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Dust: 
Breathing Life Into Dust: 
What It Means to Be Made in the Image of 
God in Terms of Our Mental Health 
1
Mental Illness is an unplanned detour on the 
road of life. 
Healing begins with faith, hope and love-transformation 
into...
God The Holy Trinity 
How is God reflected in good 
mental health? 3
Is the immaterial mind dependent 
upon the physical brain? 
4
Neurons Firing in the Brain 
5
Philosophy of 
Mind 
What is 
Consciousness? 
How is it related 
to spirit? 
6
7 
Seven definitions of mental health 
1. The absence of illness 
2. Appropriate social behavior 
3. Freedom from worry an...
More and more it is being recognized 
that human beings are whole persons 
whose physical, emotional, social 
and spiritua...
Human beings who are spiritual creatures 
require more than the basic needs to 
achieve health and well-being. 
Issues of ...
The Image of God: 
~ As Personal Agent 
A God who acts as seen in scripture: 
Takes initiative and along with that— 
commu...
Image of God 
TheHeart of God 
•Love/kindness 
•Anger 
•Compassion 
•Forgiveness 
•Patience 
•Justice 
Good Mental Health ...
12 
What do we value? 
Do we value what 
God values? 
Good mental health reflects 
God’s values
We Worship What We Value 
and 
Become What We Worship 
13
Opposing Values 
We Pursue Wealth or The Kingdom of God 
Greed, selfishness, corruption 
Do justice, love kindness, and 
w...
15 
Good Mental Health 
“‘Love the Lord your God with 
all your heart and with all 
your soul and with all your 
strength ...
16 
How Do We Love God? 
We love God when we 
obey His commands 
Obedience is an act of 
the will
How do we love our neighbor? 
Treat others the way we want to be 
17 
treated: 
• With respect 
• With courtesy 
• With ho...
Good Mental 
Health 
Results in Grace 
and Forgiveness 
As God has 
forgiven us in 
Christ— 
We are to 
forgive others 
18
Good Mental Health 
Cares for the Needs of Others 
He who shuts his ears to the 
cries of the poor will be 
ignored in his...
Matthew 25:35-36…. 
20
I was hungry and you gave me 
something to eat… 
21
I was thirsty and you gave me 
something to drink…. 
22
I was a stranger and you 
invited me in…. 
23
I needed clothes and you 
clothed me…. 
24
I was sick and you looked after me…. 
25
I was in prison and you 
came to visit me…. 
26
Good Mental Health 
Takes a Stand for Justice 
27
28 
The Healthy Human 
Mind 
•Faith purifies the heart 
•The heart directs the will 
•And the will determines how 
one rea...
29 
Mental Health & Reason 
God is Logical 
The laws of logic are a description of 
the functioning of God’s mind. 
The Bi...
God is the supremely logical thinker, 
and the laws of logic are a reflection 
of His mind, just as the moral law is 
30 
...
31 
Image of God in Logic: 
Foundational Law of 
NonContradiction 
A cannot be both A and not A 
at the same time 
A ≠ −A
My cat, 
Kingman, 
cannot be 
both my cat, 
Kingman, and 
not my cat, 
Kingman, at 
the same 
time. 
32
Kingman ≠ Kingman= Absurdity 
The fact that something is equal 
to itself is a 
Law of Logic
Reason is not inherently Godless 
and 
faith is not inherently irrational 
~Thomas Williams 
34
“I cannot believe that a God 
who would endow us with 
reason and intellect would also 
have us forgo their use.” 
~Galile...
Image of God: 
Even those with developmental or 
learning disabilities employ a 
degree of reason and logic. 
36
Beware of 
Cognitive Idolatry: 
Idolizing the Intellect 
37
Creativity 
38
Good Mental Health 
Seeks Wisdom 39
Good Mental Health 
Seeks Knowledge 
40
Good Mental & Spiritual Health 
Seeks after Wisdom & Knowledge 
Psalm 111:10 
• The fear of the LORD is the beginning of w...
Good Mental Health 
Strong Work Ethic 
In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his 
work to this very d...
Elements Conducive for a 
Healthy State of Mind 
1. An environment for purposeful activity such as 
creative art, structur...
4. Receiving permission and encouragement 
to develop a relationship with God, thus a 
time, place and privacy in which to...
Achieving and maintaining good spiritual health: 
prayer, meditation, listening to music, reading 
scripture, literature 
...
The Image of God is Reflected in 
Good Mental & Spiritual Health 
Good morals, 
ethics, 
and a peace-loving personality 
r...
Listen! I am standing at the door, 
knocking; if you hear my voice and open 
the door, I will come in to you and eat 
with...
Credits 
48 
• Spirituality and Mental Health Care: 
rediscovering a ‘forgotten’ dimension, 
by John Swinton (2001) 
• Inv...
Created by 
Marcia A. Murphy 
AIM Team, MHI 
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church 
Iowa City, IA 
2014 
49
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How God's Image is Reflected in good mental health. What does good mental health look like when seen from a religious perspective?

