#105: Jesus’s incendiary sermon and the need for pastor-theologians.

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In this episode of the Ministry Minded Podcast, I consider (again) Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, especially the portion that I identify as the hinge upon which that discourse turns, i.e., Jesus’s declaration that the righteousness required for entry into the kingdom of heaven must “exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.” (Mt 5:20) That statement is Christ’s incendiary gospel, which lays to waste any and all notions that man is able to realize the righteousness of the law in and of themselves. Here, I reflect on the resonance of that, particularly as it is connected with Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation. I also highlight some recent articles from around the web that articulate the growing need for pastor-theologians. It is my aim to encourage the listener that theology isn’t meant to be sequestered in the halls of scholastic thought — it’s meant to richly rejoiced in, lived, and loved by one and all, in all walks of life. I pray you’re blessed by these reflections.


Stonington Baptist Church sermons

On ministry transition in the middle of a pandemic and making sense of the atonement with Obbie Tyler Todd,” podcast from yours truly

Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation

Pastor-Theologians,” Tom Ascol

The Challenges and Possibilities (and Continuing Need) for the Pastor Theologian,” Gerald Hiestand

Gerhard Forde: A Recommendation,” John W. Hoyum

The Evangelistic Zeal of the Vaxxers,” Michael Pohlman

Christ and Calamity: Grace & Gratitude in the Darkest Valley, Harold Senkbeil

On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, 1518, Gerhard O. Forde

Your Old Testament Sermon Needs to Get Saved: A Handbook for Preaching Christ from the Old Testament, David M. King

Daily Grace: The Mockingbird Devotional, Vol. 2

Grace: So Much More Than You Know & So Much Better Than You Think, Brad J. Gray


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I’m Brad Gray and I serve as the Senior Pastor of Stonington Baptist Church in Paxinos, Pennsylvania, where I live with my wife Natalie, daughter Lydia, and son Braxton. Besides pastoring, I spend most of my time writing, reading, and ministering in many more ways. I am resolved to faithfully and fervently propagate the gospel of “grace upon grace” for the weary and the worn out. It is my sincerest desire to live and minister all “for the sake of the Name” (3 John 1:7). So long as Christ is exalted, that is enough.


Intro music: “Explorers (Instrumental Version)” by The Midnight, The Midnight Music LLC, 2018.

Ad music: “Coffee Stains” by Finley, licensed under CC BY 4.0.