12 October 2011
Welcome to the Conversation
I am launching this blog in anticipation of the release of a new book that I edited and contributed to that will hit book store shelves November 1. My hope that in classrooms and in pastors' studies that this book will generate discussion about important issues related to American history and Christianity. The goal of the book is take the reader through four different historical interpretations that attempt to explain to what degree and in what ways Christianity has been part of American identity. Ultimately, I hope that by trying to get a clearer picture of our past, we can chart a more effective strategy for Christians and churches to be salt and light in our country. I hope you'll read the book and join the discussion.
In the future, this blog will be devoted to issues of history and ministry. The name of the blog, "A Pastor's Progress" is a complete rip off of John Bunyan's classic work. I feel, howeer, that the idea of pilgrimage and progress is fitting for me. I have been in vocational ministry for over 20 years. I've been blessed to have some wonderful opportunities. God has seen fit to allow me to work in youth ministry, education ministry and to pastor. It was a joy to also spend eight years teaching church history at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis. Today, I'm pastor of the First Baptist Church in Hazard, Kentucky.
As a pastor I am on a journey to honor God in my ministry and lead a church effectively for His glory. As a historian (primarily interested in Reformation, American and Baptist studies) I believe we have so much to glean from the past that will make us more faithful servants of Christ in the present.
A large part of me for years has refused to enter the blogging world. I have thought it to be a modern expression of our ever growing narcissistic tendencies. Also, I've thought it to be a poor use of my time. Hopefully, now that I'm choosing to blog, I can quickly discern if indeed it's a passing whim of self-centeredness or in someway serves a purpose other than my own ego. My desire is neither to feed my pride or waste my time. We'll see.
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