Matt talks to the Duke professor and former UMC bishop about resisting the temptation to close the gap between the Bible’s strange claims and a congregation’s expectations, and about following a really good preacher into a new church.
Mark and Empire: Feminist Reflections, by Laurel K. Cobb. Laurel Cobb interprets the Gospel of Mark from the perspective of three decades of work in international public health and social welfare programs. Weaving themes of poverty, health, and justice work through recent scholarship on Mark and empire, she offers a moving and challenging practical theology of discipleship.
Christian Higher Education: A Global Reconnaissance, edited by Joel Carpenter, Perry L. Glanzer, and Nicholas S. Lantinga. Even where their overall numbers in a society are tiny, Christians often establish their presence and status through the excellence of their schools and colleges.
If God’s response to Job in chapter 38 were meant only to shut Job up, seven verses would be sufficient. But God is only getting started here, and the exuberance of the rhetoric insists that vastly more is at stake.
Some congregations are increasingly relying on search firms to fill pastoral vacancies. Minister Search, the first such firm, began in 2001. It didn’t have a single client the first year, but now it does searches for 30 to 50 pastoral positions annually. Another firm began in 2010 and has completed 753 placements. Ministerial search firms are particularly popular with independent congregations, which lack a denominational structure for finding candidates. Firms typically charge a congregation about one-third the annual compensation of the hired minister (Chicago Tribune, September 4).