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Integrating Psychology, Family Systems Theories, and Theology, Thesis Paper Example

Pages: 19

Words: 5311

Thesis Paper

Part A: Epistemology.

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, in essence. Specifically, it is a branch of philosophy concerned with the problem of attempting to ascertain what can be known and how (Moreland and Craig 71). This is of no small moment: after all, beliefs may be accurate or inaccurate; therefore, it is of the most foundational importance to ascertain which beliefs are true and which false (71). Epistemology analyzes knowledge itself, attempting to ascertain what can and cannot be truly known (71). In so doing, it engages with the problem of skepticism, posing the question as to whether one may truly have knowledge or justified belief, and if so, how. Is it possible to “know” something even if one is not completely, entirely sure one is correct? (71). This is an important aspect of epistemology as well.

Epistemology concerns itself also with the nature of the sources for knowledge and justified belief, and the scope thereof (Moreland and Craig 71). Moreland and Craig explain that there are different kinds of knowledge: the five senses grant us perceptual knowledge, but there may be other types of knowledge as well (71-72). For example, memories are a source of knowledge about the past, and introspection can be a source of knowledge about one’s own internal, mental states (72). One may also have knowledge about the inner lives of other people; knowledge of “logic, mathematics, metaphysics, morality,” and, of course, God (72). Epistemology concerns itself also with the criteria by which knowledge may be justified. In other words, what is the basis for a given belief? How can it be confirmed or falsified? (72).

Modernism is somewhat difficult to define exactly, though postmodernism is much more so. In essence, modernism consists of crucial developments in Western thought that began as far back as the early Renaissance, in the 14th century, and progressed through the Age of Reason in the 17th century, the Enlightenment in the 18th century, and the Enlightenment’s philosophical progeny in the 19th century (Moreland and Craig 145). As such, modernism has given rise, in relatively modern times, to both egalitarian and libertarian liberalism, and modern Western democracies draw heavily from one or often both of these (Asselin 23).

As Wellum explains, modernism shares with Christianity the conviction that there is objective, universal truth (162). Where Enlightenment-era modernism broke with Christianity, however, was with regard to epistemology: beginning especially in the Enlightenment, many modernist thinkers rejected the Scriptures and divine revelation as a source of truth (162). As Wellum explains, the project of modernism thus became the subsuming of “all truth claims, whether philosophical or religious, under the ‘authority’ of human reason independent of God’s Word” (162). Proctor concurs, finding in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment modernism a central preoccupation with the concept of ‘the death of God’ (58). Modernism, then, seeks to dethrone God and the Scriptures as the source of truth, including all conceptions of meaning, value, and right and wrong (58). With man exalted as the measure of all things, modernism promoted philosophies such as the utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill, which advocates a standard of right and wrong based on the greatest good for the greatest number of people (59).

One of the most important contemporary philosophical excrescences of modernism is scientific realism. As Moreland and Craig explain, scientific realism rose from a rather marginal position in philosophy in the first half of the twentieth century, to become the dominant paradigm among contemporary philosophers of science (328). The core tenets of scientific realism are that scientific theories “are true or approximately true”; that the most important terms of a mature scientific theory “genuinely refer to entities in the world”; that when given the choice between two rival theories, one may have valid grounds for determining which of the two is more likely to be correct—in other words, rationality is objective; only true or approximately true scientific theories will embody such epistemic virtues as “simplicity, clarity… predictive success” and the like, and that through the enterprise of science, knowledge about the true state of the world is advanced (328).

Postmodernism is the great antithesis of modernism in almost every way. While postmodernism is if anything far more diverse and heterogeneous than modernism, it is relatively easy to delineate certain general characterizations that hold true across the postmodernist spectrum. One of the most important of these is that unlike Christianity and modernism, postmodernism rejects metaphysical realism, the idea that there is an actual reality independent of language or theories (Moreland and Craig 145). As such, postmodernism is antirealist, arguing that “reality” is a social construction: in essence, what is “real” for one linguistic group/culture/belief community may quite easily not be “real” for another (145). Thus, for the postmodernist, it is entirely natural to conclude that while God may be “real” for the Christian believer, he is not “real” for the postmodernist! (145).

