Publisher: Westminster John Knox
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Arguing that pastoral theology and care have long ignored Scripture and Christian doctrine and become secularized in both method and goal, Andrew Purves presents a Christological basis for ministry and pastoral theology. Purves reconstructs the discipline of pastoral theology by identifying two primary theological categories for pastoral work: Christology, in which Jesus is both the Word and act of God addressing us and the word and act of humankind addressing God and Calvin's doctrine of our union with Christ, which informs us that by the work of the Holy Spirit we are joined to Christ's mission from God to share in his ministry. In the second half of the book, Purves examines pastoral care in terms of our union with Christ and his ministry. He discusses the nature and authority of preaching, forgiveness of sins as the ministry of grace, the nature of God's presence as comfort, and the relationship between hope and social action.