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End Notes

This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

10 December, 2023

 

Goals

01.2.0

"but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself into love."

- Eph 4:15-16

Solid Biblical Exegesis

     Theon Doxazo recognizes that the Christian Scriptures are the inspired word of God.  This assumption extends to the very tenses of the words used in the original Biblical languages.  It is recognized that some modest controversy may exist over the exact wording of a few passages in the original texts.  Yet, consensus is widely present on the broad text of Scripture.

     As a result of this assumption, Theon Doxazo will undertake to study the text of Scripture in it’s original language, hopefully deriving from it the meaning the original Scripture writer intended.  While various Christian interpreters have developed different theological approaches to the text of Scripture over the years, these approaches will be acknowledged and discussed, seeking the best from each.

     In all these efforts, the primary goal is to extract from the text of Scripture the meaning intended by the inspired writers.  The text is to be greatly respected, as God’s revealed word.

Empirical Psychological Research

Research Cited

     As the psychological theory is developed, a major goal will be to reference and discuss the findings of empirical psychological research as they speak to the topics at hand.  While a one-to-one correspondence between Scriptural concepts and psychological concepts is likely a bit much to expect, it is assumed that meaningful parallels will be found.  It is the assumption of Theon Doxazo that the revealed Truths of Scripture can assist us in developing contemporary psychological constructs.  It is also assumed that the findings of empirical psychological research will help to clarify and facilitate the Church’s efforts to assist the spiritual maturation of Christians.

Research Undertaken

     As the theory is developed, it can then stimulate important psychological research.  Crucial  in these efforts will be the early and ongoing development of measures of Christian Spiritual Development based upon the theory of Theon Doxazo.  These measures will then allow predictions of the theory to be tested.  The results of these tests may validate the theory, or call for its revision.

     A second important goal of the measurement effort will be the assessment of individual Christians.  This will allow pastors to more effectively guide their parishioners.  As these measurement efforts mature, they will enable Christian psychologists to diagnose and treat a variety of pathological conditions.

    Finally, research can be undertaken to discover the diverse impacts produced by various Christian study and worship styles on persons of different levels of Christian Spiritual development.  It is hoped that the results of these studies will allow clergy to more effectively craft their messages to appeal to particular spiritual needs.

Multi-Level Application

Individual

     Application of this Theory of Christian Development will, primarily, be directed to impact the lives of Individuals.  While 'higher level' applications can be envisioned, it is to the lives of individuals that the Scripture's emphasis on Spirituality is directed.  Any kind of 'organizational' application would, reasonably, only be possible once a rigorous understanding of individual functioning was available, having demonstrated it's usefulness at that level of  analysis.

     Further, any clinical or counseling applications would, reasonably, be expected to be useful primarily for an individual level of analysis.  While this sort of 'understanding' of Christian Spirituality would likely prove useful in focusing Sermons on specific issues of interest, such a 'lecture format', while impacting groups, would be doing so within the hearts and minds of the individual congregants listening.

Organizational

     While the primary focus will be upon the Christian individual, a secondary application will be to spirituality within the context of the Church.  It is assumed that those forces present within the individual Christian will also manifest themselves when Christians gather corporately as the Church.  A greater understanding of these forces within the Church should allow the Church to better meet the spiritual needs of it’s members.

Professional

     It is expected that Christians in the helping professions will be supported in their efforts to work with the Christian people that come under their care.  Empowered by a rigorous theoretical understanding and empircally-validated assessment tools, these professionals should be able to better intervene in the major spiritual problems they often encounter while treating their client’s psychological problems.

     It is planned that those persons entrusted with the spiritual assessment tools developed will have demonstrated professional competency in testing and assessment, as well as a fine-tuned Christian reluctance to ‘judge’ another.

Universality

Non-Denominational

     Strenuous efforts will be undertaken to ensure that the theory developed, as well as it’s applications, be applicable to the Church universally.  Having an understanding of a particular denominational group, while useful, also risks departing from Christ’s original intention that the Church be unified.

     At the same time, it is likely that, being human, Theon will be limited by personal experience.  This almost inevitably leads to the danger of parochialism and not recognizing the real differences within the body of Christ.  This author will strive to avoid this.  Failing, it is hoped that my Christian brethren may point out my mistakes so that they can be corrected, thus delivering to the Church a product greater than any one person could produce.

Transcultural

     Everything said in the previous paragraph can only be echoed with emphasis here.  Cultural differences are likely to make Theon’s personal background in the United States of America constricting as efforts are made to develop a universal theory of Christian Spiritual Development.  As my Jewish friends would say, this takes real ‘chutzpah’.

     At the same time, to the degree that the theory is exegetically derived from the Scriptures and truly Christian, it should reflect God’s design for His people.  As His people, His Church universal, are found on every continent around the world, so His design should also be universal.

     It is hoped that, as these pages contain culturally biased concepts and illustrations, you, my faithful Christian reader, will be kind enough to point out these, inevitable, failings.  To the degree that we can get our eyes off of ourselves and our personal and cultural limitations, and focus on Christ, we have the potential to draw from Him truth that is truly universal.

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