Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's Tense Being a Pastor-Scholar

Blogger Andrew Wilson writes for CT on the tensions that pastor-scholars face.

The specialist - generalist tension
The practical - theoretical tension
The university - church tension
The novelty - fidelity tension

He also links to Michael J Kruger's blog post on a chiastic typology of scholar/pastors

Pastor - scholar
Pastor - scholar active in the academy
Scholar - pastor active in the church
Scholar - pastor

I think both the roles of pastor and scholar have become more all consuming and complicated in recent decades and increasingly the divide will be greater. Many pastors simply don't have the time to read more than a book a month, yet on any academic biblical or theological topic the secondary literature is so overwhelming that most full-time scholars struggle to keep up with it. This is one of the things I find blog reading very valuable for when scholars take the time to blog their research into digestible chunks. Additionally with the internet access to more and more resources does make it possible for even very isolated pastors to access cutting edge scholarship and even engage with it. So maybe there is hope for pastor-scholars yet  . . .

A Rather Handy Disagreement Heirarchy

Way back in 2008 Paul Graham suggests up with a heirarchy of types of disagreement. Now you can see this represented with a handy graphic (which unfortunately doesn't go all the way to the top level - central point refutation) supplied by Films for Action.

While Graham aims this at comments on websites I think this is a helpful tool for any discourse to evaluate your own comments and disagreements. Especially helpful for students to have a typology in which to be self critical of their opinions.

All of which is very helpful in not being an ass hat to begin with.