Original Research - Special Collection: Biblical values on social change

Exploring biblical reformational theology as a normative perspective for Christian psychology

Rudy A. Denton
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 48, No 1 | a1791 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v48i1.1791 | © 2014 Rudy A. Denton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 December 2013 | Published: 24 November 2014

About the author(s)

Rudy A. Denton, Faculty of Theology, Unit for Reformed Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


The process and importance of dialogue between Christian religion and psychology are continuously an active area of debate amongst Christian counsellors and psychologists as witnessed by the diversity of opinions in the focus area. The aim of this article is to contribute to the enrichment of the theological interpretation of practices within the confines of a Christian psychological worldview. A Christian approach to anthropology is shaped by the Bible as basis for Christianity’s intellectual and religious conducts. The article cultivates and encourages a holistic sense of cross-disciplinary reflection that enables psychologists to respond to therapeutic situations with faithful, theologically informed practice. It is recommended that psychologists with a Christian worldview should look at the Bible and the Christian intellectual and religious tradition as a normative perspective for their practice-related research across the field of Christian psychology. To justify the hermeneutic approach, a decision should be made about the interpretation of the interdisciplinary theory-praxis relationship with regards to a particular normative perspective for Christian psychology. It is the intent of this article to reflect an transversal model of cross-disciplinary dialogue between Christian religion and psychology, based on mutuality and respect where psychology could be enriched by a normative perspective that explores the theory-praxis interface with a biblical reformational theology that holds to the authority of Scripture, the sovereignty of God and redemption by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Verkenning van Bybelse reformatoriese teologie as ‘n normatiewe perspektief vir Christelike sielkunde. Die proses en die belangrikheid van dialoog tussen die Christelike godsdiens en die sielkunde is ’n voortdurende aktiewe debatspunt tussen Christenberaders en sielkundiges soos die diversiteit van menings in die fokusarea getuig. Die doel van hierdie artikel is om ’n bydrae te lewer tot die verryking van die teologiese interpretasie van praktyke binne die grense van ’n Christelik psigologiese wêreldbeskouing. ’n Christelike benadering tot die antropologie is hoofsaaklik gevorm deur die Bybel as basis vir die Christelik-intellektuele en religieuse handelinge. Die artikel kweek en moedig ’n holistiese benadering tot die kruisdissiplinêre refleksie aan wat sielkundiges in staat stel om tydens terapeutiese situasies ’n Christelik-teologies ingeligte benadering te beoefen. Dit word aanbeveel dat sielkundiges met ’n Christelike wêreldbeskouing na die Bybel en die Christelik-intellektuele en godsdienstige tradisie as ’n normatiewe perspektief kyk vir hulle praktyk-verwante navorsing op die terrein van die Christelike sielkunde. Om die hermeneutiese benadering te regverdig, moet ’n besluit geneem word oor die interpretasie van die interdissiplinêre teorie-praksis verhouding met betrekking tot ’n bepaalde normatiewe perspektief vir Christelike sielkunde. Die artikel reflekteer ’n transversale model van kruisdissiplinêre dialoog tussen die Christelike godsdiens en die sielkunde en is gebaseer op wedersydse respek. Die sielkunde kan verryk word deur ’n normatiewe perspektief te ondersoek wat die teorie-praksis koppelvlak met ’n bybelse reformatoriese teologie wat die gesag van die Skrif, die soewereiniteit van God en verlossing deur genade en met geloof in Jesus Christus handhaaf.


Normative Perspective; Christian Psychology


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