Pastoral Theology: Essentials of Ministry Book Review


Author: Thomas C. Oden
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco; 1st ed edition (May 1, 1983)
Language: English
ISBN: 0060663537

Book Content:

Introduction: What is Pastoral Theology?

I. Becoming a Minister
The Discovery of Pastoral Identity
The Call to Ministry
The Meaning of Ordination
Women in the Pastoral Office

II. The Pastoral Office
Shepherding as Pivotal Analogy
The Offices and Gifts of Ministry

III. What Clergy Do and Why
The Pastor of the Worshipping Community
The Ministry of Eucharist and Baptism
The Ministry of Word Through Preaching
The Teaching Elder
Equipping the Laity for Ministry

IV. Pastoral Counsel
Pastoral Visitation
The Care of Souls
The Work of the Holy Spirit in Comfort, Admonition and Discipline

Pastoral Theology Essentials of Ministry is a "must have" resource for all persons contemplating entering the ministry, those who want to understand the role of pastors more clearly, and those ministers who want to review their role in the light of a systematic reflection on the pastoral office in general.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even more than I did his Agenda for Theology. I think he presented his theory of ordained ministry, including a definition of its functions and duties underlying theological principles method, in a succinct and easily understood manner. The whole book is a treasure of resouces for all desiring to increase understanding of this office and what it means to be a pastor. My comments however, are limited to the three chapters that stand out most for me: Women in the Pastoral Office, The Care of Souls and Pastoral Care of the Dying.

Women in ministry will find Oden's favorable position on women performing in pastoral capacities quite enlightening, affirming and Biblically sound. He makes some significant observations that certainly challenge the most intransigent opposition. Most of the controversial discussions over the legitimacy of women in the pastoral ministry arise because of hermeneutical differences. In Pastoral Theology, Oden presents his own hermeneutics as well as the hermeneutics of those who object to women's ordination to the pastoral ministry. He argues in support of women on the basis of the larger Biblical picture; he looks for the general principles found inherent in the flow of Scriptures. He also takes into account the historical and cultural dynamics within which the inspired writer wrote. Implicit in Oden's comments is the notion that the issue of women is not simply or merely academic. It lies at the very heart of our struggle to stand together as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.

Oden brilliantly distinguishes pastoral care of souls from other pastoral functions by illuminating its primary focus on individual need and the personal character of the pastor's involvement with the parishioner. His approach is holistic and deeply human.

Though somewhat implied, I wish Oden emphasized more explicitly the need for pastors to have adequate education and psychological qualifications for the task of caring for souls. Certainly with the multi-problematic concerns of people today, with the mental anomalies that grip them tenaciously, does it not seem appropriate that pastors should be intellectually suited and academically prepared for her/his work? The pastor is a "physician of the soul" and just as the physicians today must know far more and practice more expertly to meet people's health need, so likewise, will the physician of the soul.

Finally, Oden's treatment of and recommendation for pastoral care of the dying is extremely informative. He delineates pastoral responsibilities and offers helpful guidelines for counseling with the dying and relating to hospital staff. Any reader who has not thought through the importance of the funeral would do well to study these sections intently for there is some very convincing evidence presented.

This book is a classic and should be in every pastor's personal library. Even though, as with most books, there are specific areas where we are bound to disagree, overall, the information and ideas presented is worth its weight in gold.

Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach which can be reviewed on her site. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, is expected to be available soon.

You are welcome to visit www.clergyservices4u.org">AMEN Ministries: Your Soul's Service Station for spiritual refreshing, soul edification, browse our newly expanded mini shopping mall or review our recommended books you may want to add to your personal library.

Blessings to all!


MORE RESOURCES:
Brian Aldiss, one of the most celebrated science authors from the 'Golden Age' of science fiction, died today in his Oxfordshire home. He was the author of more than 80 books and 40 anthologies,

Netflix has acquired Millarworld, the comic book publisher founded by Mark Millar, creator of such characters and stories as Kick-Ass, Kingsman and Old Man Logan. This marks the first acquisition by Netflix, which described the deal as "a natural progression in the company's effort to work directly with prolific and skilled creators and to acquire intellectual property and ownership of stories featuring compelling characters and timeless, interwoven fictional worlds."

Twenty-five years ago, when Walker U.K. opened a U.S. branch, rather than continue to sell rights to U.S. publishers, it was forced to take a different name on this side of the pond. The name "Walker" was already in use, and Candlewick Press was born. Now Candlewick is poised to begin publishing in the U.S. for the first time under the Walker name.

In fall 2018, Candlewick will introduce its inaugural Walker Books U.S. list. The announcement follows Candlewick's recent purchase of the Walker trademark from Bloomsbury...

Jack Rabinovitch, 87, founder of Canada's Giller Prize, died on Sunday. Rabinovitch, who worked in commercial real estate, founded the prize in 1994 to honor his second wife, literary journalist Doris Giller.

J.K. Rowling has returned to the top of Forbes magazine's Highest-Paid Authors list for the first time in nearly a decade, displacing James Patterson. The top 11 writers sold nearly 30 million volumes in the U.S. over the past 12 months, logging $312.5 million in pretax income."

Young Adult author Laura Moser plans to challenge Republican incumbent Congressman John Culberson for District 7 (Houston, TX) in the 2018 election.

A journalist and a writer, Moser is the co-author (with Lauren Mechling) of the 10th Grade Social Climber novels. She is also the founder of the activist network Daily Action.

Although sales and earnings for the first half of 2017 were up over the comparable period in 2016, Pearson laid out its plans to cut another 3,000 jobs from its educational publishing workforce. In May the publisher, which has already eliminated about 3,000 positions, said it was developing a plan to save 300 million pounds over the next three years. As revealed today, the heart of that plan is cutting 3,000 jobs.

In late 2015, the adult coloring book trend was the hottest thing in publishing. In 2014, 1 million coloring books were sold; in 2015, 12 million were sold. But in 2016 sales began to sag. This March, Barnes & Noble reported that its store sales had fallen 8.3 percent over the holiday quarter and blamed the decline, in part, on decreasing coloring book sales.

Judith Jones, the legendary editor who rescued Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl" from a publisher's reject pile and later introduced readers to the likes of Julia Child and a host of other influential cookbook authors, died Aug. 2 at her summer home in Walden, Vt. She was 93.

Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West, has died. He was 73.

thatware.org ©