counter Care of Souls: Revisioning Christian Nurture and Counsel - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

Care of Souls: Revisioning Christian Nurture and Counsel

Availability: Ready to download

Explores the church's role in soul advocating, a counselling method that anchors modern therapy in biblical principles. Explores the church's role in soul advocating, a counselling method that anchors modern therapy in biblical principles.


Compare

Explores the church's role in soul advocating, a counselling method that anchors modern therapy in biblical principles. Explores the church's role in soul advocating, a counselling method that anchors modern therapy in biblical principles.

30 review for Care of Souls: Revisioning Christian Nurture and Counsel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    Probably a half of all the books I review are in the area of psychology, spiritual formation, brain research and spiritual growth. So I was glad to get the recommendation of this book, Care of Souls by David Benner, for review. I was surprised to discover it’s a 1998 book, but recognized that Benner is one of the classic contributors in the field of soul care. His insights are invaluable for anyone concerned with people’s total well-being. The book is divided into two sections: understanding sou Probably a half of all the books I review are in the area of psychology, spiritual formation, brain research and spiritual growth. So I was glad to get the recommendation of this book, Care of Souls by David Benner, for review. I was surprised to discover it’s a 1998 book, but recognized that Benner is one of the classic contributors in the field of soul care. His insights are invaluable for anyone concerned with people’s total well-being. The book is divided into two sections: understanding soul care, and giving and receiving soul care. In the first section Benner notes the salient differences between psychology and Christian theology, and the ways in which those two disciplines in the West have complemented and sometimes actually contradicted each other. He describes various aspects of Christian spirituality, what he calls “psycho-spiritual thinking,” and the rise of therapeutic thinking from many contributors in the field of soul care. He maintains that the care of souls from a Christian perspective involves what we do for each other, not for ourselves, within a moral context, in community, through dialogue focused on the well-being of the whole person. The second half of the book details what dialogue actually is in soul care, the distinctives of various practitioners involved in soul care, and the boundaries and challenges for care-givers. The book has a decidedly academic focus, and is far from an easy read. But I highly recommend it for all those involved in Christian counseling, Christian nurture, spiritual formation, and the healthy integration of psychology and Christian thinking in the care of souls. 5 stars M.L. Codman-Wilson, Ph.D., 1/25/19

