We were discussing Eugene Peterson in the Lounge recently. He has an old book published in 1987 called [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0802802656/102-0470524-9288153?v=glance&n=283155&v=glance]Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity[/url].The book begins this way:
"Pastors are abandoning their posts, left and right, and at an alarming rate. They are not leaving their churches and getting other jobs. Congregations still pay their salaries. Their names remain on the church stationery and they continue to appear in pulpits on Sundays. But they are abandoning their posts, their calling. They have gone whoring after other gods. What they do with their time under the guise of pastoral ministry hasn't the remotest connection with what the church's pastors have done for most of twenty centuries. A few of us are angry about it. We are angry because we have been deserted. Most of my colleagues who defined ministry for me, examined, ordained and then installed me as a pastor in a congregation, a short while later walked off and left me, having, they said, more urgent things to do... ...It is bitterly disappointing to enter a room full of people whom you have every reason to expect share the quest and commitments of pastoral work and find within ten minutes that they most definitely do not. They talk of images and statistics. They drop names. They discuss influence and status. Matters of God and the soul and Scripture are not grist for their mills. [b]The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shop-keepers, and the shops they keep are churches.[/b] They are preoccupied with shopkeepers' concerns: how to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money."