Author's note: I cheated and used a PageMaker plug-in to create the HTML in this file, instead of manually transcribing and writing the code. For some reason, looking at 130 pages of code again didn't sound like fun. I update the HTML every once in a while. I'm in the process of signifying where the "pages" would have been in the print version at the moment.

Anyway, go BACK to the source page if you either want a raw text version of this, or if you want a .PDF version, which is MUCH prettier, and is 100% the way I submitted the project.

I hope that you find this useful. I've progressed, as one would hope, past the point frozen in this thesis, to the point where I'm now studying the dichotomy between building character with church and using the same church merely to push doctrine. That study, along with some possibilities for implementation of what's written below and what I'm currently studying, will come out some time in late 1998 or 1999, in the form of a novel.

Thanks, and Enjoy!

©1997,1998 Paul Heimbach


 

Where the Culture is the Counsel


An Appraisal of The Jewish and Christian

Religious Systems and Their Cultures

To Assess A Common Counseling Methodology.

 

 

Paul Edwin Heimbach

 

 

Submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements

for the degree of Master of Arts in Counseling

Grace College

July, 1997

 


 

Many Thanks go to:

 

Richard Spencer, for taking many hours out of a busy schedule not only to read my paper,
but also to make many very incisive comments on it, some of which are incorporated herein.

 

 

My Wife, Barbara, for putting up with many dozens of books on the living room carpet,
and many hours without the hus band I know she loves, and think she remembers....

 

 

My advisor, Dr. Thomas Edgington, who for long hours has slaved not only to help me craft this thesis,
but also provided me with a rare model of how to craft myself.

 

 

Other friends who have read the thesis as it became avail able on the web, and have offered their comments...

 

The many others who have inspired my creativity, often while trying to advance their own positions...

 


Title: WHERE THE CULTURE IS THE COUNSEL: AN APPRAISAL OF THE JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS AND THEIR CULTURES TO AS SESS A COMMON COUNSELING METHODOLOGY.

Author: Paul Edwin Heimbach

Degree: Master of Counseling

Date: July, 1997

Advisor: Dr. Thomas J. Edgington

 

This paper began as an attempt to show that Jewish psychology was both different than, and possibly superior to, Christian psychology, due largely to differences in the mindsets of the two religious groups which had grown up over the millenia. It also began with the thesis that Judaism might be superior for counseling, given its relational nature, and there fore, if that were provable, it might be wise to incorporate into Christianity those aspects which would make it more relational.

As research continued, however, it became clear to me that such a thesis, and the concomitant attitude, would be seen as antagonistic, not to mention unprovable. This same research, however, showed me something drastically different. I will indeed compare two religious systems, and the mindsets which both shaped, and with which they were shaped. My purpose here, though, will not be to pit the two systems against each other, but to examine them, and to use that examination to further the cause of both the Church, and of psychology. I will examine the mindset and culture inherent in each religion, and will examine core theologies of each religion, noting where culture meets theology in each case. My course of inquiry will involve three steps.

First, I will attempt to construct a psychological system which might arise out of the tenets of each religion and mindset. Second, I will examine each of the resulting psychological theories. It is my belief that this will prove quite educational. (how? most people start with a belief structure, and look to the bible to prove it, not the other way around. Doing what we are, we should eliminate any individual quirks, and produce an acceptable "blanket" Christian theology, useful in several ways.) Third, I will use the strengths and differences to make us more aware of the state of current Christian psychological theory induced by our Western culture, and what the Judaism which we lost can restore to that theory. We will, however, show that that state is not good, as the parable below intimates.

 

In the end, the following seem true. Judaism incorporates in its theology, by means of its emphasis on life as art and many other emphases, both a healthy psychology and a solid means of conveying that psychology . Western, Hellenized Christianity as defined above may be creating, seems to focus on the compartmental, the logical and the intellectual, among other things. Therefore, as opposed to Judaism, Western Christianity is creating the need for a healthier psychology, and has a minimal, and possibly ineffective or dysfunctional delivery system.

 


 

 

 

Accepted by the Faculty of Grace Theological Seminary

in partial fulfillment of requirement for the degree

Master of Arts in Counseling

 

 

 

Thomas J. Edgington, Ph.D.

Advisor

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PREFACE ............................................... 6

DEFINITIONS ........................................... 10

OPENING PARABLE ....................................... 11

 

CHAPTER

ONE. An Exploration of Mindset and Theology ............15

TWO. The Mindset and Theology of Judaism ...............18

The Context of the Jewish Mindset ......................19

Essential Jewish Theology ....................,,,,,,.....23

Summary of the Jewish Mindset/Culture ..........,,,,,,.. 37

THREE. The Mindset and Theology of Christianity ..,,,... 41

Four Influences which formed Christianity ......,,,,,,.. 42

The Greek Language and Philosophy ...........,,,,,,,,,.. 43

The Greek Culture and Mindset ..............,,,,,,,,,... 45

Heresy ................................................. 46

Growing Anti-Semitism .................................. 47

Essential Christian Theology ........................... 52

Problems Associated with Such Thinking Patterns ......... 64

A Summary of the Christian Mindset ...................... 67

FOUR. Cultures and Mindsets, An examination of each,

with its inherent psychological system ................... 72

Jewish ................................................... 72

Christian ................................................. 75

INTERLUDE TO UNITY ........................................ 80

FIVE. Evaluation of Existing Representative Counseling

Systems from both camps ................................... 85

Christian Counseling Concepts ............................. 87

Jewish Counseling Concepts ............................... 100

SIX. A Proposed Model, Based on the above ................ 111

CONCLUSION............................................... 122

BIBLIOGRAPHY .............................................123


Preface:

 

I've been asked many times during the various processes which went into writing this thesis just why a Western Chris tian, enrolled in a conservative Seminary, would choose to write a paper attempting not just to combine Christian and Judaic theology, but Jewish and Christian psychology as well. 'Isn't your Christianity enough?' I've been asked. After three years of studying Judaism as intensely as I've studied Christianity, I feel I have to say a qualified no. Why I answer that way lies in several key 'discoveries'.

As I began to study how the Body of Christ should func tion, I discovered several things. First, the Western Chris tianity of recent centuries bears little resemblance to the Christianity of the early Church. Second, growing out of that realization, I have found that the early church was a commu nity which was culturally AND religiously Jewish, except for the belief that their Messiah had indeed come. I have found this unity valuable psychologically, but lacking in Western culture. The earliest Christians believed that Y'shua (Jesus) was not simply a political saviour, but was indeed their spiritual savior. They believed that after a time, He would come back for them, to demand an accounting of their time here.

Rather than view that accounting as a threat, however, they viewed it as a challenge, and a normal one at that, one for which they were readily equipped. Rather than view it as a time for fearful explanations of why they had participated in a list of forbidden activities, they viewed it as a sort of juried art day, on which the work of art they had attempted to


create, with more or less help from the Master Artist, would be judged on both its accomplished points, and the points left rough. Most critically, they believed that the community of which they were a part would have a solid hand in the prepa ration for that day, and that the way to a good accounting on that day was not a solid memorization of theology and defini tions, but of character change. For them, their "religion" was not just a thing to be done, but a way to be.

In much of the journey which has been my life, I have been surrounded with the knowledge of, and relationships with, many Jewish people, and with many of the concepts of Judaism. As I've supplemented subjective knowledge with more concrete knowledge over the last decade, and especially the last three or four years, my sense of kinship with the Jewish people has grown strong enough that I almost feel at one with them. What is it that keeps me from taking that last step into only Judaism?

First and foremost, I am Messianic. I believe that, while Judaism places a heavy responsiblity upon the individual for his own betterment, we cannot become perfect on our own. We require community, and we require a mechanism within that community to force us not just to "apply principles", but to forge one tough step farther, and actually tear apart our old lives, and rebuild new ones, based on those principles. I feel that I must emphasize though, that I believe that it was because we need such help that Moshiach has already come. I also believe, however, that with regard to community/growth issues, today's church is wholly inadequate.

Second, I consider my "religion" neither fully Jewish, nor fully Christian. While such a position puts me largely at odds with the orthodox of both religions, I do not believe that either "religion" exists in the state in which it was intended to exist. Neither is pure; both have aquired un healthy and un-needed impurities over the millenia. There is, however, a middle ground, which I have struggled to find, the route to which was through the Early Church. Much of this


struggle has consisted of identifying issues, of studying the Bible related to those issues, and of asking myself how much of what is now institutionalized is actually productive, i.e. whether it would either win new souls, or actually help those new souls grow, or both. It also has consisted of comparing present practice with First Century practice. I consider myself, for the record, a Messianic Jew, but one who views Yeshua-Moschiach (Jesus-the-Messiah) as the end of his faith, rather than the beginning. I believe, quite simply, that Yeshua came to complete the Jewish faith, and to offer salvation to the Gentiles. The Church would be the mechanism for both aims.

Thirdly, I wish to make explicitly clear, from the begin ning, that I am not, either in this paper, or in real life, what the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians (1:6-9), calls a Judaizer. Paul's complaint was against those who would say that Jewish practice was absolutely necessary for one's salva tion. This I do not believe. I practice, and preach, Judaism, combined with Christianity, for the sake of adding new meaning, background, and emotional content to my Christianity. This paper may at times, due to its nature, sound overly protective of Judaism and overly critical of Christianity, but I have attempted to keep any bias as marginal as possible, and to permit it only where the subject matter makes it unavoidable.

I do, however, believe the following about Christianity and Judaism in common. In other words, I believe the fol lowing about God:

· God exists.

· God created the world, and the human race, in that order.

· God did not create one for the other, but both for each other.

· God created the human race with the capability to sin, with the full knowledge that they would do so.

· God created the means for the redemption of all who sinned.

· God selected the Jews as the conscience of this planet, and therefore as the forerunners of this salvation.

· Salvation, when it came, was meant to be understood in the context of the religion and religious practices which God, in covenant with Israel, had spent several thousand years cultivating.

· God sent the second member of the Christian Trinity, called variously Jesus, the Messiah, Yeshua, and Moshiach, to the world to bring salvation.


Definitions:

With that said, I believe, and popular opinion has stated, that at least two definitions are in order:

Christianity, Christian, as used in this paper : Christianity today, both in terms of dogma and practice, seems vastly different than what history notes it to have been, and what it seems to have been intended to be. I will therefore be using "Christianity" to mean the institutionalized religion which it became after several anti-heretical fights in the first centuries, and especially after Constantine in 313 AD/CE. I include these two further restrictions on the term: unless mentioned otherwise, when the word 'Christianity' appears alone, it automatically includes either the prefixed term (and baggage) Western, and/or the prefixed word Hellenized. As noted above, I have no intent of attacking those Christians who actually have taken, and do take, the time to use the Bible to enact changes in their own holistic persons and personalities, and for whom that change is an ongoing and thorough process.

Judiasm, Jew, Jews, etc, as used in this paper : Judaism did change after about 200 BC/BCE as noted below in this paper, but the extent of that change has been difficult to determine and document. I most often am referring to Judaism as a culture, as the integrated unit of culture, religion, mindset, etc that it has proven to be. Most importantly, though, I refer to any Judaism which would run most parallel to Christianity of the same period, if Christianity existed in the mentioned period. Importantly, the Judaism of which I speak is not the one which the Roman Church has portrayed, one solely of slavish devotion to laws, but one of vibrant per sonal and community culture.


 

A Parable:

The Jewish people, especially their teachers, are very fond of telling stories. Some say that this fondness is merely a hand-me-down from the long oral tradition of this people, which they have been unable to forget. Others say that it is more important, as Edward Hoffman (1995) notes in the gloss of a chapter which he edited on the subject:

 

For those interested in the visionary aspects of Judaism, it has become increasingly clear that its folkloric tradition contains a treasure house of wisdom. Such teachings, often transmitted orally and evocatively in the form of stories, have long focussed on the subtleties of spiritual growth (p.20).

 

Those in the "more important" camp note that stories are and have been used to educate, to illustrate, to speak in images common to the hearer. The hearer doesn't have to reach quite so hard, once he has grasped the main points, and rather can stretch his imagination, by means of the new common images. The stories, however, never have had a cast list. One is never told, in the best of them that a "king", or a "simple man", or a "tree" stood for thus-or-so. One had to guess, and from the guessing, from grasping the whole story well and thoroughly enough, to winnow out the characters' identities.

This paper will need to do all of these things if it is to succeed. This paper is about reconciliation, between two parties so large, and apart for so long, that it is only remotely possible that many know both sides of the story. So, we will need common images, but we will also need to stretch the imagination a bit, by putting aside all prejudice. We need a story which will do all of this. After a search of the relevant literature, none would quite do. So, in the spirit of the story-tellers I've fashioned one, in the form of a classic rabbinic tale. It is an imperfect tale, no doubt, but one which I hope is effective.


Six thousand years ago, give or take a few centuries, a bride was chosen, in a quiet conversation between the Ruler of the Universe and a man from Ur of the Chaldees named Avram. The bride was most like the Ruler, and was chosen to be his own bride, someday. Rather than take her to be with Himself immediately, however, He left her in this world for two reasons. She was created from the best part of that other nation, and was to serve as the conscience of that, and other nations. That, however, would prove a dan gerous occupation. She was also, because she was found to be so much in His image, to learn much about him before their marriage. The Ruler selected her, however, for her special traits, which he strengthened and made equal to that task. She was tough, she saw herself as one, and viewed life as an opportunity to better the self, rather than simply to be lived, or tolerated in fear.

Occasionally, however the Bride had ideas of her own. The same stubborn streak which which had a hand in her role as conscience also had a hand in numbing her own conscience, in an odd desire to become like the very nations she was to have been helping. Painful as it must have been, the ruler allowed others to try to take her, and many thought they had her. Eventually, though, after she had learned her lesson for a while, the Ruler would inevitably return, and free her from her false bonds. Eventually, though, her captivities weakened her health, and destroyed another of her helpful traits, her powerful internal unity. After about four millenia of life, her Ruler, Maker, and Lover enacted a plan made long before her calling, or even her birth. He sent a final messenger not only to deliver a very clear and impassioned message, but to change the relationship forever. The messenger was to give his life to make the Bride acceptable to her Ruler and Lover.

However, because the Bride was merely called from human ity, as opposed to being created separately, the sacrifice made for her was also good for the balance of humanity.

It is this fact, coupled with humanity's increasing resist ance to their conscience, which would eventually cause the Bride intense pain, abuse, and grief. Her grief, however, would become multi-faceted.

Shortly after The Sacrifice, The Bride was placed under the most intense strain she ever encountered, and was scat tered throughout humanity. The Sacrifice of the Messenger was also taken to other cultures, including the dominant culture of the era. That culture, however, had values al most diametrically opposed to the Bride's.

For that reason, The Sacrifice and The Relationship were never integrated into the culture of the Caretakers, how ever, as they were in the Bride. The Caretakers soon stripped away the context of the message, perfectly satis fied with studying the mysteries of the message, out of context, quantifying it, dissecting it, nearly losing it in a plethora of tubes and life-support systems as, loosed from its supportive environment, it struggled against all to many diseases. Values which allowed the Bride to accept trouble with equinamity were lost, and replaced with struc tures that, with frightening rapidity, wrote the Bride out of the picture. For many years, the Caretaker developed The Message of the Sacrifice without any consultation with the Bride. Such development was pointless, since the pri mary meaning of the Message lies in the completion of the Bride's talents.

Some of the developments were valuable, however. Many more, though, caused intense grief and pain for the Care taker.

In recent days, however, developments have once again forced them together, as Bride first became quite sick, facing near certain annihilation, and the Caretaker, for whom the message had become almost completly academic, found and feared that both of them were increasingly losing strength to other individuals in their community. The Caretaker has dropped official opposition to the existance


of the Bride, and the two are finally beginning to realize two things: their histories are so mutually entwined that no pulling by others can break them apart, but neither rec ognizes what the other has become. Their only hope for re vitalization is reconciliation. But reconciliation to and of what? Often the Bride wants little to do with the Care taker. But just as often, members of the Caretakers Commu nity are finding less and less value within it, and finding themselves desperately seeking what the Bride was sent to provide.

So far, this parable has been of division. I hope that, ironically, the academic extension of this parable which follows, in the form of a counseling session, can tease out the unique possibilities inherent in each, at a time when each is most likely to give custody one more go. While many would urge a separation, I believe a reconciliation of their core ideologies, a remarriage of Bride's history, and Grooms healing powers, is the best hope. Bride has been given a mission, and is uniquely talented to complete it. She is, however, missing one thing: she cannot do it alone. She needs the Message of the Sacrifice back.

Therefore, if we can re-integrate the Message of the Sacrifice with the Brides talents, the counseling session will have been a success.

This is their hope, and may be the only hope for many of the disenchanted and wounded. The paper which follows will deal not only with my view of what kind of counseling needs to occur in this "relationship", but with what we, as counselors and ministers can glean from the results of that "counseling session."


 

 

CHAPTER ONE:

An exploration of mindset and theology, with an eye for culling out useful issues with which to work, and a framework of similarities to hammer them onto.

 

Three religions can be discerned in the period from about 100 BCE to 100 CE, says Neusner (1984); Judaism prior to CE /AD, Judaism CE/AD, and Christianity CE/AD. It was the de struction of the Temple which caused the creation of the second two out of the first. "The destruction of the Temple which took place in 70 CE ... was normative in the formation of ... Judaism ... (as it) took shape in the documents produced by Rabbis from the first through the seventh centu ries. This same event proved decisive in the formation of Christianity as an automonous and self-conscious community of Israelite faith" (p. 10).

As of 70 CE, Christianity is still considered to be adher ing to mostly Jewish beliefs. We will see below that this is quite true deep into the second Century. I have written extensively elsewhere about why the break might have oc curred. I will touch again on it in a section below, although always the why is secondary to the what, with respect to what differences became embedded in the Bride and her Caretaker. The why will be informative to the what, but here is never meant to over-ride it.

Neusner (1984) provides one critical path for inquiry on the question of why. He speaks in his book of three types of men critical in the age of which I have just spoken, and whom I will describe in more detail below. They are the priest, the sage,and the Messiah. I mention them here because they are critical to understanding why Judaism and Christianity became such different religions, apart from their quite basic


differences with respect to Messianic issues. This trio is therefore important to achieving whatever level of re-unifi cation, or integration we desire for the purposes of psychol ogy. The dichotomy which is so critical to Neusner is one of salvation vs. sanctification. What is comes down to is as follows:

The priests (Temple) and the sages (Torah) tended to focus inward, and therefore tended also to focus on sanctification. The Messianists tended to focus on salvation, which by its nature required a much more outward focus. It is along these lines that, under the intense pressures of history after 70 CE that Judaism, with its very inward focus, and Christanity, with its outward and upward tendancies, eventually were torn apart. Aside from Messianic issues, at one time, Christianity and Judaism were indistinguishable, with multiple sources from era historians and commentators to current scholarship, stating in common that Christianity was often considered, early on, to be simply a radical Jewish sect.

The establishment of this point is critical before any thing else is done or said. This is said at the very least because this point represents the strongest of the possible paths in allowing Judaism and Christianity, both in their theologcial, lifestyle, and psychological spheres, to posi tively influence each other back to a powerful marriage. Not only does this give us a structure, onto which to place all of the other, smaller issues which we will discuss below, but it provides us with a core unity. It makes me feel like Judaism and Christianity belong together, or at least are complimen tary in their focus, in that they change our focus from uni -directional to bi-directional, encompassing, in their unity, BOTH of the important directions to look for our healing.

So where do we go from here? How do we tackle such a seemingly daunting task of not only establishing what each religion deems critical, but then establishing each reli gion's sphere of influence, and then, ultimately, teasing from that sphere of influence issues prominent enough, and


central enough, to provide a basis for the re-establishment of relationship touched upon in recent paragraphs? It seems that the parable stated at the opening of this paper will be of quite a bit of help in this issue. While easier ways may be possible, the most productive way, both in terms of clarity and produced knowledge seems to be provided by a counseling session of sorts. With that route established, finer details will include first an "individual counseling session" in which the "bride" tells us about herself, followed by something similar from the "caretaker". What they tell, and how they tell it, will differ, based upon what we already know of their personalities. Let us now move on to our interview with the Bride of this tale.


 

CHAPTER TWO:

The Mindset and Theology of Judaism.

 

Many modern theologians increasingly attempt to define the message of Jesus over against Judaism. Jesus is said to have taught something quite different, something original, unacceptable to the other Jews. The strong Jewish opposi tion to Jesus' proclamation is emphasized .... Even though he gave his own personal bent to Jewish ideas, selected from among them, purged and reinterpreted them, I cannot honestly find a single word of Jesus that could seriously exasperate a well intentioned Jew.

-David Flussner, quoted in Brad Young (1995)

 

Because I am attempting to use religion to establish a psychology, the "counseling sessions" with the "bride" will attempt to explore the context in which she has had to live. Since the 'counselor' in this situation, along with most of the auditors of this conversation have been raised with a Western mindset, it will seem more comfortable to tease apart her "common mindset", how she behaves ordinarily within her culture, how she functions in everyday life, and how she approaches her religious life, even though for her, the two will be more or less seamlessly welded. In "later sessions" she will attempt to speak more about that religious life. At the end of those "sessions", I will interact with her, weaving what she has said into a form which will be more portable, for use in later "sessions", in which I will attempt to determine a psychological theory of her existance. But that will come after several "interviews" with the groom.

Perhaps the words of Barry W. Holtz (1992) summarize the interview into which I am about to enter, as I try to encapsulate Judaism:

 

"... there is not fixed path, no step-by-step curriculam for learning, or for entering Judaism. You can begin anywhere and move in any direction you like. (...) because Judaism is a spiritual tradition that is, a tradition designed to help people discover who they are and what they should do about it much of Judaism cannot be mastered dispassionately or objec tively the way one might learn "about" French civilization, American literature, or Japanese gardens. Ultimately, Judaism must be lived personally. (...) learning about Shabbos can never be a substitute for making one. (...) In Judaism, study itself can be an act of prayer." (italics mine)

 

Besides augmenting our understanding of what Judaism is, this passage tells us what it cannot be: purely intellectual. As the parable above hinted, and the discussion below will seek to uncover, this is not necessarily the case with other reli gions.

