Our beliefs about God shape our life and values

When pastors fail to take theology seriously, their people are cut off from one of the chief matrix’s that help shape and resource Christian conduct. To put not too fine a point on it, when evangelicals are floundering ethically, it is—at least in part—because we are floundering theologically. And if we are floundering theologically, it is because our pastors are failing to lead theologically. However much we might (rightly) value the contributions of evangelical academic theologians, it is the pastoral community, not the academic community, that guides the church theologically.

The lifeblood of the pastor—whether the congregation realizes it or not—is a steady intake of rich theology, prayer, and Bible reading. Pastors shouldn’t feel guilty about prayerfully reading (during the work day!) Calvin’s Institutes, or Anthanasius’ On the Incarnation, or Augustine’s On the Trinity. Theological study isn’t something a pastor fits into their schedule when they complete their pastoral duties; rather theological study is the pastor’s duty. For the good of your congregation—for the good of your preaching, teaching, counseling, and writing, indeed for the good of your own soul—it is crucial that you not neglect to feed yourself.

-Gerald Hiestand, “Why a Pastor Should Have a Study and Not an Office” Preaching Today [Link]

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