We interrupt this blog for a public service announcement…
I’m pleased to announce that my most recent book is now in print. For more than three decades now, I’ve been teaching seminary students who are training as marriage and family therapists, and one of my primary tasks has been to give them a biblical and theological vision for their chosen vocation.
In Christian schools that teach psychology, we speak of “integration” — meaning the different ways in which we might think and practice that are shaped simultaneously by our theological and psychological commitments. As you might imagine, various models have been proposed, and this book, based on a series of three public lectures I gave at Fuller Seminary in 2018, presents mine.
Simply put, I want my students to understand themselves, whether as Christians in general or therapists in particular, as peacemakers — agents of God’s shalom, joining him in the work of bringing restorative peace to a broken creation and a troubled humanity. They enact their peacemaking vocation by cultivating the “clinical virtues” of hope, humility, compassion, and sabbath rest. All of this builds on my previous writing on Jesus’ Beatitudes.
Each of the three lectures is followed by a brief response by one of my colleagues. Terry Hargrave responds to the first lecture, on the vocation of peacemaking; Pam King responds to the second lecture, on hope and humility; and Miyoung Yoon Hammer responds to the final lecture on compassion and sabbath rest. In a final postscript, I respond to their comments in turn, and outline the history of how integration has been taught in our department.
My hope is that the book will help Christian clinicians deepen and develop their sense of vocation. I am currently working on a longer and more elaborate book in the same vein.
But that’s a long term project that won’t see the light of day until, well, I’m closer to retirement. Enjoy (the book, that is, not the anticipation of my retirement)!