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)

Pride, Celebrity, Self-Flattery, and Donkeys

 Andreas Kostenberger has a nice section about humility in his book Excellence.  He notes that humility is one of the "cardinal virtues in the Christian life and in academic work."  In the chapter Kostenberger quotes Calvin: I was always exceedingly delighted with that saying of Chrysostom, “The foundation of our philosophy is humility”; and yet more… Continue reading Pride, Celebrity, Self-Flattery, and Donkeys