I will attempt to show what happens when a religion tries to become intellectual property. But this is perhaps as good a point as any to make clear a key issue, one on which I struggle daily: both religions can , during the initial time of acquaintance, seem, and even be purely intellectual.

What is important to this investigation, however, is what has happened to two religions which at one time were extremely similar. One remained concerned with remaining a lifestyle, and one became primarily concerned with the maintenance of intellectual correctness. Judaism will refuse to make sense past a certain point if practiced or learned on only an intellectual level, for many reasons (mostly of time-based practices, such as holy-days). Christianity on the ohter hand has developed, due primarily to Hellenization, to the point were it can be made to make sense, and provide a sort of satisfaction and direction on a purely intellectual level for most of its adherants. This difference we will seek to explore, by looking at the development of each mindset, rather than simply a snapshot of each mindset at any given time.

The Context of the Jewish Mindset

 

While Thorlief Boman (1970) states in his book Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek that "(t)he Jews themselves de fined their spiritual pre-disposition as anti-Hellenic" the primary determiner of the Jewish mindset is its language. Boman has written what appears to be both the seminal and the only work both detailing the uniqueness of the Hebrew lan guage, and contrasting it somewhat with the Greek language. The conclusions which he draws with may impact up to one-half of our conclusions.

Perhaps the thing which emerges most quickly is the time conciousness of the Hebrew people."'Dwelling' for the Hebrews is related to the person who dwells, while for the Greeks and for us it is related to the residence and the household goods" (Boman, 1970). While this is only one word, it is perfect for my uses here, in that it deals squarely with many issues. Foremost among them, it highlights a lasting and critical difference of focus between the Hebrew and Greek civiliza tion, in which one focuses on the inner being, and one focusses on the quantifiable outer issues.

Boman (1970) also addresses other issues raised by the above quote, i.e. state of being. "Our analysis of the Hebrew verbs that express standing, sitting, lying, etc., teaches us that motionless and fixed being is for the Hebrews a nonen tity; it does not exist for them. Only being which stands in inner relation with something active and moving is a reality to them." This quote holds much promise for religious devel opment, theology, and psychology in the way that it changes their focus. This focus will be detailed below.

Even when something or someone in Hebrew seems to be standing still, or as a Greek would put it: in a position to be quantified, there is motion or connectedness in or with time: "...even the Hebrew stative verbs are not static; they are called stative because they designate a condition (sta tus) which is not fixed and dead but is in flux it is as much

a becoming as a being" (p.33). As opposed to the Greeks, the Hebrews have a great number of these stative verbs. "There fore, we must presuppose that the verbal idea ... is always living and palpable, even when we are not, because of poverty of expression either to repeat it or to feel it with them" (p.34). Without doubt, repeated practice with envisioning emotional verbs as a process would strengthen the empathic skills of a counselor, since the entire history of the emotion must be rooted out and understood, rather than simply assuming that the emotion expressed is one of the moment.

 

Just as critical as what this basic lingual analysis has revealed is what specific lingual analysis reveals with ref erence to the Hebrew language and psychology. Oates (1973) states that "the Hebrews had no word for person (as we use it today, as derived from Latin persona (see below)). Nor did they have a word for body. The body was the person, and there was no differentiation between the physical and psychical, the natural and the supernatural" (p. 18). This will, as we will see below, carry heavily into their theology. With the Torah meant to be directly interactive with the soul, rather than simply changing the mind, seeing the person as parts to be added to allows a localization of the change, and a deeper interaction with the self.

Neusner, (1988) summarizes the importance which language plays in this discussion. He notes quite simply in his introduction to the Mishnah that "world view and ethos are synthesized in language." That synthesis is already extant, so for the rest of this chapter, we will seek to finish the revelation of what language analysis has begun.

 

According to Jacob Neusner (1988), the stated purpose of Jewish education in the first Centuries CE was to "create a decent human being". (Neusner, JIBC, p. 24) How different this appears from the schooling of the West, in which, at best, the purpose is the learning of a job; at worst, the

memorization of huge quantities of facts, and learning their inter-relationship, if any, in hopes that the skill of inter -relating facts will "land" one a job. But this idea also creates a question, to be answered below, with respect to just how such an ideal might be integrated. The other thing that it does is make us aware that people who think and educate in Jewish fashion will have people who are, in themselves, works of art, rather than works of art based on material goods, and inter-related facts.

One such work of art appears in our Bibles as The Song of Songs, or The Song of Solomon. Solely by noting who is present and who is absent, the Song notes a very important mindset issue for its readers, especially in light of the present context. In the song, it becomes clearly obvious that while the men shape the history of the tribe and nation, the women are in charge of passing on the traditions of love (Bloch and Bloch, The Song of Songs, p.6).

The Song teaches us more than that, however. "In cel ebrating love and lovers, the Song proclaims the power of the imagination. The verb damah ("to be like") occurs with particular frequency; in one of its conjugations, dimmah, it means ... 'to conjure up a mental image, to imagine, to fantasize'" (Bloch and Bloch, Song Of Songs , p.14). There is no warning in the Hebrew that what the imagination cre ates cannot come to fruition, as there is in Greek litera ture, such as Plato's Republic. So, where the Greek at tempts to stick with what is easily quantifiable, visible, hard, the Hebrew is encouraged to interact with others with the additional blessing of imagining a future. One sus pects this would lead to a much more dynamic form of wor ship, if one not ONLY can concentrate on what is (doc trine), but what might be.

Buber (1967) suggests, when speaking on unity that when one is a member of a people on its own soil, one can afford not to look at his people, and can take them for granted. This gives him the liberty to become, and be, an indi

vidual. But when one's very people, let alone one's land, are forced time and again close to non-existance, when one lives landless for millenia, one must not take one's people for granted, for community with them is all he has.

 

Essential Jewish Theology

"In investigating the existential foundations of the several symbolic systems available to ancient Jews, we seek to penetrate to the bedrock of Israel's reality, the basis for the life of the nation of Israel and each Israelite, the ground of being even to the existential core we share with them." (Neusner, 1984, p. 39) Not only which, but we will also use these to develop a Jewish psychological theory. Jewish theology has proven difficult to tease apart from Jewish mindset, primarily because what Jewish theology I have found has been in the context of usefulness to daily life. So I have stuck to separating the two by means of space and time parameters.

Despite the lack of overt dogma (as opposed to doctrine) Jewish theology has remained rather stabile over the millen nia. Granted, there have been changes, but none of those changes have reached the ground-breaking magnitude of those which have continually rocked Christian theology over the past 1800 years. For this reason, we will explore Jewish theology on a topical basis, rather than by using the histori cal approach which will be necessary to gain the most (poign ant) view of the Christian experience below.

So where do I begin? Philip S. Bernstein (1952) spends his entire book detailing the Jewish faith by only using the Jewish Holy days and Festivals. While it does not seem to be his intention to represent the whole of Judaism using this vehicle, it certainly provides an effective means of convey ing both the living realism and the theology of Judaism at the same time, not to mention the reality of its focus on time and times, rather than activity.

On the other hand, Milton Steinberg (1947) spends a bit of time "hosting" an argument between those who say that Judaism has, or has not, a distinct set of articles of faith. We will see some of the results of that argument below. At bottom, however, he, as the "moderator" of this "discussion", decides that Judaism has indeed some articles of faith, some distinctives, but has no inflexible dogmas. As a matter of fact, many different rabbinical and commentative opinions state that flexibility in the law, based proportionately on the stress and danger of the situation, are the accepted, expected, and taught norm, not the exception.

Given these two polar opposites, then, quite likely the best way to gain an initial view of the groundwork of Judaism is to look at a structure assembled by a rabbi named Maimonides, in approximately the 13th Century CE/AD. Maimonides penned a summary work dealing with thirteen principles of the Jewish faith, principles without which the faith, he says, cannot really be itself. What follows is a terse summary of those points:

 

"The First Principle of Faith.

The existence of the Creator (...) i.e. that there is an existent Being with the highest perfection of existence. He is the cause of the existence of all existent things. In Him they exist and from Him emanates their continued existence. (..) Whatever is outside Him, (...) all need Him for their existence.

The Second Principle of Faith.

The Unity of God. This implies that this cause of all is one; not one of a genus nor of a species, and not as one human being who is a compound divisible into many unities.

The Third Principle of Faith.

The removal of materiality from God. This unity is not a body nor the power of a body, nor can the accidents of bodies overtake Him (...) Whereever in the scriptures God is spoken of with the at tributes of material bodies, like motion, standing, sitting, and such like, all these figures of speech, as the Sages said, 'the Torah speaks in the language of men.

The Fourth Principle of Faith.

God is everlasting, an eternal being . This means that the unity whom we have described is first in the absolute sense.

The Fifth Principle of Faith.

That it is He who must be worshipped and made known by His greatness and the obedience shown to Him. This fifth principle is a prohibition of idolatry. The greater part of the Torah is taken up with the prohibition of idol worship. Epstein reads this " God is the only object of human prayer."

The Sixth Principle of Faith.

God's word is made known through prophets. This implies that is should be known that among this human species there exist persons of very intellectual natures and possessing much perfection. Their souls are predisposed for receiving the form of the intellect. Then this human intellect joins itself with the active intellect, and an exalted emanation is shed upon them. These are the prophets. The complete elucidation of this principle of faith is very long...

The Seventh Principle of Faith.

The prophecy of Moses our teacher. (...) The prophecy of Moses differs from that of all other prophets in four respects. Moses was the only prophet without an intermediary. Moses was the only prophet to receive communication when awake. Moses is the only one who did not suffer phyical hardship as a result of receiving prophecy. Moses was the only prophet to whom prophecy came when either he or God chose.

The Eighth Principle of Faith.

That the Torah has been revealed from heaven. What we have today is the same thing that Moses received, and directly from the mouth of God. The Torah is meant for all time.

The Ninth Principle of Faith.

The abrogation of the Torah. The law of Moses will not be changed, and that no law will come from before God.

The Tenth Principle of Faith.

That He, the exalted one, knows the works of men and is not unmindful of them.

The Eleventh Principle of Faith.

That He rewards him who obeys the commands of the Torah, and punishes him who transgresses its prohibitions. God's great reward is "the future world." His strongest punishment is "cutting off."

The Twelfth Principle of Faith.

The days of the Messiah. This involves the belief and firm faith {interesting combo of words...}in his coming. No date must be fixed for his coming, neither may the scriptures be interpreted with the view of deducing the time of his coming.

The Thirteenth Principle of Faith.

The resurrection of the dead.

 

When these principles are in the safe keeping of man, and his conviction of them is well established, he then enters 'into the general body of Israel,' and it is incumbent upon us to love him, to care for him, and to do for him all that God commanded us to for for one another in the way of affection and brotherly sympathy."

(Bleich, With Perfect Faith. pp. 36 to 43)

 

What interests me about these is their focus. Here we have a relatively complete set of 'principles of the faith', whose emphasis completely avoids many of the items we would con sider, and have considered historically, to be crucial to a belief system, such as anthropology, angelology, salvation theory, etc.

This system as is leaves little room for intellectual debate, and when Maimonides fleshes it out to his fullest,

leaves even less. There is no need for intellectualizing. The Jew simply accepts that God is the center of everything, and that to define God is ludicrous. Further, when the Jew accepts God as the center of everything (and by default, his life), a great humility enters, hopefully along with a desire to be in the closest and best possible relationship with Him. I have little doubt that this desire is what made the Jews at Pentecost so eager to accept the Apostles' message: the God for Whom they had done many mitzvot, and Who was the core of their world, suddenly had manifested Himself in such a way that an infinitely closer relationship was possible.

Lawrence Epstein (1994) notes concisely that "(t)he Jew ish de-emphasis on beliefs was ... a profound psychological assertion that mere beliefs cannot substitute for real ac tion, that right thinking was secondary to moral behavior." The other thing which strikes me is the total lack of the requirement of a moral "purity" which many of today's churches often "lay" upon people in order to accept them. Granted, Judaism has 613 laws which contain a very complete moral code, but acceptance of any or all of those 613 is not a precondition for complete acceptance by the Jewish community in full stature. We will see more of this below.

Even more important is this thought: while there have been sporadic attempts to further elucidate the Jewish faith, to the exclusion of the Jewish culture, the main bulk of Jewish theological work along with the main culture revolves around the concept and the person of God. There are few and meager attempts at any of the broad, deep and sweeping theo logical panoramae which so commonly are found in Western Christianity as "Systematic Theologies". Many of the works which we do find are more elucidations of the laws which God laid down for the Jews at Sinai, attempts to integrate those laws into the realities of a culture.

This thought leads to another, even more important thought: because God is the Jewish focus, the focus is on a Being, a being at once immortal, immutable, and more, Who yet remains

willing to hold relationship with His creatures. This has little meaning until it is contrasted with the focus (foci?) of Western theology, which can be interpreted either as a focus on a plethora of issues not related directly to the human creature, or as a singular focus upon a System, rather than a Being. Such a system either tends toward instability if left mutable, or towards inflexibility; both of which are dangerous, for there is no pattern on which to fix one's eye, and with which to compare one's personal growth. Whereas in Judaism, with its personal focus, there is a pattern, a Being, albeity perfect, against Whom to check growth.

Speaking of flexibility, these thirteen can be reduced further. There are several other sets of doctrines, main tained as pillars, which I should in fairness, mention before passing on to individual elements of Judaism, to examine their contributions to our theory. Most of them can be summarized in a necessarily abbreviated quote by Steinberg of Rabbi Simlai:

 

"Six hundred and thirteen commandments were imparted to Moses (...) Then came David and reduced them to eleven, even as it is written (in) Psalm XV (...) Then came Isaiah and reduced them to six, even as it is written (in) Isaiah XXXIII:15

He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly;

He that despises the gain of oppressions,

That shakes clear his hands from laying hold on bribes,

That stops his ears from hearing of blood

And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil.

Then came Micah and reduced them to three, (Micah 6:8)

(...) Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.

(..) Then came Amos and reduced them to one, (Amos V:4)

Seek me and live." (Steinberg, p. 13-14)

 

Steinberg (1947) goes on, listing several other individuals in Jewish history who have sought to distill Judaism's essence to a phrase. He notes a single commonality among them: "The simultaneous love of God and man: here is Judaism's first postulate and final inference, its point of departure and its destination, the root of it and its fruitage." Interestingly enough, we find Christ teaching this in Matthew's Gospel.

From the specific pillars of Judaism, I want to examine some tenets which might be common to both, thereby suggesting a course of reconciliation, if their premises can be merged . On the topic of prayer, Reuven Hammer (1995) writes that

 

"prayer is not an exclusively Jewish enterprise. It is an expression of our human status. The impulse to pray comes from basic human needs and desires. The informal words a person addresses to God may well be the same re gardless of one's background. The distictiveness of of Jewish prayer is to be found in the concept of the God to whom we pray, a God who is the sole source of life, who can be entreated but not compelled, a God who is father and king at the same time" (p.11).

 

Hammer (1995) goes on to say that prayer, for Jews, is very reflective of a belief system, ideals, history, and view of the future, and that learning about prayer is a way of helping us enter the world of Judaism (p.11). What is exciting, however, is what Hammer says later in his treatise, in a discussion of the Siddur, the Jewish prayerbook. He notes that it is "the key to understanding and experiencing the meaning of Judaism." He then quotes Abraham Joshua Heschel, who said that "The liturgy is our creed in the form of a spiritual pilgrimage. Our liturgy is no mere memorial to the past; it is an act of participating in Israel's bearing witness to the unity, uniqueness, love, and judgment of God." (p.75)

What excites me about this is the view taken of the creed. It seems to be a live thing, and not only a live thing, but also a thing in time, not in space. It is not built to lock down something for eternity, but rather it is built to transport a people through eternity. This has two-fold ramifications. First, it will need to be recalled below, as we "counsel the groom". Second, such a living thing should have profound bearing on the psychology inherent in a religion.

There is another kingpin to Jewish theology which impacts how it deals with personal growth. That kingpin, again, is not a thing, as might be expected, or a dogma, but a day. It sounds simple: Keep the Sabbath. But the why behind the commandment is the important part. Abraham Joshua Heschel (1994) has written a brilliantly clear, possibly seminal work on the Jewish interpretation of the Sabbath for modern man. While neither its meaning nor human nature has changed in six or more millenia, our circumstances have. This change, and the relevance of the Sabbath to it, will be key, again, to our teasing out of a psychology. So what has changed that is so earth-shaking? Busy-ness, business, and hence our perception of our perception of ourselves. We are now enmired, like never before, in defining ourselves by what we do, and by what labels we wear, and compartmentalization of our lives, that civilization often tempts us to forget the real, and only possible, definition of ourselves.

Of this, Heschel (1994) asks: "Is civilization essen tially evil, to be rejected and condemned? The faith of the Jew is not a way out of this world; but a way of being within and above this world; not to reject but to surpass civlization. The Sabbath is the day on which we learn to the art of surpassing civilization" (p.27). Heschel's comment that "(t)he Sabbath is a bride, and its celebration is like a wedding." (p.54.) shows us the intimately personal level on which the ideal Jew meets time and/or times. Heschel takes this a step futher by noting that "(t)he idea of the Sabbath as a queen or a bride is ... an exemplification of a divine attribute, an illustration of God's need for human love; it does not repre sent a substance but the presence of God, His relationship to man." (p.60) Rarely, in this culture, does one find such a religious symbol so full of possibility, with such a frequent recurrance. (Quite likely Christmas and Easter are the only such symbols for Christians).

"The seventh day was full of both loveliness and majesty an object of awe, attention, and love. Friday eve, when the Sabbath is about to engross the world, the mind, the entire soul, and the tongue is tied with trembling and joy what is there one could say?" (Heschel, p.60) "The idea of the Sabbath as a bride was retained by Israel; (...) to this day the meal on Saturday night is called 'the escort of the queen.' (...) to thank, and show that they do not like the departure of the holy guest, that her parting evokes a deep regret."

So we have seen how the Sabbath feels and what it means to the Jew, along with what is experienced. But more impor tantly, what does it provide for him, what has it to say to him, for the other six days, for application to his real life? "Every seventh day a miracle comes to pass, the resurrection of the soul, of the soul of man and of the soul of all things. A medieval sage declares: The world which was created in six days was a world without a soul. It was on the seventh day that the world was given a soul. This is why is is said: 'and on the seventh day He rested vayinnafash' (Exodus 31:17); nefesh means a soul" (Heschel, p. 83). So, psychologically, Sabbath becomes a tool of hope. No matter how soul-damaging the balance of the week may become, on every seventh day, there is rest, and better, there is the hope of a miracle, of complete restoration.

Heschel (1994) buttresses this idea when he notes that

 

"Judaism tries to foster the vision of life as a pil grimage to the seventh day; the longing for the Sabbath all days of the week which is a form of longing for the eternal Sabbath all of the days of our lives. It seeks to displace the coveting of things in space for coveting the things in time , teaching man to covet the seventh day all days of the week. God himself coveted that day, He called it Hemdat Yamim , a day to be coveted" (p. 77).

 

It is with comments like these about time versus space that the final theological and psychological significance of the

Sabbath really shines through. We come again to the dichotomy between the Western idea of space as dominant, as opposed to the Jewish idea of time holding sway. We shall see below just what this can contribute.

A major part of the observant Jew's year, the Pirkey Avoth, also speaks to this conquest of time and space.

 

"Let the awe of heaven be upon you, so that the thrill of having a relationship with God, and the prospect of a dialogue (...), is independant of any material wish. One the cause-and-effect dimension of material gain is eliminated, the room that is needed for an authentic service of God, in awe, is created" (Bulka, 1993, p. 25)

 

When Judaism speaks of using space to sanctify time, this is one aspect of what it means.

An electronic mail message I received recently from a rabbinic friend uses a facet of Passover to also deal with personal growth.

 

Without being overly symbolic, I think it is clear that the process of leavening represents the develoment of powers inherent in something. Matza is simply flour and water, baked. Bread is the same ingredients, but when you leave it around, unwatched and unbothered, it magically rises and grows, realizing a hidden potential and expressing it. Is this bad? Not at all! It would not be exaggerated to say that this is the goal of Torah life in general. But the Torah is warning us about something on Pesach. This process of growth and development, when left to unfold of itself, wildly, can be catastrophic. The raw powers of the human spirit, unguided, are anarchic precisely because they are powerful, precisely because they represent real growth and vitality. The first step, when granted freedom, is not to run and let all the repressed inclinations and urges fly out. Even the, espe cially then, one should eat matza and beware the hidden powers bursting to free. ... Rather than making (our first creative products) in a burst of activity the first day of freedom, we must first find the direction to "the mountain of the Lord," first learn the purpose of freedom, and then and only then take davantage of the wild unchecked powers within (Rabbi Israel Koschitzhy, Yeshivat Har Etzion, list mailing 20.4.97).

 

It would be fair, then, to say that the Sabbath consti tutes a pillar which has been put in place to remind the Jew

not to see time as quite so important was what it is that he does with that time. I will show another such pillar below, in the upcoming exploration of the concept of tznius .

So what of the book out of which much of Jewish theology and practice is taken? "To be a Jew may similarly be reduced to the single, pervasive symbol of Judaism: Torah . To be a Jew meant to live the life of Torah, in one of the many ways in the masters of Torah taught" (Neusner, 1984, p. 13). Again the reader is exposed to the emphasis upon living what one reads, as opposed to merely intellectualizing it. But Jewish opinion takes an interesting tack with regard to its Torah, holy as it may be considered. Holtz (1992) states that

 

"(i)f you are convinced that the Torah has nothing more to do with God (...) than any other book, than wait a while before reading it. (italics mine) If, on the other hand, you are prepared to consider the (...) possibility that the Holy one of Being can somehow "get through" to people (...), then the Torah is already a holy text for you" (p. 11).

 

I do not have the necessary scholastic proof to allege that Christianity forces converts and others to read the Bible before they are ready, but one cannot help but be impressed both by Christianity's constant emphasis upon proving logi cally that one's interpretation of the Bible is "it", and by Judaism's seeming non-chalant and open willingness to wait for the convert to reach his own decisions with regard to the important issues in this regard.

