June 23, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
I’m very pleased to announce that our book, The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision (Zondervan) has been released today.
This book is our best effort to date at conveying the heart of the CPT’s vision for ecclesial theologians and ecclesial theology. We tried to our best to make it punchy and compact (it’s not a big book), while at the same time laying out the main features of our vision.
Would love to hear feedback from any of our CPT readers. And if you resonate with the vision outlined in the book, let me encourage you to register for the first annual CPT Conference. Our theme for this first year will be “The Pastor Theologian: Identities and Possibilities”. Hope to see you there!2 Comments
June 22, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
In this portion of the interview, Dr. Vanhoozer describes some of the potential payoffs of a strong contingent of pastor theologians. He see signs of progress, but still plenty left to do: “we need people who can bring the mind of Christ to the body of Christ.”0 Comments
June 19, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
In this portion of the interview, Vanhoozer outlines exactly why pastor theologians are so necessary, not just for their own local congregations, but also for “the broader church, society, and the academy.”0 Comments
June 18, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
Zondervan recently released an interview with CPT co-founder Todd Wilson on what it means to be a pastor theologian. Todd also explains some of the key contributions the forthcoming book The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision.0 Comments
June 18, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
In this video Dr. Vanhoozer identifies the dangers attending a bifurcation between theology and pastoral ministry. Without theology, the study of the gospel and its implications for all of life, churches will be less healthy, stunted in their growth, and more distracted by false gospels.0 Comments
June 17, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
What has led to the separation between theology and church ministry? In this interview, Dr. Vanhoozer addresses the many challenges pastors face: an often overwhelming and varied workload, as well as a culture that “has colonized our imaginations so that there is no room for theology.”0 Comments
June 16, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
Pastors, seminarians, and theologians have many different conference options. In this interview clip, Kevin Vanhoozer describes one element that makes the CPT conference distinctive: “we’re going to have a very fascinating conversation between groups that aren’t always together: pastors and theologians.” He also names specific contributors and how their expertise will help develop a rich, multi-layered conversation.0 Comments
June 15, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer, one of the plenary speakers of the upcoming November conference on the identity and possibilities of the pastor theologian, believes this is a critical time to gather. According to Vanhoozer, “There is a crisis about the identity of the pastor.” In this video, the first of six we’ll be releasing over the week, Vanhoozer describes the unique authority of the pastor and helps viewers understand the significance of this conference.
“There is a critical threshold of people now wanting to have this discussion. We’re on the cusp of an exciting new movement asking the question: whatever happened to theology in the church?”
June 3, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
Todd and I were happy to receive advance copies of our forthcoming book: The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting and Ancient Vision (Zondervan). For those interested, the publisher’s description and endorsements are below:
Pastoral ministry today is often ruled by an emphasis on short-sighted goals, pragmatic results, and shallow thinking. Unfortunately, those in the academy tend to have the opposite problem, failing to connect theological study to the pressing issues facing the church today. Contemporary evangelicalism has lost sight of the inherent connection between pastoral leadership and theology. This results in theologically anemic churches, and ecclesial anemic theologies.
Todd Wilson and Gerald Hiestand contend that among a younger generation of evangelical pastors and theologians, there is a growing appreciation for the native connection between theology and pastoral ministry. At the heart of this recovery of a theological vision for ministry is the re-emergence of the role of the “pastor theologian.”
The Pastor Theologian presents a taxonomy of the pastor-theologian and shows how individual pastors—given their unique calling and gift-set—can best embody this age-old vocation in the 21st century. They present three models that combine theological study and practical ministry to the church:
The Local Theologian—a pastor theologian who ably services the theological needs of a local congregation.
The Popular Theologian—a pastor theologian who writes theology to a wider lay audience.
The Ecclesial Theologian—a pastor theologian who writes theology to other theologians and scholars.
Raising the banner for the pastor as theologian, this book invites the emerging generation of theologians and pastors to reimagine the pastoral vocation along theological lines, and to identify with one of the above models of the pastor theologian.
