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Pastoral Theology: Essentials of Ministry 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0060663537
ISBN-10: 0060663537
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Reconciling tradition with practice, this monumental resource fully integrates principles of pastoral care, leadership, and theology to restore to ministers a clearly defined pastoral identity.

From the Back Cover

This much-needed book fully integrated principles of pastoral care, leadership, and theology to restore to ministers a clearly defined pastoral identity. Moving from a critique of inadequate models for ministry----from community organizer to T.V. evangelist----Oden develops a more classical model, rich in its references to the past and compatible both with Christian faith and theology through the ages and with current needs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1st edition (May 25, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060663537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060663537
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on March 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a young ministry student I read this book for a class in pastoral theology. I remember how I highlighted numerous passages. I wrote little commentaries in the margins. In some places I agreed with the author, but in the majority I took the author to task. "This is wrong! This is short sighted! This is unscriptural! This is biased! etc."
As a middle-aged pastor I picked up my old copy and re-read it. Once again, placing my little commentaries in the margins, "He was right! Boy, was I dumb! Amen! Ouch! Preach it Brother! etc."
I think it took me a little while to catch on. This book is a classic. Every pastor should own a copy. No pastor should judge the book until he or she has spent a few years behind the sacred pulpit. I have no qualms about recommending this book.
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Format: Paperback
Oden begins following through with his agenda for theologian's office first laid down in his book, Agenda for Theology (now published under the title, After Moderny, What?), by providing biblically oriented resources for the pastoral office. Oden unpacks the role of the pastoral office that it holds within the church by distilling the best ideas of the two millennia of ecumenical Christian thinking concerning what pastors are and do. Pastoral Theology provides the foundational building blocks of the pastoral office essential to the practice of ministry. Oden's book is primarily geared forthose who are interested or planning on entering the pastoral office. This book is also an informative resource for those interested in understanding what the clergy do and what pastoral care encompasses. For the American evangelical, this book (which now seems to have become a series of books) as well as "Biblical Eldership" (Alexander Strauch, 1995) and John MacArthur's "Rediscovering Pastoral Ministry" round out the pastoral library by presenting the Wesleyan, Brethren, and Reformed views of the teaching office within the church. I hold Oden's work the best of the bunch purely from the standpoint that he takes the time to include a historical survey of the teaching office throughout his work.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a keeper... a treasure. There is no other book in my library that I have marked up more. "Pastoral Theology" should be mandatory reading for all pastors and leaders of His Church. This book is a fine compliment to Oden's Systematic Theology series which I reviewed earlier. They set the standard as far as I am concerned.
I read the book in an attempt to better understand the role of the Pastor and am grateful I did. I especially love the section that leads with "we should not confuse matters of faith with time-conditions, culturally-determined matters of social custom." The book is broken down into five main sections - Becoming a Minister, The Pastoral Office, What Clergy Do and Why, Pastoral Counseling and Crisis Ministry. The book will assist all students of Apologists such as myself. Not much more I can say but read it.
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Format: Paperback
This text is dry and at times difficult to get through, but it is still a very good, comprehensive text on pastoral care. Recommended for all pastors/theologians who want to understand exactly what they are called to do.
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Although Oden has extensive background in the modern methods of ministry, he has largely eschewed them in favor of ancient beliefs and practices grounded in scripture and tradition.

Almost every paragraph bears witness with extensive references to ancient sources.

Pastoral Theology has five major sections: (1) Becoming a Minister, (2) The Pastoral Office, (3) What Clergy Do and Why, (4) Pastoral Counsel, and (5) Crisis Ministry. The introduction addresses the question, "Why Pastoral Theology."

In chapter one, Oden cites or implies five reasons for producing his book: (1) promote inclusion of women in ordained ministry, (2) reaffirm the roots of pastoral theology in tradition, (3) oppose the "lawlessness" of contemporary theology, (4) reinvigorate the study of pastoral theology, and (5) foster an ecumenical understanding of pastoral theology. Although he does an admirable job, the results are not entirely coherent.

For example, his preoccupation with the ordination of women interchangeable with that of men is problematic if the goal is to strengthen the roots of pastoral theology in the NT and tradition. Oden nevertheless makes the attempt. In trying to reconcile those competing goals however, he responds more to modern concerns than ancient ones. In doing that, he necessarily distorts the meaning of some well-known passages. For example, Oden absolutizes Gal 3:28 to argue for radical equality even though the verse is clearly limited to the idea of inheritance. He understands submission in Eph 5:21-33 as mutual despite the presence of three hierarchical examples (husbands/wives, parents/children in 6:1-4, and masters/slave in 6:5-9).
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Format: Paperback
The book was insightful. You need to read it
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Great book with detailed explanations.
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This is a great book that goes into detail about the proper way ministers should perform their duties. He also gives a lot of historical information regarding the duties, he places on your mind and hearts the essence of if you are really called to minister to others.
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