Another important "theological issue" arises out of the Torah as well. Holtz (1992) notes that "(t)he best way to read Torah is with a Hevra, a small group which meets weekly specially for this purpose usually on the Sabbath" (p. 11) Small groups, and more importantly communities, are the para mount and central societal group within Judaism. The groups that meet, however, serve more of a purpose than simply a theological discussion group. "If a person was a member of the middle class, for example," says Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Himmelstein (1990), "and suffers a severe financial setback, he has to be

given greater support than a person who had been of the lower classes. In essence, then, Jewish law recognizes that there is a psychological element (even) in poverty, and that the community cannot treat all the poor identically." While it exists as an option, there is little emphasis, especially within certain Christian circles, on group Bible studies, support/growth groups, or more importantly, group social in teraction outside of Church walls. Even assuming that the church could get people together for a Bible study, it would be rare group which would be willing to support any one of its member families at its accustomed income level.

Conversely, in discussing personal change in a commentary on the Pirkey Avoth, Rabbi Reuven Bulka (1993) notes, in concert with Chapter 4, Mishna 7, that "communal concerns should be foremost, that even if one is not a giver towards the community, at least one should be a receiver, one should not separate oneself from the community" (p.150) . Rabbi Halevy Donin, (1980) notes that "(s)o much significance is still placed on communal worship that if one is unable to attend a communal service, he is advised taht the next best thing to do is to pray privately at the same time as the congregation is praying." Donin also notes that "the sages taught that God listens more readily to the prayers of a congregation that He does to those of an individual." While we may choose to argue about the derivation of such a teaching, one has to concede that for sages over centuries to teach this meant two related things: that it sounded true for the community concerned, and that the rabbis must have percieved that such teaching would reflect a value integral to the community.

 

"The promise that universal peace can be reached and the earth turned to paradise, ..., (that) there will be a final redemption within human history not beyond it, ..., in pledging a covenental partnership, (G-d) has accepted humans, in all their flawed and finite nature, as the medium of divine activity. Human capacities are allowed for and human needs

are met in the structure of Israel's redeeming faith. The Divine illuminates, orients, and instructs humans, but God does not and will not overwhelm them or destroy their dignity or integrity not even to save them." (Rabbi Irving Greenberg, 1994, p.121) How many different psychological points can we winnow out of that very concise statement?

 

In light of universal peace however, what of redemption, that crucial cross-bar without which no one can be admitted into God's presence, either momentarily, or for enternity? I can think of no other topic, other than perhaps Messianism itself, (and rightly so) which divides the camps more cleanly than the vision of the future of which I have just written. At the very beginning, I wrote of an inward focus, (Jewish) and an outward and upward focus, which I labelled as primarily Christian. It is on the issue of redemption which I believe that this chasm most bluntly manifests itself.

But on the Jewish side, I believe that the chasm, if that is indeed the correct word, is intentional. Jacob Neusner (1988), in his lengthy introduction to his literal transla tion of the Mishnah, has this to say in clarification:

 

"Now the Judaism shaped by the Mishnah consists of a coherent world view and comprehensive way of living. It is a world view which speaks of transcendent things, a way of life in response to the supernatural meaning of what is done, a heightened and deepened perception of the sanctification and redemption of Israel in deed and in deliberation. Sanctifi cation means two things: first, distinguishing Israel in all its dimensions from the world in all its ways; second, estab lishing the stability, order, regularity, predictability, and reliability of Israel at moments and in contexts of danger."

 

Thus, even though the Jew can stay in his culture (like the Christian after conversion), for the Jew, that staying is still a separation. He isn't just one sanctified individual, but he becomes part of a sanctified culture, and everything he does, while pulling him further from world culture as a being, pulls him further into the folds of his own culture, but more importantly, in his building that structure further. The

Christian, on the other hand, as Vedders (1923) notes, often is not only distinguished by his pulling away from the common social play of his generation, but from any of his fellows who participate as well. Such a pulling away hardly builds a structure which will survive the kind of danger through which the Jewish people have come.

As was demonstrated immediately above, Judaism sees an internal change of such massive proportions that the entire world is changed. This, of course, places the burden for that change, but more importantly for redemption, squarely on the heads (and the hearts) of the Jewish community. As will be demonstrated below, however, Christians can, if they elect, have the desire of merely accepting one set of truths (Christ's death and resurrection, and his imminent return) and live the balance of their lives with a) the assurance of their future, b) the assurance of their place in it. There is little necessity for personal responsibility. This has major rami fications in the composition of a Jewish, and a Christian, psychology.

 

Another small, yet important issue for Jews is the concept of "tznuis", or modesty. Tznius has, in Western culture, often been directed at women, often in the extreme, while being mostly ignored by men. However, for Jews, at least in theory, according to Rabbi Yissocher Frand (1995),

 

Tznius (...) is a call to us to emphasize and strengthen the internal aspects of our personality, to concentrate our energies on that which is deeper and more hidden within us our spiritual nature. That is why the prophet Michah (sic) as one of the three basic principles upon which a Jew must conduct his life. It is nothing less than a demand that we emphasize the Divine image within us, the soul which was taken from under the Kisei HaKavod (Divine throne) and brought into the physical world.

 

Once again, the Jewish world emphasizes a commandment which regulates one's being by means of de-emphasizing the impor tance of one's appearance.

According to an internet page entitled "you are what you choose" (http://www.j51.com/~jrsflw/success.htm), the key to success is:

 

A) Choosing to make the effort. Being willing to take on the challenge. "L'fum tzaara agra." According to the pain you're willing to take is the success you'll find.

B) The most important effort is trying to understand what to do. If a guy says "I want to be a millionaire," how do you know he's serious? What's he doing about it? Is he looking for the right investment? Is he planning out his strategy? Is he constantly trying to get more out of his efforts, to find a better way of doing it?

That's the effort that counts. Understanding with the head. Man will go to any amount of work to avoid thinking. Real effort means using your mind to figure out what will succeed.

C) What's the best effort? "Zivchei Elokim ruach nishbera." Humility. At the very least, give thanks to the Almighty for all that you accomplished. Realize that the reality is that it's all a gift from G-d. We don't do anything on our own. Everything's a find. If we make the effort, we're guaranteed to find success.

D) Deeper than that, realize that all there is is the will of G-d. Identify with that and nothing else.

 

According to the same source, Americans think happiness is a happening. Judaism says it is a state of mind:

 

"Americans are brought up thinking that happiness de pends on what you get. (...) Judaism says happiness is not a happening. You can have everything in this world and you can be miserable, or you can have relatively little and feel like a rich man.

The Talmud says in Ethics of the Fathers (Avos 4:1): "Ayzeh hu ashir? HaSameach B'Chelko." Who is rich? The one who's happy with what he has. If you're happy with what you have, you'll feel like a rich man. If you can't appreciate what you already have, no matter how much you get you'll never feel satisfied.

That's why Jews the world over start their day with the words, "Modeh ani l'fanecha." "Thank you." "Thank G-d I can see. Thank G-d, I can use my hands and feet. Thank G-d I can stand up straight." Because if you can master the art of noticing, appreciating and consciously enjoying what you al ready have, you'll always be happy."

 

Perhaps Lisa Aiken (1996) describes the whole of Jewish the ology and culture best in a chapter of her book Why Me, God?

called "The Purpose of Life". While I will explore the Jewish cultural mindset she reveals a bit further below, her comments better integrate the culture and the God-central minset I have addressed above. She notes that:

 

"A man only hurts his little finger in this world if it has been decreed Above.

Everything that God does is for a good purpose.

Traditional Judaism teaches that God is a totally good and powerful Being who knows and controls everything except our moral choices. He planned and created a purposeful world for us to live in and put each of us here to fulfill a spiritual mission. He constantly oversees and directs the details of our lives so that we can live meaningfully. Suf fering is an important part of that plan."

 

As I move into a summary of the Jewish mindset, with an eye to eventually applying that summary to a theory of counseling, I cannot think of a better structure around which to build our dealings with the hurting. Westerners may initially balk at what they feel is a measure of over-control, but a focus on the meaning of that control will give even the most nihilistic in our society pause for thought.

 

 

A Summary of the Jewish Mindset/Culture

During counseling, it is often considered sound policy to check with the counselee to see that he or she has understood perfectly just what has been said. Since our conversation with the Bride has been long, this is a good point to recap, before moving on to her other half. Can mindset and theology in Judaism really be separated as I have done, or have I done this for convenince? I believe that if the media (the form required in this paper) had been more forgiving, we might have been better served by merging the two, since all sources indicate that they are indeed merged.

Perhaps the best way to begin this section is with some quotes and discussion from Mark Zborowski's (1976) fun, (dare I say that in a scholarly work?) yet extremely thoughtful and

thorough book Life is With People. Zborowski probes, in the course of his book, various facets of more-or-less modern Jewish culture. But because the bulk of that culture has not changed, and is inculcated in personality, it is worth dis cussing here as transcending time. Zborowski opens a chapter called "As the Shtetl Sees the World" with this paragraph:

 

The shtetl views the universe as a planned whole, designed and governed by the Almighty, Who created it from original chaos. It is a complex whole, but basically is characterized by order and purpose. Every-thing has its place, its cause, its function. Apparent contradictions, inconsistencies and irregularities fall into place as complements rather than incongruities. (p. 409)

 

What a refreshing contrast to the intellectual West, in which the scientific method, instead of providing answers, merely creates more questions. What a change also, from Western intellectualism, in which everything is questioned, either out of boredom, or the desire to make a name for oneself (counter to the Torah...), resulting in today's nihilism. And finally, what a change from Western contention, in which every fact must either fit in a pigeon-hole, or be considered in contention with other facts, rather than merely awaiting a companion, or yeilding more information by virtue of its lack of fit or seeming contradiction.

Zborowski continues:

 

The dynamic whole extends in time as well as in space, so that the apparent inconsistancies of the present may be inter preted as parts of a long-term process building toward ulti mate integration. (...) Whether it be the wailing of a baby, the fund collecting of a community leader, or the affliction of Job, any act must have takhlis (yiddish for a goal, a purpose, sense). (409)

 

The question will arise below with reference to an apparent dearth of Jewish counseling resources. I believe this quote goes a long way toward answering it. What a powerful stabil ity is created by a mindset in which no matter how bad things may seem, they are considered to have a purpose, especially

considering the range of incident which fall into the realm of this mindset, from the simple, to the broad, to the Biblical. Inherent in this is an allusion Zborowski makes what he notes that "Life is to be enjoyed, ... and life is desirable, despite hardships and trials" (p. 411). How this speaks to today's needs.

Zborowski makes one more comment worth noting:

 

A real Jew is known by his heart and by his head. The 'Yiddisher kop' is keen and powerful. It must have not only abstract intellect but ability to see all possibilities and to apply them with lightning speed. 'He grabs it in the air,' they say of such a person. A Yiddisher kop does not make one a real Jew, however, unless it is combined with a Yiddish heart, for a 'Jew is known by his pity.' The real Jew does not merely sympathize, he acts on his feelings. Nor does he have to be told, he feels the need. He thinks, feels, acts, communicates for a real Jew is always part of a group. To be withdrawn and isolated is to be disqualified." (p. 424).

 

This is a loaded paragraph, when placed in contrast to a potential summary of a Western individual. In today's Ameri can culture, (often considered the epitome of Westernism, and the defender of ancient Greek ideals) such a mindset is often in danger of being labelled as "intellectual elitism, and liberal do-gooderism". The last sentence is especially strik ing in light of today's stark individualism.

Opposites create new data, and build teaching, as opposed to Western bases, where opposites must all be given credence and studies in isolation. The Jew believes that because God is the only one who knows everything, no human can have a complete answer for anything. For that reason, not only are no doctrines which are ever considered "dogma", but debate on any idea is considered constructive. At the same time, "(t)he Jew's creative forces are set aflame by his striving for unity; his creative action is rooted in the unification of his soul." Buber, 1967, p. 29) What defines that unity? "... unity within individual man; for unity between divisions of the nation, and between nations; for unity between mankind and every living thing; and for Unity between G-d and the World." (Buber, 1967, p. 27)

Jews believe that life, and the living of it is an art form. Do Westerners pay attention to how life is lived, or merely what is done with it? Remind the reader to pay atten tion to this in the next section, with regard to how philoso phy might influence art, either for good, or for ill. I'm reminded here of how Franklinian we seem, in terms of "time is money", as opposed to a possible Jewish response that "time is Torah" or at least that time saved should not be spent chasing after more money, but after more Torah to input into one's life.

 

If the reader gains nothing else from this section, it should be that as opposed to what is shown below, Jewish religious theory, mindset, and practice are all wrapped up in two important concepts: the concept of time and duration to the extent that things exist if they are active, and to a greater extent, and and outgrowth of that time-focus, the concept of being, tied up in the improvement therefore, and that being is more important than anything else out there. Jews do not attempt to control space in any sense, at least not as I will show that Hellenic and Western culture do. Nor is their focus to be primarily upon what they do, but rather upon what they are. It is these differences which will create the richest vein for exploration as we continue "therapy".

 

CHAPTER THREE:

The Mindset and Theology of Western Christianity

 

 

... a truly Christian mind is not ... to be the use less appendage that is often thought, a mind that en gages in theological debate, but never enters the realm of life as lived.

James Sire, Discipleship of the Mind , p.17

 

"It is not accidental that during the first founda tion-laying centuries of the Christian Church, Plato was its philosophical authority, and that the mental decline which clearly sets in at the beginning of the Middle Ages coincides with the rising authority of Aristotle."

Thorlief Boman, Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek . p. 53

 

 

The development of the Christian Mindset.

We find our first indication of how far into the first centuries AD/CE Christianity remained a part of Judaism in Louis Berkhoff's remark that "... for (the early Church Fa thers,) Christianity was not in the first place a knowledge to be acquired, but the principle of a new obedience to God." (Ferguson, HOCD, p. 39) Christianity's transition from a Jewish flavor to a profoundly Greek flavor from this point was not sudden, nor was it likely intentional. A summary factor, however, did contribute to the change. This key factor was likely something as simple as Christianity's translation to a Greek audience.

That audience may have been familiar with Jews, but not necessarily with Judaism, perhaps even antagonistic to it to some extent, due to a critical cultural problem: the Jews had the right to live according to their own ancestral laws (Tcherikover,1975, p. 301), but they lived, by and large, in enclaves. "The Jewish community did not exceed restricted limits ... and therefore lacked any political power..." (Tcherikover, 1975). Inside of it, everything was Jewish, and Christianity, where accepted, could flourish. Outside those "walls", however, where Judaism's influence was desperately weak, Christian converts either had to journey into a Jewish enclave, or develop much of their Christianity solely from the Jewish Bible and the evangelists, as they could. Conversely, there was no incentive for Jews to leave their politeuma, for when they did, they lost their right to be peacefully allowed to follow their own rites and history (Tcherikover, 1975).

Even so, the Hellenic world was likely taught Christianity in its initial form, consisting of "completed Judaism, by Jewish evangelists, not the least of whom was the Apostle Paul". Unfortunately, however, it was likely assumed that Judaism was not necessary to the experience, and perhaps at the outset when many would have been familiar with aspects of Judaism, and at the very least with concurrent culture, it was not. In the century or so which followed its rapid introduc tion, however, one key lynchpin was pulled, while another support was installed, a support which was much more rep resentative of Greek thought than of Hebrew.

C.P. Theide (1992) notes that it was "a changed Christendom that arrived (in Jerusalem in 326) and encountered the changed traditions of those who had never left. It had gained forms and structures which enabled it to become a power...". To fully under stand the transition from Hebrew flavoured Christianity to Greek flavoured Christianity, however, we need to more fully understand four further influences which grew out of the above primary factor:

1) Greek language,

2) Greek culture,

3) The threat of heresy, and

4) perscecution and death of Jews.

 

The Greek language and Greek philosophy . Using the same sort of analysis I used above on the Hebrew language will yield some idea of why the "Caretaker" of the parable was unable to completely assimilate the true purpose of the mes sage. The results will also be critical farther on in ex plaining some perceived weaknesses in much of Western counseling practice, especially the secular sort. I must be careful though: Boman (1970) notes that

 

"the Greek interpretation of being does not permit of being established by a linguistic analysis directly; however, in this case, we can pursue a direct method since all Greek philosophers from the Ionian (...) on have discussed the problem of being and non-being."

 

However, while we have seen that the Hebrew thought patterns and speech patterns were dynamic, according to Boman (1970), "the kind of thinking employed by the Eleatic school (...) was not only diametrically opposed, but contradictorily so." According to Boman (1970), Greeks considered being "not only as the essential point, but even more, as the only one since they flatly denied the reality of motion and of change . Only what is immovable and immutable exists; all becoming and passing away is mere appearance and is equivalent to what is not." (italics mine) I would simply ask the reader to stop and ponder the following question at this point: How is it possible for the full impact of a religion and a culture whose major thrust is the crafting of the individual via internal change to be carried accurately and successfully over the centuries in such a culture as the Greek philosophical culture discussed in this paragraph?

Central also to our discussion is the contrast between the Greek and the Hebrew conception of the spoken word, since both

the OT and the NT speak of G-d as "the Word". Hebrew, according to Boman (1970), uses the word dabhar , while Greek, after a long struggle with how to render dabhar, finally settled on the the word 'logos' which, unfortunately for later generations and cultures, proved to be a less than perfect choice. According to Boman, however, dabhar and logos still express different concepts within their usual contexts. "...dabhar is a power-laden word", while Boman (1970) quotes Kleinknecht (1941) as saying that for the Greek, "The logos says 'how a being is'".

Boman (1970) makes an interesting point in this regard during a discussion of how dabhar and logos combined can adequately show much more than simply two cultures attempting to describe the thought and communication process. He notes that

 

"when the Fourth Evangelist pronounces the word logos at the beginning of his Gospel, the many different profound meanings of dabhar as well as of logos harmonize into a beautiful and mysterious unity for him as well as for his Greek-speaking readers familiar with (the Hebrew) and the Old Testament."

 

If understanding two languages made the Greek New Testament so much richer, than what damage would the loss of (the most critical) of those languages do? What if, instead of under standing John's "the Word" as both power to change, and as a present state of being, it were to be simply understood as "how He is right now."? Such use of language will force most to descriptions similar to those found in criminal robbery reports: surface impressions of attitude, clothing, dis guises, rather than anything which requires time to discern.

The Greek culture and mindset. As was noted in the discussion of the inter-relatedness of Hebrew language and cul ture, language and culture are more or less locked in a cycle of interdependance and influence. Everett Ferguson (1987) makes some interesting comments with regard to the place, and content of religion in Greek culture, the very Greek culture

into which Christianity was about to be plunged. He notes that

 

"(t)he religion of many in the Hellenistic ... periods, especially among the educated, was philosophy. Philosophy at that time was not the critical discipline it is in our day nor the theoretical and metaphysical study it has been through much of its history; it was a way of life. Philosophy ... offered its own moral and spiritual direction" (p. 255).

 

Ferguson goes on to note that "the aim of the Hellenistic philosophies was to teach people how to live." (p. 255).

Something interesting happened to this religion of phi losophy in the early years of Christianity. "Certain psycho logical-religious needs came to prominence (...): a feeling of helplessness before Fate, uncertainty of the hereafter, and inquisitiveness about the supernatural" (Ferguson, 1987, p. 165). Interestingly, none of these were very real before the arrival of a still more or less dynamic Jewish Christian ity in the culture, a Christianity which asked these ques tions. Greek philosophy, and to some extent even today's philosophy, as I noted above, was merely accustomed to dealing with issues of tangible, every-day-living.

There is, however, another very cultural issue involved here, one which has grown more pronounced over the centuries, but likely was present even in the days of Christianity's birth, as evidenced by the thinking patterns brought down to us in such Greek writers as Plato, Aristotle, and others. The issue of which I speak involves what we value in terms of our thought patterns. T. Gladwin (1953) expresses it very clearly: "(i)n our culture we value ... relational or abstract think ing, in which bodies of knowledge are integrated together and related to each other through unifying symbolic constructs." Gladwin (1953) elaborates on this by saying later that "the European begins with a single unifying plan which is often then implemented piecemeal with minimal further reference to the overall goal synthesized within it." How close this comes to describing the average church-goer's year, and the average

preacher's (dare I say counselor's) calendar. However, Gladwin notes, the other strategy, one which he notes is used by most of the rest of the world, "operates with a reference to its beginning and particularly its ending points, and a point in between." This, I daresay, and Gladwin follows in another way, requires a much greater attention not just to the master plan, but to intimate details of where one is at any given time.

There is yet another side-effect of both the inter-depend ence and the inherent character of Greek language and culture on Greek philosophy. Because, as I noted above, Hebrew cul ture encouraged imagination, while writings like Plato's Re public made sure Greek culture did not. Greek philosophy was far more prone to literality than was Hebrew, which made interpretation of dynamic literature far more difficult. As noted in the parable at the start of this paper, it is quite possible, although conjecture at this point, that the arrival of Gnostic "Christianity", colliding with Judaism and a newly separated Christianity, touched off the vicious cycle of seeming heresy and counter-heretical dogmatism which has taken Chris tianity to the very Hellenized state in which it today finds itself. Instead of viewing differing opinions as healthy, Hellenic Christianity, deprived of the dynamic imagination and chained by hyper-literalism, sought to survive by using the only tools at its disposal: hyper-literal interpretation and creedalism.

We find an example of, perhaps even an indication of the roots of, this cycle in the admittedly biased language of Louis Berkhof (1937). I note the bias because of Berkhof's language in the quote which follows reflects his roots. Berkhof notes that "a ... characteristic of the teachings of the Apostolic Fathers is their want of definiteness." Berkhof's language, however, seems to show that he finds it disconcert ing that in letters and preaching only half a generation out from Christ's resurrection, that there are three different emphases on "the truth" (p.39). Now to me, this is not

surprising. Since, as we've learned, Hebrew is a very dynamic language, and that anything which does not change might as well not exist, I can easily understand that Peter, John, and Paul, as they struggled to matriculate a totally new kind of salvation into a very ancient and clear, but yet dyanamic system, would find slightly different ways of describing it. What is also likely is that Jewish converts at the time would have, if they had copies of the multiple writers, likely woven the multiple views together, rather than viewed them as com petitive.

