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the pastor as theologian

If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.  (1 Timothy 4:6 ESV)

He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.  (Titus 1:9 ESV)

"Every pastor is called to be a theologian. This may come as a surprise to some pastors who see theology as an academic discipline taken during seminary rather than as an ongoing and central part of the pastoral calling. Nevertheless, the health of the church depends on its pastors functioning as faithful theologians—teaching, preaching, defending, and applying the great doctrines of the faith.
Athanasius 

"In the earliest eras of the church, and through the annals of Christian history, the central theologians of the church were its pastors.

"The managerial revolution has left many pastors feeling more like administrators than theologians, dealing with matters of organizational theory before ever turning to the deep truths of God’s Word and the application of these truths to everyday life. The rise of therapeutic concerns within the culture means that many pastors, and many of their church members, believe that the pastoral calling is best understood as a 'helping profession.'  As such, the pastor is seen as someone who functions in a therapeutic role in which theology is often seen as more of a problem than a solution.

"These developments have caused great harm to the church, separating ministries from theology, preaching from doctrine, and Christian care from conviction. In far too many cases the pastor’s ministry has been evacuated of serious doctrinal content and many pastors seem to have little connection to any sense of theological vocation.
        
"Today’s pastors must recover and reclaim the pastoral calling as inherently and cheerfully theological. Otherwise pastors will be nothing more than communicators, counselors, and managers of congregations that have been emptied of the gospel and of biblical truth.
                
"In a real sense, Christians live out their most fundamental beliefs in everyday life...  Without a proper sense of priority and discernment, the congregation is left to consider every theological issue to be a matter of potential conflict or, at the other extreme, to see no doctrines as worth defending if conflict is in any way possible. The pastor’s theological concentration establishes a sense of proper proportion and a larger frame of theological reference. At the same time this concentration on the theological dimension of ministry also reminds the pastor of the necessity of constant watchfulness."

~ R. Albert Mohler, Jr., in A Theology for the Church (B&H Academic, 2014)

Also available as separate PDF article from SBTS





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