CPT Blog

General Posts

  • February 27, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand

    Introducing the CPT’s New Third Fellowship

    The application process for the CPT’s Third Fellowship is concluded, and I’m excited to introduce the successful applicants below. The CPT’s Third Fellowship pulls together a diverse group of evangelical pastor theologians  from across the United States, Canada, and Austria (!) This new fellowship includes representation from the Presbyterian, Anglican, Baptist, Wesleyan, Free church, and Bible church traditions.

    At present, all of our Fellowships are at maximum capacity. However, we continue to pool applications in anticipation of future openings. For more information about Fellowship requirements and benefits, see here. For more information about applying to a CPT Fellowship, please contact Gerald Hiestand at ghiestand [at] pastortheologians.com.

    Third Fellowship Members

    Dr. Paul House (CPT Senior Theological Mentor, Third Fellowship)
    PhD in Old Testament, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    Professor of Divinity and Old Testament, Beeson Divinity School

    Dr. Robert Kinney
    PhD in New Testament, University of Bristol
    Director of Ministries, Charles Simeon Trust, Vienna, Austria

    Matt O’Reilly
    PhD Candidate in New Testament, University of Gloucestershire
    Pastor, St. Mark United Methodist Church, Mobile, AL

    Dr. Cory Wilson
    PhD in Intercultural Studies, Reformed Theological Seminary
    Pastor of Church Life, Gateway Heights Church, Cleveland Heights, OH

    Dr. Chris Castaldo
    PhD in Church History, London School of Theology
    Pastor, New Covenant Church, Naperville, IL

    Jarrod Longbons
    PhD Candidate, University of Nottingham
    Minister of Education and Discipleship, Peachtree Christian Church, Atlanta, GA

    Dr. Josh Philpot
    PhD in Old Testament, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    Pastor of Worship and Administration, Founders Baptist Church, Spring, TX

    Dr. Dillon Thornton
    PhD in New Testament
    University of Otago

    Dr. Jonathan Huggins (Anglican, ACNA)
    PhD in Theology, Stellenbosch University
    College Chaplain at Berry College, Pastor at Mount Berry Church, Mount Berry, GA

    Matt Ketterling
    PhD Candidate in New Testament
    University of Saint Andrews, Scotland

    Dr. Ed Gerber
    PhD in New Testament, University of Whales, Trinity Saint David
    Lead Pastor, Willoughby Christian Reformed Church, Langley, British Columbia

    Dr. Todd Hardin
    PhD Candidate, Biblical Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    Pastor of Counseling, Grace Baptist Church, Knoxville, TN

    Benjamin Espinoza
    MA Christian Education, Asbury Theological Seminary
    Pastor of Youth and Community Life, Covenant Church, Bowling Green, OH

    J. Ryan Davidson
    PhD Candidate, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Chapel, Yorktown, VA

    Dr. JT English
    PhD in Systematic Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    Pastor of Training, The Village Church, Dallas, TX

    Benjamin Petroelje
    PhD Candidate in New Testament Literature, Language, and Theology
    University of Edinburgh, Scotland

    Categories: General | Gerald Hiestand | Third Fellowship

  • February 24, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand

    Did Jesus Allow His Disciples to Profane the Sabbath?

    (Matthew 12:1-8, ESV) “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.’ 3 He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known what this means, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,” you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.’ ”

    Jesus is here confronted by the Pharisees for allowing his disciples to work on the Sabbath. Notice how Jesus does not respond. He does not respond by making a distinction between true Sabbath law and human traditions, arguing that his disciples are only breaking man-made rules. Indeed, Jesus  argues in the exact opposite direction. He takes the Pharisees’ critique at face value (i.e., that his disciples are working on the Sabbath), and insists that there is a biblical justification for not keeping the Law.

