Friday, 4 September 2009

Theology and the Preacher

Yesterday I enjoyed a discussion about what is a preacher and what is a theologian. Sometimes, sadly, they are very different. I know of theologians who cannot preach, worse still I know of plenty of preachers who "don't do theology." I was reminded by Al Mohler that the calling of a pastor is the calling of a faithful theologian. Mohler writes, 'Every pastor is called to be a theologian. This may come as a surprise to those pastors who see theology as an academic discipline taken during seminary rather than as an ongoing and central part of the pastoral calling. Nevertheless, the health of the church depends upon its pastors functioning as faithful theologians-teaching, preaching, defending, and applying the great doctrines of the faith.' R. Albert Mohler 'He is Not Silent' p.105

Mohler goes on to say, 'The Pastoral calling is inherently theological. Given the fact that the pastor is to be teacher of the Word of God and the teacher of the Gospel it cannot be otherwise' p.106

Mohler rightly sets this in context- theology is not the result but the means, the means to faithfulness in preaching, in mission and in discipleship. ' Being faithful to this theological task will obviously require intense and self-conscious theological thinking, study and concentration. If the church is to be marked by faithful preaching, God-honouring worship, and effective evangelism, the pastor must give concentrated attention to the theological task' p.109
I am thankful to God for Albert Mohler and theologians like him who believe in the authority of scripture and the power of God to change lives. I am thankful for my time at HTC where I encountered lecturers like him. We need to pray though that the church will love to grapple with the Word and to seek preachers who preach it and live it.