The Greatest Psychologist Who Ever Lived: Jesus and the Wisdom of the Soul

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9780060670887: The Greatest Psychologist Who Ever Lived: Jesus and the Wisdom of the Soul

Over one hundred years of modern psychology and we still haven't improved on the principles and lessons taught by the greatest doctor of the human soul -- Jesus. Even so, contemporary doctors of the mind typically take a narrow approach that sees any religious belief as a crutch people use to cope with their feelings of helplessness. In this unique and eye-opening book, Dr. Mark Baker offers a refreshing and practical understanding of how the teachings of Jesus are compatible with the science of psychology and can greatly improve our daily lives.

Embedded in Jesus' actions and sayings are remarkable lessons about human behavior that correspond to recent discoveries in the field of psychology. Divided into two major sections, "Understanding People" and "Knowing Yourself," this enlightening guide offers engaging anecdotes that illustrate the good sense of Jesus. The result is a powerful book that reveals the keys to psychological health and well-being.

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Review:

The Greatest Psychologist Who Ever Lived: Jesus and the Wisdom of the Soul is Mark W. Baker's attempt to reconcile Christianity and modern psychology. Baker's qualifications for the job are sound: he is executive director of the respected La Vie Counseling Center in Pasadena and a much-sought-after conference speaker. The book is divided into two sections, "Understanding People" and "Knowing Yourself," each of which is further organized into dozens of concise lessons. Some lessons are historical (such as "Why Freud Hated Religious Fundamentalism" and "Why Jesus Hated Religious Fundamentalism"); others are more practical (such as "Addiction and Idolatry" and "The Centered Self Is Not Self-Centered"). Each lesson is conveyed through personal and clinical anecdotes and Gospel stories, which Baker integrates smoothly. And each lesson explores a key psychoanalytic concept (such as transference or the unconscious), which Baker defines with clarity and integrity. "Freud ... considered religion a crutch people used to deal with their feelings of helplessness. This started a war between psychology and religion that continues to this day," Baker writes.

I have found the animosity existing on both sides of this conflict to be rooted in fear. Fear inhibits understanding. It is only when people stop being threatened long enough to listen to each other that they can begin to truly comprehend each other.
With The Greatest Psychologist, Baker gives Christian readers a resource for bridging a significant cultural and spiritual gap. --Paul Power

About the Author:

Mark W. Baker, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the La Vie Counseling Center in Pasadena and has a private counseling practice in Santa Monica. He is a great demand as a speaker at churches, colleges, and psychological meetings.

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