Thursday, June 28, 2012



Because my expertise was the praxis of psychology, the task became, how to introduce a Christian health-giving theoretical model into the curriculum without violating rules against proselytizing in the university. How I answered that dilemma, I will now share.

My intellectual mentor was Joseph Rhylak PhD of Loyola University. To me his textbooks on personality were always the best in the field. Rhylak had taught me that those doing praxis needed to be able to answer the following seven questions: 1) How to describe the essential structure of personality (Freud’s id, ego, and superego are examples.) 2) How to describe what moves that structure? (Motivation). 3) Does the personality change over time, and if so, in what way? (Growth and Development.) 4) How does one account for the variety of differences among individuals? 5) What does it mean to be ill, and how does illness happen? 6) How does the personality get cured? 7) What unique procedures does the theorist utilize to create cures?

Praxis was my work.

Having taught Rhylak’s approach all my academic life, I immediately saw that Pentecostal/Charismatic healers were doing psychological praxis. They were healing the sick while simultaneously theorizing as they went along. So, all I had to do was to apply Rychlak’s seven requirements to the writings of the prominent schools of healing in the Charismatic/Pentecostal movements and the personality theory of praxis would be evident.

Three of these Charismatic/Pentecostal movements that had most satisfactorily addressed at least most of these seven essentials, were the Word of Faith movement, the Inner Healing movement and Jessie Penn Lewis of the great Welch revival. In extracting the praxis from these movements and then publishing the results in scholarly journals, I could then introduce these models legitimately into my classes. That is what I did.

That I did an acceptable job of describing the systems can be seen in the following: Kenneth Hagin the leading proponent of the Word of Faith Movement, after reading my manuscript, wrote giving me permission to use his material and called my work “interesting.” The Sandford’s of the Inner Healing Movement, wrote me a personal note that my work was one of the best analyses of their writings to date. The present minister who carries on the work of Jessie Penn-Lewis invited me to come to Wales where I stayed in his home for several days. Topping it off, after showing my work to his classes, my mentor Joseph Rychlak, came from Chicago to speak at my university in North Carolina. The day was one of those Carolina blue autumn days and we strolled about the campus. To my surprised joy, our conversation was mostly about the Lord.


Joe said...

Do you have a link to your journal articles that doesn't violate any copyright? I would love to see your work. This is an awesome blog!

Blogger said...

Joe, Thank you for your kind comments. I could not find a link to the original article and that was the main reason I decided to rewrite it to this blog. These posts are very close to the originals. They were originally published in the Journal of Psychology and Theology. Again thanks. Father Don

Anonymous said...

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