Pastor as “Theologian in Residence” Part 3

“The Holy Spirit is the quickening power with which Jesus the Lord builds up Christianity in the world with his body, i.e., as the earthly-historical form of His own existence, causing it to grow, sustaining and ordering it as the communion of His saints, and thus fitting it to give a provisional representation of the sanctification of all humanity and all human life as it has taken place in Him.” Karl Barth CD IV.2

A helpful metaphor in understanding my own vocation as a minister is, “Theologian in residence”. It is important that this metaphor not be used as permission to lock myself away in the Minister’s study and pour over scripture and the church fathers seeking to develop my own theological agenda. Rather it is permission to escape ministry as a business or management. It helps me to see my role as more than the day to day needs of the church. It is a vocation explored within the context of the community for the community. The distractions that I mentioned are the very outworking of Christ’s ministry in our midst. The phone call, the visits, the paperwork and even the sermon preparation are the necessary tension to theological reflection. As Eugene Peterson might say, ,“this is where we see Christ at play” and where we reflect on the nature and work of God revealed to us! It is in ministry that we find a playground for the unpacking of our theology.

4 thoughts on “Pastor as “Theologian in Residence” Part 3

  1. Pingback: Quote of the Day: Pastor as Theologian « συνεσταύρωμαι: living the crucified life

  2. I love this! A few weeks ago at college, I had a young man from overseas strike up a conversation with me in the library. The conversation turned into a pastoral chat and ended with a time of prayer. – after wards he apologised to me for interrupting my study and what I was doing – I replied to him- “You are part of what I was doing and you didn’t interrupt anything.”

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