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ss triple helix - Christmas 2008,  Using the Bible in Christian Ministry - a workbook

Using the Bible in Christian Ministry - a workbook

Stephen Pattison, Margaret Cooling, Trevor Cooling
Pub: Darton, Longman and Todd 2007
£14.95; Pb 160pp
ISBN 0 23252 6818

This book arose out of research between the Bible Society and Cardiff University. It aims to enable those in pastoral ministry to use the Bible more effectively. Workbook style, it gives opportunity for reflection and group work. Two strong features emerge. It helpfully acknowledges that our tendency to respond to our circumstances sinfully is fundamental in every pastoral issue. Our preconceptions, about when and where biblical input is appropriate, are also challenged. There are novel suggestions as to how this might be done sensitively in various contexts.

There are weaknesses though. It tries to be non-prescriptive, leaving readers to reflect on their own views. This approach, in a book that aims to encourage people to use the Bible in Christian ministry, is somewhat surprising!

Secondly, it merely hints at how the gospel provides an overarching approach to pastoral care. However, pastoral carers desperately need detailed guidance on this subject.

If you are looking to review and challenge your practice, then this book is a good place to start. Look elsewhere though for practical help on interpreting and applying the Bible to pastoral situations.

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