Postmodernism, then, generally emphasizes pluralism and relativism, even and especially cultural and personal relativism (Proctor 15). Beyond this, again, it is considerably difficult to actually grasp what postmodernism is, since by its very nature it is elusive, slippery, and in constant flux (15). To the degree that postmodernism has an essence, it is a principle called “deconstruction” (15). As Groothius explains, for the postmodernist, deconstruction means that “truth does not lodge in statements that correspond to reality” (60). Since the postmodernist has abandoned any aspiration or hope of discovering an objective, independent external (or internal) reality, what remains is the quest for culturally- and linguistically-sited, context-specific, meaning and “truth” (Proctor 15). Ipso facto, truth, rather than being absolute and “true” in the sense in which the term is generally used, is defined and ‘constructed’ by individuals and by communities, primarily through language (Groothius 60).

To the degree that postmodernism can be said to have a foundation, it is this principle of deconstruction, a fact that goes a long way toward explaining the complex, shifting, often contradictory labyrinth of postmodernism itself. Given the patently and obviously unbiblical nature of postmodernism, in many ways even more unbiblical than the modernism against which it rose in revolt, it might well be thought that postmodernism would be near-universally regarded as anathema within the church. Alas, this is not the case: as Groothius explains, Brian McLaren’s popular book A New Kind of Christian has emerged as a prominent call within the church for a Christian synthesis with postmodernism (59). The essence of McLaren’s argument is that the church has put on the mantle of modernism, adopting the ‘dogma’ that truth is objective, and must reject this for postmodernism in order to, in effect, reinvent itself for the times (60). Since truth is a matter of perspective in the postmodernist credo, the church can and should claim that the Scriptures are “true” for Christians—and anyone who might like to become a Christian—while abandoning the hubris of claiming exceptionalism, i.e. claiming that Christianity and its Scriptures are actually true (60-61). The benefits of doing so, according to McLaren, would be that the church would escape the problem of having to defend the Scriptures against modern science, thereby neatly side-stepping the many battles between science and faith that have erupted over the past two centuries or so, and would make itself more attractive to contemporary sensibilities in the process (60-61).

What course to chart, then, between the credos of modernism, especially its contemporary scientific realist incarnation, and postmodernism, with its extreme relativism? First and foremost, I unequivocally adhere to metaphysical realism, the idea of an external reality. I believe that this reality can be encountered and experienced by means of the human senses and capacities for reason. But what of truth-claims pertaining to theistic, specifically Christian, belief? Here I find Plantinga’s argument for the post-lapsarian workings of the Holy Spirit with respect to our innate sensus divinitatis a compelling one (Anderson 33-34, Beilby 188, Moreland and Craig 164). Inasmuch as our post-lapsarian, sinful state renders us incapable of a full operation of the sensus divinitatis, the God-given ‘sense’ by means of which we may experience God, God rectified this through the scriptures, through the saving work of Christ, and then by the sending of the Holy Spirit (Beilby 188, Moreland and Craig 164). Ipso facto, the Holy Spirit-mediated sensus divinitatis constitutes a faculty as innate and natural to us as cognition, or any of the five senses (Beilby 188, Moreland and Craig 164-165).

Thus, by the operation of the Spirit, we have a source of spiritual knowledge that can confirm the truth of the holy Scriptures. This, of course, is of considerable import to the project of integration, inasmuch as it recognizes the importance of disparate sources of knowledge: the senses and the ‘natural’ faculties lending information in accordance with their operations, the God-given inner witness of the Holy Spirit imparting insight and knowledge by those means (McGrath 51). When the two seem to conflict, it must needs be that either I have misinterpreted the one or the other, or both, or else that I must disregard the witness of my fallible senses in favor of that of the Holy Spirit.

B. General Revelation and Special Revelation.

Concerning general revelation and special revelation, it must needs be said that whilst they two are not of a piece, consisting of different aspects of the revelatory work of God by means of the Holy Spirit, nonetheless in their operations they affect an overall revelatory whole. To wit, general or natural revelation: in nature, the creation, the workings of God are made manifest in the great work of creation itself (Berkhof 128, Sproul 26). For the believer, this can provide many an opportunity to joy in the wondrous works of the Almighty: the great canvas of nature is revealed as the creative masterpiece of a loving and creative God.

As Newell explains in Christ of the Celts, precisely such a healthy appreciation for general revelation pervaded the Celtic Christianity which took root and flowered in the soils of that land of the Gaels, the Emerald Isle, after the missionary enterprise of Saint Patrick (Patricius), during precisely the same period when the Dark Ages were descending upon Western Europe with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire (123-125). There is a tremendous poignancy to this praise of the works of God in nature as presented by Newell, both in Christ of the Celts and Listening to the Heartbeat of God. In the latter book, he explains how another icon of the Celtic tradition, Pelagius, found God in nature (10). As Pelagius urged a friend: “’There is no creature on earth in whom God is absent… The presence of God’s spirit in all living things is what makes them beautiful’” (qtd. in Newell “Listening” 10).

