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713 | Aloneness and Fallenness: Adam’s Dilemma and the Church’s Mental Health Challenge

Mental Health and the Mission of the Church, Saturday 9/16 2:15 – 3:30, Workshop Tracks


John Vining, D.Min.



Approved For CE

Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU




The Creation Story of Genesis 1-3 presents a biblical anthropology for understanding the relational nature of humankind and certain mental health issues. Adam’s dilemma is based on the “not good” of being alone, in spite of the fact that he had the right relationship with the Creator. The Genesis 2 issue of aloneness and the Genesis 3 issue of fallenness often underlie mental health struggles. Church leaders are sometimes ill-equipped to adequately respond to the mental health issues of congregants because of not appreciating the connection between these essential existential issues. This workshop will formulate a model for therapeutic ministry for congregants suffering from mental health challenges so counselors and ministers, professional and lay, can effectively respond with restorative soul care.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe a biblical anthropology found in the Creation Story of Genesis 1-3
2. Outline how the existential issues of aloneness and fallenness often underlie mental health struggles
3. Utilize insights into how the Church can effectively offer therapeutic ministry to those suffering from mental health affliction
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