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From dust

  1. 1. Dust: Breathing Life Into Dust: What It Means to Be Made in the Image of God in Terms of Our Mental Health 1
  2. 2. Mental Illness is an unplanned detour on the road of life. Healing begins with faith, hope and love-transformation into mental health, reflecting God’s image. 2
  3. 3. God The Holy Trinity How is God reflected in good mental health? 3
  4. 4. Is the immaterial mind dependent upon the physical brain? 4
  5. 5. Neurons Firing in the Brain 5
  6. 6. Philosophy of Mind What is Consciousness? How is it related to spirit? 6
  7. 7. 7 Seven definitions of mental health 1. The absence of illness 2. Appropriate social behavior 3. Freedom from worry and guilt 4. Personal competence and control 5. Self-acceptance and self-actualization 6. Unification and organization of personality 7. Open-mindedness and flexibility Larry Ventis, Psychologist
  8. 8. More and more it is being recognized that human beings are whole persons whose physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs are inextricably interlinked. Pg. 16, Swinton The spiritual aspect of the human provides drive and the desire to find meaning, purpose and value in our lives. Pg.18, Swinton
  9. 9. Human beings who are spiritual creatures require more than the basic needs to achieve health and well-being. Issues of meaning, hope, purpose and transcendence are not secondary to our make-up but are a fundamental part of it. Pg. 19, Swinton We find the fulfillment of these needs in God. 9
  10. 10. The Image of God: ~ As Personal Agent A God who acts as seen in scripture: Takes initiative and along with that— communicates In good mental health we see a person who has agency and who communicates 10
  11. 11. Image of God TheHeart of God •Love/kindness •Anger •Compassion •Forgiveness •Patience •Justice Good Mental Health Reflects God’s Image/Heart 11
  12. 12. 12 What do we value? Do we value what God values? Good mental health reflects God’s values
  13. 13. We Worship What We Value and Become What We Worship 13
  14. 14. Opposing Values We Pursue Wealth or The Kingdom of God Greed, selfishness, corruption Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 14
  15. 15. 15 Good Mental Health “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
  16. 16. 16 How Do We Love God? We love God when we obey His commands Obedience is an act of the will
  17. 17. How do we love our neighbor? Treat others the way we want to be 17 treated: • With respect • With courtesy • With honesty • With fairness Parents can teach their children basic manners
  18. 18. Good Mental Health Results in Grace and Forgiveness As God has forgiven us in Christ— We are to forgive others 18
  19. 19. Good Mental Health Cares for the Needs of Others He who shuts his ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in his own time of need. Proverbs 21:13
  20. 20. Matthew 25:35-36…. 20
  21. 21. I was hungry and you gave me something to eat… 21
  22. 22. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…. 22
  23. 23. I was a stranger and you invited me in…. 23
  24. 24. I needed clothes and you clothed me…. 24
  25. 25. I was sick and you looked after me…. 25
  26. 26. I was in prison and you came to visit me…. 26
  27. 27. Good Mental Health Takes a Stand for Justice 27
  28. 28. 28 The Healthy Human Mind •Faith purifies the heart •The heart directs the will •And the will determines how one reasons Thomas Williams
  29. 29. 29 Mental Health & Reason God is Logical The laws of logic are a description of the functioning of God’s mind. The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Logos (word, reason), and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God.” (John1:1)
  30. 30. God is the supremely logical thinker, and the laws of logic are a reflection of His mind, just as the moral law is 30 a reflection of His character. Just as God did not arbitrarily make up the moral law, so He did not arbitrarily make up the laws of logic. William Lane Craig
  31. 31. 31 Image of God in Logic: Foundational Law of NonContradiction A cannot be both A and not A at the same time A ≠ −A
  32. 32. My cat, Kingman, cannot be both my cat, Kingman, and not my cat, Kingman, at the same time. 32
  33. 33. Kingman ≠ Kingman= Absurdity The fact that something is equal to itself is a Law of Logic
  34. 34. Reason is not inherently Godless and faith is not inherently irrational ~Thomas Williams 34
  35. 35. “I cannot believe that a God who would endow us with reason and intellect would also have us forgo their use.” ~Galileo 35
  36. 36. Image of God: Even those with developmental or learning disabilities employ a degree of reason and logic. 36
  37. 37. Beware of Cognitive Idolatry: Idolizing the Intellect 37
  38. 38. Creativity 38
  39. 39. Good Mental Health Seeks Wisdom 39
  40. 40. Good Mental Health Seeks Knowledge 40
  41. 41. Good Mental & Spiritual Health Seeks after Wisdom & Knowledge Psalm 111:10 • The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. Proverbs 1:7 • The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. 41
  42. 42. Good Mental Health Strong Work Ethic In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” John 5:17 NIV 42
  43. 43. Elements Conducive for a Healthy State of Mind 1. An environment for purposeful activity such as creative art, structured work, enjoying nature 2. Feeling safe and secure; being treated with respect and dignity and allowed to develop a feeling of belonging, being valued and trusted 3. Having opportunities to express feelings to others who listen with a sympathetic, listening ear 43
  44. 44. 4. Receiving permission and encouragement to develop a relationship with God, thus a time, place and privacy in which to pray, worship, education in spiritual/religious matters, encouragement in deepening faith, feeling universally connected and also forgiven 44
  45. 45. Achieving and maintaining good spiritual health: prayer, meditation, listening to music, reading scripture, literature 45
  46. 46. The Image of God is Reflected in Good Mental & Spiritual Health Good morals, ethics, and a peace-loving personality results in being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. 46
  47. 47. Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. Rev 3:20 47
  48. 48. Credits 48 • Spirituality and Mental Health Care: rediscovering a ‘forgotten’ dimension, by John Swinton (2001) • Invitation to the Psychology of Religion. (2nd Edition) by R.F. Paloutzian (1996) • Spiritual Care and Psychiatric Treatment: an introduction by Larry Culliford, in advances in psychiatric treatment (2002)
  49. 49. Created by Marcia A. Murphy AIM Team, MHI St. Andrew Presbyterian Church Iowa City, IA 2014 49

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