Book Review on Care for Souls by David Benner

1993 Words Sep 25th, 2011 8 Pages
Reflection Paper -
Care of Souls: Revisioning Christian Nurture and Counsel

by Swanie Khoo

In the work of professional psychology, we have now a forray of theories, therapeutic techniques, and modern psychotherapies which has all too frequently ignore the spiritual element in human life. In Care of Souls, Dr David Benner recaptures the place of the spiritual in psychological work. Among the many benefits of the use of modern therapies and medical science, he has also emphasised putting God's priorities above one's own in the practice of Christian soul care. Care of Souls provides an account of Christianity's historical practices of soul care through a culmination of his many years of scholarship, teaching and clinical work.
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But as I make meaning of the story that my life encapsulates – I was a damaged soul, damaged by abuse by my own father. I can't even say I have a father, because I grew up without knowing what father's love felt like. My earthly father had a gambling problem and had multiple affairs outside of marriage. The pains of my childhood robbed me of my identity, confidence, security, trust in men, joy of living and believe in myself. I struggled greatly even as I grew into adulthood, but, God has healed me, and He is still healing and redeeming me from the wounds of my past. Through many challenges in life, as I grew into adulthood, I find myself asking Him, “God, why, oh God, why do you give me such an emotionally challenging childhood?” Though I did not receive a clear answer all these years but he taught me one thing, and that is to live my life with open hands, to allow God, the Author to do what He so choose to do. It is He, God, the Master of my life, and as for me, to live a life surrendered to my Master. Only then, did I realise that that's how I am able to taste his endless richness of His grace. God has redeemed me and has blessed me so much. Today, I can say that I am blessed and I give thanks to God. Now that I am here, in SBC, studying this work of Benner, it is totally sobering to be called into the work of soul care. Having taken the journey that I have, this reckoning gives me true meaning of what I have experienced in my past; it is that

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