Every minister faces the problem of correlating his or her theological knowledge and affirmations with principles and methods found in modern psychology. Stone, a professor of pastoral counseling at Brite Divinity School, seeks to help pastors work through these correlations. In dealing with the problems parishioners bring to them, pastors face the temptation to turn from their beliefs to the techniques contemporary psychology offers. But in doing so, they let the "hidden theologies" of psychology displace the affirmations of faith to which they adhere. The professed neutrality of psychology often hides a secular theology. To deal effectively with the situations that con front them, ministers must work out their own correlations.
In developing his ideas, Stone draws upon his research and his familiarity with both psychology and pastoral counseling. He presents his thoughts lucidly, organizes his principles clearly, and illuminates them with illustrations. Of special interest is his distinction between pastoral care and pastoral counseling. And his exposition of spiritual direction as an important but neglected form of ministry offers real value as well.
This book will challenge pastors who have neglected to think through the correlations between theology and psychology in their ministry. It offers excellent guidance to those seeking to achieve such correlation.