When I meet strangers and am asked what I do, and I say I’m a Lutheran pastor, there are exactly two possible reactions. Either my new acquaintances look at my fully tattooed arms and my nose ring and say nothing while their faces ask, “Are you joking? Or lying?” Or they say, “Oh, the only thing I know about Lutherans comes from Garrison Keillor”—and then I groan.
It’s not easy having the entirety of one’s religious tradition known to millions of people only through public-radio monologues about fictitious people in Minnesota. I couldn’t be more Lutheran. And I couldn’t be less Pastor Inqvist.