The Pastor As A Theologian?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by TCGreek, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    "A theologian concentrates on the rational study of religious history and modern day religious issues. They are the professors of God." This is a working definition of a Theologian that I find fitting.

    Gone are the days when the pastors were recognized as the theologians (Luther, Calvin, Arminius, Owen, Edwards, Wesley, Spurgeon,. Now they are rarely recognize as theologians. Instead, we treat the seminary professors as the "true" theologians.

    Should the pastor consider himself a theologian? If so, when should he consider himself a theologian?
     
  2. exscentric

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    DISCLAIMER: I do not circulate in SBC circles and I am not speaking of SBC pastors especially those on this board - would love to sit under some of you men's ministries :thumbs:

    Your definition may come from the current church however does not fit the word - study of God. I and all that have shaped my education would consider a theologian as simply one that studies God. In practice this would be someone that gives serious consideration to God and all that He is via the Word. A pastor might be a theologian of varying degrees depending on his concentration. Someone preaching book by book might give his study theological direction or he might not - if not he is certainly teaching theology, but not in a concentrated effort.

    Merriam-Webster states of theologian "a specialist in theology" and under theology it states: "the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially :the study of God and of God's relation to the world." Seems they follow your definition.

    As to your observation that pastors are not theologians but the profs are - probably a good observation. I observe the same for the most part.

    Why? Most pastors I have heard over the last years deride theology, they deride theological study and they mock anyone that is interested in theology. Many even are beginning to be quite negative toward "doctrine."

    Personal opinion - it is lack of understanding of the terms and their purpose. Most turn around and teach doctrine and use theological terms though usually quite negative about the terms.

    I am at a total loss other than the assumptionI make from personal observation that they are trying to create the fuzzy wuzzies in church so people will come listen to the doctrine and theology that they teach/deride :tonofbricks: I would be quick to add that most do not teach serious theology, just kind of use the Word of God as a jumping off point for their fuzzy wuzzies :tear:
     
  3. TomVols

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    I believe Spurgeon said it this way: All pastors are theologians. Some are just good ones.

    All pastors should be sound in doctrine and exegete the Scriptures which are profitable for doctrine (2 Tim 3:16)
     
  4. TCGreek

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    Good quote, Tom, and I think you and Spurgeon are onto something.
     
  5. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    I think Pastors had better be theologians or we just becomne parrots of another's view. It's too easy to allow Calvin's/Wesley's/Spurgeon's doctrinal stand to become ours, rather than arriving at our own through a thorough study of God's Word.
     
  6. Major B

    Major B
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    For some of the old boys I've heard preach, moving past semi-literate in reading level would be a good first baby step.

    I suppose I am a theologian, and I am horrified by the low level of scholarship and understanding at many small local churches. Their pastors buy sermons they don't understand, and the people celebrate ignorance. Sad state of affairs.
     
    #6 Major B, Jul 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2007
  7. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    It's not just pastors that do this; it's most of Christendom these days. From the most lukewarm to the most onfire, the vast majority of those that I encounter denigrate and ridicule anyone who actually studies the Scriptures. And, if you contradict their pet theology, then you're simply thinking too hard. (Don't you know that's what happened to 2nd Baptist? They started thinking to hard so split from 1st Baptist.)
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Theology is the orderly garden of the word, whilst so-called biblical preaching is the scattered garden often in great need of weeding.

    I can't imagine not being a theologian when it comes to the study of God's word and preaching.

    Without theology, we end up with a most inconsistent teaching, or we simply preach John 3:16 every Sunday.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Major B

    Major B
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    Real exposition must be done with a continual eye to the analogy of the faith, and real theology must be done with a continual eye to what each text says.

    The problem here in the hinterlands is willful ignorance. One fellow was preaching the annual message at his association's yearly meeting, and he opened up by saying, "I've never been accused of being a smart preacher...", whereupon his D.O.M. later told me it was all he could do at that point to NOT say, "Amen!" In the same sermon, the man pounded the pulpit and shouted, "I'm ignorant and getting ignoranter," to the shouted approval of many other ministers.

    Several years ago, a very wise and Godly man was talking to me about this state of affairs, and described (in confidence) the new preacher at his church thusly, "Well, the young man doesn't know how to study, he doesn't know how to preach, and he won't listen to any advice. Other than that, he's fine."
     

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