Integrating Theology And Pastoral Ministry(神學與教會牧養的結合)/Millard J. Erickson 艾利克森



神學學科與非神學學科整合的模式有三類:第一類是非神學學科的論述可以成為神學的內容;第二類是兩者對立;第三類是互不相干,各有不同向度及基礎。艾利克森陳述了范泰爾(Cornelius Van Til)、約翰•衛斯理(John Wesley)、葛倫斯(Stanley Grenz)及田立克(Paul Tillich)對自然啟示和特殊啟示的看法;並表示贊同田立克的觀點,認為應把信仰內容與深受文化影響的表達形式整合,另外也認同自然啟示是特殊啟示以外的另一種權威。

神學學科內的整合方面,艾利克森認為在聖經註釋的過程中,我們循環地將聖經文本的含意與信條互相印證。他以近年在美國流行的開放神觀(open theism) 為例,指出那些支持上帝會改變心意的人,會引用撒母耳記上十五章作證據,卻沒有注意也有經文表示上帝不會改變心意。艾利克森藉此例子引導我們思考應該根據敘事經文解釋教導性經文,還是根據教導性經文解釋敘事經文。




Erickson suggests that theology and pastoral ministry could be integrated in three areas: first, to correlate theological with non-theological disciplines; second, between theological disciplines; and third, with practice of ministry. He also suggests the fourth possible approach: the relationship of the cognitive to the affective.

Concerning the correlation of theological with non-theological disciplines, several positions have been taken: the first position is that, some of the contents of a theology can be derived from non-theological discourse; the second is the idea of mutual antagonism; and the third is of mutual indifference, i.e. the two are of such different orientations that they cannot conflict. Erickson gives an account of Cornelius Van Til, John Wesley, Stanley Grenz and Paul Tillich’s view on general and special revelation. He agrees with Tillich, and suggests that contents of faith should integrate with expressions that are profoundly affected by cultures. Besides, Erickson agrees that general revelation is a different kind of authority other than special revelation.

Concerning integration between theological disciplines, Erickson observes that while we do exegesis, we move back and forth constantly rechecking and readjusting doctrines as we understand the text better. Besides, the author gives an example of open theism, which has been present in America recently, and points out that those who regards God will change His mind usually give 1 Samuel 15 as evidence, yet there also are scriptures indicating that God will not change His mind, but those people have this fact neglected. With such an example Erickson discusses the relation of narrative with didactic passage.

As to the integration of theological disciplines with pastoral ministry, there has been two approaches: one is to learn from successful churches some skills; the other is to rethink the pastoral principles, and to apply to different contexts. Erickson reminds that while applying a certain pastoral principles, one should be able to distinguish the “how” and “why.” He emphasizes that theological training is not mere skill training, and that we also have to understand the backed up principles. As last, the author lists eight suggestions concerning theological education and ministry.