Are we training leaders who will not capitulate—who stand by the gospel and speak with grace? Will we respectfully respond to dismissive voices with the courage of conviction?
Not everyone is a writer, but everyone communicates every day. Sometimes with precision. But let’s face it, often our language has more of the character of an unfortunate spill. And in seminary, it’s time to learn exactness.
Finding our guiding values by looking deep within will not lead to a true north. Nor will gaining more knowledge change things. This is hard to admit for most leaders—hard to admit in a culture of self-dependence.
It began a few days ago with an email from one of our professors, alerting some of us to Eugene Peterson’s recent interview with Jonathan Merritt. In it, Peterson was asked about his views regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage. When Peterson responded that he would have no problem performing a same-sex wedding, it sent shock waves throughout the Christian community.
Conversations at the end of sermons can go many places. I have forgotten most, but a few stand out. I particularly remember one that took place some thirty years ago. I was just into my first Senior Pastorate, having worked my way through the ranks of Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor. I was still in the process of completing my Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, having acquired a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology degree. Nonetheless, I felt overwhelmed and woefully inadequate. I felt very much a novice at preaching, pastoral care, and board leadership.