4-Mat Review Essay
4-Mat Review: Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity
In David Entwistle’s book, Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity (2010), he explores two potentially divergent disciplines: psychology and theology. He then considers whether integration of these two disciplines is attainable, desirable, or necessary
(p. 16). The author points out that regardless of the discipline being discussed, everyone formulates their belief system based on their own particular worldview. Entwistle cites a definition of worldview given by James Sire which is particularly apt: “A worldview is a set of …show more content…
Entwistle discusses five different models which help to frame the relationship between psychology and theology: Enemies, Spies, Colonialists, Neutral Parties, and Allies. The Enemies model says that psychology and theology are mutually exclusive and fundamentally opposed to each other; there is no common ground. The Spies model still keeps each of the two disciplines as very separate entities with a primary allegiance to one of the two, yet there is a certain amount of borrowing from the other. Those practicing the Colonialist model rely almost solely on theology to make sense of the world; psychology is used only to reinforce the truths of Scripture. The Neutral Parties model seeks to keep psychology and theology completely independent of each other, although there may be certain parallels between the findings of both. Finally, the Allies model employs methods from both psychology and theology, but both are completely governed by God’s sovereignty.
According to Entwistle, God has given us two books: the Word of God and the Works of God. Even though we acknowledge that the “works” of God are far from perfect, the author says that the Word of God still does not trump, as the two work in harmony and reinforce one another. Even with this acknowledgement, there will still be difficulties when integrating theology and psychology. These difficulties must be addressed appropriately and professionally in the name of, and for the glory of,