Theology Is for Mission

some you've said that the that you're learning to be a theologian but you see yourself more as a practitioner than anything else and that you learn from theologians as you go now you're moving age of training becoming a training agency here at Redeemer so how does that that balance shift how does it work itself out probably the the most accurate way to put this would be like theologians and there's practitioner theologians I think a pastor's supposed to be a theologian to who meaning I do think it pastors not supposed to just be a pragmatist they're supposed to be thinking theologically so years ago when I was teaching at a seminary that the best way to teach systematic theology the doctrine of humanity or the doctrine of the word would be to take a practitioner and an academic so you could have a systematic theologian teaching doctrine of humanity along with a counselor or you could have a systematic theologian teaching the doctrine of the word along with a missionary who's had to do cross-cultural communication or any of the biblical preaching professor yeah a preacher I remember talking about this I was in my 30s I was a new kid on the faculty and everybody did point out how expensive that would be actually were actually economic problems with it and I said you should always have a pastoral theologian and an academic theologian I still believe that's true it's there's there are actually still it still complicates things and actually it's a it's the economic model isn't terribly good here what we're trying to do is we are trying to combine the academic and the practical better than I've seen it many people would think of you as a theologian I mean you would well Steve Denis through your rotten yeah they're saying pastors or theologians are is because I'd really don't want pastors just to be technicians I want them to be to think theologically but I was an academic for five years and academics rightly have more time to write also to read when I was an academic I was still busy I was teaching students I was preaching on Sundays and yet I had so much more time to read because I wasn't in charge of a church and I wasn't pastoring everybody I do think the Academy is important because of an academic theologian frankly has more time to read and as the years go by that's extremely important and often I wish I had that time but then I know that I wouldn't have my unique insight that the academic because of just how many people hours have put in so I do think pastoral theologians and academic theologians need to be working together and that's and that's the reason why even some of the critiques I got on senator church made me realize there's my you know my just some degree I'm a little bit limited my perspective because I'm pretty practitioner oriented and I can see why an academic might see something I didn't see that's all no I clearly coming from would be that's you you are a theologian who happens to also do practitioner so what's your take on that the role of the Academy and the local church I mean yeah I agree wholeheartedly with what Tim has said and and models like like that flourish where practically you can do more integrative teaching so that students were going to be pastors don't have to do all the integration once they hit the ground running you know that the theology is permission we believe that and that's I think that's the key to find pastors who are theologians and theologians who have pastoral turns and instincts and then you really are talking about in you know the same ballpark of this the same kind of person with the same heart I know at our seminary we we try to make sure we hire professors you have to pull out of pastoral ministry you know there's a draw going back pastoral ministry but I think that I think that one of the key things here is for us remember that theology is for dying people we keep that in mind the theology is for mission it's for ministry you don't wanna you don't want to miss diagnose and mistreat people who are dying and so you want to get the gospel and get the gospel out you know the only thing I'd add is the pastoral theologians who can do the training hat read than the average and the academic theologians who could do this cooperative kind of Integrative training would have to be a little more pastoral experienced so if you're if you've had nothing but academic training in open or if the pastor has had very little in the way of academic training or hasn't isn't terribly well read it probably wouldn't work but that partnership is crucial and to a great degree it's not happening in our training didn't saleable in the book you talk about the idea of having drawing from doctrine and from a theological basis and developing a theological vision I mean to what degree being the local practitioner theologian that you are developing a bigger vision for a local place that has to be done surely by the local theologian right yeah oh yes you have to be immersed in the culture in some ways I think IDI clowny mutual used to say you get out of the Bible answers the questions that are in your mind as you're reading it now that means that's the reason why you can read the same text 20 years later and suddenly see things but you didn't notice because you didn't have those questions in your mind and the questions very often arise from your context where the the needs of the people the the the challenges that the culture is making to the gospel and so yeah you have to be very very academically trained you have to really know the scripture you have to know history you have to know all that the church history but then when you get into the context certain questions arise in your mind from your experience there and then you go back to your theology and all that and you see things you haven't seen or and the result is a theological vision


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