Psychology, Psychiatry, and the Pastor: Part IV: The Spiritual Dimensions of Drug Abuse -- By: Basil Jackson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 132:528 (Oct 1975)
Article: Psychology, Psychiatry, and the Pastor: Part IV: The Spiritual Dimensions of Drug Abuse
Author: Basil Jackson

Psychology, Psychiatry, and the Pastor:
Part IV:
The Spiritual Dimensions of Drug Abuse

Basil Jackson

[Basil Jackson, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Lutheran Hospital of Milwaukee, Director, Jackson Psychiatric Clinic, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of articles entitled “Psychology, Psychiatry, and the Pastor,” which were the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures given by Dr. Basil Jackson at Dallas Theological Seminary, November 5–8, 1974.]

This is an age of trepidation and consternation. On the contemporary scene we have been facing one crisis after another—political, legal, ethical, and personal. Anxiety is the characteristic symptom of our age, and youth stand confused, perplexed, and without any adequate answers. The days of “perilous times” (2 Tim 3:11) appear to be already on the horizon, if we are to look at the evidence of the world externally and the state of the psyche internally.

Values and value systems are being shaken and questioned as never before. Traditions previously held with rigid tenacity are being overthrown daily and mankind as a whole continually queries in word, in act, and in popular song, “Why and wherefore is this life?” In this crisis of values which has exploded on us, the young have sought to find their own personal answer, “their own thing,” “what’s right for their head,” in the contagious dispersion of psycho-chemical experience, in the new philosophy of the “dropout,” in the development of a spectrum of sexual behavior ranging from promiscuity to the current unisexual appeal as sex roles become less and less clearly differentiated.

Again, youth asks, “Why and wherefore is this life?” To this query, man has little or no satisfying response and proportionately his discomfort increases. In the words of Jean Paul Sartre, “man is anxiety,” and this is certainly true of man in his “natural” condition.

Today even some of the most vehement critics of the biblical position are being forced to reconsider their chronic, negative appraisal of biblical eschatology as being merely the products of deranged, deluded, and deceived harbingers of apocalyptic doom.

Men appear powerless to alter or modify the downhill course of human activity. It comes as a strange and startling fact that today it is not only theologians and preachers who are depicting the prophesied destruction of the world, but rather it is often the most eminent of our scientists who have become the most ardent “Armageddonists,” being woefully convinced that there is little chance for th...

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