Book Review: The Pastor as Scholar & the Scholar as Pastor

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When considering my future vocation, instead of being anxious and excited at what the future holds, I find myself in a constant state of tumult considering the dilemma: do I teach or do I preach? “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). While this proverb has proved to be true in my life, I have found that a problem is bound to arise when there are too many advisers. The result of superfluous counsel is not a successful plan, but chaos. It was precisely this reason that made me especially excited to review this title, The Pastor as Scholar & The Scholar as Pastor by John Piper and D.A. Carson.

These men have had a Herculean impact on my life so naturally I was enthusiastically interested in hearing both parties sway me one way or another. Much to my chagrin, but greatly to my advantage, both Piper and Carson described the role of the pastor and scholar as opposite sides of the same coin. Being a pastor without cultivating a heart for academia violates the quintessential biblical mandate of studying to show yourself approved, being prepared to give an answer, and the Pauline attitude that would motivate one on his death bed to say, “bring my scrolls and parchments when you come”.  Additionally, being a scholar without having a pastor’s heart makes one intrinsically a Pharisee.

While I must legally disclose that I did receive this book free of charge for the purpose of reviewing it, I am in no way obligated to present it in a positive light. That being said, whether you just received your degree and seminary is on the horizon, or you are a seasoned pastor with three deacons meetings this week, this book is for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Crossway Publishing for this review. I have not received any compensation for writing this post. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”