I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet Will Willimon today. Probably everyone who reads my blog has their own pastor/scholar heroes. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lesslie Newbigin, Eugene Peterson, and Will Willimon are some of mine.
Today I had the opportunity to hear him interact with some Duke Divinity School students in Ken Carder’s Introduction to Christian Ministry course (of which I served as the Teaching Assistant last year).
Here were three of my favorite ideas Willimon shared today:
- "As a pastor, it helps to be an intellectual. Amidst the ordinary, getting excited about ideas helps."
- “By their 50's, pastors need theologians. Ministry is too dangerous, too peculiarly demanding. At that point, you need more than just liking people.”
- "Some biblical texts are all gospel or all law. I preach them in their onesidedness and then let communion balance it out."
Willimon was Dean of Duke Chapel for 20 years and had now been a United Methodist Church bishop in Alabama for five years. He blogs at http://willimon.blogspot.com/ and has two new books out.
The Early Preaching of Karl Barth: Fourteen Sermons with Commentary by William H. Willimon by Karl Barth and William Willimon (Paperback - Sep 2, 2009)
Undone by Easter: Keeping Preaching Fresh by William H. Willimon (Paperback - Oct 2009)
See also Bishop Willimon's Podcast -- The iTunes link will only work if you have iTunes, which is free program that works on PC's and Macs, installed on your computer.