A good example of the effects wrought by the Church's reaction to heresy is found in Berkhoff's discussion of the effects of Gnosticism on the Church. Berkhoff (1937) notes that the Church "learned to mark off clearly the limits of divine revelation, and to determine the relation of the Old Testament to the New. (...) it became keenly aware of the necessity of drawing up short statements of the truth." We see a sad transition as Berkhof notes that now "... the intellectual element in the Christian religion was emphasized ..." This marking off, instead of protecting Christianity, more likely insulated it from any attempt by its new culture to understand it, and perhaps even wound up alienating its adoptive culture.

Bruce R. Shelley (1982) confirms two things for us. First he confirms the intellectualization of Christianity, and sec ond, he confirms its occurrance within the context of Hellen ism. He notes that:

 

The voice of the apostles had scarcely fallen silent when the church faced the need to define the faith in terms that intelligent men could understand. A clear presentation of the gospel calls upon the powers of reason. God has made men to think so the truth advances, at times, as Christians defend the Gospel against pagan arguments and the errors of profess ing disciples.

Men can reason, however, only with the knowledge and con cepts they have. In the ancient world this meant Hellenic (Greek) philosophy and pagan authors. So Christianity was forced by the needs of men and the mission of the church into the wolrd of pagan thought" (p.93).

 

This would not have been quite so bad, had not the Roman Empire insisted on removing the only culture whose philosophy of life might have kept the Greek focus on thought, logic, and philosophy, necessary in their quarters, from taking over completely: the Jews.

 

 

The growing anti-Semitism of the era.

Originally, Judaism contributed heavily to Christianity, not only in the form of values, but in giving Christianity something from which to "step off". Wilken (1980) notes that the first Christians lacked perspective, distance and memo ries, which he considers integral to the creation of a history (p. 28). They had lost the past, deemed so basic and neces sary by the Jews. Even by the end of the first century C.E. though, "most men would not have recognized the name Christian, and if they did, they probably would have had difficulty dis tinguishing Christianity from other ... Jewish cults " (p. 29).

Anti-Jewish sentiment only began to tear the two apart when the Roman Church began to invent its own history and "apostolic lineages" of the kind about which Bauer (1977) speaks below, something it wasted little time doing. Insecure in the differences which Roman dogma began to create, a scape -goat became increasingly necessary. Says Joel Carmichael (1992),

 

"In the universe framed by Christian theology, the conepts of "Jews" and "Christians" have an undeniable balance that, while statistically absurd, reflects the fundamental theme of Christianity the world of God and the world of the Devil. Since the Jews have not accepted the Christian God, they have ipso facto been arrayed alongside the Devil in Christiandom."

 

I will, unfortunately, show this dichotomy in many other places before this study is completed.

On the legal side, The Council of Elvira (304 CE) bears this out with unfortunate clarity in several of the Canons

which reflected council decisions. Canon 16 bears out with perhaps the greatest clarity the already present divide be tween Christianity and Judaism, more importantly, the "ei ther/or" path described above by Charmichael, when it notes quite starkly that "the daughters of Catholics shall not be given in marriage to heretics... the same is also ordained for Jews..." (Lindo, 1848, p.10). Equally portentious, the ques tions discussed by first and second century Greeks differed from those discussed by Jews of the same period. This disso nance eventually grew to become the rift which tore the two apart. Perhaps the assertion that the church was now Israel was the first cut to the cloth. But for whatever reasons, Jewish impact began to drop sharply.

On the more "spiritual" side, by the time of The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, the suspicion and the rending was already playing itself out as well.

 

"SINCE I see thee, most excellent Diognetus, exceed ingly desirous to learn the mode of worshipping God prevalent among the Christians, and inquiring very carefully and ear nestly concerning them, what God they trust in, and what form of religion they observe,(1) so as all to look down upon the world itself ... while they neither esteem those to be gods that are reckoned such by the Greeks, nor hold to the super stition of the Jews; and what is the affection which they cherish among themselves; and why, in fine, this new kind or practice (of piety) has only now entered into the world..."

 

Mathetes shows his true ignorance of the Bible as a whole when he attempts to amplify on what he means by "super stitions of the Jews".

 

CHAP. III.SUPERSTITIONS OF THE JEWS.

And next, I imagine that you are most desirous of hear ing something on this point, that the Christians do not ob serve the same forms of divine worship as do the Jews. The Jews, then, ... deem it proper to worship one God as being Lord of all; but if they offer Him worship in the way which we have described, they greatly err. For while the Gentiles, by offering such things to those that are destitute of sense and hearing, furnish an example of madness; they, on the other hand by thinking to offer these things to God as if He needed them, might justly reckon it rather an act of folly than of divine worship. For He that made heaven and earth, and all

that is therein, and gives to us all the things of which we stand in need, certainly requires none of those things which He Himself bestows on such as think of furnishing them to Him. But those who imagine that, by means of blood, and the smoke of sacrifices and burnt-offerings, they offer sacrifices (ac ceptable) to Him, and that by such honours they show Him respect,these, by(2) supposing that they can give anything to Him who stands in need of nothing, appear to me in no respect to differ from those who studiously confer the same honour on things destitute of sense, and which therefore are unable to enjoy such honours.

 

CHAP. IV.THE OTHER OBSERVANCES OF THE JEWS.

But as to their scrupulosity concerning meats, and their superstition as respects the Sabbaths, and their boasting about circumcision, and their fancies about fasting and the new moons, which are utterly ridiculous and unworthy of no tice,I do not think that you require to learn anything from me. For, to accept some of those things which have been formed by God for the use of men as properly formed, and to reject others as useless and redundant,how can this be lawful?

Despite the fact that they are done in observance of laws given by God Himself.....

 

"And to speak falsely of God, as if He forbade us to do what is good on the Sabbath-days,how is not this impious? And to glory in the circumcision(4) of the flesh as a proof of election, and as if, on account of it, they were specially beloved by God,how is it not a subject of ridicule? "

 

If his knowledge of the reasons for Jewish sacrifice is as deficient as it seems, then his knowledge of the reason for Christ's coming must be similarly deficient. How then, can someone with such deficient knowledge of a main tenet of the way in which Judaism informs Christianity do anything but convey a rootless Christianity? What is unfortunate is that such epistles were all too common for their era.

One of the 'cardinal' reasons for Judaism's decline on the 'world' stage was a decline in numbers. "During the first and second centuries the Jews suffered greatly at the hands of the Romans, and their numbers were significantly depleted, espe cially in the eastern provinces" (Wilken, 1971, p. 9). Wilken (1971) notes that the Jewish Diaspora's share of the ancient Roman population started at about seven percent, while Carmichael (1992) puts the number at between ten and twelve percent. In

any case, this would have been enough of a significant number, a number perhaps equal to the size of the popluation of the United States who are fluent in the Internet in 1997. While the other ninety percent do not necessarily surf, they have heard the lingo, and are, for the most part, familiar with its concepts.

As the number of gentile Christians increased steadily over the first centuries, however, the number of Jews, both Christian and "standard issue", were falling steadily in re lation. At the same time, "by the end of the first century, Christianity had become an independent religious force com peting with other religions and philosophies across the Greco -Roman world" (Wilken, 1980). Equally unfortunate, a series of rebellions in the Jewish homeland were occurring about the same time as the explosion of Christianity as a religious force. A major drop in the ratio of Jew to Greek in the Roman Empire followed, since Jews rapidly became personae non grata. This persecution, though, likely fostered a different atti tude, however, among Hellenized Christians.

Quite likely there was a subtle urge to distance oneself, as a Christian Greek, from any Jew in the area. Lawrence Epstein (1994) indicates that due to persecution by Chris tians over time, "Jews came to see Christians as an enemy, and so came, over time, to think of Christians less and less a people to whom it was possible to teach the Torah" (p.32). The Epistle Of Ignatius To The Magnesians Shorter Version shows this distancing clearly: "It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. For Christianity does not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity, that so every tongue which believeth might be gathered together to God." Over time, unfortunately, that may have led to the beginnings of a pro found theological ignorance, as shown above, which would in turn have led to a profound theological shift.

This shift can be dramatically illustrated in several decisions by Roman Emperors in the fourth and fifth Centuries C.E. Two examples will serve for now to illustrate. The

first example can be found in the edicts of Constantine, the 'great' ruler who legitimized Hellenistic Christianity. Jacob Marcus (1938) notes that "within two years of the legitimiza tion of Christianity, Constantine made it a capital crime for Jews to seek out new converts. The Church continued this policy..." Marcus (1938) quotes Constantine himself as say ing that "if any one of the population should join their (the Jews) abominable sect and attend their meetings, he will bear with them the deserved penalties."

Little more than a century later, in 439 C.E. the change was complete. Theodosius II, in an edict concerning Jews, Samaritans, Heretics, and Pagans, states that "no Jew ... shall obtain offices and dignities... (or) have the power to judge or decide as they wish against Christians, ... and thus, as it were, insult our faith." (Marcus, 1938). How judging against a person, in a court of law, is an insult against that person's faith, is difficult to divine, but what Theodosius' thinking does show is the already apparent infil tration of Hellenistic thought into Christianity, in the identification of a person by what he does, rather than what he is.

That shift had its roots in the very mutability of what seems to be an immutable law. That law concerns the differ ence between modern "scientific" thinking, as based on the "empirical method", and the philosophy of the classical Greek period and of the Middle Ages, and in the lingual discussion elsewhere in this paper. Mortimer Adler (1985) makes several key statements in this vein in a book appropriately titled Ten Philosophical Mistakes. First, he notes that "The ... great achievement and intellectual glory of Greek antiquity and of the Middle Ages was philosophy" (p. 191). However, "(c)ommon experience, or more precisely, the general linea ments or common core of that experience, which suffices for the philosopher, remains relatively constant over the ages" (p. 191). Because of this, Adler says, philosophy is not

subject to the rigors of change, which forces other schools of thought to stay fresh and current. While the Christian may find this a comfort with respect to pure doctrine, I would submit that one of the dangers of Hellenization is a tendancy to include all thought pertaining to religious life and life style in the same category. I will show below just what those dangers are.

One more concept loomed large in the Greek mind. Its Greek name is "deus ex machina", which interprets as "the god, out of the machine". It is a concept with which they would have been bombarded constantly by their plays. It would have been an issue as important as catharsis. The only thing to which it might compare today is our (movie and television generated) desire/demand for a "happy ending". Perhaps the two are still related, for in the same manner as a 'savior' would have swung in on a crane to save the Greek hero, special effects often still save heroes today. Christianity's re deemer would have fit nicely into that pattern, especially since He was all that was needed for salvation, as opposed to the much more difficult Jewish version.

 

Essential Christian Theology.

"What is Christianity? Is it chiefly a lifestyle or chiefly an institution? Is Christianity the Church historic, present or possible?" So asks Henry C. Vedder (1923), opening a chapter which asks the same questions. (p. 209). This is the same question which I have asked in a different context above, but a question which bears asking in this context just as well. Vedder (1923) moves rapidly to provide a quick summary answer to his question. He notes that "according to Jesus, Christianity is the Kingdom of God. (...) a social ideal, a vision of a reconstructed world, a new human society, composed of regenerated men, a society of which good will to others, mutual service and helpfulness, was to be the law" (p. 209). This is indeed Christianity at its essence, as it

was likely intended to be. More importantly, it is a state ment of Christianity's core which we will find useful in our attempts to establish a psychological theory based on Chris tianity's core.

If, however, Christianity at its core is so close to, and therefore merely an extension of Judaism, then why look at it in contrast with Judaism? Remember the parable: we are not after a contrast. We are merely attempting, in this section, to map the changes in the Groom, so that we might more effec tively serve those influenced by his changes. Again, it comes down to the fact that contemporary Christian Theology, com bined with Greek mindset, in all reality will produce a very different psychological theory.

How then will we be certain what institutes a good summary of the core issues? Again, as with our interview with Judaism, I will examine only what seem, historically, culturally, and psychologically to be the most important issues, over and above, (and apart from) those issues discussed above. These will be issues which either deal directly with how the Chris tian "does" relationship with his Lord, or with how (s)he perceives reality, with the understanding that most Chris tians today seem to not to make the distinctions which I am making here. The most expiditious route will be to look at the evolution of Christian theology over the course of its history. Not only will this present a picture which is more fair, but it will provide an idea of which points remained salient throughout Christian history, and which points changed. (Not to mention that such a view will be consistant with the parable).

But one must beware with Christianity, as with Judaism, that one does not create too simple a picture. The Caretaker must be asked penetrating questions, to get beyond the simpli fications and summaries which seem to provide the easy traffic of modern popular theology. These simplifications will be examined, but examined by looking to the past for a better idea of where the Groom's changes occurred, and why. Only

then will the necessary information surface, so that I can better point up the psychological theory I seek.

Traditional Christian theology does not always garner high marks, even from its closest adherents, with respect to its concern for men over intellect and correctness. Henry Vedder (1923), a disciple of Dr. A. H. Strong, notes that

 

"(i)n its zeal for things, historic Christianity has ignored men. And so far as it has concerned itself with men, it has held up to them a wrong ideal. Its conception of Christian character has long been mainly a series of nega tives," which he puts into words as "...'quit your meanness,' give up your vicious practices, and stop neglecting your business" (p. 211).

 

Vedder continues to note that the Church is "laying emphasis on the unessential things, the negative virtues, and slur ring over the essential and positive..." Such comments make it clear that we must uncover exactly what the Church is propounding, and what theories might come of it. On the other hand, however, if the church did not make things sim ple, it would be caught in the kind of trap of which C.S.Lewis (1960) speaks: "When you try to explain Christian doctrine as it is really held by an instructed adult, (people) com plain that you are making their heads turn round and that it is all too complicated and that if there really was a God they are sure He would have made "religion" simple, because simplicity is so beautiful, etc" (p. 47). So we are caught: on one hand, we must distill Christianity enough that we can see its main points, but as we do, we risk losing its more subtle points.

Since Christianity has changed much more in its lifetime than has Judaism, I will, with that in mind, "start from the very beginning", with the Didache. The Didache is significant for many reasons, but the reason most germane here is its historical position as the first major, extra-biblical Chris tian theological document. Didache 1:2 summarizes what seems to be the core theology of the day: "The way of life is this.

First of all, thou shalt love the God that made thee; sec ondly, Thy neighbor as thyself. And all things whatsoever thou wouldst not have befall thyself, neither do thou unto another" (trans by Lightfoot, mod 1990.)

More telling than the overt theology, which is very posi tive, clear, and will provide solid guidance for us as we attempt to weave a psychology from Christian theology, is the trend of the next four chapters. Simply put, in the next thirty-four verses which comprise those four chapters, the reader is given sixteen positive commands. These sixteen commands (s)he must weigh against the approximately forty-two negative commands, those preceeded by "thou shalt not". It strikes me just how short a time (about a century) it took for Christianity to become what seems to be a list of rules.

This list of rules, however, still seemed, as of Aristides' time, to have had minimal impact on the actual lifestyles of the Christians "of the catacombs." Aristides, in his Apology, (500 BCE) writes well of their lifestyle, saying that :

 

Falsehood is not found among them; and they love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their es teem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly. And he who has gives to him who has not, without boasting. And when they see a stranger, they take him into their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but breth ren after the spirit and in God. (...) And if they hear that one of their number is imprisoned or afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of them anxiously minister to his necessity, and if it is possible to redeem him they set him free. And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply the needy their lack of food.

 

Berkhoff (1937) notes that "Augustine conceives of faith primarily as an intellectual assent to the truth".

One way theology has been altered by mindset can be seen in how Christianity regards activities within its closest relationship, the marriage. Ariel and Chana Bloch (1995) note

some of the more extreme theological positions which arose in Christianity as a result (they and I assume) of literalist thinking:

 

"... Origen took Christ literally not allegorically, alas! and made himself a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven's sake; Jerome (d.420) believed that a man who too ardently desires his own wife is an adulterer; Augustine (d.430) wistfully imagined procreation in Eden, when the body obeyed the will without the vexation of lust.(...) They ought to purge out the moral grossness of the Song, the way Greek philosophers interpreted away the carnality of the Homeric gods, or Philo converted the legends of Genesis into a series of philosophical and moral truths" (p.31).

 

All of which makes me question how they dealt with anyone's passionate desire for God.

By 1836, the burden of the intellect had grown so heavy that William Alcott (1836) laid out this caution to young men of his day, with regard to what must have been terrible rigors involved in the running of a church without assistance (which most did):

 

The evil is scarcely more tolerable, as regards young ministers, except that the community in general have better means of knowing when they are imposed upon by ignorance or quackery in this matter, than in most other professions. The principal book for a student of theology is in the hands of every individual, and he is taught to read and understand it. The great evil which arises to students of divinity themselves from entering their profession too early, is the loss of health. Neither the minds nor the bodies of young men are equal to the responsibilities of this, (...) profession or occupation, at 20, and rarely at 25 (p. 106).

 

A few things leap out as I read both the quote above, and its context. First Alcott says, "read it and understand it". There is no talk of living it. Alcott merely addresses the ability to use it to seek and destroy "quackery" when it is suspect, or foisted. (One might almost get the impression of the Bible being used as a hammer in a game of "whack-a-mole".) Second, besides the mention of quackery, there is the mention of "ignorance". While not being ignorant is certainly help

ful, its place in the discussion is seen as an end in itself, rather than as a means to an end. Lastly, the fact that the burden of running a church is so stressful can only indicate that the populace has completely abdicated anything but the suckling modality, so common today. This suggests to me that congregations then, like today, would rather sit quietly and hear, than go out and actively live (by doing things like taking much of the burden off of the back of the minister).

 

I must move, then, onto modern simplicity, and intel lectualism. I begin with this gem. "Using the tools of intellectual analysis ... helps us see just what we are assum ing before we do any thinking at all. Then we ask Scripture those tough questions whose answers should be at the root of our mindset: (...) When we use well the tools of intellectual analysis, we can deliberately shape our minds" (italics mine) (Sire, 1990, p. 25).

Even Dr. Larry Crabb has something to add to the intel lectual side of the Christian equation. He notes, in his book Basic Principles of Biblical Counseling (1975), that "Chris tians must loudly assert that our faith is based on facts, not feelings. The whole Christian system rests upon the historic ity of Jesus Christ, His real death and bodily resurrection. Christianity begins with a God who provides objective mean ing." While I can understand that Crabb may have been react ing against the era in which he wrote, and while I can cer tainly understand a tri-balance between thought, faith, and emotions, I have difficulty, in light of the Jewish culture just studied, agreeing that the core of Christianity is purely intellectual fact. I doubt purely intellectual fact would have been enough to tempt Greeks, with no knowledge of Jewish values, into becoming lion and bear food. I rather believe that life change, and the ability of Christianity to engender it in meaningful ways, would have been far more important.

 

In my attempts to find visions of Christianity in the modern age which struck the balance between simplicity and complexity, I found many books like that written by Jack Cottrell which is entitled The Seven Essentials of Christian Belief (1995). Cottrell's vision of the salient points, as we will see below, is valuable in determining what many see as critical to modern, Christian belief. He, like many, find seven points to be critical, in this case,

 

1. Truth is fundamental

2. G-d is real

3. The Bible is G-d's Word

4. Jesus is Our Saviour

5. Jesus is G-d's Son

6. We are saved by grace, through faith, in baptism

7. Jesus is coming again.

 

It is sad to note that in none of these is there any reason to do any soul-searching, to expect to have to do any internal work, to do anything but know, and relax.

L.S.Bauman (1977), in his simple but not simplistic work The Faith: Once and For All Delivered Unto The Saints , actually divides what he considers to be key doctrines into three sections: Basic Doctrines, Doctrines centered around the Great Commission, and Practical Doctrines.

Basic Doctrines include:

1. The Vicarious Atonement, in which his focus in upon what has already been done for us,

2. The Deity of Jesus Christ, as opposed, apparently to His divinity, (with no mention of what it actually means for us)

3. The Finished Work of Christ

4. The Holy Spirit, who/what He is, and what He does for us.

5. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, argued well, with no application,

6. The Infallibility of Scriptures, in which he provides proofs.

 

Doctrines centered around the Great Commission include:

 

1. Christian Baptism

2. Confirmation

3. Feet-washing

4. The Lord's Supper

5. The Holy Salutation.

 

Practical Doctrines, which one would suppose to include doc trines most conducive to personal growth, include:

 

1. Annointing the Sick

2. The Christian Dress

3. Divorcement

4. Nonresistance

5. The Doctrine of Nonswearing

6. Going to Law

 

About the only real challenge to the soul, and to the inner man I could perceive in Bauman's entire summation of "The Faith" was two of the four paragraphs at the end of his doctrine of the Holy Spirit, in one of which he challenges his readers to keep "the Temple of our Bodies" clean, and in the other to "put to death all your selfish motives". The student of his book is left with no avenues for pursuing this, other than that he might wait for the Holy Spirit to do it for him. He may also be left with the nagging feeling that all of life is about denial, and of keeping clean, rather than about as much of a hefty, messy reconstruction as he might be capable of achieving with Supernatural Help. This last dichotomy I will examine more closely below.

On the other hand, C.S.Lewis (1960), the author of many solid and philosophical books on Christianity, boils Christianity down not only to one point, but to one point which accomplishes mulitiple missions. "The central Christian belief is that Christ's death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start. Theories as to how it did this are another matter" (italics mine), (p. 57). First, this statment summarizes in one stroke, like the Didache, all of Christianity. Second, it pro vides the key point of departure (theologically at least) between Christianity and Judaism. Lastly, it shows clearly how neces sary intellectualism still seems to be in Christianity, even after we have determined what our core really is. It is in this way that we see how far we have come from even the Didache.

Lewis (1960) educates his readers further, however. In a chapter called "The Practical Conclusion", Lewis builds on his earlier comments, while at the same time, continuing and solidifying the air of intellectual curiousity without prac tical application. He notes that "... the Christian belief is that if we somehow share the humility and suffering of Christ we shall also share in His conquest of death and find a new life after we have died..." (italics mine) (p. 62). Even more interesting is a comment he makes further down the page, in which he describes how the Christian life is "spread to us". "There are three things that spread the Christ life to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which dif ferent Christians call by different names Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord's Supper." Perhaps I miss his point, but the language here concerns me. If I were counseling the Caretaker, and he spoke C. S. Lewis to me, I would question a set of terms. I operate under the impression that we do not get the Christian life spread to us, like some kind of disease which we "catch". Nor do we, once we "get" it, simply sit there and let it do its thing. The lack of individual initia tive and responsibility implied by this statement concern me, and will figure in the psychology which I develop below.

