We just started a new series on the exciting research findings from Teleios! Our first topic was discussing the reasons for our passion at Teleios to explore the veracity of scripture. Today let us set off on a journey to discover the actual scientific data about how the Bible helps us. It is amazing!
Our first topic is perhaps the most vital: that Bible-based Christianity generally improves wellbeing. These data come from two main sources.
· Teleios – We have found through prospective surveys and studies that Christianity helps wellbeing both generally and from specific measures. We will discuss those findings next week.
· The medical literature – Peer-reviewed scientific studies support improved wellbeing with Christianity! As we began our research at Teleios this was a surprise to us. We found many studies indicating wellbeing was improved by the practice of religion. Importantly, almost all these medical studies were performed in historically Christian countries. This indicates that most all the patients in the studies would have been either social or believing Christians. Many of these studies can be seen in our published reviews and are available on our websites http://teleiosresearch.com/index.php/research-initiatives/publications. Otherwise they can be searched on Pubmed.
So let’s examine the medical literature. The findings are impressive and have shown that wellbeing is improved with religion in:
· Demographics – All age groups (10 years and older), both genders, and African-American as well as Caucasian races.
· Broad wellbeing effect – Specific wellbeing related measures such as: sense of purpose, satisfaction, hope, stronger social relationships, and ability to forgive.
· Social measures – Vital areas of life such as the family, career, a sense of community and socialization.
· Physical health – Healthy and patient populations. Specific diseases include: glaucoma, rheumatoid arthritis, various cancers, chronic pain, fatigue, diabetes, diabetic eye disease, congestive heart failure, and HIV.
Religion has shown very few negative effects on wellbeing. Most commonly these have been related to the limited expression of one’s faith to either internal or external religious activities alone or to those who have an adversarial relationship with God. The latter type of person might be one who does not understand grace as a means to salvation, instead working to try to satisfy God.
Indeed, it is striking to see that so many researchers have found, through scientific studies, the benefit of religion on wellbeing in Christian countries. These data are extensive and consistent enough that perhaps no other proof is needed from a scientific standpoint. We have a great God who has benefited us with salvation through Christ by grace, and provided scripture that through the power of the Holy Spirit we can live useful and joyful lives.
Join us again next week as we look at evidence from Teleios’ efforts demonstrate that Christianity can improve wellbeing.
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