Sunday, July 31, 2011

The talking cure

There's more than talk to God's dealings with us but it starts with talk. At the beginning of everything we have (the words!), "God said ..."

The gospel is a message about Christ which comes as God's Word, announcement, demand, invitation, proclamation, and news.

It is "speaking the truth in love" that we grow up in every way into him who is the Head.

When we are filled with the Spirit then we "address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs".

When the Word of Christ dwells in us richly then we "teach and admonish one another in all wisdom".

We decline anxiety by "letting our requests be known to God".

If we want to be healed then we should "confess our sins to one another and pray for one another".

Psychoanalysis has been known for decades as "the talking cure". But is the verbal flow from the analysand's couch a contradiction, a parody, a revolt, an instantiation or a distortion of God's use of language (his and ours) to make and remake us?

Preferring the "economy of assertion over the tedium of proof", the answer is "first, distortion, and on occasion the other things". After all, as Phillips says, British "psychoanalysis is redescribed Christianity".

Falsehood is parasitical on error. There's no such thing as pure evil. Idolatry has to take something good before it can do evil with it. And so on. Psychoanalysis at its very very worst - its atheistic, blasphemous, partial, amoral worst - is still a recognition that something is wrong and an attempt to deal with it. (In a Misesian sense every human action is gospel-shaped - the endeavour to make things better.) And at its best it is a description of a mode, a style, a sequence and an arrangement of God's talking cure which is his conversation with us which has the multi-faceted and very deep Gospel announced and applied as one half and our multi-faceted and very deep confession (of sin and of Christ) as the other.