Tag Archives: Carl Trueman

Cueball and the Trendy Pastor

Carl Trueman has written a humorous and insightful article addressing the trend of “extended adolescence of the Western male.” He takes issue particularly with the emergence of the “Rev. Dave Trendy.”

“This brings me to my serious point: what is it with ministers and Christian leaders who seem to feel a compulsive need to talk about youth culture all the time and to adopt the styles of self-obsessed teenagers in order to demonstrate how `relevant’ their ministries are and how hidebound everybody else’s are? Above all, the arrival among the forty-somethings of the soul patch, that absurdly redundant tuft of hair just below the bottom lip, says it all. That middle-aged ministers think that they are somehow culturally more attuned or useful because they lecture their peers about what kids do or do not believe, and because they adopt the aesthetics and style of the modern metrosexual is a bizarre and sad turn of events.”

Trueman goes on to give a word of encouragement to those of us who are becoming more and more follicly challenged. He says that “baldness is nonetheless a great gift from the Lord, in that it imposes a certain dignity on the ageing process by cutting off the various less dignified options (e.g., ponytails, which shouldn’t be sported by anyone over 30; and mullets which, frankly, should not be sported by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Period.).”

It is a great article. I think it has the potential to produce good discussion on the issue of relevancy in ministry and what that even means. Are there too many pastors trying to be hip and cool in order to achieve relevancy? I believe so. Pastors are bypassing the needs and dynamics of their congregations and communities in order to look like the big trendy churches who seem to attract all the people. It’s ministry in a box. Pastors who subscribe to such a philosophy become nothing more than cultural puppets. Their ministries are dictated by the cultural norms and trends. The saddest aspect of this issue is the fact that there is constant pressure on pastors to adopt these ministry fads. However, people do not need 10 steps to better thinking. They need the gospel. People do not need trendy. They need the Word of God faithfully proclaimed and consistently lived out.

Read Trueman’s article and tell me what you think. And to my fellow balding brethren, “parade your baldness with pride and accept the dignity which your divinely-imposed hair loss brings with it.”

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Trueman & The German Reformation

worms.jpgAt this year’s Reformation Heritage Conference, Carl Trueman recently gave a series of lectures and sermons detailing the German Reformation and addressing the role of tradition and history within the life of the believer. He first discussed the heart of the German Reformation along with its key figure, Martin Luther. His characterization of Luther is quite informative and entertaining. Recalling one bit of history, Trueman tells the story of Luther’s cold response to the news that Ulrich Zwingli, leader of the Swiss Reformation, had been killed on the battlefield. Reformation history is Trueman’s bread and butter. His lectures are engaging and quite helpful in grasping a world that is not far removed from our own.  

In the final three messages, Trueman dispells the false dichotomy between the bible and tradition. He talks about the faulty reasoning present in the argument that there is no place for tradition when it comes to the bible and christian living. Many people claim that all they need is the bible and that’s it. Forget about tradition or history. Yet they are fooling themselves by believing that tradition and history had nothing to do with the interpretation of Scripture that went into the translated bible they hold so dear. Trueman makes this point crystal clear.

The six messages are not only beneficial to the church historian or historical theologian but to every Christian who desires to live faithfully by the Word of God for the glory of God. It is a call to examine our past so that we might better engage the present. Listen to all six and be blessed.