top of page
  • Writer's pictureDale V Wayman, PhD

The Person in Psychology and Christianity

This is a book review that I wrote. It is edited and published here:


Wayman, D.V. (2023). The Person in Psychology and Christianity. [Review of the book, The Person in Psychology and Christianity: A Faith-Based Critique of Five Theories of Social Development]. Religious Studies Review. 49(1), 63


THE PERSON IN PSYCHOLOGY AND CHRISTIANITY: A FAITH BASED CRITIQUE OF FIVE THEORIES OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT. By Marjorie Linder Gunnoe. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2020. Pp. 256. Paper, $30.00.

Gunnoe has written a wonderful book that could be a very useful text in a Developmental Psychology class. It is also useful for those who are trying to understand and integrate psychology and Christianity. Gunnoe reviews five developmental theories using a faith-based working model of the person: 1) Erikson’s eight stages of the lifespan, 2) Bowlby’s attachment theory, 3) Skinner’s radical behaviorism, 4) Bandura’s social cognitive theory, and 5) evolutionary psychology and developmental theory. Zeroing in on the chapter on agency and accountability, Gunnoe’s Calvinistic compatibilism becomes apparent in understanding social development. While agreeing with Calvin that God governs by His providence the plans and intentions of men to their appointed end, Gunnoe writes that our lived psychological experience is one of agency and that this agency is only perceived by humanity. This theological slant of the tome needs to be understood by the discerning reader, noting that libertarian free will may have a better understanding of agency and accountability than Calvin’s teaching of compatibilism. In the chapter on Bandura, Gunnoe notes that social cognitive theory agrees with scripture that humanity can reconstrue bad as good when it serves the person’s self-interest. Such nuggets of wisdom in her analysis of these five developmental theories demonstrate that the divide between psychology and Christianity is somewhat artificial, as psychology finds itself in agreement with much of what is taught in God’s Word. Additionally, this book also has a scriptural index with over 500 references relating to the work, which is very helpful in the integration of psychology and Christianity.

 Dale V. Wayman

 Capella University

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Daddy Issues: Love And Hate In The Time Of Patriarchy

This is a book review that I have submitted (by request) for publication in the journal Religious Studies Review. Once published, I will put the URL to the final edited version; DADDY ISSUES: LOVE AN

Christian Meditation in Clinical Practice

This is a book review that I wrote. It has been edited and published: Wayman, D.V. (2022). Christian Meditation in Clinical Practice. [Review of the book, Christian Meditation in Clinical Practice: A

Commentaires


bottom of page