Some Very Difficult Questions
It is possible that ministry in daily life theology brings Christians —
individually and in congregations -- to ask questions whose answers are
difficult to derive or accept. They may include matters such as these:
- If "priest" is a narrowly Old Testament construct, "disciples" are
externally-dependent on followers and "stewards" are tools or
representatives of an oppressor class, just what metaphor/"job descriptor"
do we attach to the Christian lifestyle?
- Because the early church grew primarily because of its modeling Jesus'
teachings and life — and NOT primarily because of its message — (see Stark's
The Rise of Christianity), how could "lifestyle evangelism" and
"ministry in daily life" be taught and practiced in the church?
- What did Jesus mean when he said (John 5:17 CEV) "My Father has never
stopped working and that is why I keep on working"?
- What is the original context and deeper meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:58
CEV, "Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do
for him is worthwhile"?
- How can we understand the "house priest" story in Judges 17 and 18 in
the light of present-day role of pastor or church professional?
- What do we do with the truth that the majority of Old Testament figures
are not clergy or religious professionals? Does this show a weighting of
religious thought away from a purely-clerical view of how God operates in
- If part of the role of priest was to protect God's people from the
awesome power of God, how does that notion play out in present-day
understandings of the role of pastors?
- What can we learn from the significant movements within Protestantism
that have had at their root a desire to rid the church of its clerical
- How do we deal with the fact that the final versions of the Augsburg
Confession, although based on Luther's original writing, were written by a
lay theologian — Phillip Melanchthon — and other lay religious leaders
(e.g., princes and lawyers)?
- How do we deal with the demeaning notions of laity in Scripture and
theology (e.g., "sheep in need of a shepherd," "women keeping silence in the
- How can we release pastors from the (unrealistic) expectation that they
can be "little Jesus" in simultaneous roles as "prophet, priest and king"?