What is the role of the theologian in the local church? I think it’s a question worth asking.There appears to be a recognition now in many ecclesial circles that it’s important for Christians to think about their faith, and I do believe that this is good theological practice. But again, I ask: What is the role of the theologian in the local church, the role of the person who has formally studied theology at university or college, who has perhaps gone beyond an undergraduate degree, or who has not sat on his or her studies and continues to read the latest releases by, say, Walter Brueggeman or John Webster? Is the theologian meant to be a gadfly, buzzing around the latest trends that infiltrate the popular mindset (e.g. is the theologian meant to slag off The Shack when it’s an object of praise)? Is the theologian meant to lead worship, Bible studies, or preach? Or what? And how, if someone is a theologian in a formal sense (whatever that in itself might mean), does someone handle the criticism that is implied when no-one really takes you seriously, seeing you merely as a pedant?
(Partly, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, gentle reader, I’m asking the wider question of myself.)