  2. 4 out of 5

    James Wheeler

    “Spirituality is an expression of a yearning for connections that we unconsciously recognize will clarify the meaning of our existence and secure our identity and its fulfillment. To be human is to be driven by a deep and foundational longing for coherence and purpose to one’s life and one’s identity.” 87 I know of Benner’s writing from two of his much shorter works: “The Gift of Being Yourself” and “Surrender to Love.” Both are incredibly insightful. He writes, in my estimation, in the tradition “Spirituality is an expression of a yearning for connections that we unconsciously recognize will clarify the meaning of our existence and secure our identity and its fulfillment. To be human is to be driven by a deep and foundational longing for coherence and purpose to one’s life and one’s identity.” 87 I know of Benner’s writing from two of his much shorter works: “The Gift of Being Yourself” and “Surrender to Love.” Both are incredibly insightful. He writes, in my estimation, in the tradition of Gerald May or James Houston, both writers who synthesize different sources, psychological, Christian spirituality, philosophical, to create books brimming with wisdom. Benner is also an adept synthesizer of various sources and seeks to combine the best insights of psychotherapy and the Christian contemplative tradition. Rather than seeing these two fields as being in conflict, he draws from the best insights and strengths of both (127). I found the descriptions of the various schools of psychotherapy in chapter 4 particularly helpful for my work. This is because it provided clarification and also the sources of several culturally popular psychological ideas. I particularly appreciated Benner’s description of Jung and Kunkel (71-77). I would like to learn more about their theories. From my standpoint, any school that invites reflection on motivations, especially self-destructive or egocentric ones, is at its heart an honoring of the self, which I think good Christianity and psychotherapy would seek to do. He also addresses the question of the unconscious and dreams. How do they both function? What are the forces or drives that contained within these? What is the source and purpose of our dreams? Benner’s approach: “God is far too big for our engagement with him or response to him to be adequately contained within consciousness.” So if God is too big and has too much to say, perhaps as Jesus once said, “to much for us to bear” then God will use other means to make himself and his redemptive self and work experienced and known. 165 To believe in a transcendent power or communication of God in the subconscious is described in contrast to Freud and to a lesser extent Jung, who both focus more inwardly. This contrast between Freud and the Christian contemplative tradition is highlighted again in dreamwork. Benner believes that dreams are a place of encounter with the hidden parts of ourselves but also a way that the Judaeo-Christian God of the Bible can communicate with his followers (181). Freud does not take this view. Benner believes that God has created the unconscious to function in this particular way to help humans explore and resolve deep psychological or pyscho-spiritual problems. He approves of Freud’s take, that the things we intentionally repress come to have the greatest power over us (161). However, he disagrees with Freud that what we repress and hide from is primarily sexual and aggressive impulses (159). “If dream characters can be interpreted as characters of God coming to bless us with a gift for our well being, we…should be prepared to wrestle with them, and not let them go until we have received the gift they bear.” 181 His chapter on Christian soul care describes the limits and purposes of different Christian professions, pastors, counsellors, spiritual directors, in relation to the needs of those struggling the psychological and spiritual problems. Pastors and spiritual directors can be helpful spiritual guides and emotional supports while a person is also doing a more conventional therapies or I would add, newer trauma therapy modalities. However, spiritual guides are not therapists (190, 192-193). But also many therapists are not adept spiritual guides. And so they lack this significant resource. There need not be a huge split here. Spiritual resources from the Christian tradition can be powerful resource but so can therapeutic tools. So don't create false binaries or a hierarchy between these tools for human flourishing. Quotes: "Christian spiritual formation has too often neglected the psychological and biological aspects of our existence. When this occurs, people are given a spirituality that is pathological and destructive. If anything is excluded from our spirituality it will, by necessity, become a dissociated part of self, detached from the rest of our life." 107-108 “God calls us to meet him and respond with the totality of our being. Richness of spiritual life occurs when our encounter with God is not limited to the rational, propositional, and volitional modes of being that are associated with consciousness but also includes the intuitive, symbolic, emotional, and creative modes of being that emerge from the soil of the unconscious.” 160 "The goal of Christian spirituality is sometimes presented as the denial of self. Properly understood, the denial that is part of Christian spirituality is not of self but of false selves." 103

