavior only determined by our firing neurons) … and even how much we can know for certain. What was especially interesting was the exploration of how our own worldview (or bias) is projected into our own understanding of self and how each of the typical worldviews today approach human psychology, with a comparison between what might be termed as secular vs religious influences. Amazingly enough it does an excellent job of explaining different approaches in Christian thought to nature and grace and how they are expected to engage with he world around them.

Part two begins the discussion on how to integrate the views fund in contemporary psychology and contemporary religion to gain a more complete picture and potential a more effective means of behavior modification, beginning with how each engages in reductionism (pro/con) to simply what is arguably a very complex reality. Ultimately there are a lot of terms and ideas that are presented here and if nothing else, you gain a good, layman’s understanding of what science and religion believe about what it means to be human from several different vantage points.

The chapters and sections in this work are:

Part 1 Philosophical Foundations
1. Worldviews and Natural Science Beliefs
2. Worldviews about Human Nature
3. Views in Contemporary Psychology
4. Views in Contemporary Religion

Part 2 Models of Integration
5. Scientific Reductionism
6. Biblical Reductionism
7. Complementary Models
8. Humanizers of Science

Some of the other points that really got my attention are:

Postpositivism. In recent decades, several investigators have become dissatisfied with strict positivism and have moved toward postpositivism. Perhaps the most common form of postpositivism, critical realism, accepts that there is an objective reality that can be discovered but that humans always understand that reality imperfectly.

Another example of teleology influencing psychology comes from the world of therapy. Therapists often differ on the best practices or processes in therapy, but they also differ on what constitutes a good outcome.

Because a person’s religious beliefs impact the way they view knowledge, science, human nature, and the wider society or culture—which in turn influences their view of psychology.

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#IntegratingPsychologyandFaith #NetGalley

View all my reviews

No comments:

My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.