The Pulpit with a Heart: Mental Health and the Homiletical Challenge (Paperback)
The importance of this book for preachers is obvious especially in Mizoram and it is well described by two distinguished professors of preaching in their Forewords. What is less obvious but equally important is that it offers a model for contextual preaching in other Indian contexts as well, especially other Northeastern and Dalit contexts. I say this for three reasons. First, it concentrates upon showing how caring preachers can address in healing ways the key psychological issues, especially among youth and young adults, faced by those in situations of long-standing marginalization, oppression, humiliation, as well as lack of economic opportunity. Second, it encourages the reader, through the Mizo case study it is based upon, to take a critical look at the preaching tradition already at work in that kind of context, assess its fruitfulness or counter-productivity, and consider an alternative which is not only biblically sound but also in keeping with what we know about diagnosing and healing depression from clinical research and practice. Third, while the author’s primary emphasis is upon theology and the use of scripture, he also offers suggestions about how hopeful, healing sermons addressed to mental health issues can be constructed.