Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Pastor as Theologian

(Jesus asked Peter), "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
- John 21:17

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
- Acts 20:28-30

“Every pastor is called to be a theologian. This may come as a surprise to those pastors who see theology as an academic discipline taken during seminary rather than as an ongoing and central part of the pastoral calling. Nevertheless, the health of the church depends upon its pastors functioning as faithful theologians – teaching, preaching, defending, and applying the great doctrines of the faith.”
- Al Mohler, He is Not Silent, p. 105

Dear Christ Our Redeemer Family and Friends,

Last night I made the mistake of lingering on cable religious programming, and this more out of curiosity than anything. It wasn't pretty. One program seemed to be all sunshine and butterfies with its ‘pastor’ preaching a prosperity message, and the other was a long and impassioned appeal for money by an evangelist, suggesting that there was a blessing in the making if you’d only send him money. One only has to make a cursory view of both the Old and New Testaments to see the low regard God holds for religious leaders that take their role lightly and lead His people astray. Truth be known…it’s a frightening prospect and one that causes me to tremble. The pastor is called to faithful shepherding, which means he must understand the Scriptures and care for the flock in a manner that reflects the care and love of Christ. The pastor must guard, protect, lead, instruct and defend the flock, essentially in his tasks emulating the Great Shepherd, because the day will come when the pastor’s faithful shepherding and his adherence and faithfulness to proclaim the gospel message will be judged. The pastor must know what God’s word teaches and he must instruct faithfully. He must be a theologian. Really, all pastors are theologians. It’s just that there are good ones and there are bad ones. It’s a frightening prospect, but the health of Christ Our Redeemer depends upon my faithfulness as a theologian. May God give much needed grace.

Trembling in the pastoral task,

Pastor Dan

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