Therapeutic preaching is badly in need of rehabilitation. Administering mini-doses of psychological self-help from the pulpit simply will not do. Therapeutic preaching that is theocentric draws listeners more deeply into God's healing love. It involves setting up a creative conversation between divine and human therapy. In a novel and deeply insightful way, Neil Pembroke shows how metaphors and analogues drawn from psychotherapy can be employed to draw out the power in divine therapeia.
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Neil Pembroke is Associate Professor of Practical Theology in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics at the University of Queensland. He is the author of The Art of Listening (2002), Working Relationships: Spirituality in Human Service and Organizational Life (2004), Renewing Pastoral Practice (2006), Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity (2007), and Pastoral Care in Worship (2010).Review:
Theocentric therapeutic preaching is a form of truth-telling in which one's encounter with the human condition is met with deep and sacred listening. Such preaching is a gift to ministry because it takes the human yearning for an authentic mirror deeper, namely, our quest for God. In that engagement our unowned, unwelcome, and unhealed parts are deeply met. --William Schmidt, Loyola University Chicago
Pembroke develops his arguments in a thoroughly theological and imaginative way, and the recovery of the form of preaching that he advances will make a significant contribution to the task of disciple-formation that is the greatest need if we are to be true to our calling to be the church and make Christ known. This book deserves to be read by all those preparing men and women to become faithful preachers, instilling in them a passion for this kind of preaching accompanied by the skills to do so effectively. --Paul Goodliff, Spurgeon's College
The foundation of Neil Pembroke's discourse is the premise that a therapeutic approach to preaching requires a rich, critical, correlative dialogue between psychotherapeutic method and grace to be of real value. In his creative exploration Pembroke models beautifully the process he argues for. --Ewan Kelly, The University of Edinburgh
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