A Theological Consideration of Soul Care and Psychiatry for Church Members with O.C.D.

While the Church has a long history in the care of disordered lives, the contemporary Church has exhibited disjunctive, and sometimes harmful, attitudes towards psychiatry’s usefulness in the care of people. One reason for this mishandling of psychiatry’s role in Christian soul care within protestant circles may be due to an exchange of the Reformation doctrine, “Sola Scriptura,” for “Solo Scriptura.” If the Church is to embody wise care for suffering people, ministers of the Gospel must apply themselves to a more sophisticated Scriptural hermeneutical framework, one that addresses sufferers as whole people—bodies and souls—and authorizes a qualified role for psychiatric resources in Christian soul care. So, what role does psychiatry have in Christian soul care? This paper will demonstrate various ways psychiatric resources in Christian soul care are predicated and adjudicated by the nature and function of Scripture. I will seek to do this by modeling how evangelical counselors might approach caring for Christians diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) from a theological perspective and in relation to some of the current sources in the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic literature.

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