1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Biblical references
A. There are no biblical references
B. English word "psychology"
from two Greek words
psuche = soul, life, person, self
logos = word, logic, study of, reasoning
words used in the New Testament
C. Representative biblical references
word nephesh - soul, being, creature, life, person (over
600 references in Old Testament)
1:20,21,24 - "living creature"
2:7 - "man became a living being"
119:81 - "my soul languishes for Thy salvation"
21:10 - "the soul of the wicked desires evil"
words psuche and psuchikos
psuche (105 references in New Testament)
10:28 - "do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable
to kill the soul; but rather
fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in
16:25,26 - "whoever wishes to save his life shall
lose it; but whoever loses his life for
My sake shall find it. What will a man be profited, if he gains
the whole world, and
forfeits his soul?
14:34 - "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of
12:19,20,22 - "Soul, you have many goods... this
night your soul is required of you....do
not be anxious for your life..."
13:1 - "Let every person be in subjection to authorities"
Cor. 15:45 - ""first man, Adam, became a living soul"
6:6 - "doing the will of God from the heart"
Thess. 5:23 - "may your spirit and soul and body
be preserved complete"
4:12 - "word of God...piercing as far as division of soul
1:21 - "word implanted, able to save your souls"
Pet. 1:9 - "outcome of your faith the salvation of your
Pet. 3:20 - "eight persons brought safely through
20:4 - "souls of those who had been beheaded"
Cor. 2:14 - "a natural man does not accept things
3:15 - "wisdom that is earthly, natural, demonic..."
19 - "cause division, natural, devoid of the Spirit"
II. Brief history of man's attempts to understand the human
A. Man has always sought to understand
himself and his behavior.
- "What is man, that Thou dost magnify him?"
144:3 - "What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?"
B. Search often merged with philosophy,
theology, anthropology, physiology
C. Hippocrates (527-514 BC) identified
differing behavior patterns (humours, temperaments) basing
them on materialistic, physiological prevailing bodily fluids
(blood, phlegm, black bile, yellow
D. Plato (427-347 BC), Phaedo,
and Aristotle (384-322 BC), On the Soul, considered the
in more rationalistic, spiritualist sense.
E. Abundant Christian literature through
the centuries (thousands of books)
(155-220), On the Soul.
of Nyssa (335-394), Concerning the Soul and Resurrection
Augustine (354-430), The Soul and Its Origin.
Edwards (1703-1758), Treatises on Religious Affection; Freedom
Delitzsch - A System of Biblical Psychology (1855).
F. Secular psychology - aka naturalistic,
in last half of nineteenth century (1850-1900) as separate educational
emphasis on empirical observation. Naturalistic premises. Social
and numerous perspectives
reductionism - Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
determinism - B.F. Skinner
collectivism - Carl Jung (1875-1961)
and naturalistic premises left God out of study
religious blamed as primary cause of maladjustment
anti-religious, anti-Christian orientation
religious phenomena from psychological analysis
Jonathan Edwards - Treatise on Religious Affections
William James - Varieties of Religious Experience.
G. Defensive evangelical backlash to
to 1960 uneasy coexistence of theology and psychology
Adams, Competent to Counsel (1970) eschewed all eclecticism
of antagonism to secular psychology
to the use of the word "psychology"
regarded as detrimental to Christians; antithetical to everything
and spiritual; diabolic
6. A few
authors (ex. Tournier, Narramore, Collins) still sought integration
of theology and psychology.
III. Considerations in the study of the soul.
A. Constitution or function?
dualism regarded "soul imprisoned in body."
Christian writers accepted three parts: spirit, soul, body
Called trichotomous or tripartite constitution
Based on I Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12
in reaction to Apollinarius (310-391), Christian teaching reverted
to two-part model.
Called dichotomous constitution
Body and soul/spirit
not be conceived as entities, substances or organs, whether tangible
not be conceived as compartments, parts, or partitions
considered as categories of function
B. Soul and spirit - synonymous or distinct?
refer to "inner man" - Eph. 3:16
spirit - Rom. 7:22
soul - II Cor. 4:16
refer to "heart" - I Pet. 3:4; Rom. 10:1; Eph. 3:17
spirit - Heb. 8:10; 10:16
soul - Matt. 5:28; Jn. 16:22; Rom. 1:24; II Cor. 9:7; Col. 3:15
yielded up in death -
spirit - Jn. 19:30; James 2:26
soul - Gen. 35:18
refer to dead persons
spirits - I Pet. 3:19
souls - Rev. 6:9; 20:4
have experiential or emotive reference
spirit - Jn. 11:33; 13:21
soul - Matt. 26:38; Jn. 12:27
of spirit and soul - I Thess 5:23; Heb. 4:12;
Christian teaching regards soul and spirit as synonymous, for
the most part.
of modern secular psychology has amplified need to differentiate
and spiritual function.
C. Origin of the soul
by God in Adam - Gen. 2:7; Job 33:4; I Cor. 15:45
Not an emanation of Godness or divinity
Not physiological extension
Not pre-existent, eternal or immortal
of soul in each individual
Created by God in each individual
problem of individuation
Derived from parents
problem of determinism
D. Function of the soul
of personality, individuality, mobilization of behavior
emotional and volitional function; mind, emotion, will; thoughts,
drives, needs - Rom. 1:24; Eph. 2:3
A. Psychology will always be a legitimate
field of study for man.
B. Must recognize and accept varying
approaches to psychology.
psychology - naturalistic, humanistic, scientific
much of religion is psychologically induced
exposes pseudo-Christian religious practices
psychology - biblical, spiritual, Christian
recognizing spiritual source of character in behavior
recognizing derivative man
recognizing self-revelation of God in Jesus Christ
recognizing the restoration of divine intent for human function
in Jesus Christ; Christocentric
understanding the teleological purpose and destiny of man