Evangelicalism’s Popes (Lints)

(This is a slightly edited re-post from December, 2015) It’s ironic and humorous when Christians mock or discredit creeds and confessions while at the same time firmly attaching themselves to some well-known preacher, podcaster, or blogger. Many Christians who are anti-creed are pro-celebrity pastor. This anti-confessional and pro-popular leader mindset is not new. It was… Continue reading Evangelicalism’s Popes (Lints)

Praise-Seeking Pastors [or Shaggy Donkey Ears] (Luther)

I probably don't have to explain the celebrity pastor ethos that is a major problem in Christianity today. In fact, some pastors want to be famous and well-known. Social media has made this problem worse. Anyway, in the "Preface to the Wittenberg Edition of Luther's German Writings", Martin Luther had some cutting things to say… Continue reading Praise-Seeking Pastors [or Shaggy Donkey Ears] (Luther)

The “Blessed Anonymity” of Pastoral Work (Peterson)

 One time when someone asked Eugene Peterson what he liked best about being a pastor, he said, "baptisms and funerals."  The person was confused, but as they discussed it, Peterson told him that he liked baptisms and funerals because at these events, he was not in the spotlight.  And that, he explained, is the way… Continue reading The “Blessed Anonymity” of Pastoral Work (Peterson)

The Danger of Popularity/Celebrity for Preachers (Newton)

 In a 1767 letter to one of his friends who was a pastor, John Newton said that a pastor has "two counter-streams to withstand."  Both of them, he said, will swipe the pastor off his feet unless the Lord upholds him.  What are these two counter-streams? Opposition and popularity.  Newton wrote that popularity is actually… Continue reading The Danger of Popularity/Celebrity for Preachers (Newton)

The Word Is Greater Than The Preacher (Luther)

 Last year I posted this section of a sermon Martin Luther gave on Luke 2, but it's worth mentioning again in our celebrity preacher situation.  In this part of the sermon, Luther was talking about how the shepherds outside of Bethlehem heard the angels' words proclaiming the Savior's birth.  Luther noted that the angels heard… Continue reading The Word Is Greater Than The Preacher (Luther)