Bobblehead Christianity

At the Society for Christian Psychology, JKA Smith (a Calvin Coll. philosopher) made an offhanded comment about bobblehead Christianity–the kind where the head is huge but the body is nearly non-existent. This image has really stuck with me.

We fill the head with truth and facts about our faith and we expect that to transform us into Christ. But we ignore the body, or the practices of the faith. He made mention of this problem in a discussion about worldview. He said something to this effect: “I think worldview conversations are important. I love worldview. I’d marry it if I could. But we must pay attention to our practices as they are attached to worldview and shape it in reverse. Worldview discourse places too much emphasis on what we think and less on what we do. We need to include visceral ways of knowing…tactile involvement in worship.” (phrases from my notes, not true quotation)

Seems we ought to take his critique to heart. Where are we overemphasizing truth statements or thinking about self as change agent and underemphasizing performing (use of disciplines) as acting into the truth as a work of the Holy Spirit?


Filed under christian counseling, christian psychology, Christianity, church and culture, Cultural Anthropology, Doctrine/Theology, Evangelicals, Psychology

2 responses to “Bobblehead Christianity

  1. Carmella

    This seems to be a challenge, responding to our worlds as an integrated whole, rather than in parts. It seems we (I) struggle between the body-heart-mind continuum, allowing Christ to be the foremost of all, but without overemphasizing one of the aspects of my self. It is truly a challenge to keep our heart, mind, and spirit sensitive to truth and conviction without fractioning ourselves.

  2. Scott Knapp, MS

    I think that Carmella is a brilliant genius…where’d she get her education from? 🙂

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