    Follow his logic: To defend his disciples’ actions he points out that both David and the priests likewise committed unlawful actions — David when he entered the house of God and ate the show bread, and the priests every Sabbath when they perform their cultic duties (i.e., they work on the Sabbath). But Jesus isn’t simply saying, “The priests break the Sabbath, so my disciples can too.” Otherwise, he wouldn’t have included the example of David, whose infraction didn’t take place on the Sabbath. The key to Jesus’ logic is that the infractions of both David and the priests took place in the temple/house of God. According to Jesus’ logic, the temple provides a “covering” over David and the priests, so that their unlawful actions are not counted against them. In other words, both David and the priests are able to do in the temple what otherwise would have incurred guilt outside the temple.

    And now here’s the punchline: Jesus insists that one greater than the temple is here–namely himself! Jesus, in justifying his disciples, declares himself to be the typological fulfillment  of the Old Covenant Temple (for a parallel typology, see 12:39-42). He insists that just as the Old Covenant Temple sheltered David and the priests when they performed unlawful actions, even more so Jesus shelters his disciples. If the priest can profane the Sabbath without guilt while under the covering of the Temple, how much more can Jesus’ disciples profane the Sabbath without guilt while under the covering of Jesus. And even crazier, this new freedom isn’t limited to a geographic location, but is experienced in relation to Jesus.

    Jesus, as the New Temple, is Lord of the Sabbath, which is to say, above Torah. And this lordship over the Sabbath extends to all those who are “in him” just like it extended to the priests when they were “in temple.”  Insofar as the disciples are with/under Jesus, they are free from the Mosaic Law.

    So did Jesus allow his disciples to profane the Sabbath? Arguably, they weren’t really profaning the Sabbath, only the Pharisees’ interpretation of the Sabbath. But Jesus isn’t going to skirt the issue. Essentially he is saying, “So what if my disciples work on the Sabbath? I’m greater than the temple and Lord of the Sabbath. And so are all who are in me.”



    Categories: Christology | General | Gerald Hiestand | Law

  • February 23, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand

    Indianapolis Preaching Workshop

    SimeonA preacher’s aim is (or should be!) to help the congregation hear the Word. In this way, Jesus (who is the Word) is the True Preacher whose gospel we herald.

    The Simeon Trust is a valuable resource that helps preachers continue to sharpen their commitment and skills for exegetical preaching, post-seminary. Dr. Rev. Michael LeFebvre (CPT Second Fellowship) and a circle of other Indianapolis area pastors have recently started a new Simeon Trust Fellowship. The first Simeon Trust Workshop will be held this summer, June 3–5, 2015.

    If you are in the Indianapolis area or know a pastor in central Indiana who would appreciate the encouragement, iron-sharpening-iron, and post-seminary refreshment of this opportunity, please check out the registration site for more details.


    Categories: General | Gerald Hiestand

  • February 7, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand

    CPT Conference Registration now Open

    Registration for the 2015 CPT Conference is now open! The conference will be held in Chicago, November 2-4. The theme of this year’s conference is, The Pastor as Theologian: Identities and Possibilities.

    The Center for Pastor Theologian’s annual theology conference exists to reconnect theological scholarship and pastoral ministry. Toward this end, the CPT Theology Conference seeks to facilitate conversation between pastors, academic theologians, lay leaders, and ecclesial theologians, with a view to constructing theological proposals for the betterment of the church and her theology. This year’s speaker line up includes the following plenary speakers and addresses:

    Peter Leithart — The Pastor Theologian as Biblical Theologian
    James K. A. Smith — The Pastor Theologian as Political Theologian
    Kevin Vanhoozer — The Pastor Theologian as Public Theologian
    Todd Wilson — The Pastor Theologian as Pastor
    Gerald Hiestand — The Pastor Theologian as Ecclesial Theologian

    Along with our plenary speakers, we’ll also have presentations from Kevin Hector, Mickey Klink, Douglas Estes, Phil Ryken, David Dockery, Kristen Johnson, Peter Cha, Scott Manetsch, Eric Redomond, Joel Lawrence, Michael LeFebvre, Jason Nichols, Chris Castaldo, and more. Worship will be led by Caleb Widmer and the Chicago Liturgists.

