RECOMMENDED: Vanhoozer and Kruger on the Pastor-Scholar (or Vice Versa)

An (Unintentional) Introduction

Within the span of a few days, I ran across two media, one by TEDS‘ very own Kevin Vanhoozer and another by Michael Kruger over at RTS, both addressing this idea of a pastor-scholar (or vice versa).

This topic of pastor as scholar is particularly interesting to me because I originally wanted to go into academia but have since change my plans and now desire to go into pastoral ministry. I suppose my reasons for shifting directions are more complex than I will explain here in this paragraph (see this post for further elaboration). But in short– My reasons for doing so are not that my concern for scholarly or “deep things” has somehow lessened over time or that I value such things to a lesser degree than I once did. Hardly. If anything my concern to become more studied has increased now that I want to be a pastor and feel the weight and breadth of that task. Nor is this because I now have become more of a “people person” (if you know me well, you might laugh at the thought of that) or more pastoral or that I now value pastoral matters more than I once did. Hardly. When I wanted to be a professor, that was what I wanted to do primarily. That is, that’s what I wanted to do to make a living. And I wanted to serve in the church as a lay elder-pastor. Now I just want to be a pastor as my primary “gig.”

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Why I Aspire to Be a Pastor

1 Timothy 3:1 says something like, if anyone wants to be a pastor, they desire a noble task.

I aspire to be a pastor. Let me give you a few reasons why.

An introductory comment

As far as many of you are aware, I was currently preparing and planning on entering academia. For some time now, I have wanted to be a professor. However, that has recently changed. I want to be a pastor. Now, in one sense, not a whole lot has changed. Originally I wanted to be a professor and a lay elder (pastor). That is, I wanted to make my living teaching in the university but serve (unpaid) as an assistant pastor of sorts in the church. However, now I desire to be a pastor full-time so to say. This is a change in direction. Maybe not a terribly drastic change. It’s certainly not a abrupt change; this has been developing over a long period of time, even prior to my noticing it. But it’s a change nonetheless.

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Wesley on “What Manner of Men We Ought to Be”

Preface

In John Wesley’s “An Address to the Clergy” in Wesley’s Works (1872 Jackson ed., vol 10), originally addressed or more likely written in London on February 6, 1756, Wesley addressed a group of clergy/ministers (or as we might say, “pastors/elders”) as to what type of men he and they ought to be as shepherds of God’s Church. The following is Wesley’s selected list of attributes (in direct quotes) that I trust you will find both interesting and challenging.

“To begin with gifts”

“With those that are from nature”

  • “First, a good understanding, a clear apprehension, a sound judgment, and a capacity of reasoning with some closeness.”
  • “Secondly. Is it not highly expedient that a guide of souls should have likewise some liveliness and readiness of thought?”
  • “Thirdly. A good memory. . . .”

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