For our annual faculty workshop at Southeastern Seminary, we read Brad Green’s stimulating book The Gospel and the Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life (Crossway, 2010). I first read Green’s book when it was first published (see my review), but I was happy to revisit it for our faculty discussions. Among the many helpful passages, this one stood out:
[W]e should not overlook the obvious: God has chosen to change lives and work in his people through the local church and the ministry of pastors. To put it plainly: to truly have a Christian mind, to truly be a Christian intellectual, it to have a mind transformed by Christ. And to have a mind transformed by Christ—a mind moved to repentance, led to knowledge of the truth, and able to escape the snare of the devil—is to have placed oneself within a key channel of grace, a church where biblical pastoral ministry is practiced (p. 160).
As one who longs to see a growing number of pastor-theologians and theologians who are pastors among Southern Baptists and other evangelicals, I offer a hearty “amen” to Green’s thoughts. Christian scholars, especially theologians, use their intellectual gifts to serve the church. And you cannot serve the church faithfully without submitting to the oversight of a local congregation and her pastor(s).