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:
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that Richard Ford, author of "Independence Day" – the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award – will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival on Aug. 31.

In 2015, with the purchase of the Shakespeare & Co. name in the U.S. and the successful acquisition of a lease to the store's former 5,000 sq. ft. location on Lexington Ave. on New York's Upper East side, Dane Neller, cofounder and CEO of On Demand Books (the maker of the Espresso Book Machine) and a group of investors took the first steps toward creating an indie bookstore chain. While Neller and friends are still shy of the number of locations that their namesake had at its height, six stores in New York City, the group plans to surpass that number next year...

The bestselling author who accused her husband of poisoning her was jailed for direct contempt after a court hearing last month.

Kenyon was accused of calling one of her husband's attorneys a "f---ing liar" as she abruptly left the courtroom during the hearing on April 23. After returning to the courtroom minutes later, she accused one of her husband's family members of being a pedophile.

Herman Wouk, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Navy drama The Caine Mutiny, whose sweeping novels about World War II, the Holocaust and the creation of Israel made him one of the most popular writers of his generation and helped revitalize the genre of historical fiction, died May 17 at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 10 days shy of his 104th birthday.

Faber emerged victorious at the British Book Awards 2019 on Monday evening (13th May), with Sally Rooney's Normal People scooping the coveted Book of the Year award. The book had earlier won the Fiction Book of the Year prize, while Faber stablemate Leila Slimani's Lullaby won the Debut Fiction category. The 90-year-old company also took the Independent Publisher of the Year gong in the trade section of the awards.

Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche communities for adults with learning disabilities, living alongside those without them, has died aged 90.

In August 1964, having giving up his job teaching philosophy at the University of Toronto, he bought a small, rundown house without plumbing or electricity in the village of Trosly-Breuil, north of Paris, and invited two men with learning disabilities – Raphaël Simi and Philippe Seux – to share it with him. Both had been living in an asylum and were without family. Today L'Arche (the ark) has 150 communities, in 38 countries, supporting 3,500 people with learning disabilities.

Vanier wrote 30 books on spirituality and community, including Community and Growth (1979), Becoming Human (1998), Befriending the Stranger (2005) and Life's Great Questions (2015). In 2015 he was awarded the £1.1m Templeton prize, for making "an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension".

The Poetry Foundation has announced Marilyn Nelson as the winner of the 2019 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Naomi Shihab Nye the 2019–2021 Young People's Poet Laureate, and Terrance Hayes winner of the 2019 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism. The awards are sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation, an independent literary organization and publisher of Poetry magazine, and will be presented at the Pegasus Awards Ceremony at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago on Monday, June 10.

Novelist Ben Dolnick waxes lyrical on the benefits or ditching Netflix for a novel. And not just because a novelist is telling you to:

One night a couple of summers ago, the power went out and, unable to watch Netflix or engage in my customary internet fugue, I lit a candle and picked up a thriller by Ruth Rendell. For the first time in as long as I could remember, my sole source of entertainment for an evening was going to be a book...

Cengage and McGraw-Hill, two of the largest academic publishers remaining, have agreed to a merger on equal terms that is expected to close by early 2020, the companies announced yesterday.

Baker & Taylor has made it official: it is leaving the wholesale retail book market. The move was hinted at when it became public late last year that the company was in talks to sell its retail operations to Ingram and then in the departure over the last few months of key retail staff members. B&T will focus on its traditional core business of servicing libraries, as well as publisher services...

Paul Swydan, owner of the Silver Unicorn Bookstore, West Acton, Mass., wrote on Twitter, "It means I will make less money when I fill special orders for customers, because Baker & Taylor's sole competition offers a much lower discount." He added, "In the larger sense, it's another example of how Amazon is crippling this country in their mostly unchecked quest to monopolize any business they choose to focus on."

thatware.org ©