Bookreview: Kevin J. Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan, The Pastor as Public Theologian. Reclaiming a Lost Vision (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015), Xi + 221 Pp., US$21.99. (ISBN 9780801097713).


The urgency for this book is felt throughout as the identity of the pastor is at stake. Who is the pastor, what is the pastor’s role, not only in church but also in representing the Christian faith in wider society? And even more pressing: what does it entail that pastors are theologians? The authors, Kevin Vanhoozer, research professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Chicago, Ill.) and Owen Strachan, assistant professor of Christian theology and church history, work together with twelve pastors in a book that combines a rigorous passion for both the church and the academy to reassess the pastor-theologian. The larger context for the book comes from an earlier wake-up call by one of these pastors, Gerald Hiestand, senior associate pastor in Oak Park, Ill., in his The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision (2015), and it is grounded in the authors’ conviction that ``theological minds belong in ecclesial bodies’’ (xi). The book argues against the supposed split between academic theology and pastoral ministry.

Journal of Reformed Theology