General revelation, then, can be profoundly spiritual, and lead one to a genuine worship of God. However, it does not of necessity do so, inasmuch as general revelation is addressed to all mankind and is thus universal, although not all have chosen to heed it (Sproul 26). General revelation is communicated by God, and is thus true revelation, but it is communicated in the presence of nature, rather than by means of a direct word or thought from God, by means of the working of the Holy Ghost (Grenz 133). As such, general revelation, as Grenz explains, is noetic rather than salvific: it is meant to impart knowledge of God, but it is insufficient, in and of itself, to impart a saving knowledge of God, although it may point some people in the right direction (133). General revelation is available to all, and by means of it anyone can use their faculties of reasoning to ascertain the existence of a creator, God. In fact, in Romans 1:19-20, the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that God is known by means of general revelation, and those who deny him do so willfully (Forlines 35). Simply put, by means of general revelation, everyone rightfully knows of the existence of God, though some have chosen to suppress it (35). However, general revelation can scarcely, in and of itself, lead one to the conclusion that the Creator is the Triune God of Scripture, who sent his son Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, to be incarnated, and to die on the cross and be raised on the third day for the remission of sins. For this, one must turn to special revelation.

In her treatise called Interior Castle, Saint Teresa de Avila relates a series of visions given to her by God. She recounts visions of seven “mansions”, each more splendid than the last, by means of which the believer can draw closer to God and bathe in his light. The journey starts with self-knowledge and humility—and crucially, it starts with someone who is already a believer. “As I see it, we shall never succeed in knowing ourselves unless we seek to know God: let us think of His greatness and then back to our own baseness” (14). What this beautiful treatise offers is a guide to opening one’s self all the more to God’s special revelation, which is very different from general revelation in many ways, while being complementary with it in others. For unlike general revelation, special revelation is found not in the creation, but in the presence of the Creator himself.

Special revelation is fundamentally embodied in Scripture as the Word of God (Berkhof 133). As special revelation, the Scriptures—and the working of the Holy Spirit that awakens in us an awareness of our sin and the need for repentance and salvation—are the means by which we may come to a true and saving knowledge of God (133). Special revelation is special in the sense that it is the active working of God: it is his Word, and it is the working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of mankind. Special revelation is also special in the sense that it gives specific, vital information about who God is, who we are, and the history of God’s dealings with humanity. Thus, by means of special revelation, we can know that God is Triune, that man is sinful, and that God sent his son, Jesus, also God and the second person of the Trinity, to be a sacrifice for the remission of our sins. We can know also of the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting us and bringing us to God, as well as maturing us in our faith, and of the last day and the joys of paradise in the New Heaven, etc. (Bloesch 62, Stone and Duke 73).

Thus, while general revelation may bring a person some knowledge of God, it is special revelation that brings a saving knowledge of God, and teaches one the doctrines of the true faith (Kärkkäinen 19-25, Sproul 27). By now, another important difference between general and special revelation is manifest: while general revelation reaches all, even if they deny it, special revelation does not reach all, even though like general revelation it is altogether suitable and fit and needful for all (27). Special revelation is also necessary if one is to really engage in much of any theology. After all, without special revelation, there is no saving knowledge of the need for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ: this special revelation is necessary before one can begin to grapple with the theological questions regarding what Christ’s sacrifice means (Stone and Duke 73-74).

This is also why it is necessary to spread special revelation as far as possible, in accordance with the Great Commission (Stone and Duke 75). Since only by means of special revelation can people be saved, it is special revelation that must needs have priority in witnessing the Gospel, that we may be good stewards of the mystery of God’s working which he has committed to us (Bloesch 62-63). And yet, it may also be efficacious to use general revelation in spreading the Word, as a starting point for those who may not yet be ready to receive the Gospel message. This is because the relationship between general and special revelation is mutualistic and interdependent: the two, while not the same, both work to proclaim God in different ways that help to enhance each other.

