“In an article published in Christian Century, Jackson Carroll reports that a survey of the reading habits of evangelical clergy reveals that no theologian is among their favorite authors, no theology is among their most recently read books, and no theological journal is among their frequent reading.”
This captures the predicament I often deliberate over: what happened to the pastor scholar? Is education even useful in ministry anymore? Does my desire to pursue more education simply guarantee that I will slowly fade into irrelevance as a pastor? How can we bring together the abstract and the concrete? Is the ability to think theologically even useful anymore in ministry?
It’s like we’ve casted our unique voice aside in favor of poor attempts to mimic the voices of others.
I like depth. I have two books on ecclesiology sitting next to me now, plus one on my Kindle I just bought. I guess I have been holding onto hope that the likes of Gilbert Bilezikian and Stanley Grenz might be at least as useful to me as Craig Groeschel and Steven Furtick. But in a climate that predominantly measures a pastor’s success with words like “relevant” and “strategic,” things are not looking good for the usefulness of the former two names I mentioned.
I want to be a pastor who doesn’t stop believing that deep cries out to deep. I want to be an artist that blurs the lines between heaven and earth.
I believe that to do this, we must learn to think theologically again.
Wilson, J. R. (2005). Practicing Church. In M. Husbands, & D. J. Treier (Eds.), The Community of the Word: Toward an Evangelical Ecclesiology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity.