A Call for Pastors to Become Scholars and Scholars to Become Pastors

I presume to make a distinction between the two.  That is because, sadly, there is real distinction between the two.  Very, very few men have or had the grace to be both.  That is a rare gift, a treasure for the church.  There is a need for men to seek both aims.  I have drafted a letter to both. 

Dear Pastor,

Your job is much harder than perceived by the casual observer.  You work, you stress, you give abundantly above what you are recognized for.  I hold you in great honor.  There is a matter that is lacking in the church, yes in your church.  A matter that is far more important that the music, decoration, bills, and squabbles.  A matter of being apt to teach.  I am not speaking of style more than I am of substance.  Pastor, become a scholar; become an apologist; become a theologian because your church need you to.  Two things: read books by dead men, and preach the Bible verse by verse.   

Can you, dear pastor, defend the faith from the upcoming tide of cultural Marxism?  Can you give an apology for the inerrancy of the scriptures?  How about addressing the existentialism that reeks from our post-modern culture?  Can you engage an atheist and attack their worldview reducing it to foolishness through the scriptures?  Pastor, do you know the classical approach to apologetics and the presuppositional approach?  Pastor the youth in our generation have questions.  Do you have answers?  Answers that are not so simplistic as to be brushed off, but answers that address the youth in a meaningful way without compromising the truth. 

Pastor, I urge you to dig into the scriptures.  Throw your preaching charisma out the window, and concentrate on giving your sheep truth.  Exposit the text.  Bring the text to bear upon the culture.  Know the ideologies of the age so you can tear them down. 

For practice, select an entire chapter, or even book of the Bible.  Preach through it on a Sunday morning.  Verse by verse line upon line.  You and your congregation will be changed. 

Dear scholar, (not you liberal scholar)

Pastoring is an ugly job.  But the pastor needs you and your gifts.  The people need your gifts.  Theology is not just for seminary.  The church needs theology in a desperate way.  Please bring your gifts to the pulpit, to the Sunday school room.  Please bring your gifts to the small group.  The church is dying a slow death having to work through Dave Ramsey and Joyce Myers literature.  This is not the rich food of Holy Scripture, but husks that will not fill. 

Scholar, in addition to writing heady papers on high subjects, please consider writing for the lay person.  Give the church lofty theology that a child can understand.  Become a Luther, become a Calvin. 

The pastor needs you.  The pastor needs a voice of truth beside him.  The pastor needs your guidance and insight.  The modern church is more about feeling and experience, than they are about learning the truth of text.  Come out of the ivory towers, down to the common people.  Love them, teach them, and lead them. 


A man who prays to be both. 

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