The above paradigm is expanded upon in the Montgomery’s book Compass Psychotheology: Where Psychology and Theology Really Meet, and illustrates both the ontology of persons and the existential intimacy possible between God and every human being.
God desires people to participate in communion with the Trinity and others. People are fulfilled to the extent that they do. This notion of God’s one-on-one participation in intimate dialogue with individuals presupposes that God is not only an immutable essence, but also a personal being whose nature defines the meaning of personhood.
Thus the key to people’s fulfillment lies in freely choosing a relationship of existential intimacy with God. God’s “I AM” on the left side of the equation is always reaching out to a person's “i am” on the right side of the equation. Responding to God activates a back-and-forth sharing process in which God indwells the person (The I AM inside the i am) and the person is grounded in God’s eternal being and personality (The i am inside the I AM).
Like human interpersonal relationships, the “I AM — i am” encounter with God requires emotional risks, heartfelt communication, and trust from the human side, and love and grace from God’s side.
There is a place in the history of philosophy for this paradigm. University of Oklahoma philosophy professor, Helen Wilson, writes: “Like Martin Buber’s conception of ‘I and Thou,’ the Montgomery development of the ‘I AM—i am’ paradigm is an original idea in the history of Western Philosophy.”
For your convenience, you may click on the title below to order the book from Amazon.com that offers you Compass Psychotheology as a Christian psychology of religion:
COMPASS PSYCHOTHEOLOGY: WHERE PSYCHOLOGY & THEOLOGY REALLY MEET, by Dan Montgomery and Kate Montgomery