Chapter 3: Personal Channels of Grace

The Minister and the Care of Souls
by Daniel Day Williams

Chapter 3: Personal Channels of Grace

We have examined the Christian understanding of salvation and the nature of the Christian ministry. We have seen the pastoral task as dependent upon the healing action of God, who redeems life for a new order beyond present guilt and fear. We have stressed that in the Christian view the saved and the healed life is given in responsible and loving service in the great task of world-making, and is not concerned merely to be relieved of private burdens.

We are now to give a more intensive examination to what happens when the individual comes to the pastor for help in time of trouble. While we concentrate on the individual person and his relationship to a counselor, we do not mean to forget the social dimension of life. Our problems are collective as well as individual. Personal peace or the lack of it is related to the threat of international war. Social problems can arise from individual maladjustments, and the amount of mental stress and psychological illness in itself constitutes a social problem. But here we focus our attention on the individual’s search for meaning, for self-understanding, and for salvation. There is a sense in which every man stands alone before God. To the pastor come persons who at times are asking the final questions. They search for God.

We are asking what it is that can happen when a person explores his problems intensively with another who is or becomes his pastor. We know that throughout the history of the Church such personal relationship has been one of the ways in which the power of God became manifest. There is Jesus’ ministry of healing to sick people, some of them sick in mind as well as in body. There is the dramatic encounter with the woman at the well. The Christian Church has always conceived its ministry to be responsible for such personal communication and care.

If in the meeting of pastor and person what is done and said can open the way to healing or can block it, what makes the difference? It is the need to get further light on this question which has led in the twentieth century to a radical rethinking of the nature of pastoral care. There have been two main sources of that rethinking.

I. New Light on Personal Relationships

First, there is the new knowledge about the dynamics of personal relationships contributed by the depth psychology beginning with Freud. We do not forget how tentative are all the formulations of that knowledge. All of Freud’s theories are criticized and many of them rejected by others. The whole field is in an exploratory stage. Yet we recognize that modern psychology has made us see personal relationships in a new light. The dynamics of human development, of sexual relationships, and of interpersonal adjustment are now interpreted with insights which have not been available in the past, and we have discovered that much pastoral work has been done in ignorance of many factors which we need to understand. Of course persons can be healed in spite of our inadequate knowledge of what is taking place. That is true now as always. It can be argued with evidence that some modern psychological theories have themselves become obstacles to understanding personal relationships. Notice the tendency of psychologists to criticize their own methods in the light of a more personal understanding of both counselor and patient.’ But we must not allow the routines of pastoral care to go uncriticized, whether or not they have the prestige of ecclesiastical authority and tradition behind them. I have sat with groups of ministers in which all were given the opportunity of reacting to personal problems brought before the group, and have been with others shocked by the discovery of how easily we fall into clichés of pastoral advice, and put a person off from disclosing his real feelings. This is a salutary experience for any pastor, and we owe its exploration in considerable part to the work of the new psychology.2

The second source of the need to rethink pastoral counseling comes from theology. As we look at this mysterious encounter between persons, we ask how the theological interpretation of that relationship differs from the purely psychological one. Does psychological healing take place through human skill alone, or is there a dimension in it which opens the way to a connection with the Christian understanding of grace? How does a person become a channel of grace? What are the conditions, so far as we can state them, for the empowerment which gives release to the person? Finally, there arises the difficult question of what place is given to the explicit acknowledgment in counseling of the religious dimensions of life. Does something different take place when the reality of God and his power are explicitly declared? What about the healing which takes place when there is no such acknowledgment?

In these questions we are at grips with the mystery of grace itself. Theology is a reflection on what we can begin to grasp of that mystery. If man is what the Christian faith believes him to be, then any account of personal growth and healing which leaves the divine reality unacknowledged is insufficient.

