What Would Walther Do? Applying Law and Gospel to Victims and Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse

Volume
Volume 40
Issue
Winter 2012
Title
What Would Walther Do? Applying Law and Gospel to Victims and Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse
Abstract

Counselors and theologians failing to understand the dynamics of child sexual abuse cases often apply the concept of law and gospel incorrectly. When this happens, perpetrators are emboldened to offend again and many victims leave the church. To assist spiritual counselors in avoiding this pitfall, I provide an overview of the dynamics present in many cases of sexual abuse and the impact this has on children physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I also discuss the characteristics of many sex offenders and the efforts offenders make to manipulate both the victim and the church. In determining the proper application of law and gospel to victims and offenders, I discuss the law and gospel treatise of C.F.W.Walther. In doing so, I include examples of Walther’s application of law and gospel in cases of domestic violence and sexual exploitation. Finally, I include practical suggestions for psychotherapists and theologians in applying law and gospel to victims and to perpetrators of child sexual abuse.

Author
V. I. Vieth, JD
Pages
257 - 273
Price
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