Friday, May 05, 2006

Well, I don't envy Broadhead his job.

When I'm in front of my ordination board, I talk about vocation and giftedness. I say things like, "My calling is clearly to teach pastors. My seminary professors--particularly the ones who were ordained themselves--made such a difference in my understanding of the pastoral life that I want to share it. Seminary professors are crucial members of the ministry of the church."

And so on.

Really, in my heart of hearts, I just. don't. want. to deal with this. I have no interest in playing nursemaid and policeman to a bunch of over-privileged, over-grown toddlers. I'd rather be teaching remedial grammar to second-career pastors than remedial ethics to well-educated undergrads.

Now, I'm not naive about the problems that go on in seminaries. (Our own institution dealt in its recent history with a professor and one of his graduate students leaving their respective spouses for each other.) But it's a different set of problems. And dealing with them is different when there is an underlying agreement that something called Christian Ethics might exist, even if we don't always know what it is and how it relates to us.

When everything's up for grabs, you can't even begin the conversation.

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