Modern Humanism

Biblical Christianity


Humanistic psychology is not founded on its own naturalistic philosophy, but is a ‘third’ force in psychology.

Christian psychology is based upon Christian teaching as in the Bible.

Monism? (brain & mind = matter), or Dualism? (brain = matter; mind = spirit)

Humanist psychological perspectives...

1. God is mythical; man evolved, is monistic (i.e., of body only), basically good, only temporal, and is answerable only to man.

2. Memory and other mental functions are inexplicable by materialistic humanists.

3. Existence of conscience is generally denied by most humanists because it implies a creator of values.

4. Free will, while inconsistent with monistic perspective that it must be an accident of chance, is believed to exist by most humanists.

Christian psychological perspectives...

1. God is real; man was created in God’s image, is dualistic (i.e., of both body and soul), a sinner, temporal & eternal, and is answerable to both man and God.

2. Memory continues although physical brain cells change every seven years, indicating that mind is more than just matter.

3. Conscience is a supernatural phenomenon which continues after death.

4. Free will is only consistent with dualistic perspective, as is also the nature and credibility of ideas.

Man and Values

Man derives his potential from nature, should rely on self and feelings, should be self-centered, and become self-actualized. Mental illness comes from believing in God and spiritual matters. Mental health is possible by achieving full human potential.

Man derives his traits from God, should rely on God and his word, should also be Christ-centered, and deny self. "Mental illness" is caused by sin. Mental health is possible by being right with God.


Humanists find no meaning in suffering, and seek to alleviate it altogether.

Christians believe suffering can enable an individual to achieve a better life.


Guilt is psychological only, inasmuch as evil comes not from individuals but from the environment. Freedom from guilt comes from continued participation in activities which caused guilt.

Guilt is individual and results from sin. Freedom from guilt is obtained from individual repentance and through forgiveness of sin found in Christ.

Society and the Individual

1. Humanist contention that man is basically good forces them to look elsewhere to explain existence of evil. Their only alternative is to claim that evil originates in cultural and social institutions.

2. Whenever society rids itself of evil, then individuals can ‘learn’ to do ‘right.’

1. Christian contention that man is a sinner explains existence of evil in society. Cultural and social evils exist in the world because of individual sins.

2. When individuals do right, society becomes a better place in which to live.


Humanist psychology is inconsistentt with its philosophical foundations. It arrives at some of its conclusions because it willfully refuses to accept logical alternatives.

Christian psychology is consistent with its philosophical foundations. It arrives at its conclusions because it accepts both natural and supernatural revelation.

(Copyright © Chart by Robert L. Waggoner, Revised: 02/24/96)