Unfortunately, there are many (including some pastors) who think that pastor and theologian are mutually exclusive callings. Here's Part One of a series Al Mohler has begun on the pastor as theologian. In it he appropriately laments a trend by which I'm greatly troubled as well - the relegating of theological rigor to the realms of academia:
Dr. Mohler's commentary brought a pet peeve to mind. I've cringed on numerous occasions when I've heard preachers introduce a doctrinal or theological explanation apologetically (and I don't mean in the sense of defending the faith). It's as though they're ashamed of or embarrassed by their responsibility to help people understand and apply what God has revealed. Such apologies serve only to perpetuate the faulty notion that theological understanding is a necessary evil to be tolerated rather than soul-nourishing truth to be sought and savored.
These developments have caused great harm to the church, separating ministries from theology, preaching from doctrine, and Christian care from conviction. In far too many cases, the pastor's ministry has been evacuated of serious doctrinal content and many pastors seem to have little connection to any sense of theological vocation.
All this must be reversed, if the church is to remain true to God's Word and the Gospel. Unless the pastor functions as a theologian, theology is left in the hands of those who, in many cases, have little or no connection or commitment to the local church.
The Lord knows there are many things for which those of us who are pastors should apologize to our people but being theologically driven is not one of them.
Related Tags: Albert Mohler, pastoral ministry, pastors, Christianity, preaching, doctrine, theology