Detrich Bonhoffer (1963) makes a concise comment which really confirms a trend which I have been attempting to show in this section, and which puts that trend in a new light as well. He notes that "As Christianity spread, and the Church became more secularized, th(e) realization of the costliness of grace gradually faded. The world was Christianized, and grace became its common property. It was to be had at low cost" (p. 49). So, over the centuries, something become more important to the church. What was that thing? That thing was Control.

The secularization of which Bonhoffer speaks was largely due to the control which the church placed over the areas which it had "Christianized". Building on previous ideas, stated above, concerning the suspected reasons behind the

huge doctrinal wall which Christianity has erected around itself, I wish to posit this axiom: as the Church's need for, or grasp of, power increased, its need to keep grace in mind and heart decreased. Its need to teach quickly increased, its need to disciple decreased. This axiom will guide part of the assembly of a psychology.

Equally important, however, is a focus the distinction which Bonhoffer makes between cheap and expensive grace. Both terms have become trivialized by overuse today. Bonhoffer (1963) defines 'cheap grace' in several places as, variously "the deadly enemy of our church", "the sacraments, the for giveness of sin, and the consolations of religion ... at cut rate prices", and finally, "grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system" (p. 45). This cheap grace is a grace which canbe understood, comprehended, as opposed to the God and the the ology of Maimonides, which needs to be felt, and can never really be defined or be comprehended. It has arisen from a need to comprehend.

A colleague who read this paper in its infancy wondered if Christianity could ever reach a point at which grace could be felt, especially in light of the fact that Christians often pride themselves on their steely resolve when it appears that nothing can be felt. We shall continue below to investigate what these statements say about Western Christians, along with what cheap grace says.

Building on both Bonhoffer's theme of secularization, and on Vedders' theme of the de-emphasis on the essential in deference to the negative and the unessential, is a comment by Dr. J.H. Randall (1922). In a chapter which is entitled "The Chief End of Man The Enjoyment of Eternal Life" which is in itself a loaded statement, to be explored below, Dr. Randall makes this comment:

 

"(...) so rich and variegated was the Christian heritage from the ancient world that the barbarian peoples found in it the fullest scope for their changing needs, (...) the moral tradition of the Western world is so complex and contains from

its very sources such conflicting tendancies that no single path has remained undisputed, and no single age has been able to display a unified and all-embracing goal" (p. 38).

 

All of this in light of his chapter title: I find it little wonder that Christians have been unable to solve any problems but theological. If one makes as one's chief goal the con centration on another world, instead of a balance between "God and Man" as was shown in Judaism, one runs into problems. In a discussion of the Medieval mind which follows these com ments, Randall (1922) declares that "succeeding generations have emphasized now one and now another of the tendancies embodied in the Christian heritage" (p. 39). This kind of comment has immense bearing when one tries to understand the immense confusion and the large number of Christian, and even larger number of simply "Western", counseling psychologies.

There is a new theological consensus taking place, in which Protestant and Catholic theologians seek to reconcile their theology, and to focus on a common goal. A very short summary of their findings includes five points of agreement, which seem to comprise a foundation for a unified understand ing of the "Christian" faith. Those five points are:

 

1. The orders of creation are under God.

2. Evil powers work through the structures of existence.

3. Christ is victorious over these evil powers.

4. The church is Christ's witness to the powers of evil.

5. The church lives in eschatological hope of Christ's return (Webber, 1986., p. 264).

 

Several comments come to mind here. First, what a dif ference from the meaningful, living Christian lifestyle of active aid which sprang from Judea in the first century after Christ's ascension. Second, what a framework to consider significant. While I can certainly agree with the points, to consider them a major framework for discussion and living seems rather depressing. Third, building on my last point, to have to counsel with this as a framework is worse yet. To have to explain to a counselee that everything is a conduit for a

pointless but very trying evil, and that the Church exists to be a witness to that evil, and that our sole hope is to be "airlifted" out of here seems somewhat contrapuntal.

I must emphasize at this point that I am not opposed to, or downplaying these points. I am merely seeking to illuminate how much potential power they are missing. The hope they offer is valid, (especially point three) but very intel lectual. There is no agreement with respect to their imple mentation, nor is there any hope for changes in this day and age, as opposed to post-rapture. This, in contrast to Judaism, which, while looking forward eagerly to Moshiach's return, still seeks to remedy, each and every day, some wrong done by "the system".

"To be a Christian ... meant, and means, to seek to be like (Jesus), in one of the many ways in which Christians envisaged him" (Neusner, 1984, p. 13). This is very open to interpre tation. A human form/being (not sure of which word in Christ's case) is so much simpler to interpret in more multiple ways than is a book, which is quite "cut and dry", and which often, and in this case definitely, reflects much tradition.

Perhaps the worst blow to the Christian tradition comes from Immanuel Kant, who describes it as "the recognition of all our duties as divine commands." (Oates, 1973, p.21) In one sense, the sense in which we are used to thinking, this makes sense. We are used to obedience to divine commands. But an ape can obey commands. Far lower vertibrates can follow commands if taught well enough. But to think of religion SOLELY in those terms, to reduce religion to a rule book, a regimen, I find demeaning to any religion. What makes this even more sad is that quite likely, Kant was not saying something drastically unusual. He was likely reflecting thoughts prevalent in his circles.

What Problems Are Associated with Such Thinking?

Aside from what philosophers have said, and from what history has said, I have identified several other "problems" associated with what I have termed "modern" Christianity, problems with implications to this investigation.

While many have said the same thing that Eddie Gibbs (1994) does in his book on nominalism in Christianity, no one introduces the topic more concisely:

 

"The breaking of the monopoly of the Church of Rome in Western Europe had a twofold impact. Not only did the church divide into two, Catholic and Protestant, but a process of continuous fragmentation has continued until the present time. Today there are scores of Christian denominations and sects in Europe and hundreds in North America. Furthermore, the atten tion of the church was diverted from society at large toward internal theological controversy, renewal, and reorganiza tion" (p.168).

 

While I have addressed fragmentation to a minor extent above, and the issue of controversies, renewals and reorganizations are central to this chapter and ultimately to this paper. Gibbs (1994) raises other aspects of this which require men tion. In particular, there one of possible psychological significance: the mention of denominationalism in particu lar, as opposed simply to fragmentation.

Denominationalism has caused several overt problems, the explication of one of which should lead nicely to the covert problems which I wish to discuss.

 

(...w)hen we come to our most cherished beliefs, those we hold most dearly and tenaciously, we forget we are prone to error. We strike out against anyone who questions our funda mental beliefs or wishes to state his or hers somewhat differ ently. We suddenly become proud that we know what our critic does not. We ... lock ourselves in a tidy room where we become bishop and king of our own land (Sire, 1990, p. 21).

 

Essentially, dogma leading to denominationalism becomes, sadly, a castle, even a kingdom, in which the "new Christian can hide, can enfold himself, insulating himself from looking for any changes which might have to be made to his soul.

Concerning this problem, England's Prime Minister Disraeli was once in a conversation with an English bishop in the late 1870's. The bishop apparently related to Disraeli that he felt that the Church would eventually "lose" the city of London. Disraeli looked at the bishop and said, simply, "Don't be mistaken, my Lord, the church has nothing to lose, for she never had the city" (Gibbs, 1994, p. 135). While this quip stings, or at least is meant to, it has little meaning if left alone. Gibbs moves quickly to elucidate. He notes that the church structures throughout the Western world have been too slow to keep pace with an expanding population base. He notes an example in which two denominations launched circuit -riding preachers to keep in touch with their congregations, many others simply waited until the arrival of railroads and telegraphs to bother helping their Westward moving congregants. (p. 135). The suggestion that neither approach ought to have been needed, since the congregants ought to have had all of the organization and missionary apparatus within themselves, rather than requiring outside specialists is valid, it is not the main point here.

The main point of these statements is that in two critical cases, and who knows how many similar but undocumented cases, the church has not been able to keep up with its parish. Its huge structure has, as Gibbs (1994) notes, lead to the use of the wrong kind of conceptual maps to plan strategy for criti cal historical periods, with the result of losing at least 1870's London and the American Frontier (p. 143). Equally grave, however, is the realization that "(a) lack of theologi cal understanding of the city and pastoral inadequacy in relating to the needs of those who earn their livelihood in the city, in which over 80% of the globe now lives, contribute significantly" to what Gibbs (1994) calls nominality and feelings of abandonment (p. 143).

So how does this contribute to psychology? Two ideas can be gained by inference. First, unlike Judaism, which ad ministrates very locally, from the synagogue into a small

shtetl, Christianity attempts, mainly, to meet its populace through a few monoliths. This is hardly an effective method of doing individual counseling. Secondly, if the church is so badly out of touch with 80% of the world's population, with its pastorate "inadequately prepared" to meet the spiritual needs of that population, what chance has it of understanding their psychological needs, and therefore of meeting them fully?

Very related to the points made above with regard to denominationalism is a concept, very commonly discussed through current Christian literature, but which Gibbs finds espe cially guilty for Christians lack of impact. I also hold it guilty for quite a bit of psychological damage to Christians and to those Christian psychologists would help. That issue is commonly termed compartmentalization.

What is compartmentalization, and why is it so critical? Compartmentalization as I will discuss it here is the section ing of one's life into various, convenient, manageable bits. Gibbs, (1994) portrays it as simply public and private, and for my purposes, this will work. But the compartmentalization can go much deeper, with the two sectors being further cor doned off into work, play, family, job(s), church, et cetera. While this sectioning is psychologically dangerous in itself, it becomes even more so when religion is added to the mix. For religion winds up in either one section or the other, gener ally only in the "private" sector. This makes the job of the Christian psychologist even more difficult, because the per ception for the counselee becomes (mostly unconsciously, no doubt) "if my problem is in the public sector (work, etc.) then how can religion, allowed only in my private sector, be of any help?"

One example should suffice to explain the death pall over -used logic can spread over Christianity, to explain how seem ingly empty it can become: Howe (1995) notes that

 

If we can believe that Christ's death atones for our sins, we apparently will have no difficulty seeing that his death is also the relevant evidence for trusting that God loves

us. But this approach inevitably will push what little knowl edge of a loving God we may have into the abstract, undernour ished realm of intellectual assent to the validity of an infer ential process.

 

As will be noted below, the less knowledge and experience of a loving God that we have, the more internal work will be needed to get us to the point where we can begin acting in the same love.

Equally damaging is the notion now termed "easy believism". Christianity over the centuries has developed an interesting image in the "bag of sins" which is often pictured to magi cally fall away at the Cross. Of what psychological impact is this? Something to which R. S. Lee (1968) will speak later in this essay about replacing a sin with a very "anti-sin" atti tude may result from this image. Howe (1995) relates that "Particularly pernicious forms of this first kind of misun derstanding include the view that humanity's divine image was destroyed as a result of the 'the Fall,' and the view that the redemptive work of Christ includes the complete restoration of that image in the here and now." Thinking like this, while common and accepted, is far from what is needed to force our counselees (or any of us) to look inside. Why bother, if everything is done already?

A summary of the Christian Mindset

 

"What are the first steps toward the specific formation of the Christian mind? Two basic methods of analysis are in volved, one using the tools of sociology, the other the tools of philosophy" (Sire, 1973, p. 24). Despite the classic and widespread acceptance of this notion, there is a major danger involved in this sort of analysis, or in any kind of analysis for that matter, extending on up to any attempt to really pin down and study a religion.

Thomas Aquinas has pointed out that we can give a name to an object only insofar as we understand it. (Adler, 1985, p.73) Adler goes on to note from this that it is one thing to be able to determine how much we think we know, and therefore the accuracy of the name, of something easily perceptible, such as a cow, or a tree. It is another thing altogether, he says, to try to name, let alone accurately name, something imperceptible, like a quark, or an angel. I would extend this second problem to the attempt to name something which ought to be as dynamic, and as imperceptible, as a religion.

So how do we really understand the Christian mind, or the Jewish mind? We cannot. We risk losing ourselves in a morass of understanding understanding itself. So we must satisfy ourselves with finding their outgrowths, outward manifestations of their existance, in the same way that we determine the existance of sub-atomic particles. What follows is an attempt to see the outgrowth of, and then put a real name on, the Christian mind(set).

Is Christianity really simply a mindset? Can we reduce it that far? James Sire (1973) states that "God is a rational God. The Bible even calls him Logos, logic itself." (Sire, p. 38) While Sire's statement would seem to answer this question affirmatively, I need, however, to dispute the va lidity of Sire's translation of "Logos". Mounce's Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament cites over twenty-five possible definitions for "logos". Unfortunately, not one of

the possible renderings comes even close to "logic". Many of them, however, propose ideas related to speech, discourse, and relationships. (p.308), Granted this is a quote from Kepler, but nowhere does Sire contest the translation. As a matter of fact, he quotes it as the better of two ways of of a foundational conundrum, trying to define the root of the world.

Oates (1973) notes that "overclassification of the nature of personality with mind and reason is the obverse side of the rejection of the body as a legitimate part of the personality and of the concerns of religion" (p.17). Where does this kind of "overclassification" lead? Oates continues by noting that "... the director of religious education, the college counselor, and the pastor see the results of such confused thinking in counseling with students who perceive their basic bodily needs as evil, or as without either moral or religious dimensions, or both" (p. 17). I see this kind of thinking at work in many sects throughout the last two millenia, sects in which the body was severely chastised for the "sake" of the soul.

Where else does logic lead the Christian? Othniel Pendleton, Jr. (1955) has written in the opening page of his book on church fund-raising:

 

"our churches need strength-ening. Gold cannot pur chase spiritual insight, conviction, and courage for the pul pit. But gold will aid the presentation and reception of the sermon. (...) Money will help in the receiving of the message. For dollars spent on attractive buildings and fur nishings, on finer music and stronger programs, ... will command a larger audience. (...) An aggressive financial pro gram ... will call forth more complete devotion from those who supervise such an effort."

 

How amazingly far from the truth, yet how easily accepted in a world which lives by demographics, surveys, and numbers. How astoundingly unrelational, and ultimately, how hollow it will ring. I am unsure which is more sad: the fact that such cold logic exists and is commonly accepted, or the fact that from this logic and this set of assumptions is often crafted

a set of steps to raise money (i.e. Pendleton, 1955). During this program, up to ten weeks of "coordinated activity" are spent on ten steps, only two of which are remotely relational. The ultimate goal of the whole program is not to build up those we have, but to allow them to give, so that more might be enticed to come to the fine church, and often hobbled by the fear that, in Pendelton's words, "we won't get our ex penses back". Crassly stated, then, this is the final end of logic in the church: a translation of unmeasurable human capital meant to be invested into human development, into pure capital meant to be invested into the development of programs.

CHAPTER FOUR:

Merging of Jewish Mindset and Theology, and the creation of the inherent psychological system.

 

 

Wayne E. Oates' (1973) primary thesis is that "the value systems of contemporary psychologists of personality are in fact secular statements of distinctly personal interpretations of "religion" (p. 15). This of course begs the question of whether the opposite can be true. That is what I will seek to establish here. How will this be done? Both here, and in the Christian section below, I will assemble the salient points from both the (M)indset and (T)heology sections together, pairing mindset with theological counterpart where possible, then asking what possible (P)sychological ramifications, and thus principles, the pair or premise will engender.

 

1. M. Time is far more important than space, which in turn means that depth is more important than surface impres sions.

T. Space is used merely to sanctify time, while various commandments serve to force the view away from exter nals toward internals.

Psy. Psychology allows and encourages being over doing, which clears up the NEED to work long hours to prove oneself, either by possessions or by prowess. This time feeds back into theology by allowing sanctification, which comes by using the freed time to study the Torah, which feeds back into psychology by allowing itself to be integrated into personal ity.

 

2. M. There is no word for person or for body, per se. Once compartmentalization is renderened impossible, every thing psychological becomes fair game.

T. Internal referencing becomes more emotional, praise more succinct.

Psy. Internal work is simpler to do, since we are a collection of regions, in time, rather than a whole, a unit. I would rather fix a new car, than a melted mass of metal which used to be one.

 

3. M. Jewish education is first and foremost for the development of a decent human.

M. Building the human life was considered an art form, the aim of the human life is to become art.

T. The Torah is the first thing in which one was educated. Education and theology, therefore, worked back and forth from each other, building all areas of the person.

Psy. The focus is on human development, not just knowledge of the self.

 

4. M. Jewish culture values a collective society mentality.

T. 'Tzedeka' (offerings) for all, to insure that the meaning of the holy days, the dissolution of boundaries be tween classes, was kept. (Purim and Passover, especially)

M. Diaspora mentality

T. Flexibility built around life is more important than law. If life is in danger, than the law is extremely flexible.

Psy. The fewer the boundaries, the more certain the help. Rather than toughing it out alone, as the great individual, two things happen: 1) the problem likely gets noticed earlier; 2) the knowledge that there is a caring group, and that all of one's actions will affect that group, will change perspective on a perceived problem.

Psy. Survival becomes simpler. What must be done to survive, with the group's help, is allowable. This, if one examines the law to understand its spirit. So, out of trou ble, one actually understand the law better, and so, if inte grated, grows through trouble.

 

5. M/T. A simultaneous love of God and man.

Psy. Requires that we do what is necessary to do both unconditionally, and also provides a meter-stick for how we are doing. We cannot do one of these without the other. If we end up loving each other, we are loving God.

 

6. M/T. Prayer. All of Jewish culture, as I have shown, is wrapped up in even their most basic of prayers. Prayer is the first action one must incorporate in one's life, even before the festivals. These prayers incorporate history and the future, and ideals. Prayer becomes alive, and moves people through time, rather than locking them in the present.

Psy. I find it interesting that before we can love man, or celebrate God or His providence with another human, we are told to learn, at least in basic, how to dialogue with God. We bring to him our ideals, our past and our future automatically. This, compared to the lack of context involved in Western prayer, which often locks the supplicant in the present, taking the problem, or praise, out of its time -context. Seeing a problem with the past and future attached makes it that much more bearable.

 

7. M/T. The Sabbath. Every Sabbath day brings the infectuous joy of a wedding. It also, however, brings, by virtue of the fact that our vocation is disallowed, an intro spection of who we are without our vocation to support our being. In the context of this joy, and this deep introspec tion, comes the teaching of the Torah.

Psy. On the most well-prepared day comes the mate rial which most needs to be integrated. How well are most

counselees prepared mentally, emotionally, spiritually when they enter our offices? Even with the concept of "homework", how does one insure that the counselee has anything at all counseling related that day? How do we combat a culture bent on keeping them unprepared?

 

Can this summary tell us anything about how Jews of the day would have addressed what we today label as psychological issues? I belive the answer is "yes". What it tells us is this: there are serious, competant, and healthy psychologi cal assumptions, even, I daresay, a complete psychology, bur ied in Judaism.

 

 

Merging Christian Mindset and Theology, and the inherent psychological system.

 

Christianity has not always been cold and logically ori ented. There was a time when the importance of community was very closely understood. Eric Hoffer (1989) states at least the results well, (even if he ignores the reason) when he notes that "No one of (Christianity's) rivals possessed so powerful and coherent a structure as did the church. No other gave it adherents quite the same feeling of coming into a closely knit community" (p.41). At that time, before the complete incursion of Hellenism, there would have been far less need for counseling as we see it today, and far more time still spent studying the Bible. (In a culture in which, according to Milliard Erickson (1994, p.98), only 32% of baby -boomers and 23% of buster read their Bible once a week, and only 4% of busters read it every day...)

The question then becomes what has Christianity become today, and what kind of psychology has that created, which would arise out of it?

1. M. A focus on space and a lack of motion requires an instant appraisal, perhaps even a dissection of something immobile.

T. Entire volumes of systematic theology have at tempted to define theology, as opposed to behavior, to insure it against all contingencies (heresies).

Psy. The examination and catagorization of one's life becomes just as, if not more, important as/than actually doing something about it. Could those catagories become hyper-stable to prevent lifestyle contamination? Is this "rigidity"?

 

2. M. Language issues regard the "body" as not real.

T. "Person" is addressed as a whole, saved as a whole, without reference to the different things which might have to be done to "convert" the various parts. Theology boils down to do's and do not do's, as opposed to be's, and do not be's.

Psy. If one focusses on anything in 'therapy', one often is given a prescription to do, rather than helped with how to be.

 

3. M. The individual becomes "so heavenly-minded" that he is "of little earthly good". This attitude, coupled with the lack of incentive or responsibility to work out one's own salvation (because God did it all) become prevalent

T. Everthing will make sense in the "after-life", so don't bother to try here. Similarly, because God is the author of salvation (redemption) Someone else is doing the redemption of my soul, so there is little I can do to make myself better than that, so why try?

Psy. What point is there in actually attempting to better myself here? The new heaven and new earth will clean up the environment, and I will be given a new, sinless body, so why try to fix something that Someone Else has already fixed for me?

4. M. Relationships are based on random meetings be tween individuals in a society which rewards individual ef fort. There is little need for community, which tends to be seen as a hinderance to accomplishment.

T. Commands concerning group aid tend to be re-in terpreted through this matrix. Also: We have found that the Christian denominations are largely religious communions, each of which is held together almost entirely by its special convictions. Each of them needs to be overly careful about defining its beliefs, or it may lose its identity. It would be interesting, if we could actually interview a denomination in the same way in which we are interviewing Judaism and Christianity, in order to find out what "devastating conse quences might emerge if that given congregation were to actu ally "lose" its "identity".

Psy. The Westerner is now enabled to more easily slip into a victim mentality. Being a victim in a concerned group gets tough. More severe, people get harder to help the less they consider themselves an accountable part of a group. Not to mention that therapy will take longer if a helping relationship has to be formed first. In that time, not only will the problem likely get worse and more deeply entrenched, but the relationship is formed on at least one false premise.

