50×52: The Pastor as Person

So begins academic required reading. This book was an “easy read” compared to the Leadership Textbook and “Qualitative Research” books on my shelf. However, beyond it’s narrative form of five pastors struggling to understand themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and socially, this book typifies my complaints against current seminaries.
My assumption is that this text in 1985 was a revolutionary concept that pastors should “know themselves” through a therapeutic lens and may have helped bring humanity into the academic classroom. Today, however, I feel pastors are taught this therapeutic approach to the detriment of Biblical and robust theology, resulting in the idolization of Nouwen’s “Wounded Healer.”
The call of Christ is not “to thine on self be true” or “loving yourself” or, to use Harbaugh’s langauge, “I am my history/situations/choices” but in denying oneself, loosing oneself and dying to oneself so Christ might live (Galatians 2:20).

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