It is true that much of the psychological movement has been humanistically oriented and, with Freud himself, has tended to regard the religious dimension as illusory or at least as irrelevent to personal growth. Many, on scientific grounds, would like to restrict their horizon to the psychological structures which can be empirically recognized and to the skills which counselors develop in experience. Others like C. G. Jung in his Terry Lectures leave the way open to the religious interpretation "if we are so inclined," but seem to regard the question as irrelevant to the healing process.

Jung says:

Nobody can know what the ultimate things are. We must, therefore, take them as we experience them. And if such experience helps to make your life healthier, more beautiful, more complete and more satisfactory to yourself and to those you love, you may safely say: "This was the grace of God."3

The reader of Jung’s later book, Answer to Job, in which the psychologist makes the same disclaimer of any knowledge of an objective divine order, may well feel that in spite of this restriction, the meditation on God in that book shows that the question of the being and nature of God is inescapable in the depths of man’s suffering.4

Now it is true that effective integration of human personality can take place under a variety of theories as to how it comes about. Health does not, fortunately, always depend upon our understanding of its sources. Further, we must agree that there are aspects of the Christian interpretation of life which never come directly into view in a psychological analysis. The relationship of the persons of the Trinity, for example, becomes a technical problem in Christian theology which may have little relevance to the person’s search for God. But what the doctrine of the Trinity expresses concerning the place of love and freedom in God’s being is highly pertinent to the meaning of God for man. The critical point is that the interpretation of human experience is a constituent element in the experience. Modern psychology has reinforced this point at every turn. Interpretation has played a central role in psychological theory since Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams. It can be persuasively argued that here in this early work Freud expressed a more adequate anthropology than in his later more materialistic theory.5 It has been acutely observed that Freudian patients under analysis tend to have, or at least to disclose, Freudian-type dreams, and that Jungian patients tend toward Jungian dreams, thus demonstrating how important language, symbols, and interpretation are to the personal life.

As we seek to understand man theologically, it is necessary to remember that any words which express thoughts and feelings may have theological or religious content. By the same token, we certainly do not eliminate the grace of God by failing to speak of it or to be aware of his presence.

II. A Study in Psychological Therapy

In order to give concreteness to our analysis of the religious aspect of experience, I introduce here a case study which has become publicly available and which has some universal aspects. Of course no single case can be taken to prove any point, but it can give us a basis for analysis. It is the case of Mrs. Oak, reported by Professor Carl Rogers as an example of the successful use of client-centered therapy at the research clinic which Dr. Rogers directed for many years at the University of Chicago.6

The salient facts are these: "Mrs. Oak" was a mother who came to the therapist in a state bordering on panic. Her relations with her daughter and been growing steadily worse. She felt unable to control her sexual feelings. The following description of her condition was given by the therapist at a stage early in the counseling period:

She feels basically useless, formless, and is filled with anxiety and real fear, which she dares not face because of the "terrible things that lurk" beneath the surface. Her drive for achievement and high level aspiration are thus a type of "busy work" -- a method of filling up her life with a lot of things about which she, can feel or express concern even though she realizes they are rather unimportant. There is a great deal of compulsiveness in this busyness and a feeling of being driven by outside forces so that relaxation becomes impossible . . . . There are generalized suspicion, hostility, resentment, frustration, dejection, and strong guilt feelings directed specifically toward some family member . . . and considerable confusion about her own sex role . . . . Happiness to her is equivalent to lack of status (or desire for it), to relaxation, to having plenty of props to lean upon. Her guilt feelings are in large part related to denial of affectional responses, and to rebellion against outwardly imposed goals.7

The account of the conversations with the therapist are given in detail in the study. These are some of the high points:

Mrs. Oak discovers, when she begins to be able to express her real feelings, that she has been hurt "inside," and has not been able to admit it. At the same time she discovers that she is actually an interesting and comfortable person to be with, something she had not been able to feel or believe as her anxiety increased.

At one point she describes what is happening to her in the experience of self-discovery as the difference between ascending up in the air into a kind of thin ideal, which was what she had been trying to do, as over against the descent now into a solid reality. She needs to find a set of goals which represent her real being.

