Can a Psychologist be a Christian?
To combine the special revelation of God's word with the revelation studied by psychological sciences and professions is called integration. It is not a new concept. This attempt to integrate the two fields of study, has proven to be a bridge whereby many who would not normally have an exposure to either of the two fields have an opportunity to see their views juxtaposed, in essence. Those who are largely theological, may have a resistance towards the field of secular psychology. Conversely, those who are predisposed towards psychology, may not have the valuable insights into Scripture, which theology offers.
There has been much ado about this approach, cited by both sides of the spectrum. As with many issues, where there are two sides to the story, the truth is genuinely somewhere in the middle. At least that's true, some of the time. This viewpoint that psychology and theology can co-exist together, enables the Christian Counselor to have access to tools, which when used correctly, can truly be beneficial. The psychological techniques employed by a therapist or clinical are no less important than the quality of the content of their counsel. When one endeavor's to be the best steward of the time and talents God has entrusted to them, utilizing and having access to a wide variety of tools, is essential. For the Christian Counselor, having the right tool in your tool belt and knowing how and when to wield it, is a critical mark of an expert craftsman.
We simply cannot take for granted the truth of revelation found in Scripture. In the book of Ecclesiastes 1:9, it states, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 3:15 exhorts us, "Whatever is has already been and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account."
Scripture is the ultimate guide post, but God invented the human sciences, for our benefit. In effect, it may have been founded by human wisdom, but the author was God. Romans 8:22 echoes this truth, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."
As a Christian Counselor if my true North marker is Scripture, I will not be blown off course by any diversionary tactic, employed by the world to sow confusion. Clearly, Scripture is superior, above all else. But, to someone who has suffered at the hands of a Religious institution, being handed a Scripture as an antidote, may not produce the result it was intended to.
There are many other examples, when we must be like Paul, who said; "I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might save some." I Corinthians 9:19-23, (NIV). I enlist the same technique, which I believe to be the Integration Approach to Biblical Counseling.