Recently a young friend mused in a text message, “Where are our (SBC) theologians?” His angst was palpable even if the question appeared on my phone.
My friend Alan, who will be on my next podcast episode, expressed genuine concern. From his vantage point, working for the Evangelical Immigration Table, the responses to immigration issues from leaders within his, our, denomination have been more political than theological. They have been more Party, and Partisan, than theological. He implies the response might be different if the issues were arrived at through rigorous theological reflection.
Not Everyone Is a Theologian
You did not click over to read about the internecine debates going on in the Southern Baptist Convention, whether public or private. That really is not the aim of the post. The illustration that captures the lack Alan finds is not confined to one denomination.
Saying things, or words, about God, does not make one a theologian. Serving as a pastor does not mean a person will naturally be interested in theology. Yes, that does read oddly. I have sat at the table with more than one pastor whose eyes glazed over when conversations turned theological. Had we been talking about guns, that would have resuscitated the near comatose.
Bill Borror applies a measure of scrutiny to the subject of the pastor-theologian.
Not Finished Learning
There is nothing wrong with thinking about how organzations function, what leadership skills are essential and how to set up important means for evaluation. Church leaders err when failing to set these in place without reference to morality and ethics centered on Jesus pattern. Ignoring the Way of Jesus may mean forcing the new wine of grace into an old wineskin of pragmatics.
Another young friend has been challenging me with conversations around Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation. There is a specific nuance, it seems, in what is entailed in the description *Theologian of the Cross*. Despite three degrees from Christians institutions of higher education, I have spent little time with Luther. It shows.
Yet, I have been energized not only to read up in that area but also to discover other authors who demonstrate the applicability to the human condition with savvy. Yes, I am a nerd.
Not a New Law
I don’t want to slip into creating a new law for every pastor. See, I am learning. Instead, I hope that our conversation inspires and alerts you, especially pastors, to recognize the work of the Spirit already in you. If anyone needs to always be alert to grace, it is we pastors.
We don’t need to be alert so that we may point it out to others, even if that helps. No, we need it for those times when we sit alone on Mondays taking an honest assessment of the sermon preached the day before and what sort of Gospel we proclaimed. We need it when we reflect on those times where our conversations were not laced with grace. In short, we need to be aware that we need grace. Always.
Maybe you will be gracious and share this episode. Could be your grace could super-abound and you would leave a review and rating on iTunes. However, you express grace toward this little project, I will be grateful.
Be sure to check out Bil’s website, Resident Exile. Catch he and Scott Jones in their Theo-Conversations by listening to New Persuasive Words. Whatever you do may I encourage you to think theologically. They risked their reputation to have me on for one of their *Bull* Sessions.
If you find the podcast helpful, share it with your friends. Share it with your pastor friends as well as folks you know involved in leadership that touches on the pastoral. Also, consider heading over to iTunes, login, search for patheological and give us a five-star rating and a kind review.