Journal of Christian Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000091
Department: Etc

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Common Ground of a Holistic Humanity

As a Christian nurse practitioner interested in worldviews and nursing philosophy, your editorial “Holistic or Wholistic?” in the July–September 2013 (30.3) issue caught my attention. I graciously offer a couple of perspectives to extend the discussion.

First, the “problematic” holistic views of concepts like unity, totality, connectedness, energy systems, and centers of consciousness do not have to be divisive. These concepts are easily incorporated into a dialog that esteems a biblical worldview because they embrace the idea that man is a moral, conscious, holistic being, created to live in harmony with his world. Although we may not describe ourselves as “energy systems with specific centers of consciousness,” is that not at least partially true in that we are imbued with the image of God and, as such, have a moral conscience that is to be exercised?

Although I agree that belief systems other than Christianity are false, the fact that people recognize the holistic nature of human beings (though they may call it by other terms) remains a testament to the innate knowledge God places on every heart to render each one of us keenly conscientious of our will, morality, and the duty owed to God and man.

Second, the challenge between religions is not the issue of a holistic ontology (state of being), but rather the origins of our existence, and given these origins, the meaning of our existence. As Christians, we believe our ontology is as the imago Dei—created in the image of God, which has extraordinary implications for our life purpose. Competing belief systems will encounter difficulty articulating a logical rationale of man's origins and meanings. This is where we must engage, but it can be uncomfortable.

Finally, we need not fear. The commonality of our holistic human existence, regardless of belief system, constitutes a friendly meeting place for discussions of why we hold particular beliefs. It is at this juncture we exercise discernment in extending the conversation. I agree we should “extend holistic healing in Jesus Christ” through loving actions, but loving verbal engagement may well be the route to another's healing. We need to be prepared to give a well-reasoned account for our faith, answer the hard questions, and readily engage the discussion.

Pamela Fruechting, MSN, APRN

Wichita, KS

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The Privilege of Caring

I am writing regarding Marilyn Harris' article, “The Privilege of Caring” (30.4). I too have had patients like Miss H., who enriched my life by allowing me to care for and about them. This article reminded me of what a privilege it is to be a nurse, to be called to care—and able to read articles like this in the Journal of Christian Nursing. Thank you Ms. Harris and JCN!

Mary Curry Narayan, MSN, RN

Vienna, VA

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Join the Conversation!

Check out the NCF Nurses blog accessed through http://ncf-jcn.org/ and add your thoughts. You also can find links to NCF on Facebook and sign up to connect with Nurses Christian Fellowship. Encouragement, great stories, good questions, conferences, and daily nursing matters are posted frequently.

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Coming soon in JCN

* Advance Directives: Help for Nurses by Maureen Kroning

* Palliative Care Doula: An Innovative Model by Judith C. Lentz

* Nursing Students' Perceptions of Adoption by Karen J. Foli

* Determinants that Influence Faith Community Nursing by Deborah J. Ziebarth

* Infant Loss...Helping Parents Grieve by Jane Treadwell Holston

IMPORTANT NOTICE: We love feedback and receiving your letters! Write to us at jcn.me@intervarsity.org. In order to publish your letter in JCN, you must complete a Copyright Transfer Form (CTA). Find the form at http://www.editorialmanager.com/ncf-jcn/ Click on “Copyright Transfer PDF.” Complete and email the CTA to jcn.me@intervarsity.org with your letter; email or call 608.846.8560 for assistance.

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