Wednesday 11 July 2018

Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies 3.1 (2018) on Pastoral Theology

It’s well worth taking a look at the online Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies.

The most-recent full issue is devoted to pastoral theology, containing several interesting contributions (see below). The essays largely flow out of the renewed interest in recent years on the role of the ‘pastor-theologian’, seeking to ground pastoral ministry within a theological framework.

The full issue, which also contains a sizeable collection of book reviews, is available as a pdf here.

Justin L. McLendon
Current Issues in Pastoral Theology: An Editorial Introduction
This special issue of the Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies features articles exploring current issues in pastoral theology. The articles within this issue address academic and ecclesial concerns across the evangelical spectrum. In keeping with the mission of JBTS – to relay content that is original and yet accessible – this issue contains articles uniquely formulated to speak to seminary students, busy ministers, and scholars academically engaged in the broad field of pastoral theology. This issue includes an even selection of articles from scholars working within various academic institutions, in addition to articles from pastors engaged in the trenches of everyday pastoral ministry. In sum, this issue offers a distinct set of voices from varied backgrounds, ministry methodologies, and denominational alliances.

Josh Branum
Elder as Shepherd: Implicit Use of the Shepherd Metaphor by the Apostle Paul
This paper analyzes the Pauline qualifications for eldership considering the shepherd metaphor. In this analysis, the author argues that Paul presents qualified elders as “good shepherds,” those of the utmost integrity, who are able to manage the flock of God well. The shepherd metaphor is utilized throughout both the Old and New Testaments, by various authors, and in a variety of contexts. From a New Testament perspective, the shepherd metaphor is used most frequently in reference to Jesus, but is later applied to elders. While one might expect the Apostle Paul, the author of the so-called “Pastoral Epistles,” to make much use of this metaphor, he only explicitly uses the shepherd metaphor on two occasions. This seeming omission has led some to dismiss it as a central aspect of his teaching. However, Paul demonstrates a heavy reliance on the shepherd metaphor implicitly, particularly in the qualifications for eldership in the books of 1 Timothy and Titus.

Gary L. Shultz Jr.
Theological Preaching and Preaching Through Theology: The Priority of the Pastor-Theologian
Over the last several years a renewed call for the re-emergence of pastor-theologians has occurred within Evangelicalism. The distinguishing mark of the pastor-theologian is that his broader theological ministry to the church and the academy is explicitly grounded in his pastoral ministry, and his broader theological ministry strengthens and reinforces his pastoral ministry. While pastoral ministry has many facets, its foundation is the ministry of the Word, and the heart of the ministry of the word is preaching. Therefore, preaching the Word should be the priority and aim of the pastor-theologian, not only in his pastoral ministry, but in his broader theological ministry. This article will establish this truth by demonstrating how preaching is the theological act that grounds all other aspects of pastoral ministry even as it is grounded itself by that ministry. It will then explore how that truth should impact the pastor-theologian’s broader theological ministry, leading it to be biblical, confessional, and culturally relevant, even when directed towards the academy. Preaching is the connecting center of the pastor-theologian’s ministry, resulting in effective pastoring and ecclesial theology that not only reinforce one other but together preach the good news of the gospel to the world.

Jonathan Master
Preaching Psalm 46 to the People of God Today
The preached word is the means that God has ordained for both the evangelization of the nations and for the building up of the church. As evangelicals, we are committed to the fact that all of scripture is inspired and profitable for the people of God: therefore, all scripture must be preached – including the Psalms. In Part 1, I present four recommendations for preaching Psalm 46 today. Each of these recommendations supplement the preacher’s regular homiletic preparation. These recommendations are intended to remind preachers of certain features of the Psalms in general and of this psalm in particular. In Part II, I present an example sermon, considering each of these guidelines.

Matthew Ward
What Worship Leaders Need Their Pastors to Know: A Call to Theological Leadership in Worship
Many pastors today do not understand their role in their church’s worship – they have not received training in the principles of corporate worship and someone else on staff has the title of “worship leader.” That elusive role is to provide theological leadership to the worship ministries of the local church. Theological leadership assumes that pastors have done the work of developing a theology of worship. It then involves two steps: contextualizing that theology to their unique local church and communicating it effectively with that local church. While there are many examples of a theology of worship available to consider, there are few examples of a contextualized theology; this article offers two that are still general enough to glean benefits and pitfalls. Communication is a two-way process. If pastors are to be effective theological leaders, they must cultivate meaningful relationships – particularly with their worship leaders, listen and learn, and not act out of fear.

Joshua D. Chatraw
A Way Forward for Pastor-Apologists: Navigating the Apologetic Method Debate

Benjamin D. Espinoza
Pastor Theologians, the Gospel, and the Ministry of Racial Conciliation
Evangelicalism has a historically tenuous relationship with racial conciliation. As our nation becomes increasingly diverse, we must rethink our approaches to racial conciliation. The purpose of this article is to give pastor theologians a vision and plan for developing a rich ministry of racial conciliation. The paper will situate racial conciliation as a gospel issue that demands a response. Next, the article will explore how scholars have reflected on the source, nature, and solutions to racism. Finally, I develop key practices and implications that will assist pastor theologians in being agents of racial conciliation in both ecclesial and academic spaces.

