Soul Physicians: The Beautiful Bride (ch.10, pt.2)

This is part two of a two-part look at chapter 10 of Dr. Robert Kellemen’s Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction.  (Part One. )

Today we will examine what a healthy image bearer looks like.  We have already probed four views of the imago Dei, now we will discover the five capacities of personhood and come to understand how these bring God glory.

“Biblical psychology demonstrates that each human being has the following capacities of personhood”: (p.150)

  • Relational Beings: Romancers – Love with Passion (Affections)
    • Romancers who long and thirst in certain classic ways: we long for God, one another, beauty, peace, justice, communion, and community.  We entrust our souls to Trinity.
  • Rational Beings: Dreamers – Think with Wisdom (Mindsets)
    • Dreamers who think and imagine in certain classic ways: we think God’s thoughts after Him; we develop the mind of Christ; and we wisely follow the guiding of the Spirit.  Our images of God are accurate – we see Him as our good, generous, and gracious Father.
  • Volitional Beings: Creators – Choose with Courage (Purposes)
    • Creators who choose, purpose, decide and act in certain classic ways: we risk and serve courageously.  We pursue the goals of enjoying and exalting God while we connect with and care for one another.  We become daring, faithful stewards and shepherds.
  • Emotional Beings: Singers – Experience with Depth (Mood States)
    • Singers who feel and respond in certain classic ways: we experience spiritual shalom and joy over wholeness, and spiritual shame and depression over sinfulness.  We grieve and groan, but not as those who have no hope.
  • Physical Beings: Actors – Live with Power (Habituated Tendencies)
    • Actors who react and act in certain classic ways: we use our bodies as servants of righteousness, disciplining ourselves as soldiers and sons, daring heroines and daughters.

So what does all this mean, and how does it impact your life or the lives of those to whom you counsel?  “When we understand the God-given capacities of personhood, we can identify the purpose and focus of spiritual friendship.  Spiritual friendship is any redemptive communication that touches the depth of the soul encouraging people to be fully human so they can reflect God more fully.”  (p.159)


  • Live for others.
  • Creatively apply truth to life.  Live relationally.
  • Move toward relationship.  Face fear.  Overcome obstacles.
  • Feel.  Hurt.  Enjoy.  Touch.  Be aware.  Experience.

This is what a healthy image-bearer looks like.

RPM Ministries.

Dr. Kellemen’s latest, Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith, is the subject of a whirlwind blog tour right now.  Check out Dr. K’s blog for more on this latest release with co-author Susan M. Ellis.  Sacred Friendships will be reviewed here, at Grace Dependent, as part of the blog tour on Wednesday, October 21, 2009.


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