Friday, 12 May 2006

Are all theologians?

“A church composed of only dogmaticians would no longer be a church but a research center. ‘Are all dogmaticians?’ Paul might have added to his list in 1 Corinthians 12:29-30. The proportion of dogmatic specialists in the fellowship needs only to be small. But those who can benefit from their work needs to be many.”

—Hendrikus Berkhof, Introduction to the Study of Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985), p. 14.


Chris Petersen said...

Great quote, Ben.

David W. Congdon said...

Yes, but...

I think Barth is right to denounce the division between theologian and layperson. If you are in the church, you are a theologian. Of course, that is very different from being a professional dogmatician. I think pastors need to encourage all parishioners to view themselves as theologians, because the task of speaking appropriately of God is one given to all, not just those educationally trained to do so.

Anonymous said...

There is lovely letter that Barth wrote in January 1968 to a pastor who was organising a conference for "non-theologians" on Barth's theology. Barth wishes the project well and hopes "that the participants will not find it dull and tedious but will find some joy in it and even laugh a little."

"There is only one thing . . . , dear pastor," Barth concludes, "that does not please me, namely that you call your enterprise a conference for non-theologians. I think that if you, pastor, could impress it on your fellows, and the participants could grasp the fact that in the church of Jesus Christ there can and should be no non-theologians, but that each man or woman, however simple, is called upon to be an even better theologian than K.B., you would have understood me and my theology."

Randy S Furco said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Randy S Furco said...

I think it is in our human nature to try and get everyone to jump on our "wagon".

I have just recently been freed from this tpye of thinking.

I always had a bit of an issue with the book worm, brainy type christians.

I thought that theologins just liked to hear themselves sound smart.

I am more of a Holy Ghost filled..firey type christian..a person who just wants to reach in, in faith and whoop the enemy.

Using the name of Jesus to establish Gods' Word..rough..rugged type prayer.

I now see that both sides of the spectrum are very important.

Without Holy Spirit fire..theologins just have endless words of man..

But without the theologin.....The fire brands..can get off into error and run around without good sound doctrine, starting fire to everything.

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