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Under the covers ~ Psyneumatics PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:26 AM

The title of Dr. Kent Young’s book alone may intimidate some prospective readers. Psyneumatics is a book and word most people probably have never heard of before. I never had until I picked it up. I am so glad I did.

Dr. Young, who received the Master of Divinity from Evangelical School of Theology in 1980, and the Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1986, has been both a pastor and counselor; currently he is a college instructor in Ft. Wayne. With this book, Young proposes his own theory of humankind as he clarifies aspects of personality including specific thoughts, feelings, and behaviors people like you and me universally exhibit.

Psyneumatics integrates both psychology and theology and also serves as an overall anthropology. That’s a lot of “ologies.” While the highly elevated academic writing style (it reminded me of many of the readings we did in graduate school) might be a bit daunting for those not as familiar with books of this nature, I urge you to give it a try. I have personally tended to shy away from “religious” writings in general, finding most of them too aggressively didactic and a turn-off because of that. This is a book that is not telling anyone how to think, feel, or live. It is more accurately hypothesizing with some psychological theory (which I’m already interested in) and combining that with biblical teachings (which I’ve admittedly shied away from) and applying the whole thing to humanity. What inspired me about this book is that it breaks everything down in ways I’d not seen before. I’d never read anything that combined Christianity and psychology, for one thing, which I find immensely intriguing, and I’d never read anything “Christian,” period, that I didn’t feel was someone else’s agenda being shoved down my throat. This book is non-threatening and approachable. I use “approachable” over “accessible” because I felt that, much of the time, the book was speaking to me, not that I was reading the book – if that makes sense.
The first few chapters of the book are what Dr. Young calls more “tedious,” as they essentially set up the framework for the last part of the book. It is quite dense in terms of the amount of information it holds on a page; there are also various charts peppered throughout the writing to further illustrate the written points. For me, as someone who has not extensively studied the Bible, a lot of this was new information. Others might feel more comfortable immediately. Dr. Young talks extensively of the three nature types: body types, soul types, and spirit types. He elaborates on sin and how, depending upon which nature type one is, that determines the way sin manifests in that person’s life. Chapter four talks of love, perception, and presents possible relationship hierarchies in individuals’ lives. It was in this chapter that I, as Oprah would say, had an “Aha!” moment. This chapter really spoke to me and made a lot of sense, and also seemed to tie everything in the previous chapters together.

I feel as if Psyneumatics provided me with an epiphany of sorts – one that I’m still sorting out upon completion of the book, especially since I’ve been able to sit down with the author and talk about what I’ve read. I’ve been looking at the idea of God and Christianity, and as it ties into psychology, in a new, exhilarating, and refreshing light. It has stimulated my thinking more than anything else I’ve read in a long time and perhaps has awakened something latent in my soul. It affected me not only on an intellectual level, but in an emotionally visceral way at the same time, provoking introspection and questions that I’ve been pondering long after I closed the book. This book doesn’t claim to set out to change people’s lives. But it will. It did mine.

Sara Berelsman lives in Delphos, has an MA in literature, and teaches college courses. She leads the book club discussions at the Delphos Public Library. Their next meeting is 10 a.m. on April 16. Books can be picked up at the library.


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:16 PM

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