I was having a conversation yesterday about “calling” and pastoral ministry. As my friend and I were talking we discussed that a pastor should, generally, know more about scripture than a construction worker, for example. A pastor needs to be more educated because he’s leading people. My worry is that we will lay all the theological authority on the “smart people.” What if only the big minds had access to biblical interpretation and theology? Should the construction worker forfeit all and be at the mercy of his pastor? The beauty of theology is that everyone has one… everyone is a theologian. If only the big minds had access then we’d be foolish to be talking about it. We’d just read C.S. Lewis and Dallas Willard and drop the whole thing. The truth is YOU have access to theology just as much as Dallas Willard… it’s your job.
What’s amazing about theology is that it’s less about finding answers and more about experience and daily life. If you neglect your theological task and assimilate to someone else’s ideas then it’s never going to be real to you.
I often run theological circles. I begin to bring into question something I’ve always “known” and come out believing the same thing. As I explore and probe my beliefs I’m not actually changing them (sometimes I do) I’m claiming them. Your job in theology is to wrestle. Wrestling is the only sport in the Bible In Genesis 32 Jacob wrestles with God and what happens? Jacob is blessed, he comes out limping but he’s blessed. People who really do theology, limp. When we wrestle with our theology and with scripture we are making it our own and not someone else’s. We will come out limping but we will be blessed.