Articles

Pastor Theologians, The Gospel, and the Ministry of Racial Conciliation by Benjamin D. Espinoza

Pastor Theologians, The Gospel, and the Ministry of Racial Conciliation Benjamin D. Espinoza Benjamin Espinoza (MA, Asbury Theological Seminary) is a PhD student at Michigan State University. His research explores theological education, leadership, vocation, and diversity in churches and seminaries. He is a fellow with the Center for Pastor Theologians and serves on the board of the Association of Youth Ministry Educators. Abstract: Evangelicalism has a historically tenuous relationship with racial conciliation. As our nation becomes increasingly diverse, we must rethink our approaches to racial conciliation. The purpose of this article is to give pastor theologians a vision and plan for developing a rich ministry of racial conciliation. The paper will situate racial conciliation as a gospel issue that demands a response. Next, the article will explore how scholars have reflected on the source, nature, and solutions to racism. Finally, I develop key practices and implications that will assist pastor theologians in being agents of racial conciliation in both ecclesial and academic spaces. Key Words: Race, evangelicalism, pastor theologian, racial conciliation, social justice, gospel Share this on:

A Way Forward for Pastor-Apologists: Navigating the Apologetic Method Debate by Joshua D. Chatraw

A Way Forward for Pastor-Apologists: Navigating the Apologetic Method Debate Joshua D. Chatraw Joshua Chatraw (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Theology and Apologetics and the Executive Director of The Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement at Liberty University. Introduction When discussing apologetics with pastors, I routinely hear two types of responses concerning method: frustration and confusion.1 While often having been taught a particular approach that seems logical and fits within their theological tradition, they nevertheless find the approach is too confining. “Real life discussions do not work like that,” they tell me. The systems they learned in seminary classes made sense but in the messiness of ministry they often fall short. Dealing with people who don’t primarily theorize their way through life or who seem to have completely different operational frameworks, they become either frustrated with their neighbors or dissatisfied with apologetics as they understand it (and often both). Others are simply confused by the various methods, and when they try to delve into the methodological discussions they find some of the disputes akin to theological hair splitting and the polarizing tone uninviting. In hopes of alleviating some of this confusion and frustration, this article will…

What Worship Leaders Need Their Pastors to Know: A Call to Theological Leadership in Worship by Matthew Ward

What Worship Leaders Need Their Pastors to Know: A Call to Theological Leadership in Worship Matthew Ward Matthew Ward (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Thomson GA, and has led music ministries for almost twenty years. He is also a Fellow of the Center for Pastor Theologians. Abstract: Many pastors today do not understand their role in their church’s worship—they have not received training in the principles of corporate worship and someone else on staff has the title of “worship leader.” That elusive role is to provide theological leadership to the worship ministries of the local church. Theological leadership assumes that pastors have done the work of developing a theology of worship. It then involves two steps: contextualizing that theology to their unique local church and communicating it effectively with that local church. While there are many examples of a theology of worship available to consider, there are few examples of a contextualized theology; this article offers two that are still general enough to glean benefits and pitfalls. Communication is a two-way process. If pastors are to be effective theological leaders, they must cultivate meaningful relationships—particularly with their worship leaders, listen and learn,…

Current Issues in Pastoral Theology: An Editorial Introduction by Justin L. McLendon

Current Issues in Pastoral Theology: An Editorial Introduction Justin L. McLendon, Executive Editor Of Special Issue Justin teaches full-time at Grand Canyon University and is a Managing Editor of JBTS This special issue of the Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies features articles exploring current issues in pastoral theology. The articles within this issue address academic and ecclesial concerns across the evangelical spectrum. In keeping with the mission of JBTS—to relay content that is original and yet accessible—this issue contains articles uniquely formulated to speak to seminary students, busy ministers, and scholars academically engaged in the broad field of pastoral theology. This issue includes an even selection of articles from scholars working within various academic institutions, in addition to articles from pastors engaged in the trenches of everyday pastoral ministry. In sum, this issue offers a distinct set of voices from varied backgrounds, ministry methodologies, and denominational alliances. Share this on: