2016-06-30

I didn't find this especially surprising. Deliverance ministries such as Dr. Graves's, which aren't uncommon in evangelical colleges and seminaries these days, provide a relatively safe and nonjudgmental forum for students to sort out difficult (and potentially embarrassing) problems that might otherwise be left to fester. Sexual anxiety, suicidal ideation, marital conflict-no problem is too sensitive or too personal to be given a full airing. After all, it isn't the students themselves but rather their indwelling demons that stand in need of correction. In the hands of someone as pastorally adroit as Dr. Graves, moreover, deliverance may serve as a kind of functional equivalent to the Roman Catholic sacrament of confession, providing relief not only from tension and anxiety but also from an accumulated sense of personal guilt.