Owen Strachan
Light from the Third Great Awakening: Harold Ockenga and the Call to Future Pastor-Theologians
Something remarkable transpired in the mid-twentieth century. Just as the First Great Awakening reset the ecclesiastical paradigm along gospel-demarcated lines in the 1700s, and just as the Second Great Awakening redrew the Protestant map through the explosion of upstart groups like the Baptists and Methodists, so the Third Great Awakening of the neo-evangelical years fundamentally recalibrated and repositioned evangelicalism for unprecedented expansion and activity.

Many individuals contributed to this galaxy-formation. Upon close reflection, however, Harold Ockenga – with Billy Graham and Carl Henry – formed the three horsemen of the Neo-Evangelical Resurgence. It is the purpose of this article to first explore Ockenga’s significance for the current day, as the twenty-first century church’s experience mirrors that of the neo-evangelicals some 60–70 years ago. Ockenga offers us an example of a richly theological pastorate, and a pulpit that majored in doctrine over storytelling and sentimentality.

In what follows, we shall see that, in a doctrinally-deficient era like ours, Ockenga offers the rising generations of pastors a faithful model to which to aspire and, God allowing, assume. This model we call the pastor-theologian. After showing what the pastor-theologian is and is to be, we offer five considerations for the rising generation of shepherds of God’s flock, considerations that together urge the church to invest in the doctrinal formation, personal courage, and theistic confidence of its pastors.

Douglas Estes
Pastor-Scholar: The Pastor Theologian and Scholarship
There is a critical need today for pastor-scholars to serve the Church and to advance theological knowledge. The pastor who is a scholar will utilize the format of the written word to dialogue with an important part of modern society – scholars and educated readers – through the form of scholarly discourse. Though the pastor- scholar is not a common calling, once one embraces this calling, there are several essential characteristics that can positively impact the pastor-scholar’s profession and standing.

Michael W. Goheen
Pastoral Theology in a Missional Mode
In this article I argue for the renewal of pastoral theology from a missional mode. This approach to pastoral theology offers rich resources addressing critical areas of contemporary concern. This article is more than just academic reflection. In fact, this reflects a curricular work in progress at Missional Training Center, Phoenix, Arizona – an extension site of Covenant Theological Seminary, St Louis, Missouri. For the past six years we have been attempting some creative approaches to theological education based on the rich insights from the 1960s—1980s offered by Western mission leaders and Southern hemisphere church leaders on theological education in a missional mode. I am especially indebted to the insights of Lesslie Newbigin, Harvie Conn, and David Bosch, and will draw primarily on their work in this article. 
I begin by briefly exposing the roots of this problematic view of pastoral theology. I then sketch the missional turn in the 20th century and note its considerable impact beginning with ecclesiology, and then on theology and leadership. This understanding of mission provides a solid theological foundation for the renewal of pastoral theology. Finally, I work out some of the significant implications of this missional turn for rethinking pastoral theology.

Andrew Zantingh
Toward a Theology of Pastoral Care in a Missional Mode
For close to twenty-five years, I have been learning how to care for the congregations God has called me to serve. In this respect, I am like most other professional pastors who paid significant money to be trained by professional professors to gain the necessary skills and techniques to do specialized care in a congregational setting. In addition to being a pastor, I now also teach graduate level pastoral care courses for pastors. The following paper is my theological reflection on the task of training pastors to do pastoral care in a missional way. There are some significant problems with our current approach to pastoral theology. In this volume, Michael Goheen identifies three crucial assumptions that have negatively shaped pastoral theology’s historical growth as a theological discipline: a theory-practice dichotomy, a professionalized view of the pastoral ministry, and a non-missional understanding of the church. My pastoral care experience bears out how these three assumptions have led to a faulty pastoral theology. In this article, I wish to offer an alternative approach to pastoral care from a missional mode. In doing so, I offer a solution which overcomes the theory-praxis dichotomy, that properly positions the role of the pastors as lead discipler, and one that correctly locates pastoral care in the context of a missional understanding of the church. I will do this by sketching the problem of pastoral care from ministry experience, by constructing theological contours that reframe pastoral care in the missional mode, by offering a concrete example of this kind of pastoral care in action, and finally by sketching a dynamic approach to theological education that can equip pastors for such care.

Marcus J. Serven
The Care of Souls: John Calvin’s Shepherding Ministry
Many Christians today have distinct impressions of who John Calvin was, but most have never read a single line from his Institutes of the Christian Religion, or benefited from the careful exegesis found in his Commentaries on the Bible, or reflected upon a single salient point from one of his many published sermons. In brief, the reformer John Calvin (1509–1564) has been misinterpreted, misread, and misunderstood. He is, perhaps, best known for his views on the doctrines of election, predestination, and reprobation. He is also known for his pivotal role in the prosecution of the arch-heretic Michael Servetus (1511–1553) who rejected the Trinity and the deity of Jesus Christ. But none of these disconnected pieces of information can demonstrate, in my opinion, the true character of the man. And so, who really was John Calvin? Hughes O. Old, a noted scholar of Calvin’s life and theology, states the opinion that, “John Calvin is chiefly remembered as a biblical scholar and a systematic theologian.” Cearly, Calvin distinguished himself through his theological writing and teaching ministry. However, he also was the preeminent pastor of the city of Geneva during the time of the Protestant Reformation. John T. McNeill notes, “Jean Daniel Benoit, the expert on Calvin’s work in the cure of souls, states boldly that the Genevan Reformer was more pastor than theologian, that, to be exact, he was a theologian in order to be a better pastor. In his whole reforming work he was a shepherd of souls.” Thus, it is Calvin’s shepherding ministry that will be 
explored in this article – in particular, his pastoral care of souls.

Book Reviews 

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