 

5. M. There is an over-emphasis on evil and its existance, rather than on good. (Stephen King, et al, anyone?) While not denying the existence of evil by any stretch, over-empha sis of it and fascination with it are quite another matter.

T. One example is the focus on laws of what not to do, as exemplified in the 3:1 don't/do ratio of the Didache, vs the 365 positives to the 248 negatives in the Torah. There is also, in current pop-thought, the tendancy to degrade God's power by asking how He can "permit" such things to happen, as opposed to why he even bothers to allow so many good things to happen to people to act in such loathsome manners.

Psy. The mentality which says "Oh, by the way, here's our religion, in which all avenues have been logically planned and checked, but Oh, there's this constant evil wait ing to distract you, so don't take too many risks yourself. Let Christ do it for you, so you don't mess it up, or get messed up (read, victimised) by the evil one." is the logical result.

 

6. M. There is a tangible need for control. It becomes imperative to assure than definitions remain the same, order is not dashed, that messyness does not creep into a messianic system. Complete control is needed, both on a personal level, and on a global and regional scale.

T. The creation and the justification of huge power structures, which do a great job perpetuating one massive system and protecting it against others, but do little to help individual humans.

 

This last set has come across as far more negative than I'd hoped, but there seems to be little leeway. Granted, as stated at the outside, I am looking at what a religion has become, and what kind of basic psychology emerges from that evolution. On that basis, at least there is hope in those who have chosen to break such systems, and actually do work. Unfortunately, they are not documented in any books that I have read, nor are they close the the majority of the esti mated one-billion nominal Christians. So what do we do about this situation?

One major problem which strikes me immediately is that if we totally reject Hellenism, or more precisely, the Hellenis tic mindset as it influenced Christianity, we may have to reject their way of defining things. We need to take inven tory, on a regular basis, of just what we do define and how, within our Christian experience. On that basis, either we need to NOT totally reject Hellenism, or we need to find the Hebrew method of defining things, or hold the Greeks to their

own standards, noting how the difference in defining things has impact here.

 

"...common misconceptions of religion arise from overclassifying it with one particular aspect of personality. For instance, Western religion is often overidentified with mind, reason, or emotion. Such pigeonholing of religion leads to faulty thinking, ...and damaging practise" (Oates, 1973, p. 16). Leuba, for example, defined religion as a "type of rational behavior". (Oates, (1973) p. 30) A comparison with Hebrew thought, which views the body as a whole, prohibits this from being a valid definition, since when one part participates, all do.

In closing, I have noted above that because of Christiani ty's penchant for intellectualizing itself, it is in grave danger of insulating itself from the world, and the world from it. Oates (1973) notes something very sad in this regard:

 

"... overclassification of religion with both reason or mind is also reflected in popular superstition that if a person is said to be mentally ill, necessarily he is not bright intellectually. The college counselor, in talking with the family of a mentally sick student, will hear them say, 'Our son couldn't be mentally ill. He has made straight A's in all his work up to this year!' The compulsive intel lectual may very well be considered mentally healthy and not be able to function outside of a school environment."

 

How often one hears said: "But Christianity is just fine. It has all of its theology straight, and all of its apologetics done!" But how well does it do in healing its culture?

INTERLUDE TO UNITY...

 

This thesis could easily have been written as two theses, each of them easily reaching the size to which this single thesis has grown. I have long desired to write theologically about the reunification of Christianity and Judaism. That course, however, is fraught with peril from both camps. I have also been interested, as noted very early in this work, in applying to Christian counseling those products of unifi cation which have made my Christian walk so much richer. So why not leave each section to stand on its own legs?

The more I have spoken with real people, and the more I have confronted the facts, the more I realize that a mindset is an impossible thing to convey simply. It would have been more or less "simple" to present an intellectual treatise on the differences between Christianity and Judaism. I could have even afforded to take sides. But in work whose prime focus is the disassembly of a mindset, the use of that mindset to convey a message seems at best counter-productive.

As I write this, I am reminded of a the magnetization process I performed in an early high school science lab. We were confronted with a magnet, and an iron bar, the hammering of which bar had destroyed its magnetic field. Only by passing the magnet over the bar hundreds of times did we accomplish the creation of a second, stronger magnet. I tell this story for two reasons: first, to explain chapters one through four, and second, to explain chapters five and six. As I will show below, it will only be through the complete, and often harrowing breaking of ourselves that true 'realign ment' can be reached. But that realignment involves not just

the process of breaking down, but also the process of slow, patient stroking in order to build back up.

Hoffer (1989) offers a statement which summarizes just what we have just seen, and provides a key pivot for looking into the future, from a study of hundred of revolutionary groups world- and history-wide:

 

"A(n effective) ... movement attracts and holds a fol lowing not by its doctrine and promises but by the refuge it offers from the anxieties, barrenness and meaninglessness of an individual existance. It cures the poignantly frustrated not by conferring on them an absolute truth or by remedying the difficulties and abuses which made their lives miserable, but by freeing them from their ineffectual selves by enfold ing them and absorbing them into a closely knit and exultant corporate whole." (p. 41).

 

It is safe to suppose, then, that any religion which causes its adherents to need help is far less likely to have enduring value than one which can effectively help its adherents from within. While many within such movements as the Psychoheresy movement, and even non-aligned critics of Christian therapy criticize the use of external "secular" means of aid, they rarely, if ever publically stop to wonder why Christians and others are actively seeking such treatment.

What I want to do now is to look carefully at the combined "evidence". We must look at what has been discovered from both of the counselees, before their first joint counseling session. What bits and pieces have been given, and what conclusions have been built from these bits and pieces? And once that has been established, I wish to evaluate the suc cesses and failures of each system against Mr. Hoffer's state ment, and then work with other existing material to create a better system, mainly by using the strengths of each particu lar system to remedy the weaknesses of the other.

I have shown that Christianity engages in three dimen sional, static thought, where Judaism engages in four dimensional thinking. Current Western paradigms are based on quantifying, on stopping an object cold, and identifying all

of its parts. There is very much a here and now quality, but little chance of a long term outlook. Hebrew thought, on the other hand, is at a constant sweep. The Hebrew is forced to look long term, and at broad context. This, I daresay, decreases stress, by placing things very much in context.

Building on this is a contrast which Jacob Neusner (1995) brings to bear. Neusner discusses how the Jewish philosophy interact with with Jewish mind, and burst out in song. At one point during this disussion, however, Neusner makes a con trast which builds on some of the lingual comparisons made earlier. After postulating that the melody of the Jewish mind is rather dialectical,he notes that, consistent with the above paragraph, Jewish arguments "move", "from problem to prob lem," movement which, he says, is generated by raising contrary questions and theses." He goes on to say that:

 

What differentiates the dialectical arguments of the Talmud from the dialectical argument of a dialogue of Plato, however, is the Talmud's quality fo meandering, moving hither and yon, contrasted with the rigorous cogency of the Platonic dialogue, which never loses its way or forgets it initial purpose. (...) The Talmud, therefore, exhibits a meandering quality this, that, the other thing that may frustrate easy access to its purpose. Philosophical dialectics and (Jewish) dialectics part company.

 

Perhaps the best reason for "camping here" is unwittingly made by Gordon Allport, in the Terry Lectures of 1954, to fellow psychologists. Allport (1955) emphasizes the purposes of mankind which both preserve life and make it worth living, purposes which he says "have a futurity to them, and do not dwell merely on the past history of the individual". He also interprets personality as an "ongoing purposive growth curve which he calls "becoming." (p. 98). All of what Allport says really brings home the core impact of this concept. When most of one's verbs involve thinking about continuous processes, it becomes, I imagine, terrifically difficult to stay mired in the "here-and-now". One does tend to concentrate on concepts like "beginning", "process", "end", "future", etc.

Martin Buber (1956) in his book entitled The Tales of Rabbi Nachman, records a story which, in summary form, pro vides a sharp, but valuable conclusion and transition at this time. The story itself, one of Rabbi Nachman's finer stories, is called "The Clever Man and The Simple Man". In this story, two neighbor boys, raised together, are alike in all but intelligence and cunning. Left to their own devices by simul taneous family disasters, the boys take vastly different paths. Each, however, finds success in his own appropriate manner, the simple man as a dirt-poor but content cobbler, the clever man as a travelling intellectual.

The men, however, are fated to meet again, the meeting brought about the the disillusionment of the clever man, who has learned so much that there can be no perfection for him. During their time together, they discuss each other, with the clever man noting that which he could become like the simple man, the latter could never hope to emulate him. For a while, the two play off of each other, and we are left to wonder who is better adapted to real life.

Ultimately, however, they achieve fame and are summoned by the king. The simple man goes immediately. The clever man, however, completely misses the point, and actually winds up not only questioning the very existence of the king, but assailing every piece of evidence of his existence. The tale ends with the simple man giving a bitter summary, a summary which is a valuable summary for the paper thus far, and for the upcoming last chapter. Reacting to the clever man's earlier remark about their lack of interchangeability, the simple man, who no longer appears very simple, turns the remark on its head, saying:

 

So, do you still continue, then, to live in your subtleties and not see life? You asserted once that it would be easier for your to decline into my simplicity than for me to rise to your cleverness. No, you will never receive the grace of simplicity!" (p. 94).

There is a warning here: the more we fill our religion with subtleties, indeed the more we worship those subtleties, (the clever proofs of our rightness). The more we worship these subtleties, the less we see of real life, and the less value we wind up having. With this in mind, I will seek, in this next chapter, to eliminate the often artificial complexities, introduced by our own insecurities, and to become instead satisfied with what lies at the core of each relgion after everything objectionable is stripped away: life, and messy life at that.

CHAPTER FIVE:

 

The preacher delivers his sermon, hoping that his idea will take root in some mind, that it will enter the subconcious. But each member says instead at the din ner hour: 'Wasn't that a good sermon for (someone else)

 

Pendleton, p.201.

 

 

 

Quite likely, were this a true counseling session, the increasing dialogue which has been heard would have suggested the need for a joint session. Such a session would allow true dialogue, with occasional interjections and inquiries from the counselor, working toward compromise, pulling what seemed at the start to be an untenable relationship from the fire. Since, however, this remains by necessity a paper monologue, I must find other means to accomplish this goal. I will seek, however, to maintain the spirit of dialogue, and to do so, I have chosen a group of counselors who represent theories from what I perceive to the the spectrum of concerned camps. I have sought to allow them to recommend, as "representatives" of the parties, what might be their best course of action. While I fear this may be more like allowing opposing camps of lawyers to do marriage counseling, it may, in this rather referreed setting, be productive. So what may be the possible courses of action which we would lay before a couple at this point?

In a real-life situation, three options seem obvious:

1) Complete divorce. Seen by most over the centuries as the only logical course, it is counter to the spirit of either

party's ideology, generally unproductive, and rather an "easy out".

2) Re-unification, with a "submissive female" modality, in which case nothing really changes from the current sce nario.

3) A large scale re-orientation of both parties, fa cilitated by, and always accompanied by the continuation of, a lively and broad-based dialogue. Such a relationship is by far the most desirable, as should be demonstrated below, and should be the most productive.

I have established that Christians and Jews do think differ ently and therefore respond to difficulties differently alone, and within their communities of choice. I have also located where those differences are centralized, which facilitates our understanding of how they work. This framework should allow the discovery of a Christian model which does, against all odds, allow the re-unification of the two parties in the counseling arena, in much the same way and with much the same results as their re-unification had for me in the religious arena.

What makes me so willing to try a compromise? While the very fact that much of the above commentary makes the current Christian mode of operations seem rather "dark" drives me to attempt to find some kind of light. It is the fact that I have found some light that actually leads me to believe that comnpromise is possible. Dwight Stevenson (1967) is perhaps the most representative of the emergence of a new kind of thought within Christian circles, the kind of thought which will drive not only this chapter, but Christianity itself, if it is to survive. Stevenson (1967) notes that

 

Biographical sermons on biblical personalities are popular ... Besides, the Bible itself predisposes us toward such a treatment of its content; men and women swarm through it pages. Its lessons are never stated in terms of abstract principles, but instead are bodied forth in the flesh and blood of fully human, all too human, people. Preaching that deals centrally with people is close to the Bible's own way of looking at religion.

 

Stevenson (1967) goes on to note that in order to do things right, the individual must be made real, and that his rela tionships must be highlighted. All of this bodes extremely well for those who attempt to follow his paths. However, while this may seem to be picking at nits, I suggest that Stevenson still misses in exactly the same way in which most of Christianity and its accompanying theology "miss" today. He does not attempt to show precisely how and or why real change did or did not occur in the exemplar's life.

While he does suggest a focus on the life of the individu al's relationships with others, he utterly forgets to examine the individual's relationship with his own self. Equally, he seems to forget that while Biblical characters have been more or less 'edited to fit the screen', the life they lived was likely even messier than it is made to appear. It is in these areas which Judaism's veiw of life can help, and it is there fore both for the reason of the hope which Stevenson inaugu rates, and for the gaps which he yet leaves, that I believe a reconciliation is both necessary, and possible.

 

Christian Counseling Concepts:

How will this be determined? I'm not interested in look ing at strictly secular models. That would be counter to what is being discussed here. Originally, I had hoped to break this examination down neatly into a nice logical set of quad rants: rabbinical Jews, lay Jews, pastoral Christians, lay Christians. But alas, the Jewish side frustrated that neat ness. As will be discussed, nothing fit those categories. Instead, therefore, I have broken the discussion in this chapter, once again, down into sections: counseling within the Christian mindset, and within the Jewish mindset. Chapter Six will then integrate all of the salient points from this chapter on the basis of the twin points of view set out in Chapters One through Four, integrating the best of both cul tures, and heeding the warnings inherent in each culture.

 

I've chosen Jay Adams to go first not because I want to dispose of him quickly, as might be suspected, but because, despite what would likely be his antagonism toward a project like this, he has a lot of material which should be helpful in two related ways: some of it is useful for foundational work in the next chapter, other of it will be useful only as a warning, to show the danger inherent in solo focus on one point.

Adams begins one of his books (The Use of the Scriptures in Counseling, 1975) with four points by which he intends to define his view of biblical counseling. His view is "(1) motivated by the Scriptures, (2) founded presuppositionally by the Scriptures, (3) structured by the goals and objectives of the Scriptures, and (4) developed systematically in terms of the practices and principles modeled and enjoined in the Scriptures." Unfortunately, Adams moves quickly to note that a "scriptural counselor" refuses to mix man's ideas with God's.

Roger Hurding, (1985) aids in the understanding of this view, by noting that Adams sees 'Divine' and 'devilish' as the the only two poles for counseling. Ironically, this same kind of logic was noted above as the kind of logic which set Jews and Christians at odds with each other for centuries, which much physical and spiritual carnage on each side, and in the cross-fire. We can only hope that such is not the case here.

What drives Adams to this kind of logic? Hurding (1985) notes from several sources that "Adams acknowledges the im portance of (Cornelius) VanTil (formerly professor of apolo getics at Westminster Theological Seminary) for his theologi cal reflection. It should not surprise me that a man imbibing so heavily of logic and supporting arguments would have such a rigid system. However, comments like that made by Paul Hauck (1972) certainly do not help. It is Hauck's opinion that "Religion has prescribed a destination for man; psychol ogy is discovering how it can be reached." It is sad enough

that Hauck sees the two helping each other. The culture which caused such a dichotomy, which refuses to see religion and psychology as one to a great extent is even more sad.

Adam's weak points, however, occasioned by his emphasis on logic, are as valuable to us as his strong points, if we allow others to comment. Duncan Buchanan (1985) notes that Adams believes that "we must hear the words only, define the issue, and then take action". Such words are important not only in their definition of how logic can affect a counseling method, but also show us what we must avoid.

Adams later notes that "The scriptures tell the counselor all that he needs to know about God, His neighbor, Himself, and the relationships between these." Still later in the same book, he insists that the non-Christian counselor has abso lutely nothing to offer the couple whose marriage is nearing the rocks. Ironically, though, we can determine by inference from a comment of his quoted by Hurding (1985), that there are some organically caused mental illnesses. We will work with this point in the last chapter.

Returning to what is positive about Adams, there are sev eral of his ideas which intrigue me; namely his differentia tion between the use of Scripture to demonstrate or to illustrate a point of one's own, and the use of Scripture to actually come up with points. This willl be expressed by other authors noted below, and will also be explored in the last chapter.

Adams (1979) in Theology deals well with the difference between change and changes. He deals with a cycle of sin and forgiveness which others will deal with and call normal, but he will deal with it differently, using a simple word juxta position. He will define changes as impermanent, and change as permanent, using the example of criminals who make changes in frequency of operation due to other circumstances. These folks are no less criminals if they stop because the police are in pursuit. When the pressure is lifted, Adams notes, they do not suddenly become criminals once again. They simply

reactivate a state of being which was merely dormant. In a society in which morals are often subject to the whim of the daily media, it is easy to make changes based upon the whims of pop theology and culture. It is much more diffcult to change, to become, as Adams notes, "something else."

Adams (1986) also provides an idea of how to effect such change, based upon II Timothy 3:14-17. Using what he calls the process of edification, Adams notes that there are four steps, (in order), to edification, or change:

 

1. Teaching

2. Conviction

3. Correction

4. Disciplined training in rightousness

He notes that there are many indications from context that these must be taken in order. These steps do meet many of our criteria: teaching in this context is proper, it is for the purpose of building the person. There is also a good balance between the amount of work we are required to do, and the amount of work done by God. There is also appropriate room for the operation of the community. I therefore suspect that these four steps, as outlined by the Apostle Paul, must form the "micro-kernal", the core, of any Jewish-Christian coun seling program.

Dr. Larry Crabb's work (various dates) serves as a nice middle ground, both a reaction to Adams' work, and in the sense that some of what he says actually has Jewish undertones to it. Unfortunately, he was raised in a Western mindset, which leads him to a realization that something needs to change, which he says to be the mind, but he could not fully understand that concept in the richness inherent in the Jewish interpretation of that phrase.

With respect to that Jewishness of thought, Crabb (1975) notes that "(e)very concept of biblical counseling must build upon the fundamental premise taht there really is an infinite and personal God, who has reavealed Himself in the written word, ... and personally in the living word." As we noted

above, the entire Jewish religious structure revolves around two simple points: knowledge of God, (with the acknow-ledge ment that full knowledge is impossible), and the personal growth of the individual based upon the idea that we are made in His image. Crabb also succinctly addresses the state of the many today who do not understand this: "(they) may tem porarily and partially solve their personal problems by ap proximating biblical principles, but can never possess an absolutely satisfying life...". It is this same approx -imation to which I believe Adams speaks, when he postulates the difference between Scripture as a proving ground, and Scripture as a source.

Crabb does not support Adams in all points, however. He is clearly unhappy with the kind of thinking engendered by Adams and his adherents when he notes that

 

Christians are sometimes quick to support anyone who degrades the wisdom of man and asserts the sufficiency of Scripture as a base for all thinking. Dismissing all secular thinking as profitless denies the obvious fact that all true knowledge comes from God. ... God has given men minds... (Crabb, 1975).

Such comments make the search for a balanced solution much more manageable.

Crabb also realizes that change must be internal, and real. For him, that change comes from Paul, who speaks of the "renewing of the mind". While that phrase could likely have been the subject of this entire thesis, I will allow myself only this in commentary. Once again, I doubt, without having intensely studied the Jewish culture, that Crabb could grasp the full meaning of this important phrase. I suspect that the reason Paul even made it in the first place was for the Greeks in the readership who would have had no idea where to begin in their life-changing, not just mind-changing, journey.

R. S. Lee (1968) centers his attention much more on under -standing what a fully trained lay staff would look like if it could be made available to allow the pastor to preach, while leaving treatment to the lay staff. In this vein, Lee notes that:

 

The (average parish priest) find(s) that ordinary paro chial work does not produce the quick results which they had hoped to achieve. They then begin to think of themselves as failures, or they get bored with the daily routine of the work, endless committees, clubs, superficial contacts, and so on, and they try to get the results by plunging into counseling, which then becomes a substitute for pastoral care.

 

Two things occur to me as a result of this statement, the second arising out of the first. First, it strikes me how wrong the relationship between the pastoral and counseling roles really are, based upon how isolated the pastor seems as a result of the specialization and professionalization of the position. The second thing is that I will have to be very careful, in the next chapter, how I distinguish the roles.

Essentially, we should all be doing at least 50% of the types of work the pastor/priest does, (even though such things really cannot be quantified), and more importantly, the di chotomy or chasm between counseling and pastoring should be nowhere near so pronounced as it currently is within the circles of Western Christianity. To his credit, Lee sug gests, on the very next page, a close evaluation of "whether or not pastoral counseling should be organized as a specialist ministry."

Having recognized the incredible weight which modern con gregations place on the backs of their pastors/priests, Lee also provides the seed for an idea which will be incorporated and elaborated below. He suggests that

 

"A few men could be properly trained to be counsellors and other clergy could refer to them the people in need of psychological counseling. (...) Given the funds to cover the training and to carry out such a ministry it could be organ ized easily enough. It would, I think, be too heavy a burden to lay on men already involved in all the demands of a paro

chial ministry, so such expert counsellors would need to be freed from other responsibilities to devote all their time, or as much time as it demanded, to counselling work. (...) Another way might be to set up counselling centres, adequately staffed with psychologists as well as counsellors, in each city or diocese. These would have the advantage that they would make cooperation with other denominations possible."

 

The concept strikes me as workable. However, it treats merely the symptoms. It lacks in that it still does not create "community", in the sense of a caring atmosphere. In this same vein, Lee addresses a difference between pastoral care, and pastoral counseling, which he sees as similar to the distinction between medical general practitioners and con sultant specialists. This too will be useful below. However, I believe that its true significance lies in a part of the analogy which Lee does not treat, i.e. if one goes often enough and early enough to one's general practitioner, one might, in most cases, be spared the necessity of a visit to the specialist. As will be noted below, a proper model should create an environment in which seeing one's "GP" (in this case a lay person, however) will ward off visits, further up the scale of specialty.

