Rep Sm 5 Rep – sm 5 – Leah
The student needs to post 2 replies of at least 250 words for each thread students must support their assertions with at least 1 scholarly citation in current APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation in current APA format. Acceptable sources include the textbook, the Bible, etc.
Dr. Worthington had an excellent talk on forgiveness. He demonstrated the Levels of Explanation view in his talk as he focused on the psychological research related to forgiveness. He did not fail to incorporate biblical support or concepts but had more emphasis on the research side of the topic. For example, Dr. Worthington spoke about the health benefits that research has shown comes with forgiveness such as lower levels of cortisol, improved mental health through less rumination and depression, and more. He did reveal his Christianity through speaking of Jesus and his requirements to forgive and how we have been forgiven by God. Myers (2010) notes that the levels of explanation view recognizes different levels or dimensions of human experience and that these levels can work together. Dr. Worthington demonstrates this as he discusses the different levels of benefits that come from forgiveness as well as the level of Christianity. He shows how they can work together but relates them as different levels of study.
Dr. McMinn also had an intriguing talk on how positive psychology is important to the church. Jones (2010) notes that the integration approach is anchored in biblical truth while engaging with modern psychology. Integration is more of a combining of the two disciplines of Christianity and psychology. Dr. McMinn demonstrates this well as he discusses the research in positive psychology while integrating it into Christian practice. For example, he illuminates that today many of our virtues are resume virtues rather than eulogy virtues. He compares this to how Jesus is described in John. Rather than being described as a carpenter, or a leader, Jesus is described as full of love, grace, and truth. This integrates what psychology shows us about virtues with biblical principles and concepts. Dr. McMinn also discusses how researchers have looked at virtues and extracted the religious component. He implores Christians to bring religion back into the talk on virtues and re-integrate them back together.
The most striking difference I saw between the two talks was how each speaker either saw psychology and Christianity as distinct disciplines (as in the levels view) or as integrated disciplines (as in the integration view). The Levels view appears to keep religion and science as separate entities, though they can inform each other. The integration view on the other hand, seeks to combine the two disciplines. It is important to remain scientifically rigorous when engaging in research, but to fuse it together with Christian faith. For both, the Christian faith and biblical truths are like a guiding compass. If modern psychology is the map, the Levels view sees both the map and compass as useful tools, but not ones that always work together. For example, Myers (2010) describes that modern psychological research has changed his views on homosexuality and thus he is using the map to guide him. The integration view will utilize the compass as the guiding force, but also regards the map as having important information. In contrast, Jones (2010) reports that modern psychology has little evidence that contradicts the biblical sexual ethic, and he maintains his heading from the compass. Of these two approaches, I tend to lean toward the integration approach that blends the two together, but I am interested in continuing to dig deeper into the other views!
Jones, S.L. (2010). An integration view. In E.L. Johnson (Ed.), Psychology and Christianity: Five views (2nd ed., pp.101-148). InterVaristy Press.
Myers, D.G. (2010). A levels-of-explanation view. In E.L. Johnson (Ed.), Psychology and Christianity: Five views (2nd ed., pp. 49-100). InterVaristy Press.
Reply 2 – Joshua
The levels of explanation are a described as a multi-layered reality (Johnson, 2009) which is informed and developed through our environment and experiences. Dr. Worthington demonstrates the use of the levels of explanation several ways. First, he describes forgiveness as what it is not and then what it is, listing several examples: mental and emotional versus forgetting and justification. He then goes on to provide examples of why we might choose one of these types and what it actually means in a practical manner. From the Bible, Dr. Worthington says that we are told to forgive as Christians and that if we love Jesus, we would want emulate his example and forgive others. To truly forgive another requires not only a mental choice but an emotional decision whereby we replace the feelings of injustice with acceptance.
Dr. McMinn demonstrated the integration approach by describing the life of the mind and life of the body. Forgiveness was described first as a moral discussion until positive psychology developed and evolved the discussion to integrate health and wellbeing as a secular approach to forgiveness. The difference between the big me (self) and a focus on religion. If you forgive, it will have positive health impacts. Dr. McMinn says “The Church asks us to love God and our neighbors.” as he describes how positive psychology and Christian psychology differ but can become integrated.
Johnson (2009) states that science deals with facts and religion deals with values. Christians believe that they are forgiven by Christ, viewing the levels of explanation and integration models helped me see different ways to use both Christianity and psychology to discuss social psychology topics. I had never thought about forgiveness in the context of these two points of view. I am reminded of Psalms 117:2, “his merciful kindness is great towards us…” which helps me to acknowledge that my faith informs my studies as a researcher in psychology. In the context of integration, I see how Christianity can give us a perspective which expands the scientific points of view, Dr. McMinn made this point in the discussion of wisdom and psychology. One thing I noticed in Dr. McMinn’s discussion was that he also used levels in explanation to lay the foundation of integration. Describing the idea of virtue he used various ways to break down the subject and then connect Christianity and psychology. I found this aspect of the video informative and useful in thinking through ways to bring Christianity into psychology or vis-a-versa. I particularly like the integration model approach because it helps me bridge the gap between Christianity and psychology. I have been struggling with this concept because I felt that the two were separate. However, I am beginning to see ways to bring them together in my own research of spiritual healing.
At present, the thoughts I have on healing have been more focused on a levels of explanation model…although I did not know it at the time…because I was thinking about what types of healing there are (e.g. mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.). Instinctually, I feel that Christianity offers “faith” which is an essential element of healing and through the discussions of forgiveness I see how others have approached healing albeit not directly. I look forward to exploring these ideas further in the context of spiritual healing beliefs.
Johnson, E. L. (2009). Psychology & Christianity: Five Views (2nd Edition). InterVarsity Press. https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/books/9780830876617
The Holy Bible. (1982). New King James Version: Thomas Nelson.