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The Pastor Theologian for Today's Culture

The pastor is first and foremost a theologian.

The Pastor Theologian for Today's Culture

Princeton Seminary President Craig Barnes recently said that the hardest thing about being a pastor today is simply this: "confusion about what it means to be the pastor." There's probably not another profession that suffers from as great a lack of clarity as to what the job itself is all about. Many pastors feel like they've somehow lost the script that tells them what it means to be a pastor.

That hasn't always been the case. There used to be such clarity about the pastoral calling. For centuries, the church held out a clear and compelling vision of what a pastor is and what a pastor does. In short, this earlier vision of ministry said that the pastor is first and foremost a theologian. But this ancient vision is now buried under six feet of dirt, so we now hyphenate the word pastor to get theologian back into the definition.

What is a pastor theologian?

So what is a "pastor theologian"? The most helpful thing I can say is this—a pastor theologian is ...

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Displaying 1–3 of 3 comments

Jim Church

February 02, 2016  1:02pm

I wish that I had understood this more clearly when I began my ministry as a pastor. While never "not consciously there" it did only really become abundantly clear only during the last third of my time in ministry. I believe that in large part an absence of sound theology in preaching is why there is so much syncretism and outright poor theological thinking in the pews in our day.

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Rick Willis

February 01, 2016  2:45pm

Count me in on this movement. Thanks for the vision.

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January 29, 2016  8:49am

Great article, something I've been challenged with recently. I just read the book, "Love your God with All Your Mind: The role of reason in the life of the soul" by JP Morgan. It challenged me to think about going deeper than simple practical applications alone. Ouch! Thanks for writing. Thanks for challenging me. Also loved the poem about the title Doctor. When people ask me if they are supposed to call me doctor, I simply say, "The only people I ask to call me doctor, are my kids." LOL

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