Mar 27, 2013

The Need for Pastor-Theologians

The following quotation offers some timely words from Gerald Hiestand.

"In a past essay I argued that pastors, not professors, should be leading the church theologically. I’ve since come to realize that this is the wrong way of framing the issue. Though we pastors have attempted to delegate the responsibility of theological leadership to the academy, the simple fact remains that pastors are leading the church theologically; we just have not been doing it well. The theological, gospel integrity of the Christian community will never rise above the level of her pastors. Gifted though academic theologians are—and indeed better positioned for some aspects of the theological task—the burden of theological formation is a yoke pastors have been divinely appointed to carry. For the last 100 years we (in North America, at least) have tried to slip this yoke, and the church and her theology have suffered for it. But it is the sober and joyous duty of the pastor, even before the professor, to nurture the church theologically—to proclaim the truth of the gospel, defend the truth of the gospel, think deeply about the truth of the gospel, and indeed write about the truth of the gospel, in ways that advance the church’s message and nurture her children."

Gerald Hiestand, “A Taxonomy of the Pastor-Theologian: Why Ph.D. Students Should Consider the Pastorate as the Context for Their Theological Scholarship,” Expository Times 124 (March 2013): 270-71.



ghatteberg said...

Good post

Charles! Do you think most seminaries would consider candidates for entrance that had the goal of not being in the classroom but in the church?

Charles Savelle said...

Hi Greg,

I am not sure I understand your question. If you are asking whether most seminaries accept students who seek to serve the church, then I think the answer would be or should be, "yes." But I suspect that I am missing your question.