Care of Souls
Revisioning Christian Nurture and Counsel
Where to Purchase
"[A] clear and wise introduction. . . . Professionals as well as beginners will profit from this wide-ranging analysis of the 'basics' of soul care."--John G. Stackhouse Jr.,
For most of its history, one of the primary functions of the church was to provide spiritual guidance and advice for daily living. With the rise of professional psychology, however, Christian counseling began to adapt to the ways of this "science of the soul," which has all too frequently ignored the spiritual element of human life.
In Care of Souls, David Benner offers a timely reminder of the benefits of recapturing the place of the spiritual in psychological work. Among the many benefits for individuals who receive a combination of the best of modern therapy and biblical guidance are an increased feeling of personal value and a willingness to put God's priorities above their own.
Benner's account of Christianity's historical practices of soul care and his comprehensive guide to providing authentic soul care today will be essential reading for Christian mental health professionals, pastors, and college and seminary students.
"If psychology has lost its soul, I believe David Benner has found it. His Care of Souls: Revisioning Christian Nurture and Counsel is a remarkable achievement. When it comes to presenting a synthesis of serious research in a reader-friendly manner Benner has few peers. Here he applies his rare skill to present the spiritual and psychological connectedness of counseling and psychotherapy. The result is a foundational book for what may become a new science of soul care."--Gary W. Moon, M.Div., Ph.D., president of Psychological Studies Institute, Atlanta, Georgia
"Evangelicals tend to prefer 'doing' to 'thinking,' and so tend to prefer 'how-to' books to 'what-about' books. But in this clear and wise introduction, David Benner improves our understanding of soul care in order to help us engage in it better. Professionals as well as beginners will profit from this wide-ranging analysis of the 'basics' of soul care."--John G. Stackhouse Jr., Ph.D., Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver
"Care of Souls is a wide-ranging, intelligent, and useful map of that territory where Christian spirituality and therapeutic psychology intersect. Benner stresses our unity as bodily, psychological, and spiritual beings. He carefully defends the value of psychotherapeutic thought and practice for Christian soul care, yet is tough in his assessment of the confusions and abdications into which Christians have fallen at the instigation of psychology."--Robert C. Roberts, professor of philosophy and psychological studies, Wheaton College
"In my clinical practice of pschiatry I have been struggling with how to care for and cure the souls of those who have been molested, abused, and battered. This book provides practical and inspiring answers, based on the riches of two thousand years of Christian experience in soul-care. Dr. Benner's insights into the essence of psychology as viewed from a Christian vantagepoint are based on a careful literature review of what the master therapists and master spiritual guides have said, from the ancient desert fathers in Egypt, to the current literature on pastoral counseling and psychotherapy."--Jeff Boyd (Chairman of Psychiatry and Chairman of Ethics at Waterbury Hospital)
"This book lives up to what we have come to expect from this author. Benner masterfully tackles a complex subject in a straight-forward and reader friendly manner without being simplistic. the first half of the book, where he discusses such diverse topics as the rise of the therapeutic culture of soul-care to Christian spirituality, is of immense educational value and alone is worth far more than the book's price. In like manner, Part 2's emphasis on the provision of soul-care is a must for pastors and mental health professionals. This book should be well-received for years to come."
--Peter Hill, professor of psychology, Grove City College
"David Benner was reflecting on the topic of soul care long before such discussions became trendy (see his Psychotherapy and the Spiritual Quest). The work begun there and developed in a wide variety of international settings continues in Care of Souls."--Mark A. Yarhouse (Journal of Psychology and Christianity)
"This title is a bridge-builder, helping to span the gap that has existed between Christian counseling and psychology."--Ministries Today (March/April 2000)
"As the church attempts to restore soul care to a place of centrality in its life and mission, this book provides a clarion call to care-givers at all levels of experience."--Reformed Review (Spring 2000)