C. “Spirituality” in Psychology.

            As used in psychology, “spirituality” refers to humanity’s search for, and experience of, the transcendent (Nelson 8). At one time, not so very long ago, it was not fashionable to seek to incorporate spirituality into psychology, nor psychology into spirituality. In more recent decades, however, a fruitful encounter has taken place, as psychologists have come to recognize the true importance of spirituality to the human experience (Carter and Narramore 9-11). Spirituality arguably encompasses four cardinal themes, the first being “a source of values and ultimate meaning or purpose beyond the self, including a sense of mystery and self-transcendence” (Nelson 8). What this means is that for the individual who experiences spirituality, there is a sense of something above and beyond the self, greater than the self, something that gives one value and meaning in life (8). This is absolutely foundational to every kind of spirituality, as found in religions worldwide.

Secondly, spirituality provides “a way of understanding” (Nelson 8). Spirituality provides people with the means to make sense of their world, the means to interpret and understand events, and the cosmos itself. Thus, spirituality has profound explanatory power, as a system by means of which the individual can explain phenomena in the world about them. Thirdly, spirituality provides inner awareness: it gives the adherent a means of looking within them in order to discover new things about themselves (8). Finally, it gives them personal integration, something that seems to be particularly important: spirituality provides a way of connecting one’s sense of self, complete with all the insights with which one’s spirituality provides one, to other people, all within an overarching framework providing meaning and purpose (8). The importance of this cannot be overstated: spirituality is a way of being.

It is therefore worthwhile to ascertain whether or not spirituality is important to an understanding of psychological well-being. What effects, if any, does spirituality have on the psyche? A growing body of evidence suggests that spirituality is a very important aspect of human experience, speaking in terms of ability to adapt and flourish and relate to one’s fellow human beings. As Galanter et al. explain, the mere fact that spirituality is important to so many patients—including not only Christian believers, but also Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and many others—is ample grounds for including it in a regimen of care for those patients (81-82). A key point is that if psychiatric treatment is truly to work, it must promote hope: the patient must genuinely believe that they have a reason to try to get better (81). For many people, as these authors observe, those answers can be found in faith, aka spirituality: their faith provides them with what they need to feel a sense of hope for the future, a sense that even if they feel they lack control, they are in the hands of a higher power (81-82).

This can be a profound source of hope, Galanter et al. explain, which is why practitioners must work to maximize its efficacy (81-83). They found that a key starting point is the creation of discussion groups, wherein participants can share how they have used spirituality to help them cope with illness (83). The idea here is that by sharing with each other, the patients can help to encourage each other, thereby promoting a better sense of wellness and peace (83-85). Of course, even the strongest of believers can profit from encouragement, so this is a good idea, and it highlights the communal and relational aspect of spirituality as well (85). Thus, by integrating spirituality into treatment, helping professionals in the clinical setting can promote patient wellbeing and best outcomes for treatment.

Spirituality has also been tied to coping mechanisms for everyday life. In a study of African-descent Canadian women in Nova Scotia, Canada, Beagan, Etowa, and Bernard found that they used spirituality as a means of overcoming stressors associated with racism directed against them (103). In studies of African-American communities, the authors explain, the role of spirituality as a coping mechanism for dealing with the stressors of racism has been well-documented: in particular, the socio-political ties to liberation and survival (105). The African-Canadian community in Nova Scotia has similar roots and has had similar experiences with racism and marginalization, and much like African-American communities, the church is centrally important (106).

Beagan et al. found that the African-Canadian women reported considerable stressors from racism of a variety of kinds, from blatant discrimination and bigotry to the more common forms of everyday racism (110-112). And yet, almost all of the participants in the study expressed strong spiritual convictions, citing “spiritual readings, periods of devotion or prayer, and listening to spiritual music such as gospel music” as means of coping with the stressors of racism (112). Only two participants did not go to church, but they considered themselves to be quite “spiritual” all the same (113). Overall, the study identified spirituality as integral to how these women coped, and found that it provided them with very effective coping mechanisms indeed (114).

Labbe and Fobes studied whether spirituality mediated reactions to stress, as well as comparisons of “trait anger, neuroticism, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and openness to experience” (141). The prediction was that since spirituality is such an important dimension of life, one often associated with coping with stress, participants higher in spirituality should outperform those of moderate to low spirituality in terms of their ability to cope with a stressor in the lab (141). The results were mixed: the three groups had significant differences in respiration as well as state anger, as well as trait anger, neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness, but not in terms of openness to experience (144). Overall, the findings attest to the importance of spirituality in helping the more spiritual participants to cope with stressors (145). They also pointed to a higher incidence of such health protective personality traits as extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (145). Another significant finding: participants with higher spirituality also had lower neuroticism and lower trait anger (145). This is all quite consistent with previous research, which indeed establishes just such a connection, and suggests that more spiritual people are more healthy (145).

