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The Pastor as Public Theologian

The Pastor as Public Theologian
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The Pastor as Public Theologian

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Many pastors today see themselves primarily as counselors, leaders, and motivators. Yet this often comes at the expense of the fundamental reality of the pastorate as a theological office. The most important role is to be a theologian mediating God to the people. The church needs pastors who can contextualize the Word of God to help their congregations think theologically about all aspects of their lives, such as work, end-of-life decisions, political involvement, and entertainment choices.

Drawing on the depiction of pastors in the Bible, key figures from church history, and Christian theology, this brief and accessible book offers a clarion call for pastors to serve as public theologians in their congregations and communities. The church needs pastors to read the world in light of Scripture and to direct their congregations in ways of wisdom, shalom, and human flourishing. The Pastor as Public Theologian calls for a paradigm shift in the very idea of what a pastor is and does, setting forth a positive alternative picture. It also includes pastoral reflections on the theological task from twelve working pastors.

"An important, ringing call for working pastors and preachers"

"This is a timely, more than timely--urgent--book. Kevin Vanhoozer, one of our leading theologians, protests the 'putting asunder' of theology by American pastors. A 'great chasm' has opened up as pastors, more often than not, abandon their vocations as theologians in their congregations for careers in which the secular culture calls all the shots. It was not always this way. Vanhoozer and Strachan skillfully fashion insight and discernment to bring us back to what the church ordained us to do."
--Eugene H. Peterson, Regent College, Vancouver; pastor emeritus, Christ Our King Presbyterian, Bel Air, Maryland

"Preachers today must present biblical truth to people who are more and more resistant to it. The skillful preacher must understand something of the history of ideas and the baseline cultural narratives of our day in order even to be comprehensible to them. Not only that, but preachers in our cities must often speak to people from several diverse world cultures all at once. I've come to the conclusion that ministers need more robust theological education and training than they did when I came into the ministry forty years ago. This book is an important, ringing call for working pastors and preachers to exercise a higher level of theologically informed leadership in our churches."
--Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

"There's not much wrong with the practice of pastoral ministry that can't be cured by a good dose of theological refurbishment. This book gives strong impetus for construing the work of the pastor as authorized, energized, and sanctified by the pastor's theological commitments. A spirited, Spirit-filled book."
--William Willimon, Duke Divinity School; retired bishop, United Methodist Church

"For years I have told students that they were too smart for the academy, that they should stretch themselves with the harder intellectual work of the parish. And here I thought I was being original. Vanhoozer and Strachan show the original and eschatological unity of two things that modernity has tried to pull apart--the vital parish and the learned pastor. Suddenly the job seems harder and more blessed than ever."
--Jason Byassee, Duke Divinity School; senior pastor, Boone United Methodist Church, North Carolina

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About "The Pastor as Public Theologian"

Many pastors today see themselves primarily as counselors, leaders, and motivators. Yet this often comes at the expense of the fundamental reality of the pastorate as a theological office. The most important role is to be a theologian mediating God to the people. The church needs pastors who can contextualize the Word of God to help their congregations think theologically about all aspects of their lives, such as work, end-of-life decisions, political involvement, and entertainment choices.

Drawing on the depiction of pastors in the Bible, key figures from church history, and Christian theology, this brief and accessible book offers a clarion call for pastors to serve as public theologians in their congregations and communities. The church needs pastors to read the world in light of Scripture and to direct their congregations in ways of wisdom, shalom, and human flourishing. The Pastor as Public Theologian calls for a paradigm shift in the very idea of what a pastor is and does, setting forth a positive alternative picture. It also includes pastoral reflections on the theological task from twelve working pastors.

"An important, ringing call for working pastors and preachers"

"This is a timely, more than timely--urgent--book. Kevin Vanhoozer, one of our leading theologians, protests the 'putting asunder' of theology by American pastors. A 'great chasm' has opened up as pastors, more often than not, abandon their vocations as theologians in their congregations for careers in which the secular culture calls all the shots. It was not always this way. Vanhoozer and Strachan skillfully fashion insight and discernment to bring us back to what the church ordained us to do."
--Eugene H. Peterson, Regent College, Vancouver; pastor emeritus, Christ Our King Presbyterian, Bel Air, Maryland

"Preachers today must present biblical truth to people who are more and more resistant to it. The skillful preacher must understand something of the history of ideas and the baseline cultural narratives of our day in order even to be comprehensible to them. Not only that, but preachers in our cities must often speak to people from several diverse world cultures all at once. I've come to the conclusion that ministers need more robust theological education and training than they did when I came into the ministry forty years ago. This book is an important, ringing call for working pastors and preachers to exercise a higher level of theologically informed leadership in our churches."
--Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

