From a thoroughly biblical viewpoint Eduard Thurneysen probes deeply into the nature and practice of pastoral care. His rich understanding of men, his experience in counseling, and his grasp of theological thought infuse his approach with vitality and truth.
As he considers the basis of pastoral care, Thurneysen puts forward the thesis that the purpose of counseling is to communicate the Word of God to individuals. Pastoral care is a ministry along with those of sermon and sacrament; its aim is to lead the counselee back to sermon and sacrament in the worship of the church.
Although he does little more than hint at rules and techniques for pastoral care, Thurneysen is greatly concerned with its practical aspects. It is his belief that the care of souls occurs through conversation--confident, open-minded conversation which is founded on the Word of God, informed by prayer, and manifested in active listening to, and acceptance of, the counselee.
Thurneysen demonstrates the importance of a knowledge of psychology and the principles of psychotherapy. Depth psychology and psychotherapy deeply enrich our understanding of human nature and serve to communicate the message of forgiveness all the more powerfully.
This book provides a critical theological study of the whole field of pastoral care. As a work in practical theology, it will be stimulating and useful to professors of counseling as well as to students in the field. Counselors and pastors will find it helpful because it throws light on the fundamental issues involved in problems which they face in their ministries.