As a retired pastor, I cannot help but reflect on the financially transactional nature of the pastoral “calling.” The question I ask of any active pastor today, whether struggling in frustration or soaring in satisfaction, is “If you won the lottery tomorrow, would you still be an institutional pastor in 12 months’ time?” The answer tells me everything I need to know about the nature of the situation.
Worship tunes—“corporate” in community and commerce—often feature lyrics of such positivity that they are simplistic and narrow, even to the point of banality. The best Christian art, music included, emanates from and speaks to the soul with nuance, even ambiguity.
I question the use of doubters. Secular doesn’t mean nonbeliever. There are many Christians and people of other religions who aren’t in Christian music. In some ways, the mainstream artists who are Christian can reach others who may not listen to Christian or gospel music. Even some of the artists that didn’t always promote a Christian lifestyle will still [mention] God, heaven, and Christian themes. Bob Dylan went through an evangelical Christian period. He returned to his Jewish roots. I wouldn’t label him a “doubter” either.
For a few weeks, my May/June CT had been sitting out waiting for me. I was intrigued by the [text] on the cover: “Scotland’s Brave Women.” I was amazed to find an eight-page spread about Niddrie Community Church (NCC). My sister’s husband is an elder of this church. They joined NCC about three years before ...1
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