    Our target audience is men and women who care about the church and theological scholarship, and who are interested in exploring the identity, calling and possibilities of the pastor theologian.

    Early bird specials are available, as are student discounts. So hurry and register. We hope to see you there!

    Categories: CPT Conference | General | Gerald Hiestand

  • January 30, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand

    New Books by CPT Fellows, and a Magazine

    Let me draw your attention, if I may, to a number of helpful resources.

    71Fp5TZqZ0LDr. Daniel Brendsel (CPT Second Fellowship) has published, along with Greg Beale and William Ross, An Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek: Analysis of Prepositions, Adverbs, Particles, Relative Pronouns, and Conjunctions (Zondervan, 2014). The title pretty much says what you need to know about the book. Each entry includes a short gloss and lexical analysis, as well as a page number reference to BDAG. This is a short book, only 96 pages, and looks to be a helpful resource for those particularly interested in Greek grammar and syntax.


    41+r4jkSJ-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Dr. Chris Bruno (CPT Second Fellowship) has written, along with Matt Dirks, a nice little book on church partnerships: Churches Partnering Together: Biblical Strategies for Fellowship, Evangelism, and Compassion (Crossway, 2014). The grist for the book comes from their church planting and partnership efforts in Hawaii. The book looks to be a very practical, helpful book on how small churches might effectively partner together for gospel ministry.



    indexJames K. A. Smith is the CPT’s Theological Consultant for this year’s round of symposium.  When he was with us in October he introduced us to Comment Magazine, of which he is one of the leading editors.  Looks like a great resource for those interested in the conversations that take place at the intersections of theology, culture, and philosophy.


    Categories: General | Gerald Hiestand

  • January 27, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand

    Theopolis Essay on Augustine and Pagan Virtue

    The good folks over at the Theopolis Institute have just published an essay of mine on Augustine and pagan virtue. Below is the introduction, followed by a link to the whole piece.

    My children attend a classical Christian school, situated in the independent “free church” evangelical tradition. Over the past few years they have been growing in their acquaintance with the world of Homer, Plato, Virgil, and Livy. They enjoy it, and I envy it. The school is a great school. My oldest came home the other day with an assignment to read the youth edition of Herodotus’ Histories. As he read he was to look for two things: 1) the cultural practices of the peoples mentioned in the book, and 2) their sinful practices.

    I found the assignment curious. Not the first part of the assignment, but the second. Herodotus’ Histories is a rich book—full of all sorts of fascinating tales about the ancients Greeks and Persians. Why focus on their sinfulness? Why not recount their moral virtues?

    It is, I suspect, because we don’t think they had any moral virtues.

    You can read the whole essay here. And while you are there, look around the site. Lots of interesting stuff (as one might expect from Peter Leithart)!

    Categories: General | Gerald Hiestand

  • January 26, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand

    Application Deadline for Third Fellowship, Feb 1

    We are nearing the Feb 1 deadline for the CPT’s Third Fellowship. Those interested, please see here for the relevant information.

    Categories: General | Gerald Hiestand

  • January 10, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand

    The Righteousness of Joseph — Mary’s Blessing or Bane?

    Matthew’s account of Joseph’s response to Mary’s pregnancy reads as follows: Ἰωσὴφ δὲ ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς, δίκαιος ὢν καὶ μὴ θέλων αὐτὴν δειγματίσαι, ἐβουλήθη λάθρᾳ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν.

    The ESV translates the sentence as: “And her husband Joseph, being a just man (δίκαιος ὢν) and unwilling to put her to shame (καὶ μὴ θέλων αὐτὴν δειγματίσαι), resolved to divorce her quietly.”

    The NIV (2011 edition) translates the sentence as:  “Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.”

