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Purves, Andrew. (2001). Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition. Louisville, Motilium australia, Kentucky, Westminster John Knox Press. 50mg Motilium, This little book seeks to address the author’s concern that the practice of pastoral care “is, by and large, uninformed by historical practice.” (5) Purves identifies the need for “a profound reappraisal of core working assumptions in pastoral theology,” (5) and to this need, Motilium uk, seeks to apply wisdom gleaned from five figures in church history: Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, Motilium paypal, Gregory the Great, Martin Bucer, and Richard Baxter.
His selection of these five was directed by the fact that they wrote directly about the work of the pastor, rather than addressing specific issues of theological debate, Motilium For Sale.
Chapter one, Gregory of Nazianzus ‘In Defense of His Flight to Pontus’, Motilium canada, identifies several recurring themes in Gregory’s theology, such as his belief that the theologian must receive “a special call” (13), and his understanding of the final goal of the Christian life, which he called “deification.” (14) Purves also briefly discusses Gregory’s understanding of the Trinity, 20mg Motilium, Christology, and anthropology, Motilium india, before moving to a discussion of his pastoral theology. Motilium For Sale, This section discusses at length Gregory’s view of the pastor as a “physician of souls,” whose goal it is “to contend on behalf of God and thereby to lead people back to God.” (19) Other topics addressed include the difficulties of pastoral work, the spiritual requirements for being a pastor, and the life background, call, and obedience to that call of those who aspire to the pastoral office. This chapter concludes with an outline of Gregory’s The Flight to Pontus.
John Chrysostom and his Six Books on the Priesthood are the subject of chapter two. Following the biographical summary, 40mg Motilium, Purves addresses Chrysostom’s approach to exegesis by describing the difference between the heavily allegorical Alexandrian school of Origen and Philo, and the Antiochene approach, 250mg Motilium, of which Chrysostom is “the best-known representative,” (39) and which “clearly aimed at ameliorating the excesses of Alexandrian allegorical exegesis and spirituality.” (39) Purves then discusses “Chrysostom’s Antiochene Christology,” before moving to a treatment of his pastoral theology. In discussing the nature of the pastoral office, 100mg Motilium, Chrysostom was clear that it “must be understood theologically first of all to be a sharing in Christ’s own love for his people.” (43) Before anything else, a pastor must heed Christ’s call to Peter: “Feed my sheep.” Purves concludes the chapter with a discussion of Chrysostom’s teaching on the moral and ethical dimension of pastoral work.
In chapter three, Purves turns to Gregory the Great, and his enduring work, Pastoral Care, Motilium For Sale. 30mg Motilium, Themes identified by Purves in the theology of Gregory include the relation between the natural and the supernatural, the balanced approach to life which Gregory called consideratio, and the nature of the Christian life. Gregory’s belief that “in salvation the human also must act” (62) has far-reaching consequences for his understanding of the Christian life, Motilium coupon, a life in which “ambivalence and terror...never go away.” This will have many implications for his pastoral theology. Much of this theology is discussed in terms of the character of the man who would hold the office. This was of primary importance to Gregory, Motilium usa, whom Purves quotes: “No one does more harm in the Church than he, who having the title or rank of holiness, acts evilly.” (65) Purves then examines Gregory’s teaching on the life of the pastor, as well as his understanding of the practice and complexities of pastoral work, Motilium japan.
On the True Pastoral Care is, says Purves, Motilium mexico, “the principal Reformation text on pastoral theology.” (76) Martin Bucer, its author, is the subject of chapter four. Motilium For Sale, After a biographical summary, Purves identifies election and justification, scripture, love, and the Eucharist as themes in Bucer’s theology. In his pastoral theology, Purves recognizes two dominant themes that inform Bucer’s teaching: the role of the Bible, and a focus on Christ. Indeed, 1000mg Motilium, says Purves, Bucer “displays a remarkable awareness of the active personal rule of Jesus Christ in and over his church.” (84) These themes are woven throughout Purves’s examination of Bucer’s understanding of the scope of pastoral care, Motilium ebay, addressing such themes as evangelism, pastoral discipline, and care for the weak.
Richard Baxter and The Reformed Pastor are the focus of chapter 5, 200mg Motilium. The biographical summary in this chapter is preceded by a brief history of Puritanism. Themes in Baxter’s theology identified by Purves include the practical application of the Christian faith to everyday life, 10mg Motilium, and the doctrine of justification. The discussion of Baxter’s pastoral theology begins with an emphasis of the spiritual formation of the pastor, Motilium For Sale. This is primary for Baxter, as Purves notes, “...he is more concerned with the pastor’s life in God than with the parishioner’s, Motilium craiglist, because adequate attention to the latter is possible only by one who has paid attention to the former.” (105) He then discusses Baxter’s emphasis on conversion as a pastoral goal, and concludes by looking at Baxter’s insistence on pastoral care as individualized care, Motilium us, as a “personal ministry to persons.” (111)
Having surveyed the lives and pastoral theologies of these figures, Purves reaches several conclusions in his final section regarding the confessional content of pastoral care, the necessity to root both pastoral care and pastoral theology in the study of the scriptures, and the necessity of the office itself, 150mg Motilium. Purves also offers conclusions about the need for pastors to care for themselves and the accountability to God for their conduct of the office. In each of these conclusions, Purves bemoans the current state of pastoral theology and argues that an intentional reclamation of the classical tradition will lead to a more robust and balanced practice of pastoral care today.
My concerns with the book are mainly to do with its stated purpose. I know nothing about the author that is not revealed in this book, but he clearly writes from a mainline Protestant liberal perspective, Motilium For Sale. He seeks to rescue pastoral care from the modern movement, a movement he says, “...within the North American Protestant theological academy by and large revolves around psychological categories regarding human experience and symbolic interpretations about God.” (3) I have no doubt this is the case, but Purves offers the wrong cure. This is a book summarizing what five men have written regarding the work of the pastor. If Purves wants to save us from “human experience and symbolic interpretations,” the solution is not going to be found in the writings of fallible men, however inspiring and truth-filled they may be. The solution is going to be found in the infallible Word of God. Motilium For Sale, Sadly, the “North American Protestant theological academy” has long-since abandoned that solution.
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