Archives For Kevin Vanhoozer

“The Doctrine of the Scriptures”

Kevin Vanhoozer, Inerrancy and Hermeneutics followed by Q and A.

Vanhoozer serves as Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

You will find the notes on pages 41-45 of the Conference Notebook.

You can access all the resources (audio, PDF notes and PP slides) from the Theology Conference and Preconference here, and you can access all the videos here.

Points to Prepare


Points to Ponder

The Importance of Pastor-Theologians

Greg Strand – July 13, 2015 Leave a comment

Kevin Vanhoozer is one of the premier systematic theologians among Evangelicals. There is not much he has written that I have not read. I am grateful he serves in the role of Research Professor of Systematic Theology at TEDS, our EFCA seminary.

Recently, on behalf of the Center for Pastor Theologians (CPT), he addressed some important topics in light of the forthcoming conference sponsored by CPT. Vanhoozer responds in brief to the following questions: 

Why are Pastor-Theologians Necessary? (3:03 minutes)

What’s the Harm if Pastors are Not Also Theologians? (2:12 minutes) 

What Might Happen if the Church Had More Pastor-Theologians? (1:28 minutes)

What Led to the Separation of Pastors and Theologians? (3:02 minutes)

He asks and answers key questions about the pastor-theologian. I heartily concur with what he says! 

Here are few additional questions:

  • Through these brief videos, what did you learn?
  • How do you need to grow as a pastor-theologian?
  • How do you foster the model of pastor-theologian with others?

What Are Theologians For?

Greg Strand – October 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Kevin Vanhoozer is one of the premier systematic theologians in Evangelicalism. He serves as Research Professor of Systematic Theology at TEDS, our EFCA seminary. Though his primary place of ministry is in the academy, his primary purpose in ministry is as a servant of and for the church.

Recently he delivered an excellent lecture at TEDS: “What Are Theologians For?: Why Doctors of the Church Prescribe Christian Doctrine.” This was the first in The TEDS Lectures Series I mentioned earlier this week. This is the post I promised.

Vanhoozer believes “what the Church needs now is pastor-theologians” who “prescribe Christian doctrine.” He concludes with seven summary theses.

Doctrine tells us who God is and what God is doing in Christ. So, doctors of the church prescribe doctrine in order to preserve the integrity of our Christian witness.

Second, doctrine tells us who and what we are in Jesus Christ. And doctors of the church prescribe doctrine to preserve the integrity of Christian identity. We’re not like the other nations, we’re a holy nation, a people of a new covenant.

Third, doctrine says of what is in Christ that it is. Doctors of the church prescribe doctrine in order, as I’ve said, to minister reality—the only reliable tonic to the toxins of meaninglessness and nothingness.

Fourth, doctrine restores sinners to their senses. Doctors of the church prescribe doctrine to wake up people who are sleepwalking their way through life, helping us see with the eyes of the heart the bright contours of the splendors of God revealed in Christ.

Fifth, doctrine provides a fiduciary framework for understanding God, the world, and ourselves. And doctors of the church prescribe it to dissipate the mist of confusion and apathy about the meaning of life.

Sixth, doctrine directs the church in the way of wisdom, godliness, and human flourishing. If we prescribe doctrine, we’re clarifying the mission of the church and we’re answering another question, maybe for another time, what are the people of God for?

And seventhly, doctrine instructs not only the head, but orients the heart and guides the hand. Doctors of the church prescribe doctrine so that our faith, hope, and love, our credenda, spiranda, and agenda, will go with the grain of the Gospel and correspond to the historical and eschatological reality of what is in Christ.

So, in sum, theology sets forth in speech what is in Christ. And at its best, it’s the attempt to set forth in persons what Christ is like. That is, doctrine is for growing disciples. . . . I’m suggesting, then, that the pastor-theologian is the church’s primary care physician. Problem is, too many pastors have stopped doctoring.

Vanhoozer answers the question “What are theologians for?” by focusing on the important role the pastor-theologian plays in “growing healthy disciples” who are “being renewed in Christ.”

Theologians are for growing healthy disciples who know how to live along the grain of the created order as it is being renewed in Christ. Theologians are for ministering health to the body of Christ, for helping its members to become little Christs. This is no waste of time. It is the way to redeem the time by cultivating godliness that is the lived knowledge of God. We might say that the real work of theology is the work of getting real, of conforming our speech, thought, and actions to the mind and heart of Jesus Christ who is the index of reality, the repository of all truth, goodness and beauty.

I would encourage you either to watch the video or to read the lecture video transcription. Vanhoozer, as always, provides a great deal of food for thought as he faithfully expounds the biblical and theological teaching on the role of the pastor-theologian. There is much to learn.

The Biblically Sanctified Imagination

Greg Strand – October 16, 2013 Leave a comment

In Kevin Vanhoozer’s conclusion to his lecture, “In bright shadow: C. S. Lewis on the Imagination for Theology and Discipleship,” he refers to an illustration that highlights how a biblically sanctified imagination enables us to see truths we would not normally see or understand. (For this illustration Vanhoozer acknowledges his indebtedness to Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999) p. 176.)

Vanhoozer writes,

Two stonemasons were hard at work. When asked what they are doing, the first said: “I am cutting this stone in a perfectly square shape.” The other answered: “I am building a cathedral.” Both answers are correct, but it takes imagination to see that you are building a cathedral, not simply making blocks of granite. Two pastors were hard at work. When asked what they are doing, the first said: “I am planning programs, preparing sermons, and managing conflict.” The other answered: “I am building a temple.” It takes a biblically trained imagination to see one’s congregation as a living temple, with each member a living stone (1 Pet. 2:5) being worked – chiseled, fitted, and polished – in order to be joined together with Christ, the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20). It takes the eschatological imagination to look at a sinner and see a saint.

Is the Scripture foundational to your life? Do the truths of Scripture form and shape your life? Do they form and shape your imagination such that what you do, how you do it and for whom you do it are all transformed? This is a life marked by the indwelling Holy Spirit enabling one to live by God’s grace and for God’s glory.

So, are you planning programs, preparing sermons and managing conflict? Or are you building a temple?

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) has begun a new video lecture series to equip those in ministry: The TEDS Lecture Series.

Here is the explanation of this new ministry:

The best way to get to know our community is to see our faculty do what they love: teach. Our upcoming video series will feature classroom lectures by our TEDS faculty, several of which are combined with behind-the-scenes interviews. Learn faculty members’ perspectives on their philosophy of teaching, as well as in-depth answers to questions touched on in the class. Lectures will include:

Introduction to Luke-Acts, by Dr. Dana Harris

What Are Theologians For?, a lecture by Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer

The Book of Hebrews, by Dr. D.A. Carson

Advanced Hebrew Exegesis, by Dr. Dennis Magary

This looks to be an excellent new resource. In fact, I have benefited greatly already by the lecture by Kevin Vanhoozer, which I will be posting later this week.