Monday, June 15, 2009

"Classical Pastoral Care, v.2, Chapters 6, 7 and 8"

I finished volume two of Thomas C. Oden's four volume work "Classical Pastoral Care." Volume two was entitled "Ministry Through Word and Sacrament." The final three chapters were "The Pastor as Educator of the Soul", "Care of the Community" and "On Enabling Support and Limiting Abuse." In the first of the final three chapters, Oden provides quotes from past Church figures on how best to teach the faith to new believers. The second chapter deals with how the historical Church has approached ministering to the community inside and outside the Church. The last chapter deals with how the church has sought to balance the care for the pastor by the flock with a historic prohibition against pastors charging fees for their services, such as conducting weddings and funerals and counseling.

For those who have not listened to the previous post, "Classical Pastoral Care" is a four volume work edited by Thomas C. Oden, a professor of theology at Drew University. It is an examination of how the historic Church has approached pastoral care. Oden focuses on Christian writings from the earliest Church period to the Reformation. The four volumes are a call to return to what Oden labels the "classical Christian consensus" which is at odds with modern philosophies of ministry. The first volume, which I read, is "Becoming A Minister." Volumes three and four are "Pastoral Counsel" and "Crises Ministries." My Systematic Theology Professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary, Dr. Bill Ury, urged his students to read especially these final two before we served very long in the ministry.

Thomas Oden's three volume Systematic Theology is the primary text for Dr. Ury's Systematic Theology Courses. In fact, Dr. Ury and other members of the WBS faculty were students of Oden at Drew.

"Classical Pastoral Care" was originally published by Baker Books.

Here are some other links to Professor Oden: here and here.