Two books I suggest reading as understanding mentorship to help others within their cultural blocks/ concepts to truth in your counseling with them, when it comes to deep seeded Religious fears, the help comes from of all places Christian orthodoxy.
The two books I recommend, have personal connections for me because one of the people who were instrumental in advice and who was behind the scenes of their original publication was Mary Ritley. M.R. as she was fond of being called were going over these manuscripts with suggestion and footnotes. I remember one of our dinners where the subject of “what did it mean being a priest of Melchizedek and discussing the merits and responsibility of such.
The Books are:
Dirt, Greed, and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and Their Implications for Today. Read at your own peril; you will be educated and informed in a non-overbearing fashion. Countryman lays all his cards on the table right away, revealing his purposes and academic predispositions ahead of time. This is responsible and open scholarship at its best! this book provides insight into the cultural mindset of the authors of both the Jewish and Christian scriptures and helps one get behind arcane regulations and statements to what their intended purpose actually was. Note: although homosexuality is a hot button topic in today’s society, the book is not primarily on that subject. It is a good resource on the overall subject of sex and the relationships which revolve around it. Additionally, the primary thesis opens up the understanding of how God’s Law regulated purity and ownership issues and thus can open up one’s understanding of the Bible in other areas beyond the subject of sex.
Living on the Border of the Holy: Renewing the Priesthood of All – “The first thing to say in our exploration of the priesthood is this: priesthood is a fundamental and inescapable part of being human. All human beings, knowingly or not, minister as priests to one another. All of us, knowingly or not, receive priestly ministrations from one another. Unless we begin here, we are not likely to understand the confusions and uncertainties and opportunities we have been encountering in the life of the church itself in recent years. We shall be in danger, in fact, of creating makeshift solutions to half-understood problems, easy answers to misleading questions, temporary bandages for institutions that need to be healed from the ground up.” – L. William Countryman There is a lot of tension in churches today about whose ministry is primary-that of the laity or of the clergy. L. William Countryman argues that we can only resolve that problem by seeing that we are all priests simply by virtue of being human and living, as we all do, on the mysterious and uncertain border with the Holy. Living on the Border of the Holy offers a way of understanding the priesthood of the whole people of God and the priesthood of the ordained in complementary ways by showing how both are rooted in the fundamental priestly nature of human life. After an exploration of the ministry of both laity and ordained, Countryman concludes by examining the implications of this view of priesthood for churches and for educating those studying for ordination.