One of the critical moments comes when she discovers that it is important how the counselor feels about what may happen to her. Some especially important points about the function of the counselor are involved here. Mrs. Oak says (this is an exact transcription):

Well, I made a very remarkable discovery. I know its . . . I found out that you actually care how this thing goes. . . . It gave me a feeling, it’s sort of well . . . maybe I’ll let you get in the act, sort of thing. It’s . . . again you see . . . it suddenly dawned on me that in the . . . client-counselor kind of thing you actually care what happens to this thing. And it was a revelation a . . . not that. That doesn’t describe it. It was a . . . well . . . the closest I can come to it is a kind of relaxation, a . . . . not letting down, but a . . . more of a kind of straightening out without tension if that means anything.8

One remarkable moment in the discovery of a new life comes when she walks out of the counseling session "knowing that she will never again need a father."9

Toward the end of the counseling, she describes the basis of the new life which has come to her (I slightly abridge the account):

She says: "It’s based on something pretty doggoned deep, a -- a feeling that (pause) sort of that from here on in I’m sort of going to have to play the thing on my own, with my own ship. And . . . I’m scared." (Pause)

Coun. "It seems a slightly lonesome and risky affair."

She replies that it is, but this loneliness is herself and she has to accept it or "it wouldn’t be me."

Coun. "So that the loneliness which comes from being you, you’ll take and, you wouldn’t trade it for anything."

She replies that this is true and that she faces life "not knowing she is going to win," and the counselor says, "and yet you wouldn’t back out of it."

She says: "I -- it seems to me the only thing I can think of is -- is . . . St. Matthew said it I think, "rejoice and be exceedingly glad that

The counselor asks if this means rejoicing in something negative; she replies:

"No, it isn’t negative . . . I don’t know, I mean . . . the only kind of imagery I can bring into the thing, is -- is a feeling sometimes of -- of walking through life, with the whole goddamn world just kind of -- of going to. . . pieces, and -- and kind of picking my way, and still this sense of -- of ‘rejoice and be exceedingly glad.’ So, I suppose there is . . the element of the thing being negative."10

Here are the summarizing statements of the counselor as to what has happened:

1. The essence of this process is not that certain content material is admitted to awareness, but that the client discovers that recognizing an experience for what it is constitutes a more effective method of meeting life than does the denial or distortion of experience. . . .

2. The client discovers that what has been needed is a love which is not possessive, which demands no personal gratification.

3. There is the discovery that there is, at the core of one’s being, nothing dire or destructive of self, and nothing damaging or possessive or warping of others.

4. The client comes to feel that it is possible to walk with serenity through a world that seems falling to pieces.11

We readily see some of the ways in which this case reveals universal elements in our experience, and significant aspects of the restoration to mental health, The case is remarkable, not only for what is said by client and counselor, but also because of what they do not say. There is little explicit discussion of religious issues. The counselor seems definitely to keep them to one side, Mrs. Oak’s language at times touches upon religious confession, as in the striking quotation from the Gospel of St. Matthew. This is significant not only because it is a biblical text, but because it seems for her to sum up in a decisive way the meaning of her self-discovery. But for the most part, the issues dealt with do not seem to take the form of theological questions about the meaning of life. Attention is focused on this one person’s inner struggle, on her immediate feelings and relationships. And the outcome seems to be stated as an inward reorganization and recovery, not as a new structure of religious belief. Nothing is said about God.

