Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith, a BMH book by Robert W. Kellemen, was recently reviewed by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. A portion of the review appears below. To read the complete review, click here.
A Reformation in How We Minister to One Another
In the writings of church history, women’s voices have gone underrepresented. This realization began Dr. Robert Kellemen’s desire for writing Sacred Friendships. In addition to his work in biblical counseling, his personal passion is to empower “those who have been robbed of their voice.” Like the women profiled in this book, co-author Susan Ellis’ passion lies in ministering to women and seeing God work in their lives. Kellemen and Ellis combined their passions in order to write the stories of more than fifty remarkable Christian women who offered care and direction for the souls of men and women throughout church history.
According to Kellemen and Ellis, “experts who examine the history of spiritual care have consistently identified” two pillars of biblical counseling: soul care (helping people in their suffering) and spiritual direction (helping people fight sin and develop intimacy with Christ). Soul care involves sustaining and healing, while spiritual direction includes reconciling and guiding. Kellemen and Ellis have organized the stories of these women around these two pillars and four areas of historic Christian counseling.
They were careful to study and discern many manuscripts, journals, and correspondence in order to accurately uncover each woman’s unique way of practicing soul care and spiritual direction. The authors ask very specific questions of each woman’s life and her relationships in an effort to understand the natures of each one’s manner of care giving. Christian women have been providing counseling and wisdom in these four areas for centuries. “By following in their footsteps, we can reclaim the ancient gifts of soul care and spiritual direction, restore the forgotten arts of sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding, and experience a reformation in how we minister to one another.”