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Blog // Thoughts
November 7, 2006

Theology Is Not A Private Reserve Of Theologians.

Tonight, I’ve been re-reading the BILD Paradigm papers. I’m not associated at all with them, but these are some thoughtful pieces on theological education, mission and hermeneutics. I remember being impressed with them a few years back and tonight they got my mind whizzing on some ideas, especially about church-based theological education from a hermeneutical […]

Tonight, I’ve been re-reading the BILD Paradigm papers. I’m not associated at all with them, but these are some thoughtful pieces on theological education, mission and hermeneutics. I remember being impressed with them a few years back and tonight they got my mind whizzing on some ideas, especially about church-based theological education from a hermeneutical perspective (yeah, my old hobby-horse, I know!).

Anyway, this quote from Karl Barth really stood out,

“Theology is not a private reserve of theologians. It is not a private affair for professors. Happily, there have always been pastors who understood it better than most professors. Nor is it a private affair for pastors. Happily, there have always been church members and many congregations who have discharged its function quietly but vigorously while their pastors were theological babes and barbarians. Theology is a matter for the church. It does not get on well without
pastors and professors. But its problem, the purity of the church’s service, is put to the whole church. There are in principle no non-theologians in the church. The term “laity” is one of the worst in the vocabulary of religion and ought to be banished from Christian conversation.”

Amen.

[tags] Theological Education, Laity, Clergy, Church, Karl Barth [/tags]

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Responses
Stephen 16 years ago

Amen, indeed.

And to that I’d add that theology is the not the private reserve of the older members of the church. People of ages offer theological insight and reflection needed for the church’s life.

(That also goes things like for gender, ethnicity, and educational qualifications. All are needed, all are to be encouraged, and all are to be valued.)

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Stephen – thanks for the reply.

Oh, and I agree.

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