Ask These 5 Questions to Bring Clarity to Your Old Testament Sermons
I wish I’d had Christopher Wright’s new book How to Preach Through the Old Testament for All Its Worth when I regularly preached. It would have helped me preach the text, yes. But it would have helped me preach it in a way my congregation would have understood it.
Because let’s face it, preaching the Old Testament can be…challenging! Wright sympathizes:
to be honest, the Old Testament is a difficult set of books…trying to preach a sermon or teach a Sunday school class from the Old Testament is too exhausting for the pastor or Bible study leader and too confusing for the people. It’s much easier to stick with what we know—the New Testament. (17)
Which is why Wright offers a five-question roadmap for preaching and teaching Old Testament…
Judgment and Snare of the Devil (1 Tim 3:6-7) – Mondays with Mounce 267
I am preparing a talk on leadership, so I have been spending some good time back in the Pastorals. I came across a great example of two genitives that are either subjective or objective genitives.
Remember the grammar. If the word in the genitive is doing (i.e., the subject) of the implied action in the head noun, it is a “subjective genitive.” If the word in the genitive is receiving (i.e., the object) of the implied action in the head noun, it is an “objective genitive.”
Paul tells Timothy that due to the importance of the office of overseer, it is essential (δεῖ) that the person not be “a recent convert, lest having become conceited, he fall into the judgment of the devil (κρίμα … τοῦ διαβόλου). And it is also necessary for an overseer to have a good reputation…
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…
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…
A Sudden Scholar – An Excerpt from I (Still) Believe
Can serious academic study of the Bible become threatening to one’s faith? I (Still) Believe answers this question with a resounding “Far from it!” Faith enhances study of the Bible and, reciprocally, such study enriches a person’s faith. With this in mind, this book asks prominent Bible teachers and scholars to tell their story reflecting on their own experiences at the intersection of faith and serious academic study of the Bible.
Engage in this excerpt below as Ellen F. Davis (Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, The Divinity School, Duke University) shares her faith journey.
I am not an accidental biblical scholar, but I am a sudden one, or so it seems to me. I had no intention at all of…
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…
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…
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,…
Do You Reflect These 4 Characteristics of an Emotionally Unhealthy Leader?
When you think of an unhealthy leader, who do you picture? What kinds of adjectives would you use to describe them?
Angry, controlling, aggressive?
Avoidant, inauthentic, passive?
Unaware, self-absorbed, over-worked?
Here’s how Peter Scazzero describes such a leader in his new guide on the matter, The Emotionally Healthy Leader:
The emotionally unhealthy leader is someone who operates in a continuous state of emotional and spiritual deficit, lacking emotional maturity and a “being with God” sufficient to sustain their “doing for God.” (25)
Leaders who ignore their own emotional and spiritual health will suffer and will hurt others around them. As Scazzero explains, “The deficits of emotionally unhealthy leaders impact virtually every area of their lives and leadership.” (25) Which is why it’s crucial for ministry leaders to honestly self-evaluate their leadership.
Professors, Reimagine the Pastorate; Pastors, Don’t Bury Your Gift — An Excerpt from “The Pastor Theologian”
That’s the premise of a new book I wish I had when I was still in pastoral ministry.
The book is The Pastor Theologian, written by pastor theologians Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson.
In championing this oft neglected pastoral role, the two have specific words for two constituencies in the excerpt below: professors and pastors.
For professors: “as an academic theologian, you play a vital role in reimagining the pastoral vocation…Because of this, the cues you send to the next generation carry tremendous weight.” (124)