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Hiemstra

    One distinctive of biblical faith is that each human being is created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). One practical implication of this image doctrine is that when you speak with someone, it is like speaking to God himself. In fact, many times God speaks to us through the people around us. A second practical implication is that each and every human has intrinsic value in the eyes of God[1]. Between the hint of the divine and this intrinsic value, every individual has an interesting story to tell One distinctive of biblical faith is that each human being is created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). One practical implication of this image doctrine is that when you speak with someone, it is like speaking to God himself. In fact, many times God speaks to us through the people around us. A second practical implication is that each and every human has intrinsic value in the eyes of God[1]. Between the hint of the divine and this intrinsic value, every individual has an interesting story to tell—if one takes the time to listen. In his book, Care of Souls, David Benner implicitly understands and accepts the doctrine of the image. He writes: “Care refers to actions that are designed to support the well-being of something or someone. Cure refers to actions that are designed to restore well-being that has been lost.” (21) One only cares for something of value. In this case, we are talking about souls which he defines as: “soul as referring to the whole person, including the body, but with particular focus on the inner world of thinking, feeling, and willing.” (22) This is the Hebrew understanding of soul (nefesh or נַפְשִׁ֖י) which is quite distinct from the Greek understanding from Plato which divided a person into body and soul[1], which were truly divided (11). This body and soul unity is important in Benner’s thinking especially when he delves into the distinction between the conscious and non-conscious parts of our inner life. He writes: “Caring for souls is caring for people in ways that not only acknowledge them as persons but also engage and address them in the deepest and most profoundly human aspects of their lives. This is the reason for the priority of the spiritual and psychological aspects of the person’s inner world in soul care.” (23) While the cure of souls focuses on remedy for sin; care of souls focuses on the need for spiritual growth (28). Benner sees 4 elements in care of souls: Healing—“helping others overcome some impairment and move towards wholeness”, Sustaining—“acts of caring designed to help a hurting person endure and transcend” a challenging situation, Reconciling—“efforts to reestablish broken relationships”, and Guiding—“helping people make wise choices and thereby grow in spiritual maturity” (31-32) I used to use the analogy of two teammates in soccer game working with each other to succeed in their game play. Benner offers 6 helpful principles (he calls them conclusions) defining soul care. “Christian soul care”… 1. “is something that we do for each other, not to ourselves.” 2. “operates within a moral context.” 3. “is concerned about community not just individuals.” 4. “is normally provided through the medium of dialogue within the context of a relationship.” 5. “does not focus on some narrow spiritual aspect of personality but addresses the whole person.” 6. “is much too important to be restricted to the clergy or any other single group of people.” This last point is important—the idea of Christian friends is fundamental in Christian discipling. In fact, the first book by Benner that I read and reviewed was focused on this point[2]. Another key point is that the focus in care of souls is on dialogue between equals before God. Benner distinguishes 4 types of interpersonal discourse: 1. Debate—“a civilized form of combat…has a focus and implicit rules that encourage participants to stick to the understood topic”. (134) 2. Discussion—“involves the advocacy of ideas and positions with resulting winners and losers” .(134) 3. Conversation—“involve the exchange not just of facts and arguments but also of feelings, values, and construals” but not to the extent and with the mutual trust required for a dialogue. (135) 4. Dialogue—“shared inquiry that is designed to increase awareness, understanding, and insight” among mutually trusting individuals. (131) This focus on dialogue distinguishes soul care from psychiatric care where true dialogue is not possible, in part, because those talking are inherently not equal—more of doctor-patient conversation. Dialogue is the preferred discourse in soul care because healing, sustaining, reconciling, and guiding are able to take place. Dr. David Benner works and lives in Canada. He describes himself as: "an internationally known depth psychologist, wisdom teacher, transformational coach, and author whose life’s work has been directed toward helping people walk the human path in a deeply spiritual way and the spiritual path in a deeply human way." He has held numerous faculty positions and written about 30 books [4]. Benner writes in 11 chapters divided into 2 parts. These chapters are: Part 1: Understanding Soul Care 1. What is Soul Care? 2. The Rise of Therapeutic Soul Care 3. The Boundaries of the Soul 4. Psychology and Spirituality 5. Christian Spirituality Part 2: Giving and Receiving Soul Care 6. The Psychospiritual Focus and Soul Care 7. Dialogue in Soul Care 8. Dreams, the Unconscious, and the Language of the Soul 9. Forms of Christian Soul Care 10 Challenges of Christian Soul Care 11 Receiving Soul Care These chapters are preceded by acknowledgments and an introduction. They are followed by notes and a topical index. David Benner’s Soul Care is a transformative text. Although I have seen some of these ideas elsewhere, many of the discussions are uniquely Benner. For example, Benner goes a lot further than many authors in offering a theological underpinning to soul care, integrates the therapeutic ideas better than other authors into his care, and spends more time in explaining the usefulness and uniqueness of dialogue. I highly recommend this book to pastors, other Christian care givers, and Christians who want to be spiritually sensitive in their ministry. In part 1 of this review, I have given an overview of Benner’s book. In part 2, I will dig deeper into some of his more interesting ideas. Part 2 will appear on T2Pneuma.net at 11 a.m. on August 19, 2015. Question: Do you think that soul care is possible outside of a therapeutic relationship? Why or why not? [1] This intrinsic value provides the philosophical foundation for human rights. In the absence of this theological doctrine, the secular interest in human rights is a philosophical orphan easily forgotten. [2] Or body, mind, and soul. [3] See (Benner 2003) Also see review: Benner Points to God (http://wp.me/p3Xeut-u3) [4] www.DrDavidGBenner.ca REFERENCES Benner, David G. 2003. Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction. Downers Grove: IVP Books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jodie Pine

