The Blog of Jack Holloway

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review: The Wounded Healer


Henri Nouwen is one of those people you will often see quoted. For a while, it seemed like I saw a Nouwen quote every day. I knew I wanted to read one of his books, so I finally went for this one. The Wounded Healer is easy to read, easy to follow, and easy to finish (only 100 pages long). It is a simple book. But it is absolutely brilliant, and beautifully written. A profound look at modern humanity and a wonderful book for ministry. Indeed, it is properly titled The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society. It emphasizes every person's shared humanity and shows how the key to ministry is in that shared humanity. The quote on the front of the book says, "In our woundedness, we can become a source of life for others."

Nouwen describes the problem of the modern mind and then offers a path to liberation. He then describes the problem of the minds of the future, and likewise offers a path to their liberation. He then provides an example of a human in need and describes Christian leadership as diving into the personal humanity of the one in need and partnering with him in his need. Finally, he describes the wounded healer, his heart for others and his actions toward them.

These pages read like poetry and resonate like music. Nouwen's book is essential for every minister's library. In general, it is essential for those who desire to transform lives with the love of Christ in our time and place. The modern mind and the consequential minds of the future are described perfectly, as is the path to liberation through the wounded healer.

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