old theology books

Theological Studies For Pastors And Others

Between Two Worlds has a great post on how pastors can keep current with theological study. After almost 30 years as a pastor, I can attest to the difficulty with moving forward in this area. Staying up with current works on culture and biblical study is challenging. Finding time for personal reflecction is hard when you have read the passage many times before. The press of daily duties always looms large.

1. Build it into the things you’re already doing. (QT, sermon prep, discipling, etc.)

2. Stop wasting so much time on the internet. (pick just 2 or 3 blogs to read, and look at them once a week; stop wasting time updating your Facebook, Linkedin, and MySpcae pages, etc.)

3. Always have a book nearby. (capture the spare moments)

4. Build time for reading and reflection into your schedule. (you’ll be amazed how much time is freed up if you do #2! But beware, a pastor’s schedule abhors a vacuum, so if you don’t block out the time, something else will fill it in.)

5. Have a plan. (if you aim at nothing you’re sure to hit it.)

6. Read primary sources, not commentary. (you don’t have time to waste on the commentators. Read the Bible and the people who have written important theology. You can do it. You don’t need a PhD to read Luther, Calvin, Augustine, Edwards, Grudem, Frame, etc)

7. Don’t do it alone. (cultivate a theological conversation among your leaders. They will correct your idiosyncrasies and keep you accountable. It will also create a culture of theological seriousness in your church, which will benefit everyone.)

8. Let the Scriptures, not our culture, set the agenda. (Trying to keep up with our culture’s agenda is a chasing after the wind. On the other hand, if the Scriptures set the agenda, you’ll be ready for anything the cultures blows at you.)

9. Church History and Historical Theology are the pastors Cliff Notes to theology. (Other people, smarter than me, have already faced the stuff I face and have figured a lot of things out. I can stand on their shoulders and look like a genius! The cultural package may have changed, but there’s nothing new under the sun.)

Between Two Worlds: How Busy Pastors Can Work Theological Development into Their Schedules.

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