Having the Theologians Stoned

C. Peter Wagner has a rather controversial proposal for ridding the world of the unscriptural office of theologian in the Jan/Feb issue of Ministry Today (excerpt here). His argument is twofold: one, the office is not listed in the Ephesians 4:11 leadership list and two, declaring the position of theologian risks the further division of laity and leadership. While the article uses vignettes mainly drawn from his experience in academia, Wagner is not shy about calling for the Church as a whole to do away with this unecessary oracle/interpreter.

This would be fine if all members of the body were to devote themselves fully to the division of the Word, having a full understanding of the development and backgrounds of competing schools of interpretation and doctrine, but it seems unlikely. The pastor and teacher office are the most likely to take up the theologian mantle when the first stone flies but then, doesn’t this make them theologians? I’m not quite ready to give up the wisdom and research of those who have devoted themselves to the study of the intricacies of God’s Word as I would prefer to convert their work into application which can serve my congregation and our community.