The Context of Pastoral Counseling, Seward Hiltner and Lowell G. Colston, Abingdon Press, Nashville, Tennessee, 1961, 272 pages, $4.50.
This book has been written as a working tool for the pastor in his daily contact with the people of his community and church. It is replete with pastor-parishioner dialogs that were taken from electronic recordings made at the time of interviews. This was done with the full consent of the parishioners, and the recordings are being used in this book with approval of those concerned. Almost every phase of human life—its problems, burdens, and difficulties—are presented. While reading the book one feels that he is sitting in the room and participating in the interview.
This work is designed primarily for the busy pastor and places before him ideas and answers to questions. It reveals the skill the pastor needs to help him in pastoral care and counseling. The cardinal aim seems to be to suggest to the minister how he, under God, may help people to help themselves. This book does not advocate counseling as the modern method of ministry, nor does it suggest that this alone would solve all the problems in a church. However, we are all aware that no matter how much preaching we do, we cannot avoid personal counseling. The purpose of this book is to help us to do that counseling better, not necessarily to do more of it. In fact, the author suggests that if counseling in itself is just an American fad, it should die. However, if it is a way of approaching one aspect of the work of the minister with new tools and resources, then we believe it deserves new attention.
A. C. Fearing
This Faith We Live By, James H. Jauncey, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 157 pages, $2.50.
This book is so readable and interesting that it is difficult to lay it down until one gets to the end. The author is a gifted writer who has had a varied background of experience in science, engineering, psychology, education, religion, and journalism. This has given him an extraordinary insight into human nature, and thus he is able to write clearly and simply and in such a nontechnical way that the book can be enjoyed and appreciated by both theologian and layman.
A great variety of subjects are discussed in this book, including worldliness, human relationships, sex, suffering, divorce, forgiveness, and the nature of God. It is full of helpful and practical homilies and also reveals a clear knowledge of God in history.
Dr. Jauncey's illustrations are fresh and illuminating. His discussion of sin, repentance, and conversion is so perspicuous that one could hardly fail to grasp the meaning and importance of these great themes.
I am sure This Faith We Live By could be a source of spiritual help not only to the preacher but to the layman seeking a clearer understanding of the Christian life. In fact, anyone who reads this interesting and enlightening book, and practices the truths contained therein, cannot fail to profit spiritually.
J. Ina White
Prayer's Deeper Secrets, F. J. Huegel, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1959, 96 pages, $1.75.
The author, F. J. Huegel, served as a chaplain in World War I; engaged in missionary labors in Mexico for more than twenty-five years; taught at Union Seminary in Mexico City, and is the author of Forever Triumphant (reviewed in The Ministry some time ago) and other works of a spiritual nature.
Often it has been stated that prayer is the greatest force in the universe. In this Atomic Age, when incomprehensible forces are being released, prayer still transcends them all. This author has done much original thinking on this great topic of prayer. The book is not merely another analysis on petitioning the Almighty—it challenges deep thinking; and it is well organized and theologically sound. The following chapter headings suggest its value as a prayer-meeting series for pastors: "The Law of the Atonement"; "The Law of Faith"; "The Law of Right Relations"; "The Law of God's Will"; "The Law of the Spirit's Inspiration"; "The Law of Praise"; "The Why of the Unanswered Prayer."
Having evaluated this work most carefully, this reviewer enthusiastically recommends it to our ministers. But it is with the reminder that church leaders will not find here a tailor-made set of talks that can be hastily resorted to when preparation time is lacking. The pastor will profit much by first entering into the depths of this author's study on true prayer, and when he does, he will be inspired to make such a series more than a casual exposition. We benefited personally from its unique lessons.
Louise C. Kleuser