In her column on my marriage views, “Separation of church and state in marriage?“, Lisa Miller introduces me to her readers as “one well-known evangelical pastor in Minneapolis.”
“In Minneapolis”? Yep.
“Evangelical pastor”? I don’t think so.
To me, a pastor is someone who pastors — that is, someone who shepherds a group of people (usually referred to as a congregation), and who does that in a church (i.e., an InterVarsity staff person on a college campus is not, to my mind, is not a pastor). While I occasionally preach, and even perform the odd wedding and funeral, I’m not a pastor. She should have called me an “ordained clergyman.” (I would also think that the Washington Post style guide would require her to refer to me as “the Rev. Dr.” But that’s another issue altogether.)
“Evangelical” seems to me a adjective that one can claim for oneself, but it doesn’t seem like someone can put that on you from a quick glance at your CV. That’s why I’ve pushed for the term “incarnational Christian” to describe myself.
My mistake, I guess, was in not making that clear when a reporter called me. It’s a mistake that I won’t make again.