How does one view Christian counseling as a calling? What is the role and task of the counselor from a theological perspective? How does one strip away the ambiguity that is too often inherent in the words "therapy" and "counseling" in a religious setting?
Ray S. Anderson has written this book as a theologian with a keen interest in helping Christian counselors fulfill their task more effectively by enabling them to see that task more clearly. Too often, even counselors who achieve effective results are beset by what Anderson calls "an uneasy conscience"the realization that for some reason "a little transactional analysis once a week works better than a month of Sundays in curing the souls of troubled parishioners."
This book seeks to put that uneasiness and ambiguity to rest by helping counselors see their work as a means of grace, rooted in a model of personhood that is both theologically and psychologically sound for realizing the full potential of each person.
Christians Who Counsel has three parts, involving building a foundation for Christian counseling, exploring the spiritual dynamics in counseling, and describing counseling in a distinctly Christian mode. Written without either theological or psychological jargon, this book is for all Christians who counsel, whether pastors, lay counselors, psychotherapists, or family therapists.
With clarity of vision comes the power of a renewed commitment.
About the Author
RAY S. ANDERSON (1925-2009) was Senior Professor of Theology and Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary where he has taught for more than thirty years. He is the author of more than twenty-five books, including, The Seasons of Hope, Marriage and Family Ministry in a Postmodern Culture, The Soul of Ministry, Ministry on the Fireline, and The Shape of Practical Theology.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Foundations for Christian Counseling
1 Integrative Counseling 13
2 Counseling the Whole Person 30
3 The Counselor as Growth Promoter 56
Part 2 Spiritual Dynamics in Counseling
4 The Kingdom of God as Therapeutic Context 81
5 The Grace of God as Therapeutic Intervention 103
6 The Word of God as Empowerment for Change 121
7 The Healing Praxis of Prayer 136
Part 3 Counseling in a Christian Mode
8 Counseling as a Christian Calling 157
9 Counseling as Christian Ministry 176
10 Counseling as a Professional Practice 195
11 The Counselor as Moral Advocate 214
12 Dynamics of Pastoral Care in Counseling Praxis 232