Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 181–182 | Cite as

Introduction to Three Diagnoses of God

  • Philip Browning Helsel


This brief article introduces the three articles diagnosing God by Helsel, Capps, and Carlin as examples of a skeptical strain that has been present throughout Judeo–Christian history, suggesting that psychology as an “interrogative” mode is a necessary counterpoint to theology’s dogmatic mode. The three articles are recommended on the basis of their heuristic value for instruction about mental illness, their playfulness and humor, and their potential for reshaping traditional images of God that have been harmful.


Skepticism Judeo–Christian tradition Psychology Mental illness Humor 


  1. Capps, D. (2006). Religion and humor: Estranged bedfellows. Pastoral Psychology, 54(5), 413–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Crenshaw, J. L. (1980). The birth of skepticism in ancient Israel. In J. L. Crenshaw & S. Sandmel (Eds.), The divine helmsman: Studies on God’s control of human events, presented to Lou H. Silberman (pp. 1–19). New York: KTAV.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton Theological SeminaryPrincetonUSA

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