Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Over at First Things, someone argues that pastors should be at the forefront of doing theology, guarding orthodoxy and applying Scripture across the broad range of human experience.  This makes sense if the focus of Christian activity, this side of eternity, is the church.  I trained as a high school teacher before entering the ministry and generally this idea of leaving theology to the ministers has a parallel with teaching theory and teachers.  Those in the academy sometimes produced powerful and useful resources, but at other times their trendy theories had little bearing on the reality of the classroom and the ordinary student experience.  The article says rightly:
"Historically, the church’s most influential theologians were churchmen—pastors, priests, and bishops. Clerics such as Athanasius, Augustine (indeed, nearly all the church Fathers), Anselm, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Edwards, and Wesley functioned as the wider theologians of their day—shaping not only the theological vision of their own parishes, but that of the wider church. In their day, the pastoral community represented the most influential, most insightful, and most articulate body of theologians."