10 Practical Steps for Living as an Ecclesial Theologian
As we begin another seminary school year and restart our church ministries post-summer, I’d like to recommend a vision of pastoral leadership and ministry that’s sorely lacking in the contemporary church:
The pastor theologian.
This vision is offered to future pastors and existing pastors alike by Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson in their new book The Pastor Theologian.
Their vision “represents a return to the day when pastors wrote theology that was richly theological, deeply biblical, historically informed, culturally aware, explicitly pastoral, and prophetic.” (86)
In particular, Hiestand and Wilson advocate resurrecting the pastor-theologian model exemplified by Irenaeus, Augustine, and Calvin: the ecclesial theologian.
Here is an overview of 10 practical ways you can live this calling…
Brueggemann, Gaventa, & McKnight Share Stories of Faith and Scholarship
I became a scholar (or teacher, or pastor) because of my professor, Professor x.
That’s the premise of a new collection of life stories by a diverse group of prominent Bible scholars, called I (Still) Believe.
It was the hope of editors John Byron and Joel Lohr “that more than anything the contributors present real stories, with all the complexities and struggles they may hold. And they do.” (13) The result is a deeply personal, at times surprising extended conversation with eighteen leading biblical scholars of our day.
Below are three stories of faith and scholarship, from Walter…
Prepare for Fall – eBook Sale
The store shelves filled with school supplies and dorm wares are a reminder that summer is coming to an end. For professors and pastors this means preparing hearts and minds for the coming academic and ministry year.
Here are a few recommendations for encouraging reads to help you ease from the last vestiges of summer into fall. This eBook sale features recently released The Emotionally Healthy Leader, now $7.99 (65% off!). Bestselling author Peter Scazzero shows leaders how contemplative spirituality holds profound implications for surviving stress.
The Emotionally Healthy Leader | Peter Scazzero | $7.99 (65% off!) Emotionally Healthy Church, Updated and Expanded | Peter Scazzero | $3.99 (63% off) The Pastor’s Ministry…
Ministry and Mission [Awakening Faith]
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17)
Our Lord Jesus Christ appointed his apostles to be guides and teachers of the world and stewards of his divine mysteries. He asked them to shine out like lamps to cast their light not only on the Jews, but on every country under the sun and on people settled in distant lands. These holy men became the pillars of truth, and Jesus said that he was “sending them just as the Father had sent him” (John 17:18).
These words make clear the dignity of the apostolate and the glory of the power given to them, but they also give them a hint about the methods they are to adopt in their apostolic mission. For if Christ sent out…
A Taxonomy of the Term – An Excerpt from The Pastor Theologian
In chapter 6 of their recent release The Pastor Theologian, Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson take the opportunity to explain the three categories they refer to as “Pastor Theologian.”
The Pastor Theologian: A Taxonomy
In the previous two chapters, we detailed the negative effects on the church that have come about through the bifurcation of the theologian and the pastor. In sum, this divorce has led to the theological anemia of the church and the ecclesial anemia of theology. What, then, might be the solution to these twin dilemmas?
Our answer, of course, is a recovery of the pastor theologian. The return of theologians to the pastorate addresses the theological anemia that has plagued pastoral ministry since the Enlightenment. This, in turn, provides a vital and now-missing resource for deepening the theological integrity of the people…
Which Type of Pastor Theologian Are You: Local, Popular, or Ecclesial?
In their new book Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson have identified one of the more important crises of our day: the divorce of the theologian and the pastor. The result is theological and ecclesial anemia.
Their book offers an ancient antidote. It resurrects a vision for the ministerial vocation that’s theologically engaged yet pastoral in essence: the Pastor Theologian.
What is a pastor theologian, you ask? Every pastor is their congregation’s primary theologian. And all pastors are called to provide theological leadership. Yet there are “those within pastoral community who have unique theological interests and gifting.” (80)
These are whom Hiestand and Wilson have in mind. They engage with theology for the sake of their local church. They also construct and disseminate…
Rich in Grace [Awakening Faith]
They recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:10)
Therefore, when the apostle Peter was on his way up to the temple and was asked for alms by the lame man, he replied, “Silver and gold I have not; but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk” (Acts 3:6). What is more sublime than this humility? And what could be richer than this poverty? Though Peter cannot assist with money, he can confer the gift of a restored nature. With a word Peter brought healing to the man who had been lame from birth; he could not give a coin with Caesar’s image, but he…
Stewarding Power Well – An Excerpt from The Emotionally Healthy Leader
As Peter Scazzero argues in his recent book The Emotionally Healthy Leader, God has given everyone power and leadership in some area, and he calls us to wield them well. Engage in this extraction from the book to discover some of the reasons we don’t lead well.
Power and Wise Boundaries
The most painful lessons I’ve learned in thirty-five years of Christian leadership have involved the exercise of power and having wise boundaries. Navigating the issue of power is a true test of both character and leadership. We’re more than willing to talk about the abuse of power when news breaks about a scandal in someone else’s life, but the minefields surrounding the use of power are rarely acknowledged, much less openly discussed, in Christian circles. This silence leads to consequences and significant harm, with the potential…
Nonexistent Pastor Theologians Have Led to Theological-Ecclesial Anemia
Pastors are suffering, because they don’t know who they are and what they are supposed to be doing; churches are suffering, because there is a deep, chronic theological deficit within our congregations; the academy is suffering, because post-Enlightenment academics ceased to view the pastorate as the best context for robust intellectual engagement.
The culprit? Nonexistent pastor theologians.
That’s the verdict according to a new book by pastor theologians Todd Wilson and Gerald Hiestand, The Pastor Theologian. In it they argue what many of us have witnessed and personally experienced:
Pastor theologians aren’t extinct, but sightings are rare…pastors no longer traffic in ideas. They cast vision, manage programs, offer counsel, and give messages. We expect our pastors to…
The Pastor’s Prayer [Awakening Faith]
God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong. (Romans 1:9 – 11)
Now you have called me, Lord, by the hand of your bishop to minister to your people. I do not know why you have done so, for you alone know that. Lord, lighten the heavy burden of the sins through which I have seriously transgressed. Purify my mind and heart. Like a shining lamp, lead me along the straight path. When I open my mouth, tell me what I…
Do You Have the Only Quality that Matters for Healthy Leadership?
In recent months evangelicalism has witnessed a surprising number of resignations by “successful” pastors who appeared to be spiritual He-Men, yet experienced moral and ministry collapse from affairs and toxic leadership.
While we can’t discern why these collapses happened, Peter Scazzero reminds us of the danger of leading in a way that can lead to such failures. As he argues in his new book The Emotionally Healthy Leader, “it has become part of our default thinking that external markers of success are an indication that all must certainly be well at the leadership level.” (116) He explains what we know to be true, but often forget: We can rely on our talents and experience, and have all the marks of a vibrant,…
Remember Your Dignity [Awakening Faith]
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. (1 John 1:6)
Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.
No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no person free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saints rejoice as they see the palm of victory. Let the sinners be glad as they receive the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagans take courage as they are summoned to life. In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable…