Monday, October 5, 2015
The Psychologizing of the Christian Faith
The primary reason scores of people are no longer attending church is the church’s departure from the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. When men believed in the authority and sufficiency of Scriptures, Christianity flourished as God blessed the church. However, in the mid-nineteenth century, a movement to replace divine revelation with man’s philosophies arose. Man’s ideas and his ability to understand his world through science, philosophy, and psychology became the new standard. The wisdom of man replaced divine revelation. Modern science and education discredited the old beliefs so people retreated from the Bible as the banner of absolute truth. Christians talk more about the preacher’s scholarship, knowledge of science and psychology rather than piety and knowledge of biblical doctrine. Doctrine was seen as divisive and, as such, was no longer important or emphasized. At the same time the authority of the Bible was being attacked; men like Darwin and Freud were being lauded. The church was well on its way to compromising the teachings of Scripture in favor of modern views. It was in this context that psychology, with its plethora of schools and theories, began to shape the church, shifting its beliefs away from the Word.
Beginning in the mid-1950s, with an ever increasing number of books being written on the subject, evangelicals made friends with psychology. Psychology was touted as an adjunct to and servant of the faith. Properly appropriated, psychology would enhance pastoral ministry and induce spiritual growth and maturity. Christian psychologists asked, “How can we apply Scripture to an individual when he does not even know himself?” Psychology would supposedly give man insights about himself so he could then apply the right Scripture. However, the theory had hidden problems.. Self became the focus and the servant psychology became the master. The attempt to integrate psychology with Christianity turned into an overt psychologizing of the Christian faith.
David Tyler & Kurt Grady, Deceptive Diagnosis: When SIN is called SICKNESS, pg.107