For the next few days I am going to introduce you to a book that I’ve found to be a great resource. It’s called Hidden Worldviews: Eight Cultural Stories that Shape our Lives, by Wilkens and Sanford. The rest of the series can be read here.
The ninth chapter deals with the final hidden worldview: salvation by therapy. The authors observe that therapy has become the catch all for any problems that people face. Whether the death of a loved one, relationship problems, or personal anxiety, therapy has become the atmosphere for transformation and the climate for the hope of liberation. Something that should concern Christians is that “salvation by therapy reduces spiritual problems out of existence by defining them as exclusively psychological in nature” (163). After giving a brief history of the four major schools of thought, the authors transition into a section that affirms the good in therapy. They rightly note that “every human activity, individual and corporate, has a psychological dimension, and understanding the psychological dynamics of any such activity provides insight” (175). The risk is that reductionism can rule out the spiritual components of persons and problems and thus exclude them from the healing community of the people of God.
In the final chapter the authors give some tools for developing a properly Christian worldview. They helpfully utilize the Wesleyan Quadrilateral: Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience. The goal of my paper will be, in part, to develop part of the worldview that relates to popular culture and science in a way that is less antagonistic.
I really enjoyed the book overall! I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to go deeper into issues of worldview!