“In modern times a rift has opened up between being a pastor and being a theologian, as if a person could be one without the other. While I recognize the danger of generalization, I detect today both a lack of confidence among pastors in the efficacy of Word and sacraments to effect healing and blessing and a failure among theologians to present the gospel in a manner that allows pastors to discern directly the pastoral power of the Word of God. Pastoral work is concerned always with the gospel of God’s redemption in, through, and as Jesus Christ, no matter the presenting problem that someone brings. Pastoral work by definition connects the gospel story, that is, the truths and realities of God’s saving economy, with the actual lives and situations of the people. In other words, pastoral work is at all points guided by biblical and theological perspectives, and these biblical and theological perspectives, properly rooted in the gospel of salvation, are discovered to be inherently pastoral.”
Andrew Purves, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), xxix-xxx.