In the initial post for this blog, I argued that both scientia and sapientia are necessary. I would imagine that many would acknowledge the importance of the latter, but what about the former? Really, how important is it that we engage in the more theoretical aspects of theological research? In a recent book on theological education, Daniel Aleshire made the following observation:
“As I listen to some church leaders and read some analysis of the needs of the church, the intellectual work of research or learning more than strategies for ministry seems to be in disrepute. It is perceived as a luxury that can no longer be afforded or a useless way to engage the practical difficulties that churches face.” (Earthen Vessels: Hopeful Reflections on the Work and Future of Theological Schools [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008], p. 171).
What do you think? Is there any legitimacy to the argument that scientia is, at best, a luxury that the church should only pursue when it has time to spare from its more pressing ministerial obligations; or, at worst, a distraction and a detriment to those more fundamental concerns? Given the declining vitality of the church in the western world and the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of people around the world, should we not be investing our time, energy, and material resources in more strategically significant ways? In other words, does scientia have a sufficiently important role to play in the life of the church today to warrant the time that we spend on it?