    I found this book to be very helpful in addressing different aspects of Christian soul care. I highlighted lots that I want to refer back to as I continue to grow in better caring for my own soul and helping others care for theirs. A sacred work. "Caring for souls is caring for people in ways that not only acknowledge them as persons but also engage and address them in the deepest and most profoundly human aspects of their lives." I found this book to be very helpful in addressing different aspects of Christian soul care. I highlighted lots that I want to refer back to as I continue to grow in better caring for my own soul and helping others care for theirs. A sacred work. "Caring for souls is caring for people in ways that not only acknowledge them as persons but also engage and address them in the deepest and most profoundly human aspects of their lives."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hollyan Trainer

    Definitely a book every counselor should own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Scott Guillory

    Decent introduction to the concept and practice of soul care in the church but much of the material is redundant and the book could have been much shorter. To me, the author's ideas and methods of interpreting dreams in soul care are foreign and on the borderline of bazarre. On a positive note, the sections on dialogue and giving and receiving soul care were very helpful. Decent introduction to the concept and practice of soul care in the church but much of the material is redundant and the book could have been much shorter. To me, the author's ideas and methods of interpreting dreams in soul care are foreign and on the borderline of bazarre. On a positive note, the sections on dialogue and giving and receiving soul care were very helpful.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Abbott

    I read this for a master's level counseling class. I found Benner's ideas about how to care for souls very different than anything I've ever considered. I didn't agree with all his ideas, but they all had some merit. I read this for a master's level counseling class. I found Benner's ideas about how to care for souls very different than anything I've ever considered. I didn't agree with all his ideas, but they all had some merit.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mar

    Okay book. First part explains the history of the soul and its care in Western philosophy, theology and psychology with an emphasis on the "whole person" and for non-compartmental understanding. Part two is more practical application of care as opposed to cure and is meant for Christians (lay or clerical) who hope to provide soul care. Okay book. First part explains the history of the soul and its care in Western philosophy, theology and psychology with an emphasis on the "whole person" and for non-compartmental understanding. Part two is more practical application of care as opposed to cure and is meant for Christians (lay or clerical) who hope to provide soul care.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lenise "Harmony"

    I really enjoyed this book This gave a very well written history on the history of true soul care as well as layer out what soul care is and how to improve oUpon your own personal soul care.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Will Lohnes

    Very good for an in-depth understanding of soul care, history, philosophy, deep thinking, and direction on providing it. Read this if you have this type of calling. Very beneficial for the seeking heart and loving soul.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeri Bidinger

    A worthwhile read for a broad overview of the topic. Consider it an introduction. This is not a new book, and I found it a little dated. Also, a compendium of resources for soul care and soul care training would be a nice addition.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle Sperling

    A very interesting book on both the historical denominational differences in the practice of Spiritual Direction as well as the comparisons and contrasts between Spiritual Direction, Physiology and Pastoral Counseling.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Justin Doty

    Outside of the Synoptic Gospels, this is BY FAR the MOST important book I've read! Outside of the Synoptic Gospels, this is BY FAR the MOST important book I've read!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark Warrington

    A little heavy at first, but persevere! There are profound insights in this sweet book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    A pretty good read. He brings enough academic thought to whet the palate of the serious reader but keeps it approachable enough for the general reader to be able to engage well.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Another good one from Benner. Highly recommend it. Discusses the best way to care for people's souls. Pastors should read it. Another good one from Benner. Highly recommend it. Discusses the best way to care for people's souls. Pastors should read it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Great ideas. Incredibly redundant.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mathew Leonard

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gary L. Strike

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Terrell

  21. 5 out of 5

    J.J. Widener

  22. 4 out of 5

    Monique

  23. 4 out of 5

    doris

  24. 4 out of 5

    Austin Glenn

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rick Elliott

  27. 5 out of 5

    Calvin Reed

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nick Schuetze

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adam

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.