Last night we had the biggest turn-out for our cohort yet. Many of the usual people came out, including a few new faces from PTS. Princeton Theological Seminary President Iain Torrance (picture on the far left in the photo above) spent the evening with us along with some other professors from the seminary, and a visiting scholar from the University of Glasgow Divinity School, Systematic Theology professor Dr. George Newlands. I sat next to George and it was great to hear some of his perspective from the church in Scotland, in addition to the fact that he is just hilarious to listen to and has a very humble spirit.
Last night we focused on the role of the pastor: the pastor as theologian, and how, on a practical level, the pastor deals with doing ministry in an increasingly secular and pluralistic society. Conversations were good (at least at my table). One thing that we touched on for a bit, but didn’t have time to pursue, is the idea of the community/congregation as theologians. We spent a good deal of time talking about the pastor as theologian, one called to lead the people of God – but I wonder how we go about teaching our congregations to be theologians for themselves. Perhaps this is still a personal issue I need to work through, but I do not want to be a "talking head" pastor – I do not want to be viewed by people in my church (if I become a pastor) as "the man with the answers" – I don’t want people to think that Adam is the only one doing theology here. And really, everyone does theology all the time – by their simple act of living in this world as a follower of Christ and their attempting to navigate through the world and see God and learn about God through God’s creation. So I guess, instead of talking about the pastor as theologian, I’d like to hear some dialogue about the congregation as a community of theologians, as a theological community – how do we do that, and what does that look like?