Theologian William Placher once made the following observation:
“Several times, introducing me to a church group, a well-meaning person has said, ‘Bill Placher is a theologian, but I think you’ll find what he has to say very interesting.’ That but always worries me, yet it captures something honest about contemporary attitudes to Christian theology.”
I can vouch for Placher here. Over the years I’ve explored many different ways to introduce myself to new people. Through all those cases I’ve discovered that if you really want to put a damper on the conversation, you call yourself a theologian.
I suppose we could debate all day the multiplicity of forces that led to the cultural marginalization of theology. But what I’m really interested in is the question of how we can bring together the work of the academic theologian with the rhythms of the church and the formation of the individual.
In his new book Theology as Discipleship Dr. Keith L. Johnson seeks to provide an introduction to the discipline of theology which can overcome this regrettable division.
Dr. Johnson has his PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary and is Associate Professor of Theology at Wheaton College. He is the author and editor of several books, and in this interview I sat down with Dr. Johnson to explore the challenge of bringing together the mind and the heart, the academy and the church, as we seek to understand theology as discipleship.