Jede Berufsgattung ist bestimmten Verführbarkeiten ausgesetzt, so auch die (angehenden) Theologen. D. A. Carson nennt einige der Spannungsfelder – und auch die Klammer, die alle diese Spannungen zusammenhalten: Demut.
1. Four forms of integration
- Don’t separate technical and devotional Bible study.
- Be learned and godly.
- Read individual texts in light of the whole Bible.
- Appreciate and read broadly in systematic theology, historical theology, philosophical theology, and various forms of biblical theology.
2. Polar temptations re work
- Don’t work too much. You can easily work yourself to exhaustion. Perfectionists are especially prone to be workaholics.
- Don’t work too little. You can survive even if you are lazy and undisciplined, but your work won’t be stellar or effective.
3. Five facets of pride
- Your desire to be admired and recognized is dangerous.
- The sheer joy you find in your work does not make you spiritually superior to people who work in other disciplines.
- Your academic specialty in an area of biblical studies does not make you a superior pastor.
- Knowing more about the Bible than most people you serve does not make you a superior person.
- You may experience inverted pride (i.e., being threatened because you are insecure and jealous) if successful professionals in secular work think lightly of your job.
4. Pressures to manipulate Scripture
- Avoid the pressure from the right: safe exegesis that reinforces your confessional group.
- Avoid the pressure from the left: clever exegesis that makes you academically respectable.
- Avoid the nonconformist pressure to reach independent conclusions on nearly everything.
- Avoid the pressure to so focus on the history of interpretation that you never decide anything.
- Instead, genuinely and patiently listen to the text with integrity.
5. Three priorities re writing
- Know what subjects you should tackle.
- Know what audience you should address.
- Avoid the lone-ranger complex.
These five domains are interrelated. What ties them together is humility.