Died: Larry Crabb, Christian Counselor Who Kept Exploring

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Author of ‘Effective Biblical Counseling,’ ‘Inside Out,’ ‘Shattered Dreams,’ and ‘SoulTalk’ taught that aching souls long for the Triune God.

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).

“To know Larry Crabb was to know a man who wrestled honestly and often in messy ways with his interior world, and the world around him,” wrote Jim Cress, a Christian counselor mentored by Crabb. “He never knew what it meant to merely settle personally and professionally. … His calling, passion, integrity, and vision would not tolerate a shampoo bottle philosophy of ‘Wash. Rinse. Repeat.’”

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