In The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision Todd Wilson and Gerald Hiestand, founders of the Center for Pastor Theologians, call for a return to not just any type of pastor-theologian. They are calling for a renewal of the ecclesial pastor-theologian a pastor who has his feet in both the world of the local church and the academy where currently much of the work of theology is done.
The authors note the history of the church indicating that the current division of labor which essentially divorces theology from the local church and places its work in the academy is something novel in the history of the church. This is vital to remember as pastors often forget that some of the most important theologians in church history were local church pastors. Augustine was a bishop, Calvin was a pastor, and even Luther who was a professor was heavily invested in the life of the local church. I would add as a Baptist that even a cursory investigation of Baptist theologians will reveal that the more prominent ones were ecclesial pastor-theologians one prominent example of is Andrew Fuller whose work and thought influence Baptists to this day. Practical steps and practices are given for the aspiring ecclesial pastor-theologian.
Every true pastor is indeed a pastor-theologian and the church certainly needs pastors to return to that understanding of their role. Part of the theological renewal of the church will necessitate a renewal of the ecclesial pastor-theologian, and not just in a change in curriculum at seminaries and divinity schools. This book has helped me pause and reflect on the step I need to take to flourish as a pastor-theologian.
A free review copy of this book has been provided through Netgalley.