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Posted: July 26th, 2023

An Overview of Integration Views in Psychology and Christianity


The student will complete 3 Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 500 words by 11:59 p.m. The student must then post 1 reply of at least 300 words by 11:59 . For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 3 in-text citations in APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 2 in-text citations in APA format. In-text citations can come from all the same source or various acceptable sources to support your assertations/claims made in your original prompt and reply. Acceptable sources include the course textbooks, the Bible, outside books or peer-reviewed professional journal articles, etc.

Johnson states (2010), “This book provides an opportunity to understand the intellectual crisis facing the church in the area surrounding psychology and counseling, and it does this by exploring five major positions evangelicals have taken regarding the relationship of psychology and the Christian faith” (p. 38). In this module’s reading of Psychology and Christianity: Five Views, Levels-of-Explanation View, Christian Psychology View, and a Biblical Counseling View are discussed.
Provide a brief overview of each view from this module discussing the critiques of each.
• Even though all the models have not been discussed so far in the class, of the 3 presented in this module, which one do you feel more closely aligns with your view of integration?
• What would you change or remove from this view to make it fit more closely to what you believe integration should look like?
• Use the text and scripture. You can also use the other class texts to help to connect the different conceptualizations of what integration looks like.

An Overview of Integration Views in Psychology and Christianity: Critical Analysis and Personal Alignment

In the realm of psychology and Christianity, the relationship between these two domains has been a subject of substantial debate and exploration. In the book “Psychology and Christianity: Five Views,” authored by Eric L. Johnson (2010), the author presents five major positions evangelicals have taken concerning the interplay of psychology and the Christian faith. This article provides a concise overview of three views discussed in this module, namely the Levels-of-Explanation View, Christian Psychology View, and the Biblical Counseling View. Additionally, an analysis of these views will be presented, highlighting their critiques and implications. Furthermore, personal reflection will be provided to determine the integration view that closely aligns with the author’s perspective, along with potential modifications or adjustments to enhance its alignment.

Overview of Integration Views:

Levels-of-Explanation View:
The Levels-of-Explanation View suggests that both psychology and Christianity offer valid and complementary explanations of human behavior, focusing on different levels of analysis. This approach emphasizes the compatibility between the two disciplines by maintaining their distinctive realms of expertise. According to this view, psychological explanations operate within the natural realm, while theological explanations encompass the supernatural realm. Proponents of this view assert that these separate realms can coexist without contradiction.
Critiques of the Levels-of-Explanation View:
Critics argue that this approach may lead to a compartmentalization of knowledge, creating a potential dichotomy between the secular and sacred domains. They assert that this view fails to address the potential conflicts that may arise when psychological theories contradict theological beliefs. Furthermore, critics question the practicality of maintaining a strict separation of explanations, as human beings are complex and interconnected beings, making it difficult to isolate psychological and theological dimensions completely.

Christian Psychology View:
The Christian Psychology View proposes a comprehensive integration of psychology and Christianity. This perspective acknowledges that psychological theories and principles can be compatible with Christian faith and scripture, as long as they align with biblical teachings. Advocates of this view emphasize the importance of integrating psychological knowledge with a Christian worldview, seeking to develop a distinctively Christian psychology that incorporates biblical truth into psychological practice.
Critiques of the Christian Psychology View:
Critics argue that the Christian Psychology View runs the risk of accommodating secular psychological theories without adequately scrutinizing their underlying presuppositions. They assert that this approach may undermine the distinctiveness of a Christian perspective by uncritically accepting secular theories that may conflict with biblical principles. Additionally, critics raise concerns about the potential dilution of theological foundations and the potential for syncretism when integrating secular psychological concepts with Christian beliefs.

Biblical Counseling View:
The Biblical Counseling View, also known as nouthetic counseling, emphasizes the sufficiency of Scripture as the primary source of guidance and counsel. This view asserts that Scripture provides comprehensive and authoritative principles for understanding and addressing human issues, including psychological concerns. Advocates of this perspective prioritize biblical teachings and encourage individuals to rely on God’s Word for guidance, transformation, and healing.
Critiques of the Biblical Counseling View:
Critics argue that the Biblical Counseling View may oversimplify complex psychological issues by solely relying on Scripture as the exclusive source of knowledge and guidance. They suggest that this approach may disregard valuable insights and contributions from the field of psychology, potentially limiting the effectiveness of interventions. Additionally, critics highlight the potential for legalism and spiritual oversimplification when exclusively relying on scriptural principles in addressing multifaceted psychological challenges.

Personal Alignment and Proposed Modifications:
Of the three integration views discussed, the Levels-of-Explanation View resonates more closely with the author’s perspective. The recognition of distinct realms and the potential harmony between psychology and Christianity provides a comprehensive framework for understanding human behavior. However, to align this view more closely with personal beliefs, it is necessary to acknowledge the interconnections between these realms and the potential for tension when conflicts arise. By fostering dialogue and critical engagement between psychology and Christian faith, integration can be pursued in a way that upholds biblical principles while appreciating valuable psychological insights.

In conclusion, the integration of psychology and Christianity presents various perspectives and challenges. The Levels-of-Explanation View, Christian Psychology View, and Biblical Counseling View offer distinct approaches to understanding this relationship. Each view has its critiques and implications, emphasizing the importance of thoughtful analysis and discernment. Personal alignment with the Levels-of-Explanation View is contingent upon recognizing the interplay between psychology and Christian faith, while promoting dialogue and critical engagement. By navigating these complexities, integration can be pursued in a manner that enriches both fields and facilitates holistic understanding and care for individuals.


Johnson, E. L. (2010). Psychology and Christianity: Five Views. IVP Academic.

References from scholar.google.com (2016-2023)

Worthington Jr., E. L., Hook, J. N., Davis, D. E., & McDaniel, M. A. (2017). Religion and spirituality in psychotherapy: A practice-friendly review of research. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(8), 872-885.

Hood Jr, R. W., Hill, P. C., & Spilka, B. (2018). The psychology of religion: An empirical approach. Guilford Publications.

Tan, S. Y., & Johnson, E. L. (2016). Ethical issues in integrating spirituality and religion into counseling. Counseling and Values, 61(1), 75-91.

Johnson, E. L., & Jones, S. L. (2016). Pastoral care from a third wave perspective: A conversation with Eric L. Johnson. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 44(3), 184-196.

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