Live Blogging the Scholar as Pastor

8:51 – Carson is up, and I’m back online (internet is hit-and-miss up in the auditorium). “It’s not wise to say that every pastor has the gifts and scholarly training… do do major works.” However, he gives a couple of exceptions. For instance, J.I. Packer wrote “Knowing God” in the womb of pastoral ministry… so it’s possible. 

8:53 – Picking up on introduction… there is an evangelical tradition that tells us that we are to love God with our “mind”, with our intellect. Argument goes like this: “love the Lord with all your mind, soul, and strength.” Carson doesn’t think this is entirely valid. In the OT, the gut is the place of emotion. In the OT, the heart is the whole being. Dominant in all that is what you think.

8:57 – What this means is that using our minds in a lazy ways (in relation to God) borders on the blasphemous.  

8:59 – Love of God should never degenerate into mere emotion; it is holistic. There’s plenty of references to mind and 

9:00 – Biblical warnings about how knowledge puffs up doesn’t mean we are to avoid intellectualism. Conversely, saying that loving God with our minds doesn’t not absolve or delude the Biblical mandate of passion. 

9:01 – A word about his own pilgrimage. As an undergrad, he went to Mcgill university. Wanted to pursue Organic Synthesis at Cornell. At this time, he began to observe two kinds of people in chemistry. Those who approached retirement and hated what they did, and those who loved it. He fell in the middle, and wanted out. Entered ministry.

9:15 – Internet was out, back up now. Main sermon: scholar as frustrated pastor. Twelve points for them:

9:16 – Point 1: Take steps to avoid becoming a mere quartermaster. They’re the ones that supply the front lines. 

9:20 – Point 2: Beware the seduction of applause… from one of two directions. An academic direction, or a religious direction. This was tempting for him in his training while in England. 

9:29 – Relates a story about how scholars may not get the Gospel at all. You can assent to it and not really know it in the affectional sense.

9:30 – The second direction of applause is your own conservative constituency.

9:31 – Point 3: Fight with every fiber of your being the common dichotomy between objective study of Scripture and devotional reading of Scripture. Don’t stop thinking in devotion, and be passionate and loving towards God in your exegesis.

9:35 – Point 4:  Never forget that it’s about the souls of people who are outside your studies.  

9:37 – Back with the internet, now in the cafe’ downstairs. Took notes on points 3 and 4 during the downtime; will post notes above in a minute.

9:38 – Point 5: Happily recognize that God distributes gifts among scholar-pastors. Some have popularizing skills, some churn out stuff, some have precise skills. We shouldn’t think that we all must be similarly endowed.

9:41 – Point 6: Recognize that students don’t learn everything you teach them. In terms of life long commitment, your students learn what you’re excited about. That’s pretty profound for pastors too. Be excited about that which is of the most fundamental importance. Otherwise, you teach people to undermine that which is most important if you emphasize the wrong thing.

9:43 – First generation assumes the Gospel, second generation marginalizes the Gospel, third generation denies the Gospel. 

9:44 – Point 7: Make the main thing the main thing. Don’t teach people to master the NT, teach them to be mastered by the NT. Don’t just teach them what the passage says, teach them how to find what’s in the passage. 

9:46 – Point 8: Pray and work for a scholarly vision that is beyond the publisher’s. 

9:48 – Point 9: Love the church. The seminaries won’t exist in eternity.

9:49 – Point 10: Avoid lone ranger scholarships. “Reading makes a full man, speaking makes a quick man, writing makes a exact man.”

9:50 – Point 11: Be quick to be interested in the works of others more than your own work.

9:50 – Point 12: Take the work seriously, but not too seriously. Laugh at yourself.



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