The Doctor & The Pastor – Part I

Friends, I recently reviewed the manuscript for a new book Living Free In An Anxious World (my review is here). This is an essential book for pastors, Christian counselors, psychologists, and medical doctors which deals with a problem that is only expanding: worry, stress, anxiety. I ecnourage you to pre-order a copy of this powerful book. Or, stay tuned to this blog for a chance to win a free copy later this month.

In the meantime, I am absolutely thrilled that the co-authors of Living Free In An Anxious World have agreed to write to my blog readers! Today is the first installment from Rev. Victor Hunter.

Guest Author: Rev. Victor L. Hunter

Whether it was the Carter family’s version in the 1930s, Woody Guthrie’s in the 40s, the Kingston Trio’s in the 50’s, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s in the 60s, or Devo’s in the 70s and 80s, “Worried Man Blues” has been a ubiquitous presence in the bluegrass/folk song genre of cultural music throughout the “century of anxiety.” Its words and tune have provided a common background theme playing in our minds for decades:  “It takes a worried man to sing a worried song.” Most of us, men and women, have hummed along, literally and/or figuratively, with its sentiments.  

During these decades, my brother and I have listened to the song’s lyrics and contemplated the reality of worry and anxiety both personally and professionally. He’s a physician. I’m a pastor. I can say without hyperbole that there hasn’t been a week go by in nearly a half century of preaching, pastoral care and counseling, and teaching that worry and anxiety haven’t been at the forefront of conversations with people, young and old, men and women, who have said to me, “I need to talk with you about something.”

This is so because anxiety is part of what it means to be human beings. It’s part of our biological makeup and spiritual reality. It is essential to our survival, as well as being a core theological question. It can also be devastatingly paralyzing, keeping people from living free, living life fully alive.

During the past four decades, the doctor and the pastor, the brothers, have been in conversation about our disciplines of science and theology and our professions in medicine and religion. We have become increasingly sensitive to the many issues that meet at the intersection of biology and theology. It’s about being human before God. We share in Living Free in an Anxious World this conversation and our passion for a holistic understanding of our humanity in light of faith and science . . . as well as our hope for the healing and redemption of our lives. We affirm that while anxiety and worry are unavoidable, they can be our teachers rather than our masters. Our goal is to provide realistic, practical, and helpful guidance in understanding worry and facing our fears that we might travel the road of freedom and grace.

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