So, the other night I had woke up with thistitle in my head that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Its an academic’s kind of dream/wake state–a book idea. I wondering if you have ideas to flesh this out a bit after reading some of mine.
The title came, I think, as a result of a Miroslav Volf’s comment that consumerism, not religion, was the opiate of the people. Lightbearer provided us with the context of Karl Marx’s quote. And many of summarize his point but saying that something (religion, psychology, anything) is for “the masses.”
So, I got to thinking about the tendency among evangelicals to fall into one of two trap about psychology. Either they use it unthinkingly (cut and paste bible verses on theories without much thought) OR they reject it because psychology is unbiblical and only rank secular humanism. But, I can’t tell you the amount of conversations I’ve had about the benefits of psychological study–whether about medication, therapeutic interventions, professional ethics, etc. where it was clear that few had ever drilled down below pop psychology to understand both its value and presuppositional foundation.
So, here’s my thought. What if we developed a resource for Christians to come to that would give thoughtful, sometimes lighthearted, but always honest answers (and nonanswers when they are better) about psychology, psychotherapy, medications, psychological testing, etc.
Here’s some of the questions that tend to come up most frequently (from my memory of the last 2 months)
1. Is it wrong to take psychiatric medications for my depression? Shouldn’t I be able to either handle it or get over it using spiritual resources?
2. How do you know if the problem is demonic or psychiatric?
3. Should I ever go see a secular therapist?
4. Isn’t Mindfulness really just a Buddhist form of meditation?
5. Should I go for healing prayer for my mental health problem?
6. Isn’t ADD/ADHD just a fad?
7. Can I divorce my spouse because they refuse treatment?
8. Can pedophiles ever return to the church in a safe manner?
9. Can leaders who abuse their roles ever be restored to leadership?
I’m sure there are more. What else would YOU want to read about regarding psychology/psychotherapy from a christian perspective?