Pastor or Scholar? Pursue Your Strongest Desire

Jeff Robinson | November 3, 2015

Editors’ note: This is the second installment in a new series on the pastor-scholar. Articles will be published each Tuesday through the opening of the 2015 annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), November 17 to 19, in Atlanta.

For 17 years Tom Schreiner has walked the delicate line of serving as both a full-time academic and a preaching elder in his local church. He has written numerous important books and commentaries, including Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ (IVP Academic, 2006); New Testament Theology (Baker Academic, 2008); The King in His Beauty (Baker Academic, 2013) [interview]; Commentary on Hebrews (B&H Academic, 2015); and his latest, Faith Alone—The Doctrine of Justification (Zondervan, 2015). In 2014, he was president of the Evangelical Theological Society.

For six years of the past ten years, Schreiner has been my family’s pastor at Clifton Baptist Church. In this interview we discuss the questions a growing number of ministry students seem to be asking as they sort through whether God has equipped them to pastor in the church, teach in the academy, or perhaps both.    


In your early years of ministry, how did you work through how God was directing you to use your gifts to fulfill your calling to be either a pastor

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