As my memoir Accidental Preacher comes out in print, I am thrilled to receive this response from Erskine Clarke, a distinguished professor of American church history who for many years taught at Columbia Presbyterian Seminary.
I just finished Accidental Preacher—it is truly wonderful, a gift to the church and to all who are called to preach. As a South Carolinian (Columbia), I loved the parts about our home state and your growing up years. But most of all, I am deeply grateful for the ways in which you illumined with grace and courage the vocation of the preacher. You pull back the covers of our therapeutic sensibilities and reveal our self-preoccupations and loneliness with amazing clarity. I have been particularly challenged by your insistence that the church is where all sorts of people–the agreeable and disagreeable—live and work together by the grace of the gospel.
I hope it will be widely read by pastors and will be an encouragement for seminarians at a time when so few professors have any experience of being a pastor of a congregation. I also hope, of course, that laity will read it and learn not only something about the life of a pastor but also experience in new ways God’s call on their lives.
With gratitude, Erskine
PS Your article on plagiarism in the Journal for Preachers has evoked a no doubt intended response!