Rawlings School of Divinity
Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (MA)
depression, anxiety, intelligent design, design inference, holiness, human flourishing
Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Burchett, Kelly Douglas, "An Abductive Argument from Depression and Anxiety to Christian Personal Holiness" (2022). Masters Theses. 840.
The science on pathological depression and anxiety (D&A) describes religion and spirituality's (R/S) insulating and immunizing effects in roughly 72 to 85 percent of all relevant articles. But the descriptivism of science cannot assign any normative value to a theological worldview. Deductive logic favors theism via Leibnizian contingency, Kalām cosmology, objective morality, fine-tuning of the universe, and abstract conceptualism. The information in DNA, the irreducible complexity of intracellular machinery, the improbability of folded proteins, and the support for common modular design over common ancestry establish a design inference for all of life. Unguided naturalistic simulations fail to surmount the complexity barrier of life, diminishing scientific materialism's explanatory power. After philosophical analysis, a cumulative argument using inference to the best explanation (abduction) favors theism over all other worldviews for the complexity of life, the subsequent neurocognitive mechanisms of D&A, and the effects of R/S on D&A. A minimal facts approach establishes Christian theism with positive responses to divine revelation (RDRs) incurring degrees of relative holiness (DRHs). The Christian and non-Christian alike may respond to general revelations in nature and conscience with subsequent DRHs that allow for insulation and immunization against the vicissitudes of life and, therefore, D&A. But the eternal and final solution for D&A is only through a response to the special revelation of the written and living logos with the subsequent imputed holiness of Jesus Christ.