What is The Already and The Not Yet?

“And it is our prayer in faith that God will raise up a new generation of pastors capable of fulfilling the responsibility to which they have been called, to provide theological leadership to the church, that the church might be renewed in life and mission – for the glory of her Savior and the advance of his kingdom in the world.” – Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson

The New Testament teaches that the Kingdom of God arrives in two stages: it is both an already reality with a not yet expectation. The saving rule of God as already irrupted in the midst of history by the resurrection of the God-Man. The future eschatological hope has invaded the present. The inbreaking of God’s reign has fundamentally altered the trajectory of the universe. But it has not arrived in its fullness. This means we currently wait for the consummation of the Kingdom of God. As we wait, we live within the tension between the already and the not yet. We are caught between the present evil age and the age to come. This present time is the time of overlap, living within the old creation while experiencing part of the new creation now by the Spirit.

The local church is an assembly of heaven on earth, awaiting the overthrow of puppet kings or lords by the Only True King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And as Christ’s under shepherds we are charged with the responsibility to care, love, and ultimately present the Bride to her Husband on the final day when the kingdom comes in its fullness. The theological paradigm of the already and the not yet shapes the way pastors view their particular role of shepherds. We not motivational speakers, life coaches, or political talking heads. Rather we are heralds of the Great King, guardians of the good deposit, theologians of the Sacred Word. Simple put – we are pastor theologians ministering within the tension of the already and not yet.

Within evangelicalism there has been a shift away from this particular vision of pastoring. Pastors are no longer viewed as theologians. The topics of theology, exegesis, and philosophy are confined to the ivory towers of universities, colleges, and seminaries. As such the local church is now a place for private and personal edification without the intellectual baggage of theology. But we say – no. The local church is a theological reality. The pastor is a guardian of theology. And his vocation is theological in nature. From the pastor’s study to the pulpit, from the living room to the hospital room, the pastor functions as a theologian between the already and the not yet.

This website is a theological think tank of aspiring pastor theologians who currently serve within local churches. We are not officially affiliated with any particular seminary (though we are currently pursuing formal theological education at advanced levels). We are not paid employees of a specific denomination (though we are connected in someway to the Southern Baptist Convention). We write simply because we sense a burden to reclaim the ancient vision of the pastor. We draw from works such as The Pastor as Public Theologian, Becoming A Pastor Theologian, and The Pastor Theologian. In no way are we saying we are experts in this calling. However we strive to fulfill this vision.

On the site you’ll find resources, content, and conversations from a pastor theologian perspective. The information is indeed to view pastoral ministry theologically not just pragmatically. The content will be more theological and academic in nature while remaining practical. We pray that this project will encourage and challenge you as we all strive to pastor between the already and the not yet.

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