“The Pastor-Theologian may be a small book, but it is an ambitious one. Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson summon the church to return to a time when pastors were theologians and theologians pastors, when pastors served as intellectual shepherds of the church. The renewal of what they call ecclesial theology will provide a needed transfusion into theologically anemic pastoral ministry and pastorally anemic theology.”
— Peter Leithart, Theopolis Institute
“If you’re looking for canaries in the church’s coal mines, consider our seminaries and divinity schools. In some cases, the seminary has simply become one more outpost of the academy, hijacked by the ideals of the research university, almost allergic to pastoral formation. In other cases, the seminary is reduced to a management seminar where the pastorate is confused with technique. The Pastor-Theologian is an antidote to both, a vision for ecclesial theology and a theological ecclesia. We need this book because we need pastor-theologians.”
—James K.A. Smith, Calvin College
“Hiestand and Wilson shine a spotlight on a seismic fault whose damage to the church has been under the radar: the great divorce between the pastoral ministry and academic theology. They argue compellingly that a healthy church body needs red blood (pastoral energy) and gray brain cells (theological intelligence) to grow into Christian maturity. This is a book written in faith – the kind of faith that moves institutional mountains and raises, if not the dead, then at least defunct concepts – like the pastor-theologian.”
—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“What an exciting and timely book! Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson not only make a compelling case for reviving a distinguished tradition of pastor-theologian thought leaders. They also point the way for how this kind of leadership–much needed today!–can address the very new conditions in which the present day churches are called by God to minister.”
—Richard Mouw, Fuller Seminary
“The case that Wilson and Hiestand present is winsome and utterly convincing, as they trace the history of the rise and demise of the pastor-theologian, and the resulting theological and ethical anemia of the church. But more, they provide us with a nuanced profile of the ecclesial theologian, and a reasoned way forward. The Pastor-Theologian is an exhilarating and heartening book– and a must read for the church and the academy where it will produce lively, ministry- changing discussion!1 Comment
—R. Kent Hughes, Sr. Pastor Emeritus of College Church in Wheaton
May 18, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand
The CPT is happy to announce the publication of volume two of our Bulletin of Ecclesial Theology. As with last year’s BET, the content arises from the Center for Pastor Theologians’ two Fellowship Symposia. This year, the symposia were generously sponsored by the Acton Institute, with Dr. Stephen Grabill, Acton’s Director of Programs and Research Scholar in Theology, acting as guest consultant. The fellows were invited to reflect on and respond to the collection of essays found in Harper and Gregg’s, (eds.) Christian Theology and Market Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010), as well as three primers produced by Acton on the relationship between faith and vocation. These primers addressed our central issue from the perspectives of the Pentecostal, Baptist, and Wesleyan traditions.
This is a particularly good batch of essays, and I encourage you to look them over if you are interested in this cluster of topics. Many thanks to Matthew Mason for his good editorial work, Jeremy Mann for pulling together the book reviews, and to Soo Ai Kudo for her careful work on layout and design. Essay and book reviews in volume 2 include the following:
“Work as the Divine Curse: Toil and Grace East of Eden” — Scott Hafemann
“In Defense of Having Stuff: Bonhoeffer, Anthropology and the Goodness of Human Materiality” — Joel Lawrence
“Theology and Economics in the Biblical Year of Jubilee” — Michael LeFebvre
“A Christian Antidote to ‘Affluenza': Contentment in Christ” — Gary L. Shultz Jr.
“Seeking a Free Church Theology of Economics: An Exercise in Avoiding Oxymorons” — Matthew Ward
Steve Corbertt and Brian Fickert. When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor, Gary L. Shultz Jr.
Jennifer Roback Morse. Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village, Christopher Bechtel
Jeff Van Duzer. Why Business Matters to God: And What Still Needs to be Fixed, Jay Thomas
Wayne Grudem. Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business, J. Ryan Davidson
Timothy Keller. Every Good Endeavor: Connecting your Work to God’s Work, Jason A. Nicolls
Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros. The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence, Gregory Thompson
Adam Smith. The Wealth of Nations, and Karl Marx. Capital: Volume I, Greg Forster