Nothing is said either about ethical obligation in the new life. The statement about the "love which is not possessive" certainly has ethical implications, but there is, for instance, no raising of the question as to how Mrs. Oak will now deal with issues of social justice. Is one who has been through this kind of self-discovery necessarily more sensitive to the larger ethical obligation beyond the family? This question must surely be asked when we look at counseling from any ethical point of view, let alone that of the Christian faith,

When we raise these questions it is not to suggest that the counseling of this distressed person should have proceeded as a discussion of the theological and ethical issues. In a great many cases the immediate discussion of these questions would only get in the way of the real discovery of the self. But what we do insist upon is that in the final analysis of any human problem, we have to raise these ultimate religious questions if we are to have any adequate understanding of what fulfills a human life. It is difficult indeed to know when and how in the midst of our anxieties and fears we can think truly about the meaning of God and our relationship to our neighbor. Just here we need some careful theological discrimination in our understanding of the pastoral task.

I suggest that we need to recognize what we have called in the first chapter the principle of "linkage" in experience. Wherever we begin with human problems we recognize that what we see and feel here and now may break open for us at any time questions concerning the meaning of our existence. And the question of the meaning of "my" existence leads surely to the question of the meaning of all existence. I cannot understand one without the other. But if this be true, then the introduction of the question about God into the search for personal healing is not arbitrary. It is the root question which underlies every other question.

III. The Self-Image

Let us explore, then, this religious dimension of experience by analyzing a concept which is common to all contemporary psychology, the "self-image."

Every person has a way in which he sees himself in relation to others, a "self-image." The "image" is not something exclusively or even primarily intellectual, sharply defined, and fully present to consciousness. It is not without structure, for as we begin to explore it consciously we often discover its sources and its outlines with disturbing clarity; but only in rare moments is this structure consciously outlined before us. It is constituted by our feelings about ourselves, and others’ feelings about us as we have taken those feelings into ourselves. It includes our sense of our role in life, our capacities, and our inferiorities. It includes our ideals, and may take the form of an ideal image of the self which is in sharp contrast to the real image, that is, how we "really" feel about ourselves. We know that the image in all its aspects carries a heavy emotional charge. Threats to our self-image are felt as threats to our very being. In a sense they are really that, for our being includes this self-interpretation of what we are.

We know that one of the important things that happen in the therapy of counseling is that we are able to get our self-image Out before us so that we can see it for what it is. If there is a discrepancy between the ideal and the actual self-image, we can become aware of it. What is false in the self-image, that is, what does not accord with our knowledge or sense of reality, what is intolerably beyond our power to sustain, what has been created in order to protect us from hurts, and what reflects our genuine self -- all this can in a measure be brought into the light of a new judgment. This reordering of the self-image is a fundamental aspect of our growth into maturity.

We have now to ask about the place of the counselor in this process of bringing the self-image to light. We all know that "talking it out" with an understanding person can help. We know more clearly now that it is important for that person to be one in whose presence we are not afraid to disclose ourselves, and one who will listen patiently for what we really are seeking to disclose. When these conditions are fulfilled, healing is more likely.

How does healing come? Why is it not easier to face ourselves when we are alone and need fear no judgment from someone else? Why is it so difficult to face ourselves alone, and what is this need to have another to whom we can tell what needs to be told? These questions put us on the track of the dynamics of change in the self.

Some of the counselor’s functions are obvious. He is someone to talk to, so that we can hear what we say as a communication to another person. The counselor may help to interpret what we say, and his questions may help us to come out with it. But these elements are not the whole. The deeper truth, as Freud discovered, is that there is something in the personal relationship being established which has power to release the self and lead to self-understanding. Freud says in his General Lectures on Psychoanalysis (the first version of those lectures):

The outcome in this struggle is not decided by his [the patient’s] intellectual insight. . . it is neither strong enough nor free enough to accomplish such a thing, but solely by his relationship to the physician.12

We see this truth illustrated in the case of Mrs. Oak. One of the decisive disclosures in the case is her testimony that the crux of the healing process was her discovery one day that the counselor really cared about her finding her way through. Much attention is being given to this aspect of the counseling situation. Existential psychotherapy has as one of its special emphases the counselor’s active role in venturing upon a real personal relationship where feelings must be disclosed on both sides.

