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Integrating Psychology and Faith

Models for Christian Engagement

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This textbook updates the conversation about models of psychology and faith integration, helping students understand the range of options for Christian engagement. Drawing from themes developed in Paul Moes's well-received Exploring Psychology and Christian Faith (coauthored with Donald J. Tellinghuisen), Integrating Psychology and Faith develops a set of worldview dimensions that serve to organize a variety of psychology-faith integration models.

Paul Moes and Blake Riek set forth principles and themes and establish historical context to help students explore where different views fit on a continuum of approaches to integration and understand the perspectives of other Christians in the field of psychology. In this way, students come to better understand the organizing principles for various views about psychology that they encounter. The book also shows how theological traditions and positions shape views on natural science, social science, and psychology.

Part 1: Philosophical Foundations
1. Worldviews and Natural Science Beliefs
2. Worldviews about Human Nature
3. Views in Contemporary Psychology
4. Views in Contemporary Religion
Part 2: Models of Integration
5. Scientific Reductionism
6. Biblical Reductionism
7. Complementary Models
8. Humanizers of Science
Conclusion and Reflection
Appendix: What Is a Person?


"Kudos to Paul Moes and Blake Riek for gifting students with a big-idea book--a lucid synopsis of the philosophical, psychological, and theological perspectives that frame our thinking about psychology and faith. Read this, and you will better understand your own worldview."

David G. Myers, Hope College, coauthor of Psychology; author of A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God Is Good and Faith Isn't Evil

"Integrating Psychology and Faith is a particularly fresh, engaging, and accessible exploration of how to thoughtfully and humbly engage psychological research and practice. The writing is crisp, and the text is focused and brief without sacrificing nuance. The authors address the 'why this matters' question throughout the book, and the concluding chapter focuses explicitly on concrete applications of the material to psychological practice, research, and everyday life. This is a refreshing variation to what is commonly an abstract exploration untethered to people's lives and contexts. Rather than being prescriptive or preachy, the authors address the strengths and weaknesses of multiple perspectives, encouraging readers to think for themselves and giving them the tools to do so. This book would serve well in third- or fourth-year classes where students are encouraged to reflect on the foundations and history of psychology and are starting to consider what their future psychological practice might look like. It is short enough to serve as a supplementary text or as a core text around which more specific readings could be assigned. I would readily use this book to engage all my students, including those from other faith traditions or none."

Heather Looy, professor of psychology, The King's University

"This is a brief, succinct, and well written introduction to the major models and worldviews for the integration of Christian faith and psychology. It covers philosophical foundations or worldviews related to natural science, human nature, contemporary psychology and religion, and models of integration in a helpful and clear way. Highly recommended!"

Siang-Yang Tan, senior professor of clinical psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary; author of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective

The Authors

  1. Paul Moes

    Paul Moes

    Paul Moes (PhD, Texas Christian University) is professor of psychology at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously taught at Dordt College for eighteen years. He writes about Christian approaches to understanding brain function,...

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  2. Blake Riek

    Blake Riek

    Blake Riek (PhD, University of Delaware) is professor of psychology at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has taught since 2007. His two major lines of research are the psychology of forgiveness and prejudice and bias.

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