In his article, “A Taxonomy of the Pastor-Theologian,” Gerald Hiestand addresses the unhelpful bifurcation of theological scholarship and pastoral ministry. Hiestand warns that the result of this split is theological atrophy in the local church. He also calls the emerging generation of theologians to consider the pastorate as both a vocation and a fitting context for further scholarship.
With that in mind, I want to challenge pastors to reconsider their view of theology and its value for local church ministry. My reasons for writing this article extend beyond my love of theology and are born from a genuine concern for the life of the local church, along with its ministers.
AN UNHEALTHY VIEW OF THEOLOGY
I’ve heard many of my ministry colleagues and college alumni express an unhealthy view of theology, considering it to be no more than an important grounding before heading into the pastorate. Such a view is not only opposed to the evangelical tradition; it also dangerously diminishes the value of ordered thinking around truth in a relativistic age, and leaves those in ministry underdeveloped and doctrinally blunt. My aim, then, is to convince the reader that studying theology is a crucial and on-going aspect of pastoral ministry. Continue reading →