Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Pastoral Theology – A B&H Book Review
by Jill Printzenhoff
For this month’s B & H Book Review post I selected
Daniel L. Akin and R. Scott Pace’s book titled Pastoral Theology.
I opted to review this book for several reasons:
- I’m in my second year of graduate school pursuing a master’s degree in religion with a focus on biblical studies.
- In my course of study I’ve taken several classes covering most of the Scriptures, a class on Christian theology, and a class on preaching and teaching.
- I wanted to see if the book paralleled what I’ve learned during my course of study.
Here’s some of what I discovered:
First, Pastoral Theology is written from a nonacademic standpoint making the book much easier to read and understand than many academic textbooks.
Second, the book is ten chapters long, and is broken into three major sections:
- Trinitarian Foundation – discusses the Theological, Christological, and Pneumatological topics.
- Doctrinal Formulation – covers the Anthropological, Ecclesiological, and Missiological topics.
- Practical Facilitation – includes the Ministerial, Homiletical, and Familial topics.
Third, each chapter (excluding Chapter 1) is also broken into sections. In the first main section of chapters 2 through 10 the writers focus on the theological premise for the chapter material. The next section focuses on biblical precepts, and a third section focuses on pastoral principles.
Fourth, the writers support their theology statements with Scripture from 53 of the 66 books of the Bible. Thus, they are not pulling ideas from their own minds, but present Scriptural truth.
Fifth, all three sections of the book paralleled what I’ve learned in my grad classes.
A look at a reference, a quote, and a pastoral reminder from within the book:
A snippet from page 86 – On this page the writer’s reference the AD 381 Council of Constantinople, which was held to discuss “the most definitive declaration” of the theological affirmation “of the Spirits divine nature”.
A snippet from page 178 – Here the writers discuss the pastor’s role of spreading the gospel to all the nations of the world. They state, “Either we build Great Commission churches and accomplish the task that God has given us, or we force the Lord to plow around us to accomplish his will. Indeed, the Lord will accomplish his will. The question before us is this: Will we obey him or watch from the sidelines in disobedience?” Thus, we are reminded that “mission is not a ‘ministry’ of the church; it is at the heart of who the church is.”
A snippet from pages 256 & 257 – In this section the writers discuss the need for pastors to prioritize their time and guard their weekly schedule in order to adequately and faithfully prepare biblically based, Christ-centered, and faith focused messages. They remind preachers that “God has given us the message to proclaim,” and His “mandate to preach holds us accountable not merely for the action of preaching but also for the content of our messages.”
I found Pastoral Theology to be informative, and know that I will read and reference this book again in the future.
Pastoral Theology is a ministry resource that will benefit not only pastoral staff and lay leaders, but also anyone desiring to go into a ministerial field.
Have you read Pastoral Theology? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book. If you haven’t read it, what other ministry related books have you read that you would recommend to others?
** I received a free copy of Pastoral Theology from B&H Publishing in exchange for my honest review.