    Note the difference. The NIV glosses δίκαιος ὢν (lit. “being righteous”) as “was faithful to the law”, and pits this against Joseph’s desire not to disgrace Mary. Thus the NIV introduces tension between Joseph’s inclination toward righteousness (seen here by the NIV as “law keeping,”) and his inclination toward mercy. Per the NIV,  Joseph resolves the tension by divorcing Mary, thus maintaining fidelity to the law, but doing it quietly in keeping with mercy.

    But the ESV refrains from introducing this tension. Joseph’s righteousness (δίκαιος ὢν) is  the very reason he shows mercy to Mary and puts her away quietly. In other words, Joseph’s righteousness inclines him towards mercy over judgment.

    The two translations highlight the different perspectives in biblical scholarship on δικαιοσύνη, and have relevance for the way we understand (and translate) biblical passages that speak of God’s righteousness. Fundamentally, does God’s righteousness stand in tension with his mercy, or is his righteousness the very fount and source of his mercy? Or stated again, given that we are sinful human beings under the sentence of death, is God’s righteousness our blessing or bane?

    Let the Psalmist decide!

    “In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
    In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!” (Psa 71:1-2)

    Categories: General | Gerald Hiestand

  • January 9, 2015 by Gerald Hiestand

    New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis

    9780310276197-257x300I was pleased to receive a complimentary copy of Zondervan’s newly released New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDNTTE), edited by Moises Silva. The project is a revision of The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. The new set is five volumes (volume five is an index ), hard cover, and offers commentary on Greek words and concepts in the New Testament, as well as related usage in classical Greek sources, the LXX, and Jewish literature.  In addition, the NIDNTEE “presents current scholarship on every book of the Bible, including the Apocrypha, with entries focusing on ancient context, history on interpretation, and contemporary significance.” Per the publisher, the set is is geared toward pastors, students, scholars, and teachers.

    The layout of the set looks pretty sharp. Each volume begins with an alphabetical list of English concepts and words (like “good” or “face”) and then lists all the Greek words that might conceivably be translated within that semantic range. Following the list of concepts is an alphabetical arrangement of Greek words. Here the lexical analysis seems at times less detailed than what one finds in BDAG, but  at other times comparable; no doubt the result of multiple authors. Yet in all cases the data appears substantive and and clearly presented. Each entry concludes with a bibliography of relevant sources. Silva has also worked to analyze each word with a view to its relationship with other words typically associated with it.

    I’m not a language scholar, so no doubt others are better situated than I to offer a more constructive evaluation. But from where I sit, the NIDNTEE looks to be a worthwhile update of the NIDNTT – both in content and usability, and a helpful set to have on one’s shelf. The price tag is a bit steep for a pastor — $249.99. But for a five volume lexical resource of this quality, that’s about what one might expect to pay.




    Categories: General | Gerald Hiestand

  • December 10, 2014 by Gerald Hiestand

    Third Fellowship Application Process Still Open

    As we announced earlier this year, recent grant funding has made possible the launch of a Third CPT Fellowship.  This new Fellowship will meet for the first time August 3-5, 2015 (thereafter always the first Monday-Wednesday of August). The application process for this new Fellowship remains open. The ideal candidate for the CPT’s Third Fellowship…

    • Is a full-time vocational pastor who views the writing/publication of theological scholarship as a significant ministry calling.
    • Has a PhD.
    • Has a publishing record in theological scholarship.
    • Is under 40 years old.
    • Has regular availability for the August Symposium.

    Candidates who do not meet the ideal profile for all criteria are encouraged to apply if they are strong in the other areas. We are keen on theological diversity within a larger evangelical framework, and therefore invite applications from all denominational backgrounds.

    The application window will stay open until Feb 1, 2015. At that time applications will be reviewed and the CPT board will invite the top fifteen candidates to join the Third Fellowship.

    Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a CV to Gerald Hiestand at ghiestand@pastortheologians.com prior to applying.

    See the following links to download the Fellowship Application and Fellowship Prospectus.

    Categories: CPT Fellowship | General | Gerald Hiestand