Why is that? Here's my best explanation.
Most of the research being done out there is being done by Christian psychologists who are training, or who are themselves, mental health professionals--clinical or counseling psychologists. For example, if you want to get a graduate degree in a program that integrates psychology and Christianity you're going to go to a program that offers a M.S., PhD or PsyD in counseling or clinical psychology. And given that focus, the research from those graduate programs, where a great deal of the published literature comes from, is going to focus mainly on issues related to mental health and counseling.
This has a homogenizing effect on the research literature. The research topics tend to cluster around issues related to psychological or spiritual well-being. To be sure, the recent interest in positive psychology has freshened up this focus, new variables (the virtues) are being introduced, but the focus remains on well-being and how best to foster it.
The point being, if your focus in on well-being research investigating, say, profanity or art or if Jesus ever had a stomach bug, can seem pretty weird, off-topic and irrelevant. These topics aren't the subject matter of clinical and counseling psychology, where most of the integrative work in the field is being done.
So where do these topics come from? They come from personality and social psychology. These are the branches of psychology that get into, as I describe it to my students, "the stuff of everyday life." Most of my research, and most of what I write about here, is from social and personality psychology. Introversion in the church? Personality psychology. Profanity use? Social psychology. Disgust psychology and the practices of social exclusion? Social psychology. Why Christian bookstore art is so bad? Social psychology. And so on.
In short, the reason my research seems "fresh" or "creative" isn't because I'm particularly smart. It's because of something pretty mundane: I'm pulling my research questions from social and personality psychology rather than from clinical and counseling psychology.
And here's what I've found in all this. Social and personality psychology is filled with topics rich in theological implications. For example, how can you talk about the principalities and powers and not talk about the Milgram obedience study? How can you talk about Jesus' ethical vision without talking about group psychology, aggression, and altruism?
All that to say, the literature in Christian psychology, insofar as it is focused on well-being and therapy, has been pretty picked over, creating the "same old, same old" feeling a lot of us have when we read the empirical literature.
But the integrative literature in personality and social psychology is pretty thin, which should make a young researcher's eyes open wide. Because that's what you want as a researcher: a horizon of uninvestigated research questions, all sitting there ripe for the picking.