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Reflections of a Christian Doctor

In an interview with LEADERSHIP, Swiss physician Paul Tournier comments on family, pastors, young people, and his life as a Christian counselor.

In his eighty-three years, Paul Tournier has developed a unique ministry. He has combined a formal medical training at Geneva Medical School with a lifelong desire to meet the spiritual needs of troubled people in a counseling and writing ministry that has reached millions around the world.

His many books (beginning with The Healing of Persons) draw on consulting-room observations of patients who come to him for medical and spiritual help. "I teach nothing, I only listen," says Tournier. "Yet that in itself is a ministry. People need to express their loneliness and insecurity, and put it in Christian perspective."

With his warm and gracious manner, Dr. Tournier epitomizes the caring, pastoral counselor, although he takes pains to disavow that title. 'XI don't presume to advise pastors on their work. I esteem pastors very highly. They must have inspiration from God, not inspiration from me. They have a very difficult job."

Yet church leaders do listen to Paul Tournier. In a recent survey we ...

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