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Worthington suggests that the relationship between psychological science and Christianity is less like a war or mere dialogue and more like an emerging marriage....
Worthington suggests that the relationship between psychological science and Christianity is less like a war or mere dialogue and more like an emerging marriage. In this relational model of psychology and Christianity, there may be marital spats at times but also great potential for an intimate, mutually fulfilling relationship.
Worthington demonstrates how the tools of experimental psychology shed light on human nature and the nature of God. Because people bear the image of God, the findings of psychological science help us understand both people and God more clearly. Psychological science provides new perspectives on theology and can help us address theological controversies and hot topics. Worthington gives recent examples of illuminating psychological findings, examines the distortions of the image of God through the effects of sin and points to ways that psychology assists Christians in living more virtuously.
Psychology can contribute to the Christian life, because all of us, psychologists and non-psychologists alike, are human and can benefit from better understanding our fellow humankind. Beyond integrating Christian and psychological truths, this book uncovers new relationships between science and religion, demonstrates psychology's benefits to theology, and helps Christians live a redeemed life that is pleasing to God.
Part I The Relationship of Psychological Science to Theology 15
1 Interesting Things about People 17
2 A Tale of Two Cities 31
3 What Information Can I Trust? 47
4 Why You Might Not Believe What you Don't Already Believe 56
5 The Methods of Disciplines 75
6 A Relational Model 91
7 Understanding the Relational Partners 106
8 Dealing with Some Challenges 124
Part II What Psychological Science Has to Offer Theology 147
9 Psychological Science Provides a New Tool 149
10 Psychological Science Is Limited 168
11 Psychological Science Strengthens Theological Claims 182
12 Psychological Science Adds New Ideas to Theology 202
13 Psychological Science Addresses Theologically Hot Social Controversies 216
14 Psychological Science Helps Us Understand Virtuous Living 235
15 Psychological Science Helps Us Live More Virtuously 258
16 Can Psychological Science Help Us Know God Better? 272
Author Index 296
Subject Index 298