The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor
Following the 2009 Gospel Coalition conference John Piper and D. A. Carson presented two talks at Park Community Church in Chicago, IL, sponsored by the Henry Institute at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The topic of their presentation was on the...
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Following the 2009 Gospel Coalition conference John Piper and D. A. Carson presented two talks at Park Community Church in Chicago, IL, sponsored by the Henry Institute at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The topic of their presentation was on the relationship of scholarship and pastoral ministry. Piper centered on the importance of scholarship and academic pursuits in his role as pastor. Carson, conversely, focused on the importance of pastoral ministry in his career as scholar. The event was enthusiastically received and brought great insight and balance.
Now their talks have been edited with additional content and put into book form. Weaving testimony and teaching, Piper and Carson challenge all those in ministry to think carefully and holistically about their calling. An introduction by Owen Strachan and a conclusion by David Mathis provide context and application to these unique messages.
Pastors and scholars will want to take advantage of this valuable insider perspective from two men who have been acclaimed for their sharp thinking and pastoral hearts.
aFew books are so needed as this. Recapturing the vision of the pastor as scholar and the scholar as pastor is crucial for the health of the church. Who would not want to read John Piper and D. A. Carson as they reflect on this calling? This is one of the most encouraging and helpful books I have seen in a long time. If you are a pastor, read it. If you have a pastor, put it in his hands.a -R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary aHow we need pastors and professors who love God with their minds and their emotions. Two of the preeminent evangelicals of our day reflect here on what it means to love Christ with all our heart. I was encouraged, convicted, and challenged by this book. It is a treasure well worth rereading.a -Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary aIam deeply encouraged by the growing number of pastoral scholars and scholarly pastors. Probably no living Christians have done more to bring about this trend than D. A. Carson and John Piper. In this book, they will inspire you with stories from their journeys and challenge you with seasoned advice. Most of all, they will lead you to thank God that he gives you the privilege of leading and teaching his church.a -Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Young, Restless, Reformed aWho could count how many of us have had our lives changed by the ministries of John Piper and D. A. Carson? How many more have come to Christ or have been discipled in the Gospel by pastors and teachers influenced by these leaders. This book is a riveting breed, granting us a candid, personal, and behind-the-scenes look at what the Lord has used to shape these ministries. As you read this book, pray that the Lord Jesus would raise up, even now the next generation of pastor-theologians and theologian-pastors to carry on the great work of Christ-exaltation and Kingdom-mission.a -Russell D. Moore,Dean, School of Theology; Senior Vice President for Academic Administration; Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary aThese are important chapters by two of evangelicalismas most important thinkers. In an age that has largely forgotten the native connection between theology and the church, John Piper and D. A. Carson remind us that these two worlds belong together. There can be, of course, no turning back the clock; the modern research university is here to stay. But Piper and Carson offer us two good examples of how to navigate the contemporary terrain with a view to producing ecclesial theology-theology in service to the church. This short book is a great beginning to a conversation that has been long overdue.a -Gerald Hiestand, Senior Associate Pastor, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois; Executive Director, Society for the Advancement of Ecclesial Theology
What will our scholarship and pastoral ministry be if we are heads without hearts or hearts without heads? Recognizing the need for pastors and scholars to embody both theological depth and practical focus, John Piper and D. A. Carson have boldly advanced what it means to be a pastor-theologian and a theologian-pastor.
Weaving testimony and teaching, Piper and Carson challenge those in academia and in the pastorate to think carefully and holistically about their calling. Piper centers on the importance of careful thinking in his role as pastor, while Carson focuses on the importance of a pastoral heart in his career as scholar.
With insight and balance, Piper and Carson give critical guidance to help us span interdisciplinary gaps to the glory of God and the good of his church. These chapters are revised and expanded versions of the messages originally given following the 2009 Gospel Coalition conference.
John Stephen Piper was born 11 January 1946 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Bill and Ruth Piper. The Pipers soon moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where John spent his growing-up years. His father was an itinerant evangelist who also ministered through international radio and Bible courses. John has written a tribute to his mother, who died in 1974, in the booklet, What's the Difference (Crossway Books, 1990) which is also chapter one of the book, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Crossway Books, 1991).
At Wheaton College (1964-68), John majored in Literature and minored in Philosophy. Studying Romantic Literature with Clyde Kilby stimulated the poetic side of his nature and today he regularly writes poems to celebrate special family occasions and rich, biblical truths. At Wheaton John also met Noel Henry whom he married in 1968.
Following college, John completed a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (1968-71). While at Fuller, John discovered the writings of Jonathan Edwards.
John did his doctoral work in New Testament Studies at the University of Munich, Munich, West Germany (1971-74). His dissertation, Love Your Enemies, was published by Cambridge University Press and Baker Book House (and is now available through Crossway). Upon completion of his doctorate, he went on to teach Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota for six years (1974-80).
In 1980, sensing an irresistible call to preach, John became the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he ministered for 33 years, until 2013. Together with his people, John was dedicated to spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ - a mission he continues now for the wider church through the ministry of desiringGod.org. John says of his ministry:
"The ministry of preaching is the central labor of my life. My prayer is that through that ministry and everything else I do the great glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ would be magnified as more and more people come to live out the obedience of faith more and more deeply."
John is the author of over 50 books and now frequently travels to speak, and writes regularly, through Desiring God.
John and Noel have four sons, a daughter, and twelve grandchildren.
Dr Don (D. A.) Carson is currently Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. His areas of expertise include biblical theology, the historical Jesus, postmodernism, pluralism, Greek grammar, Johannine theology, Pauline theology, and questions of suffering and evil. Carson has written prolifically and profoundly on all these subjects.
Carson has written or edited 57 books - as well as numerous journal articles - ranging from New Testament commentaries to topical studies on the state of the contemporary church and its wider cultural context. His work is characterised by brilliant theological insight, thorough scholarship, and an uncompromising commitment to the essentials of Reformed doctrine.
Carson's landmark book, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism won the 1997 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Award. Other works that examine the interaction of church and culture include The Inclusive Language Debate (1998), Becoming Conversant With the Emerging Church (2005), Christ and Culture Revisited (2008) and The Intolerance of Tolerance (2012).
Carson's exegetical works include volumes on individual New Testament books in the Revised Expositor's Bible Commentary, Pillar New Testament Commentary, Baker Exegetical Commentary, and New International Greek Testament Commentary. In Exegetical Fallacies (1984, 1996, 2nd ed.), Carson is at his incisive best, analysing the root causes of errors in biblical interpretation. He has also notably edited the New Testament Commentary Survey up to its 7th edition (2013), as well as the Zondervan Study Bible (2015).
Donald Arthur Carson was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1946. His undergraduate degree majored in mathematics and chemistry. He went on to undertake a Master of Divinity with a Baptist seminary and earned his PhD in New Testament from Cambridge University in 1975, the same year he married his wife Joy. In 1978, Carson joined the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has worked ever since. In 2005 with Tim Keller, Carson founded The Gospel Coalition (TGC) - a network of Reformed churches dedicated to engaging and transforming the wider culture through speaking events, online advocacy, and publication. He continues to be an active guest lecturer in church and academic settings around the world.
Carson lives with his family in Liberty, Illinois. In his spare time he enjoys reading, hiking, and woodworking.