The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision

The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision

by Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Owen Strachan
The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision

The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision

by Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Owen Strachan


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Top Ministry Book of 2015, The Gospel Coalition (TGC Editors' Picks)

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 biblical wisdom in Christian living 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781540961891
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/21/2020
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

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 and director of the Center for Public Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.

Table of Contents


Owen Strachan and Kevin J. Vanhoozer
Introduction: Pastors, Theologians, and Other Public Figures
Kevin J. Vanhoozer
• Problem: A Lost Vision
• Proposal: The Pastor-Theologian as Peculiar Public Figure
• Prospect: The Ministry of What Is "in Christ"
Pastoral Perspectives
Gerald Hiestand—Six Practical Steps toward Being a
Josh Moody—Seven Ways to Theologize as a Pastor
Part 1: Biblical Theology and Historical Theology
1. Of Prophets, Priests, and Kings: A Brief Biblical Theology of the Pastorate
Owen Strachan
• The Ministry of the Old Covenant in the Old Testament
• Participating in Jesus's Ministry of the New Covenant: The New Testament
• Conclusion: The Pastorate as Theological Office
Pastoral Perspectives
Melvin Tinker—The Pastor as Public Theologian
Todd Wilson—Human Origins: A Test Case for
Jim Samra—A Practical Theology of Technology
2. Of Scholars and Saints: A Brief History of the Pastorate
Owen Strachan
• The Early Church
• The Medieval Period: Scholasticism and Monasticism
• The Reformational Awakening: Protestant Pastors
• Theological Shepherds: The Puritans and the Practicality of Truth
• Agents of "Divine Business": The Edwardseans and Pastoral Dominion
• The Modern Turn: Populism, Professionalism, and the Taming
of the Pastorate
• Glimmers of Hope: Harold Ockenga and Neoevangelical Boldness
• Conclusion: Toward What Pastorate?
Pastoral Perspectives
Wesley G. Pastor—How the Theology of Saving Faith Has Affected My Congregation
Kevin DeYoung—A Place for Truth
Part 2: Systematic Theology and Practical Theology
3. In the Evangelical Mood: The Purpose of the Pastor-Theologian
Kevin J. Vanhoozer
• The Many Moods of Theology: Between Death and Resurrection
• A Ministry of Reality: Theology in the Indicative Mood
• A Ministry of Understanding: The Diakonia of God's Word
• A Ministry of (New) Life: Theology in the Imperative Mood
• The Goods of Theology: What Are Seminaries For?
Pastoral Perspectives
David Gibson—On Death
Bill Kynes—Preaching the Doctrine of the Gospel as Truth,
Goodness, and Beauty
Cornelius Plantinga Jr.—Reading for Preaching
4. Artisans in the House of God: The Practices of the Pastor-Theologian
Kevin J. Vanhoozer
• The Great Pastoral Commission: "Make Disciples"; "Build God's House"
• Evangelist: Presenting What Is in Christ
• Catechist: Teaching What Is in Christ
• Liturgist: Celebrating What Is in Christ
• Apologist: Demonstrating What Is in Christ
Pastoral Perspectives
Guy A. Davies—The Drama of Preaching
Jason B. Hood—The Pastor-Theologian as Pulpit Apologist
Conclusion: Fifty-Five Summary Theses on the Pastor as Public Theologian
Kevin J. Vanhoozer
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