faithful to pragmatism

Jordon Cooper rightly observed from the reading lists of Catholic, mainline protestant, and evangelical pastors, that they’re faithful to pragmatism (“what works”) more than they’re faithful to theology, values, ideas, and truth::
Unfortunately, these preferences leave out works of serious theology, biblical interpretation, history and social analysis. Although one hesitates to pass judgement on pastors with busy lives and constant interruptions, the overall impression is that clergy do not read very deeply. Although they may read regularly, what they read seems to be relatively light fare and pragmatically focused.

See the full report from Pulpit & Pew titled “Pastors’ Picks: What Preachers Are Reading

now you know my bias, for ideas, so I’m not going to kowtow to pragmatism, and now you also know that I bowed out of the pastorate as well as resisted ordination to stick to my ideas and ideals.. as an aside, perhaps not too far down the cyber road will be a list of “what blogs pastors are reading” or “what blogs preachers are writing”..

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  1. jen lemen says:

    No wonder evangelicals are in trouble! That’s the worst list of books ever. I’d love instead a running list of what’s on Brian McLaren’s nightstand or what Stanley Hauerwas is reading.

  2. michael says:

    You make some good points. One thing you haven’t considered, though, is whether or not parishioners actually want deep theological thoughts presented to them. My experience is that most of the more demanding conversations are not taking place in or around church services and that there’s actually a pretty strong anti-intellectual bias in mainstream Christianity. In a democratic society can you really fault the clergy for not delving more deeply into theology?

    I’d go even farther and say that a lot of theological conversations have a strong scent of ivory towerism and don’t meet the everyday needs of people. There can be a real disconnect between theology and everyday concerns.

    I’m not anti-theology. Quite the contrary. I find blogs like yours to be much more intellectually/theologically interesting than Sunday service. The community part of service and the shared worship are what I attend service for. For the most part, if you want theology, Church ain’t where its happening. I just don’t think most people want more than bumper sticker theology.

  3. What the Clergy are Reading
    Jordon Cooper has posted a list of what modern clergy are reading, taken from Pulpit & Pew’s Pastor’' Picks: What Preachers are Reading. He correctly concludes that “these preferences leave out works of serious theology biblical interpretation,…