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What Does the Title Pastor-Teacher Mean?

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Josh Philpot has some questions for Dr. Richard Caldwell about his position as the Pastor of Founders Baptist Church. Dr. Caldwell's title is that of Pastor-Teacher. Dr. Philpot tells us he is interested in that title combination. As a pastor, Dr. Caldwell is both a preacher and a teacher. So first, he asks Dr. Caldwell to articulate the difference between preaching and teaching. Next, Dr. Philpot asks Dr. Caldwell to explain where pastors fit into this role. But, also where others from the congregation in terms of their gifting fit into it. Lastly, as Dr. Caldwell answers these questions, Dr. Philpot has a few other questions relating to these roles and positions within the Church.

Dr. Caldwell begins by saying that there are many New Testament words to describe the teaching element in the life of the Church. There are several Greek words used that are translated into English as preach and preaching. To distinguish between the two categories, he needs to make some distinctions. Preaching has an exhortative element present that isn’t necessarily in the teaching role. Teaching involves more explaining things and can be done in different ways. He thinks of it more in the category of instructions of various kinds in various settings. Whereas preaching in the life of the Church is a heralding. It’s not so much a conversation as it is the declaration of a message. It's in the declaring that there is this exhortative element. We exhort people to respond, make decisions, and act on what is being heard. Yet, also, all preaching has teaching present in it. Preaching that contains no instruction is not preaching that is done well. He tells us that preaching needs to be thought of more in its biblical terms than in cultural terms. Whenever he thinks about the preaching role and what he is called to do, he thinks about 1 Timothy 4:13. He reads this and explains how it applies.

Dr. Philpot says so, all preachers are teachers, but not all teachers are preachers. Dr. Caldwell responds that that is how he would say it. Dr. Philpot then asks if preaching is relegated to the preached Word on a Sunday on the Lord’s Day?

Dr. Caldwell says there is a sense that when we share the gospel, we are preaching. But in the life of the Church, preaching is a shepherding role and requires the feeding of the Lord’s sheep. Sunday after Sunday, there is the reading of the Scriptures, the Scriptures explained, and people are exhorted to embrace the message. Additionally, during this time they are taught doctrine as well. But he would not say that preaching is confined to the pulpit or the Church on Sundays. It is wherever we are serving as heralds declaring the Lord’s message.

Biblically then, is the term preaching relegated to what a man does versus what a woman does? Dr. Caldwell tells us that he would not refer to what a woman does when she speaks to and exhorts other women as preaching. There is a sense that this is being done when the gospel is declared to other women. But because women are not to teach or exercise authority over men, he would not call what women do with other women preaching. Another reason he would not do this is due to the association with the culture's understanding of preaching. He believes it is a misunderstanding of what a woman is doing. It is appropriate to say of a woman that she is a teacher of the Word of God to women. We can even say that she is a good teacher, a gifted teacher, and a useful teacher. He believes this is the best way to communicate what a woman is doing.

Does preaching have a kind of power that teaching does not? Dr. Caldwell says that preaching has an urgency in the decisional element that's present in it. Every time preachers declare God’s message, they call for responses, decisions, and actions, every single time. In just reading the Scriptures on our own, we are called to do something with what we read. In preaching, that call is emphasized. There is a sense of urgency and immediacy as people are exhorted to act upon what they are hearing that very time and day.

Lastly, Dr. Philpot asks Dr. Caldwell to explain the title of Pastor-Teacher, and why it isn’t Pastor-Preacher or even something else.

Dr. Caldwell shares that this is in keeping with what is found in Ephesians 4 and believes that the two titles given in verse 11 are tied together. The reason for this title is to emphasize the shepherding nature of the teaching of the Word of God. His role is not just to declare the gospel, but it is to teach the whole counsel of God. So in all his preaching, there will be a teaching element. The qualifications of elders in 1 Timothy 3 call for all elders to be able to teach; this includes the office of the one who would be the primary pastor-teacher to a congregation.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 20 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas



Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by

Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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