I had a psychology professor in college who was a student of Larry Crabb. He studied with him at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana and brought Crabb’s unique style of Christian counseling to his classes. This professor made a lot of disciples, including a couple of good friends of mine. The professor would tell us about intense group counseling sessions with Crabb where participants shared their deepest thoughts, feelings, anxieties, insecurities until they were “broken.” He called it “getting bloody.” I had come from an abusive church with similar kinds of group dynamics (one of these days I will write about this experience) and thus tended to avoid this kind of stuff in college. But my friends embraced it, and this professor developed a small cult following of undergraduates who wanted to “get bloody.” Since I wasn’t interested in “getting bloody,” I always felt like they (my friends and the professor) saw me as a lesser Christian.
Wait–did I just “get bloody” with the readers of this blog? 🙂
Having said that, Crabb’s books Understanding People and Inside Out helped me navigate parts of my spiritual journey while I was a divinity school student. For whatever reason, I found Crabb very helpful when his ideas were not shoved down my throat.
I was sad to learn about his death.
Here is Daniel Silliman at Christianity Today>:
Larry Crabb, a popular Christian counselor who went looking for a deeper approach to spiritual care, died on February 28 at the age of 77.
Crabb was a clinical psychologist who turned to biblical counseling and then to spiritual direction. He authored more than 25 books in the process, writing the popular textbook Effective Biblical Counseling and then more than a dozen titles, including Inside Out, Shattered Dreams, Pressure’s Off, and SoulTalk, teaching people to see their own brokenness as a longing for God and new creation.
“An aching soul is evidence not of neurosis or spiritual immaturity but of realism,” Crabb wrote. “Beneath the surface of everyone’s life, especially the more mature, is an ache that will not go away. It can be ignored, disguised, mislabeled, or submerged by a torrent of activity, but it will not disappear. And for good reason. We were designed to enjoy a better world than this.”
Crabb popularized biblical counseling and then introduced many evangelicals to spiritual direction through his organization NewWay Ministries, weeklong summer seminars, and his extensive tenure at Colorado Christian University (CCU).
Read the rest here.