Monday, April 4, 2011

Psychology in the Spirit: A Book Review

This book review can be found in the "Christian Apologetics Journal" as well.

Psychology in the Spirit: Contours of a Transformational Psychology. Coe, John H., & Todd W. Hall. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2010. 446 pages. (Paperback), $30.00. ISBN 978-0-8308-2813-5.

I recall taking Psychology in the Spirit off of the shelf of our seminary library and thinking “Excellent, another work on psychology from Christian thinkers who are well-acquainted with psychology, theology, and philosophy!” I thought that it would be a book that lays out different theoretical models of how to integrate the above mentioned disciplines. Additionally, I expected to see a book that sketches the author’s theoretical ideas and how those ideas are practically worked out in a clinical setting. Psychology in the Spirit does these things, but it wasn’t as technical as I expected. On the contrary, it was surprisingly accessible.

While different views of integration are presented, an in-depth analysis of these models is not the primary thrust of the book. Rather than debating the fine points of each conceptual model, Dr. Coe and Dr. Hall present their breed of a “transformational psychology” in a holistic fashion, emphasizing the person, process, and product of their model of psychology.