Inner change : a pastoral-theological study
Campbell-Lane, Yvonne Charlotte
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The goal of psychotherapy and Biblical counselling is to change undesirable cognition, affect, and behaviour in the counselee. For the Biblical counsellor change entails more than mere behaviour change. He endeavours to facilitate inner Biblical change where the counselee can grow spiritually through sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit. Change should occur from the inside and result in Godly living. The central theoretical argument is that pastoral counselling portrays certain unique features that can be used to bring about change in the core of the counselee's being, renewing the mind sufficiently to walk in holiness. The aim is to establish whether pastoral counselling can be used effectively to help the counselee change in his conscious direction to walk in holiness. The first objective was to establish what Scriptural perspectives exist on change. When the believer is set free from the law sin and death, the effect of sin remains. Sinful patterns have been habituated into his thinking and behaviour. Every Christian has to deal with unbiblical beliefs and behaviour which are not easily overcome. Although problems do not disappear at regeneration, God through His Spirit equips the believer to handle them, providing the necessary resources, directions, and power for the change He commands. The Christian life is not static; it is a life that is characterized by change. In the basis-theoretical perspective it has been established that change that is pleasing to God involves the repudiation of the former "old man" and the assumption of the "new man". The believer is also challenged to be transformed by the renewing of his mind. This Scriptural understanding of change is addressed in the epistles of Paul (Ep. 4:22-24; Col. 3:8-10; Ro. 12:l-2). The uniqueness of Biblical counselling and the different perspectives were explored in this study. The exposition of inner change in the life of the counselee rendered important information. If the counsellor ignores what is happening on the inside of the individual, he will be unable to help him change his overt behaviour in any meaningful way. The second objective was to explore what other relevant disciplines had to contribute to the issue of change. The meta-theoretical perspective on change established that psychology is concerned with changing undesirable behaviour, cognitions, and affect. Knowledge of mental processes are important because the mind represents that which needs to be changed. The psychoanalytic, behavioural-cognitive, and person-centred approaches concerning change were expounded. According to answers given in the research of this study, Biblical perspectives included the use of Christian values and spiritual disciplines (use of Scripture, prayer). In most instances counselling included the use of secular perspectives using the Word of God as a foundation from which they derived their own models. It has been indicated that theology and psychology can complement each other, each contributing to a better understanding of the complexities of human nature. The third objective was accomplished by utilizing the basis- and meta-theoretical perspectives in a hermeneutical interaction to formulate a model of change that can be proposed for pastoral counselling.
- Theology