As I have the pleasure and privilege of talking to those Christians who experience same-sex attraction and want to live a chaste life faithful to the clear teachings of Scripture, I increasingly find that different solutions to the questions that arise are appropriate for different people. How encouraging then to find this new book by Roger Hurding that takes the same expansive resourcing approach and explores varying five models of pastoral care and counselling.
Five Pathways to Wholeness is a great introduction to the area of Christian pastoral care. Hurding explores five ways in which the Church provides for the care of those in need – Biblical Counselling, Healing Ministry, Pastoral Counselling, Spiritual Direction and Social Action. In each he explores the strengths of the particular perspective, gives examples of them at work and offers critiques where necessary. He shows how each of the patterns shares similarities with the others but at the same time feed into particular theological streams and ecclesiastical traditions.
If I had one criticism of the book, it’s that the final chapter (Five Pathways, One Hope) seems out of place with the rest of the text, as though Hurding didn’t quite know how to finish the book and so cobbled together something at the last moment. That said, it doesn’t diminish from the rest of the book which is a brilliant overview of the way the Church reaches out to its members and beyond in a myriad of pastoral patterns.
Do Buy if… you want a great overview of Christian Pastoral practice in all its forms
Don’t Buy if… you cast out demons first and ask questions later
8 out of 10