Cedarville Magazine, Fall 2023

boundless applications in everyday life.” Psychology pulls resources from a myriad of disciplines beyond itself: biology, medicine, and social and behavioral sciences. It is grounded in scientific empiricism and investigative protocols. Indeed, what has been learned about “being human” has informed professionals and lay-persons in all sectors of life and work, formally and informally. Significantly, our Christian faith is undergirded by much empirical evidence: historical records, archaeological findings, geological indicators, and more. Having grown up in multicultural settings where I have encountered many religions, I often say that Christianity is the most scientifically grounded, evidence-based religion of all! SCIENCE WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS OF A FALLEN WORLD The problem with psychology, or any science and scholarship for that matter, is a disregard for the reality of God. Most scientists and scholars have insisted on using only natural sources as data for truth-finding and have minimized or circumvented the special revelation of God scripted into the Bible. The phrase “based on science” has become an axiom for disqualifying other claims of fact or truth. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10, ESV). In a post-Eden existence, nonChristian scholars do not understand that this present reality is, at best, a vague glimpse of the infinite reality of God (1 Cor. 13:12; Isa. 55:8–9). In the context of a fallen world, our natural reality is a broken one; everything and everyone has fallen away from the original perfect design (Rom. 3:23). When investigators use imperfect and incomplete data to determine norms, errors are bound to result. And when inaccurate conclusions are published and broadcast, people are misled. The problems with human errors are, in fact, well known within the scientific community. To guard against human subjectivity, studies are often replicated, and their findings tested for consistencies. Yet, despite the caution and rigors of science, half of classic psychology studies cannot be replicated with the same results. The truth is that what is “based on science” seldom holds the authority that some scientists would like for others to think. This is especially the case for social, behavioral, and psychological science. SCIENCE WITH SCRIPTURE AS THE FOUNDATION Scientific investigations are complete only when all relevant data are considered. Scripture is the crucial dataset that must be mined for relevant information, godly perspectives, and proper interpretations and applications. Indeed, it must be understood as the foundation against which all data are evaluated. When the special revelation of God is ignored and only naturalistic evidence is submitted for consideration, scholars are inevitably partial to their evidence and their own opinions. Christian scholars are called to set our minds on things above, to glean truths that are also in the Bible, and not to rely on human insight or empirical evidence alone (2 Tim. 3:16; Col. 3:1–2; 2 Cor. 5:7). Cedarville University is an institution of higher education. As Christian educators, scholars, and scientists, our pursuit of knowledge is to supplement our faith, not to supersede or reinterpret it. PSYCHOLOGY CAN PROVIDE UNDERSTANDING AND EXPLANATION. GOD PROVIDES ULTIMATE SOLUTIONS As an academic discipline, we can acknowledge that psychology has contributed much to an understanding of In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:6, ESV) 16