Freud supplied a major insight into the dynamics of this relationship in his discovery of the "transference," "A patient can be influenced only so far as he invests objects with libido."13 What happens, in Freudian theory, is that the natural love power becomes frustrated and is not creatively expressed because of the fears and inhibitions which arise in the infantile situation. The counselor provides a new object for the expression of the libido, an object who is a person who will not reject the struggling self. The patient can, so to speak, discharge both his love and his hostility upon the counselor and this has power to objectify these profound feelings. In time this relationship becomes a transition stage toward the patient’s discovery of an adequate object of his love, and one in accordance with reality. I am aware that there are many complexities in the transference, and that the client-centered therapists have rejected the Freudian emphasis upon it. But the point that the counselor enters into a relationship in which the emotional factors of the client’s attitude toward him are of basic importance is one upon which psychological theories agree.

So far, then, we see how the self-image can be objectified in the personal relationship where it can be both fully acknowledged and transformed. We need not pursue the technical description of this process further, important as its aspects are to a full theory of counseling. Our theological concern leads now to the proposal that all interpretation of the self-image and its transformation is incomplete, and in a sense misleading, unless we recognize the dimension of the search for the real world.

The religious question is inescapable in an adequate theory of the self-image. Let us return to the experience of Mrs. Oak for a clue. There is an interesting remark in an early interview in which she speaks about the daughter with whom she is having so much trouble. The daughter represents the real world which must be met, and the relation to her involves the meaning of the mother’s life. She says of the daughter, "I have made this girl my only link with life."14

We see that the self-image is never only a self-image, it is an understanding of life. What the self is seeking within itself can never be found apart from the finding of reality beyond the self. We know who we are and what we are when we discover what we belong to. I do not mean that we are always occupied with metaphysical reflection when we think about ourselves. I mean that in the depth of our self-searching we cannot avoid coming upon the ultimate religious questions: What is life? Why are we born? What does it mean that we learn to love and care for life and then we die? What makes all the pain and struggle worth while, if anything does?

When we see that there can be no self-understanding apart from some grasp of Origin and Destiny, an understanding which certainly includes an acknowledgment of what is unknown in both Origin and Destiny, then the counselor with whom we seek self-understanding takes on a new significance. He is there, not only as trained physician, or professional psychologist, or as ecclesiastically authorized pastor. He represents that world with which the person must come to terms. He is the bearer of some truth about life which must be grasped, because to lose it is to lose everything. And this may be so even when the counselor himself is not aware of what he means to the searching person before him.

We will miss the point of this view of the counselor if we try to conceive his role primarily in relation to his conscious analysis of the patient’s problems. All that is important, but the counselor is not related to a patient primarily as an illustration of a general principle or as an oracle of wisdom. Indeed we know that where the patient thinks of the counselor in this way some necessary elements in the healing situation are lacking. It is vital for the pastor to realize how strong and pervasive the positive and negative attitudes toward the pastoral office may be, often in the same person. What we are pointing out is that every deep personal relationship is set in a context where each person is continually being moved to turn his attention to the reality which stands over against and between the persons. When someone comes to a counselor for help, he is searching for some reason to go on living. Unless there is some hope, and some new possibility beyond the present struggle, there is no reason for his coming. As William Ernest flocking has remarked, if the counselor sees no meaning for living, then he is the one who is in need of help, whatever is to be said of the person who comes to him.15

In the case of Mrs. Oak there occurs a poignant disclosure of this significance of the counselor in something she says after the interviews have led her a long way toward a new life. She says to him, "You are my love." This statement is not sentimentality, but the strictest realism. She has begun to discover the solid substance of her own being in this possibility of love which is incarnate in the other person. He has, for the moment, become the focus of reality without which she cannot live.

