Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition
“Andrew Purves draws deeply from the wellsprings of the church's past in order to present a fresh and provocative challenge to contemporary assumptions about ministry. Inviting his readers into a rich tradition of pastoral practice and reflection that spans millennia and yet remains remarkably relevant, Purves's book is a must-read for every pastor who has ever searched for a theologically and biblically grounded alternative to current psychotherapeutic paradigms of pastoral care.”See All
P. Mark Achtemeier
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
“One cannot be a pastor without being a theologian, nor can one be a theologian without being a pastor—that is the message of this excellent study by Andrew Purves, focused on the lives and teachings of five of the great pastor-theologians of the Christian tradition. Written with both passion and precision, this book is sure to be valued by anyone who wants pastoral theology to be squarely in the service of the transforming power of the gospel.”See All
William Stacy Johnson
Arthur M. Adams Professor of Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
Modern pastoral care, Andrew Purves believes, has been overly influenced by psychological theory and too often uninformed by historical practice. The result is a pastoral practice that has diminished the reality of God. In this book, Purves aims to reclaim pastoral theology as a theological discipline. He does this by examining classical texts from the tradition, texts that have enduring worth, and he argues that a thoughtful reading of these works—by Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Great, Martin Bucer, and Richard Baxter—will force a reevaluation of many of the assumptions that shape contemporary pastoral work. He includes a brief biography of each author, introduces the major themes in each writer's theology, and discusses the issues relevant to pastoral work today.