Psychology can inform how we understand ourselves, how our minds work, how our emotions work, how our bodies work, and how our nervous system works. That doesn’t mean every pastor has to become a neuroscientist or a psychologist, but I think there’s so much great research on which to draw.
Psychology & Neuroscience
Addie Weaver, assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan, believes churches can be part of the solution to our mental health crisis. For her, the delivery of mental health care to underserved groups, particularly those in rural areas, is a justice issue.
Our human brains are made to grab onto knowledge that we can both apply in our lives and that is also efficacious—it makes a difference. It strikes me that too often when I’ve mentioned science and faith, people tell me, “That’s too heady for me,” which can mean that it seems abstract and academic, not related to the lives we actually live 24-7. Applicability and efficacy seemed like antidotes.
The Bible often talks about not primarily forging ahead but about “return” as the way to grasp real progress. We have to get back to God… Since tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, I’ve been wondering about what science and Scripture tell us about it means to turn around and make real progress.
While we tend to see love as an emotional imperative rooted in our human identity, science seems to pursue a logical argument to explain it away as a natural phenomenon stemming from biochemical processes in our brains. However, even as recent advances in cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, and neuroscience unravel human emotion’s complexities and provide a unique perspective into how we experience love, there is more to this equation.