Say then that human relationships are never dyadic, but always triadic. There is a reality which stands between the persons, and that reality, to keep our terms neutral for the moment, is the meaning of existence as it really is. It is what sets the bounds and establishes the possibilities of our being. When Mrs. Oak comes to the resolution of her problem, we recall, she speaks in religious terms. The new way means to "rejoice and be exceedingly glad" with the world going to pieces. She identifies this as "mystical" experience, without elaborating any theological explanation of it. But we see that what has taken place has been a transaction not only between herself and the counselor, but with a reality which is neither of them, nor the two together, but that which holds, measures, and justifies them in one world of meaning.

IV. Christ -- The Man Between

We shall now give a theological interpretation of the counseling relationship which goes beyond what psychology can affirm. What we have said so far about the structure of the self-image is, I believe, truth which can be discovered in every psychological inquiry into the nature of the self. Rollo May has put us particularly in his debt by his insistence that an "ontology of human existence" is required even with the strict limits of psychological theory.16 But now we go beyond the general doctrine of man to the Christian answer to the religious question. Our interpretation of the self-image becomes theological when we speak from within the faith of the Church and say that the objective reality which stands between persons is God made personal and available to us in Jesus Christ. What men seek is what can make life whole. It must be reality present to us as truth and as power. That is, what men are really searching for is the Christ, the personal presence of God in human life.

Our question about the Christ, we see, has a double aspect. On the one hand, we seek a true knowledge of what we are. Christ is the person who discloses us to ourselves. On the other hand, he is the New Man, the one who opens the way to what we can become. He is one of us, tempted in all points as. we are, yet he bears the courage and love which can transform us. It is Christ who is the Third Man in every human relationship.

Consider three aspects of this view of how we know ourselves through Christ.

First, there is the Christian understanding of the mode of our knowledge of God. It is his personal disclosure in human life which establishes our knowledge of him and of ourselves. God is more than pure form or abstract principle. He is the One who calls us into personal communion with him. We must indeed be careful in using personal symbols for God. They can be so reduced to finite dimensions that they lose their significance even for expressing our personal relationship to him. Tillich rightly warns us:

The criticism by psychology and sociology of personalistic symbols for man’s relation to God must be taken seriously by theologians. It must be acknowledged that the two central symbols, Lord and Father, are stumbling blocks for many people because theologians and preachers have been unwilling to listen to the often shocking insights into psychological consequences of the traditional use of these symbols.17

To say that God is personal for us in Jesus Christ does not eliminate the mystery of the Father’s being. What we know in Jesus Christ is that God loves us in a way which is reflected in, but transcends, our human understanding. St. Paul says that it is only at the end that we will know as we are known, thus asserting both our personal knowledge of God and the limits of that knowledge (I Cor. 13-12).

Second, to see Christ as the Third Man relating each man to his neighbor and to God is to say that human history is the story of the fall from a loving relationship into the actual estrangement of sin and its consequences. We see those consequences beating upon the Christ in the story of his life and death. In Paul’s daring word, "God . . . made him to be sin who knew no sin" (II Cor. 5:21). What the New Testament requires of us is an acknowledgment of the distortion which sin produces in man’s understanding of himself. Think of the ways in which the name and authority of Jesus have been used to justify every sort of human cruelty. Christians do not all see Christ in the same way. The story of the New Testament should remind us that even our knowledge of him bears the marks of our distorted self-images, which always threaten to separate us from others. Somerset Maugham, who certainly has no theological ax to grind, could be documenting the doctrine of original sin in psychological terms when he writes:

When we come to judge others, it is not by ourselves that we judge them, but by an image that we have formed of ourselves from which we have left out everything that offends our vanity or would discredit us in the eyes of the world.18

The relation to Christ should bring a continual correction of our self-images.

In the third place, to see Christ as the reality which stands between man and man means that there is given to each life the possibility of a new way which involves a restoration to our right mind and the freedom to become a new person.

One of the important discoveries in the experience of counseling is that for a person to begin the search for himself is like facing death. In one sense it is that quite literally, the death of that self-interpretation which he has lived upon and cherished through the years. Now it is threatened. If it crumbles, he faces the world with no supports. This is a shattering and oft-times terrifying experience. Anyone who has been there knows.

