more on pastor theologians

From Marc Cortez:

Give us some examples of university theology that has no ecclesial value or some ecclesial theology that reveals how this can be done better by pastors. I’m ready to be convinced but I want to see what is actually involved here.

I have to say this is a pretty great response by Scot – someone who is in the academy but also, like he says in the article about other scholars, is deeply involved in his local church community.   Perhaps the disparity isn’t as great as Hiestand suggests?

I was thinking about this today and want to say, I think it is perfectly fine for one to be a pastor and perfectly fine for one to be an academician – and perfectly fine if one manages to have a foot in both worlds –  just don’t disparage each other but instead encourage one another in each other’s vocations and calling as we pursue together a life in Christ.

4 responses to “more on pastor theologians

  1. To my mind this is the beauty of the Eastern Orthodoxy, many of their classic theologians are for the most part priest-pastor theologians. Note the great Fr. Georges Florovsky, and also the profound Russian Fr. Sergius Bulgakov, etc. And even the Brit or English Timothy Ware.

  2. Based upon the discussions I’ve had with Gerald before about this, I believe the issue has more to do with the general failure of proper integration between the two. They have too often been separated in our modern context and this has created a pastor who essentially allows others to do the “serious” thinking about theology, but those doing the “serious” thinking are not doing in an actual ecclesiastic context, but from an ivory tower of academia. That is how I understand it. I don’t think its that this can all simply be guaranteed to be done “better by pastors” but that it MUST be done by pastors and not abandoned by pastors (which more and more seems to be the case). I recall even be laughed to scorn for suggesting in a ministerial meeting something about maintaining Greek…this should not be so among ministers. Certainly if they would scoff at this basic skill, they would definitely scoff at considering and reflecting deeply upon matters of great theological significance. I have not known Gerald to ever disparage pastor’s from not being “academics” or from academics not being “pastors”, but that the Church must think and speak deeply concerning the things of God and not abandon this task to those who are divorced personally from the very care of the day-to-day life of the Church. In other words, Gerald is trying to raise the standard among pastors and to call those who have a scholastic calling to consider their relation to the Church as well. We need folks who fit in all sorts of different contexts, but I can personally vouch for a serious lack of scholarship among the pastors of the Assemblies of God (and other fellowships with which I minister in one form or another) that I would like to see turned around.

    • Thanks for the comments Rick – and I agree about needed better theologically educated pastors in the AG. doesn’t surprise me one but you were scorned about keeping up your Greek. such a crying shame.

  3. I agree that BOTH are needed. I found McKnight to be a bit snippy at the end of his article. However, I do desire BOTH sets of disciplines to work together.

    The need is for theologically minded pastors. However, I do have one area of disagreement with McKnight on his statement above. There is a HUGE difference between being “involved” in a church and “pastoring” a church. And I do not see a lot of academicians “involved.” That makes a huge difference in my mind as to forming theology with the active church in mind.

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