May 17, 2022


Welcome to the first edition of the Shepherds & Scholars Newsletter, a monthly email from Phoenix Seminary that seeks to equip saints for ministry built upon a robust biblical and theological foundation.

You can look forward to your monthly "Wayne's Word"—a brief word of theological reflection from Dr. Wayne Grudem highlighting doctrine and practical ministry application.  

We’ll also share a word of pastoral wisdom from a local church pastor or leader here in the Southwest who is on the front lines of ministry as well as highlight scholarly resources for deep study from our very own Phoenix Seminary faculty.

But first, here’s our monthly “Desert Roundup”—links to some highlights of recent content and resources that we think you may find helpful!

Meet the Early Church’s Pro-Life Movement In light of scientific advances and the heated debates surrounding it, many assume that abortion is a uniquely modern issue. As Dr. Brian Arnold shows in this new TGC article, it is not. Advocating for the lives of infants and the unborn has always been a part of the church’s witness and a consequence of the gospel message. 

How Do We Impart the Gospel to Our Children? – We often hear statistics about kids leaving the faith when they grow up, but how should Christians respond? Listen to Jared Kennedy discuss this important issue on the Faith Seeking Understanding podcast linked above.

Free Online Old Testament LecturesHere at Phoenix Seminary, we’ve recently made all the online course lectures from Dr. Mike Thigpen’s Old Testament II class available for free. Join us in exploring the Prophets and Wisdom books of the Old Testament as you’ve never seen them before. Not convinced it’s for you? We think this trailer will change your mind.

Andrew Hébert, lead pastor of Paramount Baptist Church, has recently written Shepherding like Jesus: Returning to the Wild Idea that Character Matters in Ministry. In the wake of numerous leadership scandals and failures in the church, this book is a trove of pastoral wisdom on the heart of pastoral ministry, including insights from Hébert as well as contributions from seasoned pastors near the end of long tenures of faithful ministry. 

Check out an excerpt from the book here. Listen to Andrew discuss the book with Brian Arnold here.

Andrew’s recommendations for further reading on this topic:

Steve Duby serves as Associate Professor of Theology at Phoenix Seminary. He's written Jesus and the God of Classical Theism, a new book on Christology that many scholars and pastors are eagerly anticipating. You can read the first chapter of the new book for free here. Pre-order his new book here. Reply to this email and we'll send you a 40% discount code!

More resources from Dr. Duby:

Dr. Duby’s recommendations for pastors on the subject of Christology:

Systematic theology is any study that answers the question, “What does the whole Bible teach us today?” about any given topic. It differs from... 

  • historical theology—a historical study of how Christians in different periods have understood various theological topics

  • philosophical theology—studying theological topics by using the tools and methods of philosophical reasoning

  • apologetics—providing a defense of the truthfulness of the faith for the purpose of convincing unbelievers

  • Christian ethics—any study that answers the question, “What does God require us to do and what attitudes does he require us to have today?” with regard to any given situation

Teaching doctrine (what the whole Bible teaches us today about some particular topic) is important because teaching is an explicit part of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19–20). We should study systematic theology with prayer (Ps. 119:18), humility (1 Pet. 5:5), with our reason, with help from others (1 Cor. 12:28), and with a rejoicing heart of worship (Rom. 11:33–36).

Think About It: What is likely to happen to a church or denomination that gives up learning systematic theology for a generation or longer? Has that been true of your church? 

Memorize It: Students have repeatedly mentioned that one of the most valuable parts of any of their courses in college or seminary has been the Scripture passages they were required to memorize. Consider memorizing Matthew 28:18–20 to remember the importance of teaching doctrine in responding to the commission Jesus has given us, his followers.

Sing it! Theology done right should lead us into worship. I’ve made a practice of concluding my lectures by singing with my students. “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” by Charles Wesley begins by wishing for “a thousand tongues” to sing God’s praise. Verse 2 is a prayer that God would “assist me” in singing his praise throughout the earth.

This content was adapted from my book, Systematic Theology. If you'd like to explore the topic of systematic theology more, I've written this book to help readers better understand doctrine and grow in their faith.

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