"There's not much wrong with the practice of pastoral ministry that can't be cured by a good dose of theological refurbishment. This book gives strong impetus for construing the work of the pastor as authorized, energized, and sanctified by the pastor's theological commitments. A spirited, Spirit-filled book."
--William Willimon, Duke Divinity School; retired bishop, United Methodist Church

"For years I have told students that they were too smart for the academy, that they should stretch themselves with the harder intellectual work of the parish. And here I thought I was being original. Vanhoozer and Strachan show the original and eschatological unity of two things that modernity has tried to pull apart--the vital parish and the learned pastor. Suddenly the job seems harder and more blessed than ever."
--Jason Byassee, Duke Divinity School; senior pastor, Boone United Methodist Church, North Carolina
- Koorong

:Many pastors today see themselves primarily as counselors, leaders, and motivators; yet this often comes at the expense of the fundamental reality of the pastorate as a theological office. The most important role is to be a theologian mediating God to the people; the church needs pastors who can contextualize the Word of God to help their congregations think theologically about all aspects of their lives, such as work, end-of-life decisions, political involvement, and entertainment.

Drawing on the Bible, key figures from church history, and Christian theology, this book offers a clarion call for pastors to serve as public theologians in their congregations and communities. It is designed to be engaging reading for busy pastors and includes pastoral reflections on the theological task by twelve working pastors, including Kevin DeYoung and Cornelius Plantinga.

- Publisher

Meet the Authors

Kevin J Vanhoozer

Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Ph.D., Cambridge University) is Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, from 1990-1998 was senior lecturer in theology and religious studies at New College, University of Edinburgh, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

He has written Biblical Narrative in the Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur (Cambridge University Press), Is There a Meaning in This Text? (Zondervan), The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology (Westminster John Knox). He is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Postmodern Theology (Cambridge University Press), The Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (Baker).

His most recent publications are First Theology: God, Scripture and Hermeneutics (Intervarsity Press), Remythologizing Theology: Divine Action, Passion, and Authorship. (Cambridge University Press) and Jeremiah (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible).

Koorong - Editorial Review.

Owen Strachan

Owen Strachan is the Managing Director of the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Strachan is a PhD student in Historical Theology at TEDS. He has worked for the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor, 9Marks Ministries, the White House, the US Department of State and the presidents of Bowdoin College and Southern Seminary. Strachan was a history major at Bowdoin College and completed an MDiv in biblical and theological studies at Southern Seminary. He was a teaching assistant for the SBTS president and a research assistant for professors of history, literature, and theology. With Doulas Sweeney, Strachan is writing five books for Moody Press on the life and thought of Jonathan Edwards (The Essential Edwards Collection, out in early winter 2010).

A member of Crossway Community Church, Strachan lives in Highland Park, IL with his wife, Bethany and his daughter, Ella Rose. He hopes to serve as a pastor-theologian

Table Of Contents

  • :contents

    Preface owen Strachan And Kevin J. Vanhoozer
    Introduction: Pastors, Theologians, And Other Public Figures    kevin J. Vanhoozer
    Pastoral Perspectives
    Six Practical Steps Toward Being A Pastor-theologian    gerald Hiestand
    Seven Ways To Theologize As A Pastor    josh Moody
    part 1: Biblical Theology And Historical Theology
    1. Of Prophets, Priests, And Kings: A Brief Biblical Theology Of The Pastorate    owen Strachan
    Pastoral Perspectives
    The Pastor As Public Theologian    melvin Tinker
    Human Origins: A Test Case For Pastor-theologians    todd Wilson
    A Practical Theology Of Technology    jim Samra
    2. Of Scholars And Saints: A Brief History Of The Pastorate    owen Strachan
    Pastoral Perspectives
    How The Theology Of Saving Faith Has Affected My Congregation    wesley G. Pastor
    A Place For Truth    kevin Deyoung
    part 2: Systematic And Practical Theology
    3. In The Evangelical Mood: The Purpose Of The Pastor-theologian    kevin J. Vanhoozer
    Pastoral Perspectives
    On Death    david Gibson
    Preaching The Doctrine Of The Gospel As Truth, Goodness, And Beauty    bill Kynes
    Reading For Pastors    cornelius Plantinga Jr.
    4. Artisans In The House Of God: The Practices Of The Pastor-theologian    kevin J. Vanhoozer
    Pastoral Perspectives
    The Drama Of Preaching    guy A. Davies
    The Pastor-theologian As Pulpit Apologist    jason B. Hood
    conclusion: Fifty-five Summary Theses On The Pastor As Public Theologian    kevin J. Vanhoozer
    Indexes

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 416216
  • Product Code 9780801097713
  • ISBN 0801097711
  • EAN 9780801097713
  • Pages 240
  • Department Academic
  • Category Theology
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Baker Book House
  • Publication Date Aug 2015
  • Sales Rank #55634
  • Dimensions 234 x 158 x 17 mm
  • Weight 0.462kg

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