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My students look at me funny when I mention 1980, as if we are studying ancient history. It doesn’t seem that long ago to me, but most of them were ten years shy of being born. Mount St. Helens erupted that year, gifting my classmates and me with an inch of ash for our college graduation day in Portland, Oregon. Rubik’s Cube captured the world’s attention and more of my free time than I care to admit. And a concerned couple at my church approached my wife, Lisa, and me a few weeks before we packed our U-Haul for graduate school with a warning that my choice to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology would likely cause us both to abandon our faith. Several weeks later, during my first day on the Vanderbilt University campus, another doctoral student insisted that I couldn’t possibly be religious and be a good scientist. Psychology and Christianity were not getting along well in 1980.


Originally published in the book

The Science of Virtue, Why Positive Psychology Matters to the Church

Published by Brazos Press a division of Baker Publishing Group

ISBN: 978-1-58743-409-9