I suppose actually there are some odd scholars. But that is not my point. As preachers we tend to focus most, if not all, of our ministry attention on local church ministry. This is good as the local church is God’s primary means of reaching the world with the gospel. However, let’s not fall into the trap of ignoring or despising scholarship.
It is true that every Christian is involved in theological education by being part of a local church. However, there is a need for good evangelical men and women in academia too. Peter Williams, of Tyndale House, Cambridge, made this very important point at a recent conference. If we leave academia and scholarship to non-church attenders, then we’ll soon end up in a very negative situation. Specifically, we’ll have no study resources that aren’t attacks on Scripture. Anti-christian scholars aren’t going to note the kind of details we’ve touched on in the last couple of days.
So, in your church, is there an individual you could encourage into quality Christian scholarship?
We should be mentoring preachers. We should be discipling/mentoring believers in all aspects of spirituality and ministry. Perhaps we should look for someone to mentor and encourage toward solid evangelical Christian scholarship – for the sake of future preachers!