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Posts tagged "Clinical Theology"

A Rabbi and a Psychiatrist Walk into a…

My love language is books. If you know me for any length of time and I like you, there will probably be books arriving. I might even send you books if I don’t like you. Two that will be among the first to arrive are The Prophets and The Sabbath, both written by the late […]

Limping Into the Sun: Frank Lake on the Spiritual Battle of Jacob

Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day is breaking.’ But […]

Condemned By Illness to Passivity

This amazing passage from Frank Lake’s Clinical Theology is perhaps the best reading of Mark 2 ever written. As we prepare for the Mental Health Issue, it has much to say about Christ’s office being (quite literally here) at the end of our rope. And that pastoral care–in every facet, from simple friendship to hospital chaplaincy–does […]

Frank Lake on God-Talk and the Power of Plainspeak

This comes from Frank Lake’s Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling. In this section, entitled, “The Use and Misuse of Religion,” Dr. Lake discusses the age-old propensity of religion and religious language to become either a self-defensive shield between a person and their much-needed comfort; or, on the flipside, for religion to become the “bad thing” upon which all of their collective discomfort–past, present, and […]

Frank Lake on Praying Badly

From Frank Lake’s Clinical Theology, one of the original voices in clinical pastoral counseling, this passage talks about the purpose (and pitfalls) of prayer for the Christian wound up in his/her own neuroses. One of the reasons why pastoral dialogue with men and women suffering from the common symptoms of psychoneurosis is necessary, is in order […]

Mary Karr, Mini-Lives, and News From Across the (Human/Robot Divide)

Reading Mary Karr’s fantastic memoir Lit, one quote in particular stuck out to me as beautifully describing a tendency we humans have to fall into more limited emotional ranges: …anything worth doing could be undertaken later. Paint the apartment, write a book, quit booze, sure: tomorrow. Which ensures that life gets lived in miniature. In lieu […]

Simul Iustus et Schizophrenic: A Quick One from Clinical Theology

Dr. Frank Lake was that rarest of beasts: a clinical psychologist, a pastoral counselor, and a learned theologian. Not surprisingly, we consider him a hero. In his landmark Clinical Theology, a textbook for pastoral counselors and theologically serious therapists, he relates classic Protestant anthropology and Christology to the process of psychoanalysis, using real-world case studies (and the Bible) as his foundation. The following is a characteristically profound quote on the simultaneity […]

Frank Lake on Confession, Depression and The Dangers of Religious Duty

From pages 350-351 of Clinical Theology, a Theological And Psychiatric Basis to Clinical Pastoral Care (Volume 1), ht JL: “There is all the difference in the world between the word ‘must’ as an ethical obligation which can be fulfilled by an external act of mere attendance, and as an ontological statement, affirming that this is […]

Frank Lake on Clinical Theology, True Guilt and the Pardoxical Impasse of Success

It seems to me that a staple of Christian life–even if we aren’t willing to admit it!–is the phenomenon of “feeling guilty”. Even though we know our sins have been forgiven, we still feel guilty, sometimes even more guilty than we might otherwise feel. This applies to any number of things, from wasting far too […]