We need not be surprised, therefore, that the biblical words of death and resurrection occur quite readily to the pastor in thinking about the care of souls. The new life in Christ is the discovery of a new self on the other side of an old existence which must be let go.

True, the Christian symbol of resurrection is associated directly with immortality, that is, with life beyond physical death, but we should not forget that the Apostle Paul and the Fourth Evangelist see much more in it. "Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God . . ." (Rom. 6:11). "You died, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). These are assertions of the resurrected life as present experience. They anticipate the immortality of participation in the love of God, but they begin now with a new life in which sin has been exposed and we have been reconciled.

We have been seeking to understand the structure of human life as a history of personal relationships in which God’s grace works as transforming power. God’s grace is his love in action.19 To have some insight into the conditions through which God works is in no way to achieve control over grace. It is only to see a little way into the situation, and to enable us at times to keep from obstructing God’s working. We know very little about the conditions which determine how God may work with us, and we cannot set limits to his working under any conditions. But we do know that the spirit of loyalty to other persons, of openness to being transformed ourselves, and a willingness to endure the pain of risking ourselves in the search for the truth, are among those conditions.

I must guard against one possible misunderstanding of the position here taken. By asserting this Christological interpretation of the pastoral relationship, one might seem to be offering an alternative to that patient exploration of the specific problems and emotional patterns of people’s lives which psychiatrists and other counselors carry on. But this would be a gross misunderstanding of the position. I propose no substitution of piety for psychiatry. Let us keep our theological sights clean. Jesus Christ entered fully into our humanity. He took it all, with its endless complexities and problems, upon himself. He offered no simple way out. What he offered was the spirit of love acting in self-identification with human needs. Therefore, wherever we are honestly probing for reality, with psychological instruments or others, Christ is already present. The Christian pastor will find nothing alien to his concern in any human experience, in so far as his limitations of skill and human insight will permit. When psychologists speak of "regression in the service of the ego," they are describing the return to the primitive and elemental roots of personal development as the way to discovering and affirming our real selves. The pastor does not try to avoid this process. He is not there just to help a person "scale the heights"; he is there to walk with him in the valley of the shadow of death, for Christ has walked there before ever we did. What this means in facing the darker aspects of human experience we shall see in the next chapter.


1. Recent developments of existentialist theories in psychotherapy are a case in point. See Rollo May et al., Existence (New York: Basic Books, 1958); and H. Mullah and I. A. Sangiuliano, ‘Interpretation as Existence in Analysis," in Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Review, Vol. 45, Nos. 1-2 (1958).

2. Cf. Seward Hiltner, Pastoral Counseling (New York: and Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1949).

3. C. G. Jung, Psychology and Religion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938), p. 114.

4. C. G. Jung, Answer to Job (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul), 1954.

5. Professor Paul Ricoeur of the Sorbonne took this view in a seminar at Columbia University in 1958.

6. Carl R. Rogers, ‘The Case of Mrs. Oak: A Research Analysis," in Psychotherapy and Personality Change, edited by Carl R. Rogers and Rosalind F. Dymond (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954).

7. Ibid., p. 268.

8. Ibid., p. 324.

9. Ibid., p. 333.

10. Ibid., p. 337

11. Ibid., p. 342. (The numbering of these selected paragraphs is my own.)

12. S. Freud, A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, Eng. trans. (New York: Liveright, 1935). p. 387. (Perma Books ed., p. 453.)

13. Ibid., p. 387.

14. The Case of Mrs. Oak, p. 311.

15. William Ernest Hocking, Science and the Idea of God (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1944), p. 41.

16. Rollo May in a public lecture given at Union Theological Seminary, New York, April 6, 1959.

17. Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, Vol. I (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1951), p. 288.

18. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up (New York: New American Library edition, 1946). p. 36.

19. Cf. H. Wheeler Robinson. Redemption and Revelation (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1942), p. 271.