Lee (1968) makes several other comments worth noting, and eventually, integrating. In a chapter on healing in the pastoral encounter, he notes that "The physician and surgeon simply try to provide the best conditions for the innate powers of the body to do their healing work. Reading this comment, among other things, challenged me to challenge the very aims of counseling, the very methods, the results of which will be explored more fully in the course of the last chapter.

Addressing something I have written in earlier chapters, Lee (1968) makes some pointed comments worth noting on how many people "change" when convicted of sin. "A man living a licentious life wihch troubles him as well as his acquintances gets 'converted' and adopts a rigid puritanical attitude to sex." Lee goes on to note that this person, with others like

him, has not actually solved the problem. I believe he has merely created a mechanism which allows him to keep from looking at it. If he does this continuously, I sense that the result will be a number of "walled-off" areas of his soul, leaving a diminished soul to praise his Creator. In response, Lee notes, "true repentance is something different. It is an honest facing of facts, the recognition that not only have we done something bad, but also that we could not have done anything else at the time..." and, I add, there is a reason. In many cases today, however, there is little hope for the expositional style of our preaching to address such reasons.

Lastly, Lee (1968) provides an interesting challenge to pieces of Adam's views. He notes that

 

"The common assumption is that it is easy to commit what we call sin or wrongdoing. It must be, because it is so universal.. Yet the moment we look at the psychological forces involved we are compelled to believe that it must on the contrary require considerable effort to do wrong, if wrong consists in overcoming the urges on the side of right. Ar rayed against it is, first, the fear of punishment to deter us. Considerations of prudence must make us hesitate about doing anything which will involve sanctions. The punishment may be imminent in parental wrath, delayed in matters of law -breaking by the need to go through the legal process, or be anticiapte only after death as divine judgment,except in those popel who see God's action as immediate."

 

I've included this quote here for two reasons. It provides an interesting commentary on one who thinks that by adding Scrip ture to a problem, even assuming it is caused by sin, the sin will immediately and permanently disappear. I have also included it because it makes me question just what this soci ety of laws does fear most (will we sin in areas which are not covered by law?) and in so doing points up cross-cultural issues, namely: if we counsel someone used to a different set of punishments and fears thereof, will we have to change our tactics?

 

Leroy T. Howe's book (1995), while primarily theological, provides a number of points which I found helpful in forming

one of the goals of counseling discussed in the next chapter. First, he asks, rather pointedly, something integral to the pursuit taking place here: "Why, ... do pastoral counselors not as a matter of course seek to build new relations between persons in need of a larger faith community?" (italics his) I find it interesting and refreshing to see someone providing substance to the issue of relationships. Relationship, and the building of it, is often merely assumed, but never eluci dated, in current formats. Western Christianity simply as sumes that the counselee will want to join a church, which will give him cause to relate to his fellow members.

Unfortunately, as Howe (1995) relates, it may also give her pause. "Counselors who do offer encouragement of this kind are often regaled with horror stories of bad experiences with organized religion". It is difficult to imagine a sol dier wishing to spend a great deal of time attempting to establish comradarie with his battalion-mates, let alone es tablish a meaningful committment to his armed forces branch, when he is told, almost upon completion of boot-camp, that most of the other battalions fight differently, have differ ent strategies, and may even be fighting for rather different versions of the same cause, only dimly acceptable to his unit.

Howe continues his theme of relationship with a signifi cant statement based on the Creation chapter of Genesis. "Male and Female God created Them: to be is to be in rela tionship." How much time do counselors spend trying to in the creation of new relationships, in trying to re-establish re lationships, or in the expansion of already existing rela tionships? Would it not rather be simpler and more productive to assume the Hebrew idea of the state of being? Doing so would tell us that we are in a sea of relationships, a few of which may be good, some bad, most nominal, unrecognized, and therefore indifferent. Thinking like this should rapidly refocus the attention of both counselor and counselee on not the doing of relationship, but the state of being of all

parties even remotely associated with the counselee. One hopes such a change would soften hearts and make working with the newly unearthed ties far easier.

Dr. Charles R Solomon (1971) builds from a point which I have intimated occasionally in this work. I have noted that while Judaism expects us to do all of our own work, there are two things which we cannot do: we cannot ever complete enough work on ourselves to be "cured" of the sin issue, and we cannot do any real work without help from Y'shua, our leader and our Sacrifice. Solomon notes that modern Western psychol ogy, however, "helps a person to meet his own needs, to learn more effective ways of behavior and to develop more adequate defense mechanisms." The irony of this, which Solomon ob serves, is that "as the ego grows progressively stronger, there is correspondingly less dependence on God; as long as we can do it, we will keep trying and failing!"

Since Solomon seems to ally himself with Adams' position against secular psychology, although in a less drastic fash ion, and focussed our efforts still further on Christian counseling, what does he propose? Solomon proposes a matrix which he calls "Spirituotherapy". Among its tenets are the compartmentalisation of the being into Soul, Spirit, and Body, each of which seems to feed mental symptoms. Solomon notes that "(p)ersons who come for counseling are not given a label such as schizophrenic even when it is recognized that their symptoms might fit such a category. Such a label is really unnecessary since Christ is the cure for every emotional ill." This, unfortunately, will be a little too pat for our purposes in the next chapter, especially since he uses some rather lengthy treatises to estabilish this thesis.

But Solomon does make a good point as well. One thing which he does note on his way to proving the point quoted immediately above is the requirement that the counselee be totally committed for a godly solution to be tenable. Given his views of secular psychology as bent on strengthening independance, and given the Western mindset of

compartmentalization and independance which we noted in pre vious chapters, commitment to the cause of one's life seems to make sense. In Solomon's mind, total commitment means the surrender of all areas to Christ's control. He makes the wry note that "(o)ccasionally a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and makes him Lord of his life at the begin ning." I strongly suspect that the process of finding out just how many areas we have created in our lives which need surrender will be just as valuable a part of the process as the actual surrender.

Toward the end of his book, Solomon makes one more comment which I firmly believe needs to be made far more plain in Christian circles today than is being done. In a society of Band-Aids, aspirin, and other "miracle cures", Westerners expect something which we have spoken of elsewhere in this work: instant relief. To wit: 'I give my life to Christ, now when's he going to yank away my sins, and let me get on with this better, happier life I'm supposed to have?' A good part of Solomon's theory of Christ as "cure-all" hinges on a proc ess: the assumedly normal process of surrendering control of all areas of our lives to Christ.

Part of this process, according to Solomon, involves what he calls "surgery", in which the problem issues are "cut away", so we can enjoy life without pills or tranquilizers of whatever kind we pick. While I do not completely agree with his analogy, since it still involves Christ doing all of the work, I do agree with a comment he makes. He notes that

 

... there is always the convalescence after surgery. This is rarely a smooth, uphill process. There are normally many ups and downs as we adjust to the new life. We may frequently revert to the old life with its defeats and frus trations only to require a return to the surgery (table) ... Finally, as in physical surgery, we delight to tell others of our successful surgery; and we are more than delighted to recommend the ... Surgeon ...

 

Two things are worth noting here. First, the "fix" always takes work. How often I've seen my wife groan in pain as she

lay on the floor of our house, doing the prescribed excercises, in order that she might get through the course of physical therapy more quickly. The second point is one which desper ately needs to be made, and is as yet unmade in this work: how we will be known. There is little allure to becoming a committed Christian in the memorization of theology, or the memorization of Scripture, or the going to church each time the doors are open, in a society filled with more "fun" things to do. But in a time in which those fun things are often merely covers for intense pain, it will be exceedingly helpful to our cause if those yet unconvinced can see that the initial pain of becoming (four-dimensional sense) a Christian is worth the lessened pain in the end.

 

Mike O'Neil and Charles Newbold (1994) create a model which proposes heavy use of Christian laymen in small group sessions as an integral ministry of the local church, as advocated by Lee above. They create a very thorough pattern for training groups, and also provide a clear method for explaining to amatuers the basics of what they call "life -controlling problems." While they don't deal with the heavier issues (organic disorders) they do provide training which not only explains the "problems" of the individual at the core of the problem, but also explains the various permutations and perversions possible in the relationships of those close to the problems.

There is one problem with their method, however, in light of some of what has been determined above. That problem rests in their use of a "Christianized" Twelve Step Program. Actually, I have not as much of a problem with the whole twelve step program, as I've written elsewhere, for it's structure and order does shed much light upon the necessary order of our priorities in restora tion. What I have a problem with in this case is their 'transla tion' of the sixth principle, which for them reads "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." While this seems a minor point, it essentially says 'surrender your

character to God, don't bother to mess with it, He'll make any changes for you. Human responsibility does not seem to be a very Western concept, despite Westernism's pervasive individuality.

The other, deeper problem that occurs in the adaptation of these twelve steps is that most of the adaptation is ac complished merely by changing the word 'alchohol' to the words 'the human condition'. While this may seem a simple change, what I believe that it really does is make light of sin, making sin something with which we 'merely' have to cope, or the result of a choice. In any case, we reduce the human nature to another level.

Before we take a look at Jewish theorists and examples, there is a writer whom I include for the sake of showing the epitome of the combination of the Western logical bent with pastoral counseling. I have already quoted above from his work, however, a few more quotes from that work should serve as guide posts, or perhaps guard-rails, with respect to what to avoid in the formulation of our own theories. In all fairness, the work of Hauck's (1972) in question does try to combine Ellis' Rational Emotive Therapy, (RET) which is in itself perhaps the epitome of Hellenism, with pastoral counseling. However, he does so on the grounds that "(t)he whole person must be our concern. He cannot be divided into compartments, each under the care of a specialist." What a dismal view of man: his logical and spiritual sides being cared for by one person, and treated as his entirity.

I find two things especially note-worthy. In Chapter Three above, I quoted a writer named Alcott (1836), who spoke of the increased burden upon a pastor being such that no-one under thirty ought to contemplate the job. Hauck (1972) speaks to this. We have also spoken to the issue of logic, and how its application has perverted Christianity to a signifi cant extent. Hauck (1972) makes a comment, while addressing the mechanics of counseling, which combines the worst of both ideas. He says that:

The minister has ample time and opportunity to influ ence the neurotic habits of his congregation. The Sunday service is, of course, and excellent opportunity.

'What!' you may protest. 'Throw logic and reason at my people while I am making a social visit?'

Yes, why not? What is wrong with helping an angry mother who tells us as she sets her table for our visit that her son is driving her to distraction? You and she may normally pray openly for divine help, but is it not true that any conversation designed to bring about good could also be called prayer?

 

Hauck makes another comment, later in the same work, which bolsters his viewpoint on the pastor as the only one capable of helping his congregation (with the implication that they cannot help themselves). He also makes one more comment worthy of note for our purposes. He says that "Logic is cold, serious, and humorless. Only the philosopher is forgiven for his eccentric attachment to the subject. Yet logic remains the very substance of our peace of mind, whether we be house wife or professor." I may be misperceiving his intent, but it seems odd to me to be told that my peace of mind is an eccentric attachment, or that logic is the only thing which can be used to grant me that peace of mind in the first place.

With all of the Christian theorists of whom I have writ ten, it seems that there are a number of basic concepts that must be avoided, born largely out of Western culture. There is also have a large number of positives, which will form our suugested theory in Chapter Six. However, while there is a structure, and some items with which to flesh it out, because Westernism seems pervasive in the sample, it would appear that I still need to go to Judaism to see what its current state can contribute.

Jewish Counseling Concepts

I had, at the commencement of research on this subject, hoped to look fairly at both sides of the "counseling aisle". I had hoped to look at both non-rabbinical Jewish counselors, and at rabbinical Jewish counselors. Unfortunately, as of this writing, I could find few species of either family. Equally sad, but interesting for reasons to be enumerated shortly, is that most of the available "counseling" informa tion, which really seems to be quite psychological, (clini cal-theoretical) in nature, comes from after the German-in cited Holocaust of the Second World War. Why is the avail ability information so interesting? While the lack of almost any early information is sad, it does show the effectiveness of the Jewish community in giving help to deal with whatever troubles arose.

There are, however, a few Jewish writers whose own at tempts at self-analysis following their ordeal in German con centration and extermination camps place them in a position to shed light on this issue for us. There are also a few surveys of the Jewish cultural view over the centuries of aid to one's fellowman. Among the first of these, satifying the need for a secular, educated Jew, is Bruno Bettelheim. Bettelheim, through a series of his self-assembled essays, allows us a glimpse into what we might consider to be a sort of psycho logical model, a model by which he managed, and saw others manage, to survive the camps.

By his own admission, Bettelheim (1979) was a Jew who had been politically active against the Nazis. (p. 54) Also, easily inferred from various of his writings, he has little interest in his Judaism for anything other than genetic rea sons. He speaks openly of evolution, and rather derisively of most religions with respect to their methods of coming to grips with life after death.

Bettelheim's model, if it may be called that, lies in simply working through the various ways in which the 1500 or so individuals he met in the two concentration camps had

attempted to cope with their new situation, at various stages. His model goes a bit deeper, though. He notes that

 

in times of trouble, (...) the problem of life's pur pose, or meaning, forces itself on our awareness. The greater the hardship we experience, the more pressing the question becomes for us. It makes good sense psychologically that we begin to worry about life's meaning when we already suffer from serious trials (...), because then our search for answers has a purpose. (1979, p. 3).

 

While it seems sad that the purpose of his search for meaning exists only in the attempted alleviation of pain, it is tell ing. He continues by noting that

 

(i)t is man's struggle to find the significance of life, and of its finiteness, and through his search to master his fear of death, which defines not only his religion, but also much of what he considers best in his culture and the personal style of his life (1979, p. 5).

 

No matter what Bettelheim may say elsewhere which minimizes his personal commitment to or receipt from Judiasm, this quote, while epitomizing his model, also shows inescapable tinges of Judaism, primarily the realization that, as Heschel told us above, one's life is an object d'art, and definition is the best way to create and better that art.

So what does Bettelheim tell us about these extreme sit uations on which so much of his model and his examinations and interviews are based? He tells us that we find our selves in an extreme situation when

 

we are suddenly catapulted into a set of condi-tions where our old adaptive mechanisms and values do not apply any more and when some of them may even endanger the life they were meant to protect. (...) we must carve out a new set of attributes, values, and way of living as required by the new situation (1979, p. 11).

 

Bettelheim begins his model with the following assertion: "good psychotherapy, and particularly good psychoanalysis, requires that the therapist examine the motives for his ther apeutic actions..." (1979, p. 112)

 

Victor Frankl's experience, gained from his survival of several concentration camps, has led him to actually propose a model called logotherapy. Logotherapy, according to Frankl (1959), is a meaning based psychology. However, I greet it with mixed emotions, since it is, by Frankls own admission (1959), "less retrospective, less introspective," while at the same time being more "future oriented". Gratifying, however, is the fact that "the self-centeredness of the neu rotic is broken up." This is probably one area on which most counselors, from both religious backgrounds will agree.

It is his focus upon meaning that will comprise his great est addition to the study and the model here. At one point, Frankl notes a study of alchoholics which concluded that 90% of them felt that life was meaningless. A bit further on, he quotes another study of drug addicts which found that 100% of them found no meaning in life. While this presents quite a potential difficulty to the "just say no" followers, a paral lel drawn from that mentality should give counselors, and the church, pause for thought. How often does the church, or do some styles of counseling, rely on simply telling their charges to "just say no" to whatever sin is at issue? How many preachers, or students of theology, stop in their prepara tion, their preaching, and their advising, to wonder about the reasons for their charges' deviations?

Just as profoundly, Christianity should be in the world's greatest position to provide hope. By many accounts, it does. I wonder, however, if it provides all that it can. While we try to provide very general meaning, by way of theology, and by way of such things as the Great Commission, do we really reach our potential in providing each individual in our care a route to finding his or her own mission in life, and thus his or her own individual meaning. If we are not doing so, and doing so with vigor, then according to Frankl, we are frus trating a critical life-drive, and potentially fostering men tal disorders in our congregations.

 

Crabb (1975) remarks on Frankl that "a careful study of Frankl's logotherapy makes it clear that Frankl ... solves the neurosis of meaninglessness by persuading its victims to ar bitrarily lay hold of something by which to live." He mis -understands Frankl, I believe, in saying by way of evaluation that "since there is nothing real which gives life meaning, his solution is reduced to blind faith: do something, feel something, be something, live for something, and hope that this will provide you with the meaning you need." What Frankl is likely referring to is something which, as I explored above, is deeply rooted in his culture. Frankl may really be steering his readers back to their own culture, in which they may, once again, find God. I imagine that it would be diffi cult, however, for one schooled in Western thought to under stand that Frankl's recommendations, which can essentially be boiled down to "change something and stay with it" would really be comforting.

While a study of modern day Jewish psychology shows that Judaism has survived the onslaught of Westernism mostly in tact, I would be remiss if I did not dig deeper, and visit other areas of this integrated conciousness. I can legiti mately argue that pure, idealistic Judaism can contribute much to our counseling, however, it would certainly be to our advantage to look at the theological construct as it actually plays out in peripheral literature, and in real-life exam ples. By comparison with the idealistic model I postulated above, I can note any possible inconsistencies over time. If we find that literary/psychological Judaism has as much to contribute as the theological Judaism studied above, then I can add those the final model as well.

Psychology and counseling are not necessarily the entire aim of a book called Pirkey Avoth, (Chapters of the Sages ), but they are certainly clearly embodied therein, which lends credence to our theory that psychology is integrated into Jewish 'theology'. Pirkey Avoth is read every year by observant Jews, once at least,

between Pesach and the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah. Some may read it more often. Reuven Bulka (1993), whose work has been instrumental in pointing up a clear psychology in the book, has noted that "Pirkey Avoth is essential to understanding the Jewish way of life" (p.10). That statement brings the intellectual nature of what follows much closer to the everyday life of the average Jew.

Pirkey Avoth is arranged into roughly six parts, each part of which builds the model further. The first chapter es tablishes that what follows has been a steady part of Jewish life for the millenia since Moshe. It also establishes the absolute basics of Jewish life, such as Torah, prayer, char ity, responsibility to the self, and responsibility to the community. These are chosen not solely for their theological importance, but for their direct implications in the lives of the reader. The next section guides the reader onto the correct path. It speaks to the integration of the social and the religious dimensions, and builds on the first part's references to relationships to the community and the material being.

At the end of chapter one of Pirkey Avoth , three pillars of Judaism, (truth, justice and peace, noted above) are men tioned. They are mentioned as a summary of the hundreds of individual commands which God gave to Israel via Moshe. The First mishna, or chapter, closes with these words from Pirkey Avoth 1:18: "He desired to make Israel worthy, therefore He gave them Torah and commandments in abundance...". Of this, Bulka notes that "this conclusion links the ideas projected in this Mishna with everyday life" (p. 49). One is not allowed the luxury of simply hearing the commands every Sunday, or Sabbath, duly noting them, and storing them in our heads for future reference. One is not even allowed the almost-luxury of simply making changes in our lives based upon them. One must go all the way, and integrate them into our lives. This difference somehow feels deeper, and is difficult for my still somewhat Western mind to grasp.

Chapter Four, entitled "The Integration of Values," is the section which I consider to be the most important to my consideration here. Bulka makes the statement that the chap ter is "concerned with the values which become part of the human personality, the ingredients (...) which make for a true human being" (p. 12). This is rather a startling statement, assuming that the human personality is in some way itself deficient, needed things to be added to it. It is startling, but critical to understand, and because I feel that it is among the centerpieces of Jewish theo-psychology. Western culture, with its tendancy to catagorize and compartmentalize, divides one's existence up into catagories of mind, body, possessions, and interaction. Bulka notes, however, that the fourth mishna of the Pirkey Avoth

 

"introduces a totally different persepective to those categories. The concern is not with what one has, but rather with what one is, not with a static, materialistic possessive ness, but rather with an active, humanistic process orienta tion; not a concern with facts, but with attitudes" (p. 142).

 

Life becomes a process. Bulka notes that "if one remains static and takes not action towards self-betterment, then that individual will be overpowered by the temptations that surround him" (p.144).

We are so used to thinking that if we simply understand a person's problem(s), cognitively, we might create a context for the creation of recommendations, and allow the individual to remedy their situation(s), most likely by changing their thought patterns. On this "comfortable" concept is often based both our preaching, and our counseling. We assume that if we tell people what they ought to think with regard to a problem, it will automatically change their personality, their inner man.

Pirkey Avoth, however, would beg to differ, suggesting that without the addition of certain moral ingredients to the soul, we are doomed to continual failure in most important arenas of life. Now I imagine that most perceptive and

actively engaged Christians reading this might answer that 'Christ fills in the deficient spots in our personalities, via salvation.' But that, (rather pat) answer, in my opinion, flies in the face of Judaism's suggestion that we need to be constantly engaged in the building of our own personalities, which Pirkey Avoth, and other sources will call the "Torah personality". That answer also, once more, brings to the fore the tension of just how much work we are expected to do, as opposed to how much work we can sit back and allow Christ to do in our lives. I will leave it to the reader to decide just where (s)he stands on that issue, which I have not seen debated in any of the many systematic theologies which I've read.

What other things does Pirkey Avoth advocate? Avoth 1:14 says that "He (Hillel) used to say: If I am not for myself, who is for me? When I am for myself only, what am I? and if not now, when?" In his commentary on that same verse, Bulka (1993) says the following:

 

No individual can step out into the world with a poor self image and expect to make important contri-butions to human betterment. The neglect of self makes the neglectful person a poor choice for helping others. (... T)he uninformed cannot be enlightend, the shaky self cannot counsel. Any individual who is not for one's self, who asks who is for me? , must be told the blunt answer nobody (p. 42).

 

Bulka's comments on the reason for good self-image are an important contrast with the reasons, if any, behind the cur rent Western push for the same thing. Little is said about self-esteem for its own sake, but rather for the sake of others.

 

I have mined a great deal from the pages of the Pirkey Avoth. But as noted above, theory is of little value if feet are not put upon it, in this case, by using at least one example (in the interest of space) of its implementation in a

human. So, with the aid of Chaim Nussbaum, I go to perhaps the clearest and most detailed (for our purposes) example of the implementation of my aim here. I will note King David's recovery after his sin with Bathsheba.

