Friday, May 17, 2013

Pastor as Professional Counselor?

Speaking of how the Christian counseling of the pastor differs from the "arm's-length professional reserve of the therapist," David Powlison says this:
After all, we follow David, Jeremiah, Jesus, and Paul. Shouts of delight along with loud cries and groaning are part of the whole package. No real pastor can be clinically detached. The Paul who wrote 1 Thessalonians 2:7–12 is far too emotionally involved. Like Jesus, he cares too much to ever stand at arm's length from people and their troubles. If Jesus had entered into purely consultative, professional relationships, he'd have had to stop being a pastor.
—"The Pastor as Counselor," in For the Fame of God's Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 424.

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