Eugene Peterson, in the midst of writing on four models of pastoral ministry, offers one he says he has always aimed to be like: the apocalyptic pastor. It is a wild phrase but a needful word for us today as pastors in the North American church. May we have ears to hear.
American religion is conspicuous for its messianically pretentious energy, its embarrassingly banal prose, and its impatiently hustling ambition. None of these marks is remotely biblical. None is faintly in evidence in the gospel story. All of them are thoroughly documented diseases of the spirit. Pastors are in great danger of being undetected carriers of the very disease we are charged to diagnose and heal. We need the most powerful of prophylactics — something like the apocalyptic prayer and poetry and patience of St. John.