Wits-Ends-Day: Early Warning Signs

Many seminaries and denominations require some level of psychological testing and evaluation for people who want to become pastors. I’m on board with the concept—the last thing we want is a bunch of narcissists in charge of churches. But I do question the effectiveness of some of these evaluations. The two things I remember from… Read More

Preacher Party: Wilderness of Judea Edition

Welcome to the second Sunday in the season of Advent! Today’s Gospel lesson brings us the story of John the Baptist, baptizing believers as they confessed their sins, shouting accusations at the Pharisees and Sadducees, and prophesying the coming of the Messiah. With whom do you relate most closely this week – John, Jesus, Pharisees… Read More

Wits-Ends-Day: Pastoral Job Descriptions

I am currently experiencing a settled stage of my life—which I find slightly unnerving but mostly good. I do, however, have several friends discerning a call. (In case you don’t speak church-ese, that means they are looking for a new pastor gig.) So I’ve been hearing about interviews and looking at pastoral job descriptions. I… Read More

The Pastoral is Political – The _Pastor_ Is Political

In the US, we just had “mid term elections,” where we don’t have an election for president but we do elect the entire lower house of our legislature (House of Representatives) and roughly one third of our upper house (Senate), as well as many state, county/parish, township, city, and other positions. So when I say… Read More

Wits-Ends-Day: New & Improved Christmas Hymns

One of the downsides of a theological education (and/or an overactive theological imagination) is an inability to sing some favorite old hymns with naive gusto. During this Christmas season in particular, we simply know too much about the biblical story (and the reality of childbirth and babies in general) to fully believe all of the… Read More