Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Living Biblically, Ten Guides for Fulfillment and Happiness

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Living Biblically, Ten Guides for Fulfillment and Happiness

Article excerpt

LIVING BIBLICALLY, TEN GUIDES FOR FULFILLMENT AND HAPPINESS, Kalman J. Kaplan, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2012, Pp. xxii + 152, Pb, $20.00. Reviewed by J. Harold Ellens.

Professor Kaplan has written a number of works on what might be termed applied Biblical Psychology. His volumes on this theme are mainly crafted in the form of coaching wise and wholesome behavior based upon moral and ethical options that are essential counsels of the Hebrew Bible. He recognizes, for example, that the Decalogue is not a tablet of negative laws that forbid desirable behavior and restrict human freedom and happiness, as so many uninformed lay persons claim these days. Kaplan understands that the Ten Commandments are guides to fulfillment and happiness. They imply that humans are free to do any thing in the world that we desire to do, except these ten listed things that are inherently self-defeating behaviors, in any case. That is, it is clear to Kaplan and to any enlightened bible student that the Decalogue is, in fact, a constitution for a wholesome, safe, and successful society and personal life. It is a charter for health and happiness for persons and the community.

Kaplan's present volume contains a Forward by Paul Cantz of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at the Chicago College of Medicine. That is followed by a preface by the author who is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the same institution. There are, of course, ten chapters, a conclusion, bibliography, and a subject/name index. The chapter titles tell the story of this book. Each chapter suggest a crucial element in living wholesomely and fruitfully: Relating to the Environment, Relating to Another as Yourself, Relating to an Authority, Relating to the Opposite Sex, Relating to a Son, Relating to a Daughter, Relating to Siblings, Relating Body to Soul, Relating to a Self-Destructive Person, Relating to Misfortune.

The book is developed by posting the issue described in each chapter title and then relating that to biblical narratives illustrating biblical teaching or counsel on that matter. …

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