A philosophy of Human Science for Christian Psychology

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Philosophy of Science

Running head: Philosophy of Science

Towards a Philosophy of Science for Christian Psychology

Eric L. Johnson

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Eric L. Johnson, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Personality, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2825 Lexington Rd, Louisville, KY 40280, ejohnson@sbts.edu. Readers familiar with Alvin Plantinga’s (1984) “Advice to Christian Philosophers” will no doubt recognize its inspiration.


Most contemporary psychologists, including many Christians, assume that psychology is necessarily a secular discipline — one that must avoid taking any metaphysical or religious positions with reference to their studies — such has been the success of modern psychology in defining the field according to its own metaphysical and epistemological assumptions. Modern psychologists, of course, are entitled to define the field as they wish. However, the philosophical resources of the Christian tradition—particularly the contributions of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas — point towards a very different understanding of psychology. The following is a very preliminary outline of a philosophy of science, generally derived from their epistemology, for a psychology that takes the triune God and his revelation in the Christian Scriptures seriously with reference to a science of individual human beings — a psychology defined according to Christian assumptions.

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