In a two-part conversation, Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies Rob Wall discusses 1 and 2 Timothy's relevance to today's church leaders today, with Anthony Robinson, coauthor with Wall of the latest book in the "Called" series, Called to Lead: Paul’s Letters to Timothy for a New Day.
Here are Wall's concluding remarks:
Too much biblical scholarship these days is detached from parish life. Even those scholars of the church, engaged in the theological education of the church’s future clergy and who to target the church when publishing their research, tend to write for one another rather than for rank-and-file saints. (Walt Brueggemann, who wrote the forward to our book, is a happy exception to this general observation.) What is needed in our mind is the work of translation, which seeks to rework the intellectual gains of today’s academy, which are often remarkable and relevant, in ways that benefit congregational leaders, both clergy and lay, at ground level.
Called to Lead
In our book, Tony and I are engaged in this work of translation. Even though the scholarly study of 1-2 Timothy has suffered from neglect or from selective reading, mostly because of the elevated importance scholars tend to give to the historian’s decisions about authorship, recent studies (including several excellent commentaries on 1-2 Timothy by both Protestant and Catholic scholars) and a growing interest in theological interpretations of Scripture have rehabilitated a keen interest in these sacred texts. We happily seek to exploit this renewed interest in the so-called “Pastoral Epistles” in a way that speaks into the very real needs facing the spiritual leaders of today’s Christian congregations. Tony is a national leader in the ongoing and often vigorous conversation about congregational leadership (or lack thereof!). I have just produced a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles for Eerdmans (THNTC) using a “canonical approach” to Scripture. Together we hope to model for our readers one way of using 1- 2 Timothy that is, in Christiaan Beker’s memorable phrase, a “word on target.”
Read the entire conversation.