A wise, experienced Baptist minister, with a solid grasp of both pastoral theology and modern psychology--just the basis for an excellent guide to Christian counseling, but it doesn't quite come off. Brister maintains, sensibly enough, that the clergyman's only recourse in the face of the contradictory welter of current therapies (from classical psychoanalysis to the primal scream) is ""disciplined eclecticism."" But then he gives a rapid review of the whole lot, too superficial to be of much practical use. He likewise scatters case histories throughout his text, yet seldom examines them in depth. The religious side of the question is better handled. Brister's basic thesis, that counselors represent ""the Creator's care in each stage of human development, decision-making, problem-solving, and spiritual growth,"" is worked out in a balanced, broad-minded, and sympathetic way. But here again he has problems. He wanders desultorily from chapter to chapter, saying some fine things, but in no convincing order. Flawed as it is, the book may well prove helpful to professional (clerical) counselors.