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 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 from twelve working pastors, including Kevin DeYoung and Cornelius Plantinga.
Kevin J. Vanhoozer (PhD, University of Cambridge) is research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of numerous books, including Is There a Meaning in This Text? and The Drama of Doctrine. Owen Strachan (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. He is also a Fellow with the Center for Pastor Theologians.
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,
Professor emeritus of spiritual theology, Regent College, Vancouver; pastor emeritus, Christ Our King Presbyterian (UPCUSA), Bel Air, Maryland