10 Commandments Of Pastoral Leadership: A Theological Study Of Pastoral Leadership In The Brethren Church (Ashland, Ohio) -- By: Roy A. Andrews

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 37:0 (NA 2005)
Article: 10 Commandments Of Pastoral Leadership: A Theological Study Of Pastoral Leadership In The Brethren Church (Ashland, Ohio)
Author: Roy A. Andrews


10 Commandments Of Pastoral Leadership: A Theological Study Of Pastoral Leadership In The Brethren Church (Ashland, Ohio)

Roy A. Andrews

Roy Andrews (M.A., ATS) is pastor of Elkhart First Brethren Church, Napanee, IN, and a Ph.D. student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Introduction

Writing a theology requires a framework. To build confidence in the framework, the theologian must reveal the foundational assumptions basic to such construction. Thus, the brick and mortar of this paper is built with a two-step logical progression. First, a sound theology must be based upon Scripture. After all a study of God should be founded upon his Word. Secondly, the human side of Scriptural interpretation brings discovery and discussion to the theological process. This is, of course, from where all the various theologies emerge.1

The human process of dealing with the divine can be seen in terms of the following analogy. There are three streams that feed a biblical theology, each of which can be posed as a question. The answers then ultimately fill the “theological pool” from which the adherents to the theological tradition drink. First, what are the current official documents of the church? This is sometimes referred to as the dogma.2 Second, what are the writings of thinkers in the past who have commented upon the theological understandings of their time? These are historical in nature and help provide a basis for understanding how the dogma was developed. Third, what are the writings of contemporary theological thinkers? This gives a current contextual flavor to the dogma that helps today’s followers understand and hopefully adhere to such tenets of the faith.

Before examining each of these feeder streams for pastoral leadership specifically, some explanation is necessary regarding the Brethren theological process in general. The Brethren Church finds its identity among the classification of churches known as “free churches” or “believers churches.”3 These have an historical aversion to systematized thinking. This is true for their understanding of God, the Bible, church government, etc.4 The Free Church emphasis is upon “right living” not on “right thinking,” the assumption being that the true measure of spiritual maturity lies in action, not in thought or rhetoric. In short, a person living rightly certainly must think correctly. Why talk about it or write it out? 5

This mindset results in devotional writing more than theolog...

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