Nussbaum (1993) notes that "David's repentance may be defined as total repentance. Not only did he decide to change his conduct, but he was the first sinner who actually prayed to God for the gift of a changed heart and a renewed person ality." This insight alone provides us with a some clear pointers for implementation in a model of counseling in the upcoming chapter. Two phrases/concepts stand out: the phrase 'total repentance,' and the phrase 'changed heart AND renewed personality.' Interestingly, David's changes, according to Nussbaum, were motivated not through the fear of consequences which so commonly motivates change in Western society, but from a genuine love of God.

Interesting too, from the story, is that David did not ask for mitigation of his punishment, as we see in the case of Cain. Instead, David asks for "a complete cleansing of his tainted soul." According to Nussbaum (1993), what David was asking for

 

no sinner before him had ever requested: to attain a level of innocence greater than his level of innocence before the sin. This plea for transcending whiteness (innocence) mirrored the special quality of his repentance out of love. So strong was his new resolve that he was not frightened by the horrifying punishment that was in store for him. His only concern was reaching a level of repentance at which sinning would be virtually unthinkable.

 

I can think of no greater ideal for a counseling model.

Continuing on that path, David's case gives one more about which to think. Nussbaum (1993) continues his study of David by looking into how one should (and how Judaism in general does) look at his past sins. They should, according to Nussbaum, "be turned into inducements for happiness". How is this thing, which is sounds so alien in this culture, to be

accomplished? David notes that he is "ever conscious of (his) sin." "The memory of his forgiven sin made him recognize his present state of divine favor, propelling him to higher levels of spirituality and bliss." Rather than looking at God, and salva tion as either a blank check to continue sin forever, or as something to keep pristine out of fear, David, and apparently most Jews, looked at the forgiven state as a time to examine their sins, wonder that God could forgive them, and with the burden of those sins removed, use those very sins as a teaching aid.

Once again, Lisa Aiken's (1996) research and capable writ ing has created a magnificent summary of the Jewish view of mental illness. I will quote it more or less whole here, since I can find no way to say it better:

 

Until recently, the non-Jewish world killed, imprisoned, or tortured psychotic people, believing that they were incarnations of the devil. Not long ago, doctors bored holes in their brains to release evil spirits or put them in prisonlike hospitals where pa tients were often abused. By contrast, Judaism teaches that even severely mentally ill people were created in God's image, and they deserve the same respect that we must give every human being. After prophecy ceased (over 2,000 years ago), the Talmud says that it was given to children and "crazy people." This suggests that God allows some mentally ill people greater sensitivity to His presence. Per haps this is because the vulnerability caused by mental illness motivates them to draw closer to God as the Source of all stability and meaning.

The Talmudic Sages viewed severely depressed people as being in terrible emotional pain, caused by forces outside of their con trol. Such afflicted people are supposed to observe as many command ments as they can but need not do positive commandments when their illness gets in the way. At the same time, they must do everything possible to improve their situation. If psychotherapy or medication will help, they are obliged to try them.

The Talmud also discusses perpetually psychotic people ( shotim). Such people wandered around cemetaries at night, slept in grave yards, wore torn clothes, lost everything they were given, and had no regard for society. Jews who are so out of touch with reality are not required to observe any of the commandments. Instead, the community is required to care for them since they have no free will and can't make responsible choices.

 

I find Aiken's first paragraph to be eerily similar to the Church's response both to Jewry in the early centuries, and to psychology today, (at least from some quarters), e.g., if it is not of God, then it must be of the devil, distilled further, if it is not like us, banish it from our sight. This, I fear, is hardly an effective model for healing.

Aiken's second paragraph (and more so her third in one way) contrast witht the often tried Christian philosophy which state that if one is mentally ill, it is because they are not doing the Christian version of the postive commandments, like praying, or studying the Bible enough. Her second paragraph also gives my upcoming theory plenty of imperative.

For a good summary of the Jewish section, since it comprises of both scattered tales and unified theories, I wish to quote the anonymous writer of The Composition Concerning Relief After Adversity. (c.1100 C.E.) who says that

 

I will recount for you in this book of mine such other sayings of the Sages as I know of or have discovered, in the way of traditions, tales, and anecdotes about those of them who were in distress and found relief, and were in anguish and were granted easement. ... (not quoting) what is already found in the ... rest of the twenty four books of (the Hebrew Bible).

 

I have taken the tour of all of these things. This paper so far has looked at the theology of Christianity, and contrasted it with its culture, and understood its roots. It has looked at Judiasm, understood it from its roots, and noted the coherence of culture and 'theology'. Each reader will decide, based upon personal baggage, which provides more relief. For the purpose of this thesis, how ever, I will take a balanced approach, taking the best of Christi anity, since it will be the mindset of most who read this and potentially use it to counsel, and reunite that section of Christi anity with the best of Judaism. In the next chapter, I will weave together all of the material gathered in this chapter, ranging from what the Christian counselors never would have realized, to Chris tian contributions to Judaism, to make the model reflect the best of both worlds.

It will have to be made abundantly clear, as Jay Adams fails to do, that Torah cannot touch physical problems. Torah character addition and change works best as a pre-emptive strike, second best late in life. It does not, however, even try to say that all problems are mind-based, or that all are physio-chemical.

 

 

 

Chapter Six:

 

In which I attempt to set out, finally, what I would actually propose as a model for counseling, given all of the above.

 

 

"Short term success and eventual relapse (or joyless, labored maintenance under continued exhortation) is the predictable result of merely exhortational counseling."

Larry Crabb (1975)

 

There are several bounds which I believe need to consid ered, before I actually attempt to assemble a model from the pieces above. The first and widest boundary-setting question concerns the actual aim of counseling. Since answering such a question has been the subject of likely hundreds of books, and the subject of hours of my own classroom lecture experi ence, and since answering it would take up unwarranted space here, I will propose a more germane, and more tightly struc tured question here: 'What is the aim of Western, Christian counseling?'. This question of course begs the question of just what Christian counseling is, exactly, on which each will get a different opinion in each book read, and further, why specify Western Christian Counseling?

Western Christian Counseling is specified to draw our attention to the cultural mores attached to American and European counseling, in the manner discussed in Chapters One through Four, and to distinguish it from theoretical models, and from potential models. I also ask this because I believe that there is a unique relationship between Western Christian Counseling and Western Christianity, one which will enable me to postulate the other half of an analogy. The analogy runs,

I believe, this way: Western Christian Counseling reflects the cultural requirements of the West including Western Chris tianity, in much the same way that the counseling model to be proposed will reflect a largely Jewish culture, with appro priate pieces of older Christianity incorporated.

We have seen Western Christianity evolve from a culture of "the caring community" to a doctrinaire religion of the seem ing "quick fix", in which simply saying a prayer, and learning the right words to say, and the right actions to take or not to take, provide one with "future security." Admittedly, this is a harsh summary, but harsh only because of its brevity. It says nothing which has not been said above. I make it for a reason. I make it to provide a backdrop for my next state ment, which is to say that the aim and evolution of most counseling in "The West" has followed quite a similar path.

Over the past centuries, as industrialism has removed the last vestiges of community culture and replaced it with frag mentation and individuality, psychology has stepped in with scientific procedure aimed at insuring that the affected in dividual, the individual seeking help, is more secure in his future than in his past. To that effect, popular Western psychology seems aimed at bettering either the event, be it life, marriage, sex, work, whatever, or one's survival of the event, be it divorce, loss, intense stress. Little, however, is learned about the event, or about what the event contrib utes to the growth of the person. (i.e. logos , not dabhar)

Christian counseling in the West, to its credit, is moving away from that process. Since, however, it can only follow the path provided for it by accepted Western Christian theol ogy, it can only move so far. Without an infusion of some kind, it is doubtful that it will have the strength to make the necessary leaps to the necessary kind of counseling. What sort of people will these leaps need to reach? Christiani ty's psychology will need to be real to people in Western societies, and to people with a non-Western mentality, whether outside of Westernism's physical boundaries, or in our own

midst. In other words, rather than a counseling model which is based on a tightly controlled, theologically correct sys tem, we need a counseling structure which is flexible enough to reach all men, and by changing their lives, to allow them to realize for themselves that "original-style Christianity" can be a valid religion worth accepting, and one which really must be accepted in order for the changes to take hold and continue to grow and bear fruit. With that in mind, I can move to the second half of the equation: as Western Counseling is to Western Christianity, so the new, globally-centered system of counseling must be to original Christianity. What pieces that new order system should contain are outlined below.

Only when the question of counseling's ra ison d'etre is answered can we ask and answer the question 'What is the aim of this particular counseling method?' Essentially, why have I gone to all of the trouble in my first four chapters to elucidate what I have, if all I'll do is propose another ecclectic model which will blend into the background, and thus do no-one any good? With that question in mind then, I looked for an aim which should not only encompass the above, but which should provide a platform from which to integrate the way we do church on a broad scale. And it is indeed on the basis of that last item, integration, that this entire thesis turns: not "simply" the attempted integration of two major theological systems, but the integration of counseling into the church not just as another pastoral duty, but as something into which the entire church can be folded, and which it then can use to really meet the needs of a desperate population.

What then is the actual aim of this new global counseling system? I must agree with a Jay Adams when he talks about counseling's goal as being the reconciliation of relation ships between God and man, and between man and man. I must, however, add the restoration of relationship between self and self, for reasons enumerated above and below. There is, however, something infinitely deeper which drives not only

the matrix, but the entire unification process, and me at bottom: that driver is the addition of meaning to church. For too long, people have been left wondering just what pur pose 'the assembling ... together' serves anymore, with the availability of the mass print and electronic media. Its purpose ought to be the goal on which I agree with Adams, but addressed on a much more personal level. Therefore, the goal of counseling, once Christian and Jewish cultures have been folded together, should be: the use of the assembling to gether to accomplish the restoration of relationships verti cally, horizontally, and internally, in a way which involves every church member, no matter how new to the faith, in leading someone else toward rooting out crippling sinful pat terns.

Collins (1980), Adams (1979) and Buchanan (1985), not to mention a wide variety of catechisms, all mention one thing directly, as the one overriding goal of counseling. That goal is the worship of God, as opposed to the worship of self, or of simply feeling better. So much of religion today distracts us from this goal, distracts us from our focus: denomination worship, inerrancy worship (Vedder, 1923), morals worship, worship of the status quo and many other idols, that we often lose sight of what many of the catechisms say we were put here for: to glorify God. We cannot do this as empty beings, and despite the pain such destruction of old and reconstruction of new may cause, that pain is both glorifying to God, and will bring us closer to Him.

There is another, perhaps more esoteric goal here as well, based on something on which I reflect frequently as I create work for the World Wide Web. Ever since Plato, Westerners have sought, and fought, to make the idea in their heads, which Plato called the perfect idea, real in the real world, to that same level of perfection. Now that we have achieved something approaching perfection in our means of production, and in our lives, it is interesting that the next revolution seems to be in information, and beyond that, to the organiza

tion of ideas, and to the synthesis of information. But there is also a longing for community, with anyone, even if that one is across the globe: if they are of like mind, they are fair game for our attentions. But like the creation of things from the ideas in our head, the evolution of the Internet has forced us to look for better ways still to convey, to express, the ideas resident in our minds. Once again the thirst to learn awakens in all of us. Sooner or later, someone in the media will ask the inevitable question: why learn? We will be forced back to the age-old Jewish answer: the only thing which makes learning worth-while is the improvement of the soul.

Hebrew life, culture, religious practice centers around God, the idea that we were made in His image, and our attempts to honour Hashem's ideal at creation by bringing our tarnished image back toward that ideal. It is on these principles that "Biblical", or "Scriptural", or "Christian" counseling ought to be based: not the provision of security, but the promise of continual upheaval in the attempt to, with Y'shua's help, examine ourselves in an effort to translate an Ideal into Reality.

 

My Model:

Towards that goal, briefly, any model then will have, briefly first, and then in detail, these features:

 

- the reinstituation of some kind of Jewish Sabbath.

- doctrine includes "people".

- doctrine with applicability of knowledge more important than mere knowledge ("faith without works is dead").

- layman based, much lower burden on current church leadership.

- hierarchic, with referrals, based on experience combined with talent and specialization

- Word based, BUT

- recognizes that the Word only shows the way, it cannot do the work.

- therefore, and this is PRIME: bottom line, only the soul him self can do his own work, with God's help! NO ONE can do it for him. All must be centered around this recognition. It seems unfair to simply tack on "attitude changes, which merely change the way one looks at things. These are too subject to logic.

- introspectional relationships equal with external relationships,

- no isolationism or rugged individualism allowed: i.e. no hiding.

- on the flip side, a solid community focus, with the Jewish com munity as our model.

- a revitalized, sythesized breed of Christian/Jewish prayer ideals.

- repeated practice with envisioning emotional verbs as a process would strengthen the empathic skills of a counselor,

- no attempts to sanitize life, or "quick fixes" with trite phrases,

- instead a solid acknowledgement and action sequence based on the fact that all life, not just secular life, is messy. Use Adams' II Timothy action sequence.

 

On the other hand, however, there are two rather important issues raised by Buchanan (1985) which any model must address. Buchanan states that the two major areas of error frequently found in books on counselling are "an insistence that is must be done "this way only", and that counseling is a process which can be learnt, step by step, from a book and that people will fit into neatly defined boxes." Buchanon continues with an important warning, in which he says that "the writer will have much of value to say but the rigidity of the framework denies a person his unique indiviudality and contrasts sharply with the Gospels' witness to the fact that Jesus is remarkably open and adaptable in his dealings with people." I hope this last chapter will answer those concerns, as well as becoming what such a chapter must needs be: an "end" to most of the wandering.

 

Now in more detail, we will examine these:

A Jewish idea of the Sabbath is integral for two reasons: First, because it allows for a major paradigm shift. By this I am remembering what was said above in relation to the "do /be" difference between Western and Jewish cultures respec tively. Westerners insist that time is linear. If nothing else reminds us that things move in cycles, and that all patterns and events end, it is the circularity of the week. The re-introduction, in whatever form, of the Jewish ideal Sabbath (work laws only providing structural underpinnings for the idea) should effect a critical change of focus in the

church from doing to being. Not much can happen without this shift. Second, it would allow for a much better preparation and softening for the counseling "session". The above discus sion of Pirkey Avoth explains this in enough detail that repetition is not needed here.

Our practice will need to increase its attention to in cluding "people doctrine in our doctrine, with applicability given precedence over mere knowledge. For far too long, the Church at large, largely the scholastic and the pulpit commu nities, along with copious communities of politicos, have placed doctrinal correctness, a theology of detail, ahead of people, with untold death and suffering as the result. People became pawns, ultimately feeling powerless, and feeling like they merely had to mouth a set of words which they didn't necessarily understand to get to a nice place. With the re -integration of a people treated as image-bearers philosophy, the continued development of theology will be predicated upon the needs of the populace, not merely based upon a fear of heresy, and a pathological need to be "righter than thou."

One note is in order here, however. I do not advocate the creation of a theology based upon what people wish to hear.

 

In light of this philosophy, we need to lighten the load upon the most abused people: the pulpit community. A layman-based counseling system (and church community for that mat ter) will have many beneficial effects. It should promote the idea that growth is not based upon the expertise of one man. It should make all of us aware of our own stake in the process, which should in turn make us more aware of the process itself. It should lighten the load upon the leadership, which should free those with the most experience to do three things in their turn. They should be able to have a real life, not one constantly lived in a glass house, and they should, therefore, be able to identify, based on the integration of their longer and deeper life experience, new areas for penetration. Thirdly,

they should be able to better concentrate on the "toughest" non-medical cases.

Once the duties and ministries traditionally associated with the pastorate are lifted, some other sort of ministry delegation will have to occur. For now, I will simply call it a hierarchic organization, since there are many books on church organization which have been written in the past decade which propose several such workable schemes. However, there are some things about this heirarchical structure which do bear mentioning here. For instance, the idea that "height" within the hierarchy almost necessarily should be predicated upon a combination of two factors: experience, and willing ness to grow. I say willingness to grow, rather than simply "growth" due largely to Jewish considerations, which would evaluate people by process, not by position at a given time.

The other side of the first instance, however, is the levels of responsibility which would go with placement. Es sentially, those new to the structure would be placed in small acountability roles with people more experienced in the growth process(es). I would suggest a ratio of about 1:1, which, allowing for a group size of ten, rising to about sixteen, will both allow for group work, and for individual account ability. Speaking of a rising group population brings to mind another issue: referrals of new people, which should be based on experience combined with talent and specialization. This assumes an acknowledgement that there are those whose issues are sin issues, while at the same time acknowledging, and preparing for, those whose issues are of a genetic and/or organic nature.

 

Such a group, such a collection of groups, the system derived from that collection, and the system which drives those communities must be Biblically based. The question then arises, however, of the meaning of the phrase. I like Judaism's approach to this. In most cases of what is called "davening", or issues which are appealed to a rabbi for "correctness of

approach". The final word is given to the Tanakh, but much input is allowed from the communities of previous generations as recorded in the Talmud and Midrash, as well as input from the Rabbi's own experience and study. However, such a system requires both intense communication, and intense willingness to collect the decisions for future generations. We have done this with our theological conclusions reached in Western ways, wrought by a few hands, with little community input. It remains to be seen then, if such a thing can be accomplish with this sort of counseling and decision making.

While I believe that the Word and the concept of "davening" should drive our counseling, I also recognize, and more impor tantly, those wishing to adopt this system must realize, that the Word only shows the way, it cannot do the work. There must be a balance between the amount of work done by the person, and by the Holy Spirit, and by the involved community. No one has the luxury of only teaching, and no one has the luxury of only learning. The bottom line, then, is that only the soul himself can do his own work! NO ONE can do it for him. All must be centered around this recognition. Charges of "no fair" must be levelled against the Western idea of simply slapping on "attitude changes", which merely change the way one looks at things. These are too subject to logic.

All of which brings me to another point made above when I addressed the formatting of small groups: introspectional relationships must be equal with external relationships, in terms of their importance. Perhaps this is merely a struc tural issue, but I believe that it will be important to stress that for all concerned, as much time should be spent in serious contemplation of one's own issues as is spent in serious relationship with others in the community. Just as well, the idea of community requires that no isolationism or rugged individualism can be afforded. Rugged individualists cannot hold serious conversations with others. They may be good at introspection, but one suspects that serious intro

spection would lead them to the belief that one's self is not the greatest for constant company.

 

The denial of individualism as a refuge will both trigger and require the creation of solid communities, both on a small level in which trust can be built rapidly, and on larger, increasingly regional scales, to facilitate the referral pat terns discussed above. On both scales, the Jewish community will serve as our model, with community extending past spir itual issues into every aspect of everyday life . This will enable better comprehension of issues when implemented in the micro-communities, and better and more real aid to the hurt /disadvantaged, poor on the macro-scale. In the process of this comprehension, we will become less like Plato, whom Webber (1986) says "thought that allowing the poor to die would shorten their misery" (p. 56). Better comprehension of issues outside of the "gathering" will allow for easier diag noses inside.

Within such communities, a form of communication will be required which can serve all three of the dimensions of this relational structure. With that in mind, I believe that a revitalized, sythesized breed of Christian/Jewish prayer should answer that call. Free-form Christian prayer to a living God, for those well experienced in the vertical relationship, and a more liturgical, but history-rich prayer archetype for those new to the faith, will allow teaching and growth in both technique and theory as the learner grows and practices. Prayer, for Jews, as I demonstrated above, is very reflective of a belief system, ideals, history, and view of the future. As such, I may even have found a vehicle for the "davening" process which would comprise one of the core supports of this system. If new, deep prayers can be written, which reflect real struggles, real beliefs, and real goals, then perhaps they can be used to counsel future generations of counselees. One also imagines that deeper struggles, combined with more

mature strugglers, ought to produce some very moving, not to mention educational (in the Eastern sense) prayers.

 

Community living and learning will without doubt provide the most compassing, the most basic, yet the most crucial piece to our structure. This piece is built upon something which Leroy T. Howe (1995) noted above, when he stated that "we can only love as we have been loved." As we inferred above, this likely carries into all of life, in that we can only do accurately and well that which we have seen being done accurately and well. Many will come to us having had only evil, or very little good, done to them. By "Lowe's corrollary", we can safely but sadly assume that they will therefore be unable to do much good to anyone else. It will only be in the context of a caring community, one committed to and capable of showing true love and true living, that these individuals will be able to unlearn their past, and relearn Godly living skills.

Just how will that community living look? At bottom, there should be no attempts to sanitize life, or patronize others with trite phrases. Too often, we simply repeat some thing we have learned, and while that may have meant somthing to us intellectually or emotionally, it may mean little to him to whom it is repeated. More importantly, such a community will need to move past an atmosphere of mere saying. Such a community will have to be a community of doing, based upon action, even to a level of emoting through time, something which the Jewish festivals allow to the Jewish people at present. Interestingly enough, such a community will look significantly similar, in my guess, to the early groups of Jewish Christians.

Conclusion:

 

Eddie Gibbs (1994) issues what for us as Christians gener ally, and for counselors specifically, is a stern warning. In discussing the both the global population distribution along with the psychological makeup and the needs of city dwellers, now the majority of our global population base, he notes the following:

 

The(ir) reasoning process is more likely to be induc tive from the particular to the general than deductive. For this reason working-class people are not interested in policy papers and strategy documents; they focus on the specifics. They are not the kind of people who like to sit on committees either in the community or the church. Their think ing is more lateral than linear, not in the logical develop ment of an argument, for a free association of ideas. They are more at home in the Hebrew and Aramaic cultural world than the Greek and relate better to the stories and the parables of the Bible than to the Epistles of Paul (p. 152).

 

This statement has very simple but gigantic ramifications. If what Gibbs says is true, and, from the numbers, I have little reason to not to believe that Westerners are a small minority, and therefore that Gibbs is correct, than those who attempt to evangelize, or more importantly counsel, a non-Westerner or a city-dweller, without understanding them, will fail to pro vide them adequate help, whether that help is the gospel, or the peace of mind that should be as much a part of that Gospel as it is in Judaism. Our alternatives are either to force Western Civilization onto them, at which colonizers have al ready tried (and failed) or else to learn their mindset, and integrate it into our own. And what better way to equip ourselves for the global missions field than to learn not only Christianity, but Judaism as well?

 

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