Spirituality, when linked with positive affect, has also been tied to better coping for cancer patients (Holt et al. 437-438). In a study of African-American patients—chosen because they represent a population with both a higher mortality due to cancer than other populations in the U.S., and because they represent a population wherein religious/spiritual mechanisms are known to be significant—Holt et al. sought to ascertain the mediational effects of “religious involvement, spirituality, and physical/emotional functioning” (437). What they found was that religious beliefs and behaviors successfully predicted positive coping strategies, such as a sense of meaning, positive affect, and positive religious coping (443).

More specifically, patients who felt a sense of spiritual well-being were more likely to demonstrate these characteristics (Holt et al. 443). Thus, the study established a clear relationship between “religious involvement, specifically religious behaviors, spiritual well-being, and emotional well-being” by means of positive affective states (444). This again attests to the importance of spirituality in explaining wellbeing and functioning, notably including cases of people facing severe, life-threatening illness such as cancer.

Clearly, spirituality has a profound and positive impact on the human psyche. Indeed, this is increasingly well-recognized in the literature, as more and more researchers become aware of the tremendous effects of what people believe on how they feel and how they approach life (Maton 607-608). As Maton explains, spirituality influences individual well-being in many different ways, and this must be taken into account in the course of psychotherapy (608). As such, the case for integrating spirituality into therapy is very clear, and the professional must be prepared to ask the patient about their spirituality—if they have one—and engage them with respect to this crucial dimension of human experience.

D. Psychology and Theology

            What is theology? Fundamentally, it is the study of God. Theology is the discipline by means of which the believer perfects their understanding of God, his word, human nature, and what God would have of us. In approaching theology, the correct epistemology is necessary. Insights as to what kind of epistemology is necessary are discernible in the tasks of theology itself. As Stone and Duke explain in How To Think Theologically, theologians—and all believers can and should be theologians—perform three central operations (27). The first of these operations is the matter of “interpreting the meaning of the Christian faith” (27). The second is the process of “correlating those interpretations with other interpretations,” and the third is “assessing the inadequacy of the interpretations and their correlations” (27).

How is one to do this? The first source of knowledge available is the Scriptures themselves, which one can read and seek to interpret. Of course, interpretation requires the application of reason and logic, but it also requires a humble, prayerful heart, a heart tuned to the joys of worshiping and glorifying God and pleasing him. In other words, the epistemology of theology should rest both on the use of reason, and on the believer’s willingness and eagerness to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Special revelation is the stock in trade of theology, and it does not make sense to approach theology without seeking the aid and guidance of the Holy Spirit, who represents the divine source of inspiration for the Scriptures in the first place.

What, then, is psychology? Psychology is the study of the human mind. Psychology studies thoughts, feelings, all the inner aspects of a person that can explain their behavior (Nelson 17-18). The bigger question, for the purposes of this analysis, is what the relationship between psychology and theology is—or ought to be. Indeed, this is a source of no small controversy within the church, with many voices raised in opposition to the use of psychology in the church at all (Powlison 26-27). On the other side of the coin, psychology has tended to be ambivalent or even unfriendly towards religion (Nelson 18).

However, a synthesis is not only possible but necessary. Human beings have psychological needs as well as spiritual ones—and the two, while not exactly the same, are very often interdependent. As seen, spirituality is important in seeking to understand wellbeing and functioning from a psychological perspective: psychology cannot afford to ignore it. Moreover, God is the God who reveals himself by means of both general revelation, and special revelation. God is not a God who asks us to cease using our minds and trying to understand them. As such, not only is there no contradiction between seeking to harmonize and synthesize theology and psychology, it is if anything a much-needed enterprise to better serve the people of God—and perhaps facilitate the preaching of the Word to unbelievers as well. The insights of psychology and the insights of theology together create a deeper, fuller picture of the human creation: theology provides the eternal picture of fallen human beings in need of God’s grace, which in turn complements the psychological picture of human behavior. The eternal human needs revealed through theology can enhance the remedies offered by psychology.

