While snooping around in the Marion Wade Center‘s archives last year, I discovered a gem of an article by Dorothy L. Sayers in the little magazine Oxford. In it, she explained with her characteristic verve and insight why academic scholarship, while it may seem otiose and impractical to the outsider, is in fact a very great boon to the world. And I noted the resonances between this article and her now world-famous essay (which has become the founding document of countless Christian private schools–especially in the classical model) “The Lost Tools of Learning.”
At that point, I skimmed the article, noting that this was the same theme that animated her wonderful novel Gaudy Night. Then I put it away and went on to other things. This summer, back at the Wade, I dug out the article again and made some notes on it, then had it photocopied. Here is a sample: Continue reading
The following is part of a talk I was invited to give to a group of psychiatric residents (doctors-in-training) here in the Twin Cities a few years ago. The talk was on “the evangelical tradition,” and was intended to give these medical practitioners a sense of the beliefs of evangelicals, possible impediments to serving this constituency, and ideas of how to serve them better.
I have already posted other portions of this talk here under the titles “Basic, basic Christianity” and “Evangelicalism–a basic summary,” part I, part II, and part III. What follows is the final portion of the talk, which outlines issues that may face a professional providing evangelicals with psychiatric services, and ideas on how to serve (some) evangelicals better:
Now I’d like to turn the corner and address more directly some of the challenges that may come up in serving evangelical Christians from within the field of mental health care.
The insights that follow mostly come from my Bethel colleague Steven J. Sandage, Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Studies, Bethel St. Paul. Steve has served as clinician, psychologist, and chaplain in a variety of settings (community mental health, correctional, university) and currently engages in part-time clinical practice. He taught at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Medical College of Virginia as an adjunct faculty prior to coming to Bethel.
As Steve has related it to me, some evangelicals have a tendency to over-spiritualize—they frame problems as spiritual, not being able to think in an integrative way about the interactions of their minds, emotions, spirits, and the material world. They may refuse medication, for example, because they think this would show a lack of faith in spiritual truth or spiritual reality. Continue reading
Posted in Resources for Radical Living
Tagged anti-intellectualism, Bible, charismatics, evangelicalism, healing, medicine, mental health, New Testament, Old Testament, Pentecostalism, psychiatry, sexuality, Spirituality, therapy