Happy New Year!
In the words of a very wise blogger-friend, "O.kay, Diane, the Holidays are over......Come Ba-a-a-a-a-ck!" Yes, 2007 is well on its way...and it continues to forge ahead with or without me!
How has your New Year been so far? On Monday of last week, I typed a brilliant post...maybe the best I've ever written....and when I hit the save button....BLOGGER asked me to sign in. Sign in? Wasn't I already signed in to compose my post? When I typed in my username and password, the next screen popped up without my most brilliant post! It was lost....lost forever....in cyberspace or some recyling bin that I could not find. So, today, I find myself "saving" after each paragraph as I really don't mean to be antisocial....I am just computer illiterate!
In keeping with New Year's resolutions and start-ups, I have registered for another class. After graduating in May, 2005 with a degree in Psychology, I am taking another college course. "Counseling in Christian Ministry." Last night was my first week of class. I am taking this course at the Christian University I graduated from so was a bit unsettled with some of the discussion that took place in this Ministry course. It really is an introduction to Biblical Counseling, which, as I have learned after doing the five papers required for the first weeks assignments, is quite different from traditional psychological perspectives.
Without reviewing each psychological theorists, I think I knew that the basic difference in the Biblical perspective from secular theorists would include the relationship between God and man. The association between body and mind (or in Christian speak: body and the "heart" of man) differs for Christians and the world. Does the heart propel sin or, as we learn more about neuroscience, is it possible that the brain can cause the body to sin? Example? A patient with delibatating Ahlzeimer's Disease, formerly a godly man his entire life, is now speaking in degrading terms about women and displays sinful selfish demands. Is this a problem of the "heart" or is it a problem of the brain? Easy question you suppose? I did! Until I entered the discussion with 15 other students and 1 very well educated Professor. To my surprise, the majority of the class believed that the deterioration of the mind revealed the condition of this man's "heart." The conversation led into a tense discussion of the ability children have to sin.
Taking a moment to save! (and a deep breath!)
I was completely unaware that this group of Christian adult/students and Professor believed the age of accountability is not a theological theory. In fact, my Professor stated, "The age of accountability is not a moral philosophy, not a theological theory, cannot be proven in Scripture. It is an emotional reply to the mystery of sin." That is not an exact quote--my breathing had accelerated and my mind began to rebel--I may not have heard his EXACT quote.
This critical thinking thing......is gonna kill me!
I will continue to think about and study these concepts; however, my future papers may rile a few Professorial feathers! After thoroughly enjoying my education at a Christian University, covering secular theorists and traditional psychology, it is upsetting enough to me that there is a Biblical perspective that diminishes the benefit of the DSM-IV or questions the agenda of Scienticfic research. Well...maybe not just the questioning part....but the presumption that all scientific study is jaded. I have lived long enough to know that generalizations are dangerous.
But to discover that the Biblical Counseling perspective, or this Professors interpretation of it, purports that an Ahlzeimer patient or an immature child sins in the same way adults and able bodied people electively sin--is disturbing.
How do you resolve the age of accountability issue?
Does nueroscience ever exempt sin? The person with Tourette's who blurts out profanity: is he/she sinning? Is this a problem with the heart or misfired nuerotransmitters?
O.k....can you feel my distress? It has been said that "misery loves company!" Well, this is not my intent...to make you miserable. Please comment with any thoughts relating to any of this rambling first post of 2007. I fear Cindy may regret inspiring me to move on from the Holidays! Santa Babies are so much more fun--aren't they!