Part F: My Theological Tradition

My own tradition is Mennonite Brethren, a church that seeks a biblically-based understanding of the Christian faith. As such, I assume that the Word of God is literally true: that humans are God’s creation, made in his image, and in rebellion against him since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. I believe that Jesus Christ literally died on the cross for the remission of sins, and rose again on the third day. I reject any accommodation of the truth of Scripture to either postmodernist relativism or so-called scientific realism: I assume that the Bible is both factually true and morally true. In accordance with my church’s teachings, I favor reading and relying upon the Bible itself to guide one’s interpretation of the will of God, rather than any particular theology (“What We Believe”). However, I also draw from the Celtic spirituality as presented by Newell, with its rich tradition of finding God—and praising God!—in nature. As such, I assume that God can be found in nature, and that general revelation is important too, in addition to special revelation. I also find the insights of Saint Teresa of Avila very illuminating and awe-inspiring, and seek to incorporate them into my own life. As such, I assume that drawing closer to God is a process, one that requires a humble heart and a willingness to hear the Holy Spirit.

Works Cited

Anderson, Ray S. On Being Human: Essays in Theological Anthropology. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2010. Print.

Asselin, Don T. “Catholic Philosophy, Realism, and the Postmodern Dilemma.” Postmodernism and Christian Philosophy. Ed. Roman T. Ciapalo. Mishawaka, IN: American Maritain Association, 1997. 23-37. Print.

Beagan, Brenda Lorraine, Josephine Etowa, and Wanda T. Bernard. “’With God in our lives he gives us the strength to carry on’: African Nova Scotian women, spirituality, and racism-related stress.” Mental Health, Religion & Culture 15.2 (2012): 103-120. EBSCOHost. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Beilby, James K. Epistemology as Theology: An Evaluation of Alvin Plantinga’s Religious Epistemology. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2005. Print.  

Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996. Print.

Bloesch, Donald G. God the Almighty. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1995. Print.

Carter, John D., and Bruce Narramore. The Integration of Psychology and Theology: An Introduction. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1979. Print.

Erickson, Millard J., Paul K. Helseth, and Justin Taylor, eds. Reclaiming the Center: Confronting Evangelical Accommodation in Postmodern Times. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004. Print.  

Forlines, F. Leroy. The Quest for Truth: Answering Life’s Inescapable Questions. New York: Random House, 2001. Print.

Galanter, Marc, et al. “Introducing Spirituality into Psychiatric Care.” Journal of Religion & Health 50.1 (2011): 81-91. EBSCOHost. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Grenz, Stanley J. Theology for the Community of God. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1994. Print.

Groothius, Douglas. “Truth Defined and Defended.” Erickson et al. 59-80.

Holt, Cheryl, et al. “Role of religious involvement and spirituality in functioning among African Americans with cancer: Testing a mediational model.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 34.6 (2011): 437-448. EBSCOHost. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti. Christology: A Global Introduction. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003. Print.

Labbe, Elise E., and Ashley Fobes. “Evaluating the interplay between spirituality, personality and stress.” Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback 35.2 (2010): 141-146. EBSCOHost. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Moreland, J. P., and William L. Craig. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003. Print.

Newell, J. Philip. Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2008. Print.

—. Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1997. Print.

Maton, Kenneth I. “Spirituality, religion, and community psychology: Historical perspective, positive potential, and challenges.” Journal of Community Psychology 29.5 (2001): 605-613. EBSCOHost. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Proctor, Bruce A. A Definition and Critique of Postmodernism. Xulon Press. Xulonpress.com, 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Wellum, Stephen J. “Postconservatism, Biblical Authority, and Recent Proposals for Re-Doing Evangelical Theology: A Critical Analysis.” Erickson et al. 161-198.

McGrath, Alister E., ed. The Christian Theology Reader (4th ed.). Oxford and Cambridge:
Blackwell, 2011. Print.

Nelson, James M. Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality. New York: Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009. Print.

Powlison, David. “Questions at the Crossroads: The Care of Souls & Modern Psychotherapies.” Care for the Soul: Exploring the Intersection of Psychology & Theology. Ed. Mark R. McMinn and Timothy R. Phillips. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001. 23-61. Print.

Sproul, Robert C. Classical Apologetics: A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984. Print.

Stone, Howard W., and Duke, James O. How to Think Theologically (3rd ed.). Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013. Print.

Teresa de Avila. Interior Castle. Trans., ed. E. Allison Peers. New York: Image, 2004. Print.

“What We Believe.” United States Mennonite Brethren. USMB.org, 2008. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

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Our personal lives are greatly dependent on technology and its continued development. Technology, as we know it, has advanced over the years and has also [...]

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How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!