The Most Famous Lutheran Pastor Since Bonhoeffer?

photo by Courtney Perry

It’s gotta be Nadia, right? I mean, I’ve been wracking my brain, and I cannot think of one. Can you? If so, please debate it in the comment.

PS: Yes, I know, Nadia will hate this post. But she’ll still love me. I think.

PPS: Check out Nadia’s post on Jericho Books’ site. It’s something I TOTALLY resonate with, about how her edgy, public self is not her only self.

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  • tanyam

    Don’t want to take anything from Nadia, but Paul Tillich? (Ordained in 1912. Bonhoeffer 1906, but maybe you don’t want to count him so much as “after Bonhoeffer.”) Not as famous now, but don’t want to forget Joseph Sittler, Ed Steimle, John Vannorsdall. All, alas, before Twitter.

    • Never heard of any of those guys except for Tillich. And I don’t think of Tillich as a pastor. He was a theologian. Was he also a working pastor?

      • CurtisMSP

        In the Lutheran tradition, everyone is a working pastor.

      • Pastor Joene Herr

        I hope you aren’t serious about never having heard of Diedrich Bonhoeffer, martyred by the Nazi’s during WWII. His “Cost of Discipleship” and “Life Together” are classics, at least among Lutherans. Joseph Sittler linked Christian theology and ecology before almost any one else in America. And yeah, both were pastors as well as writers and theological innovators. ‘Course, I’m a Lutheran…

        • Yes, I’ve heard of Bonhoeffer. In fact, see the title of this post. It’s the final three you name that I have not heard of.

          • Pastor Joene Herr

            Duh…sorry, for some reason my mind read Luther. You might enjoy Sittler. “Evocations of Grace” is worth the read

  • KentonS
  • CurtisMSP

    Well, it is not of typical Lutheran stock to seek fame. In the 20th century, overtly seeking fame was done more by Baptists, Evangelicals, and sometimes Catholics . It is only someone who became a Lutheran from outside traditional Lutheranism who might have the chutzpah to seek the kind of fame Nadia has created in her own lifetime.

    Lutheran faith used to be, primarily, an ethnic faith tradition. Lutherans who become Lutheran from outside Lutheranism are increasingly re-defining Lutheranism, along with many other parts of the church. That is a good thing.

    • Meredith Gould

      Pastor Nadia seeking fame? Uh, no. More like it has been generated for and about her by people who are weary of those who do.

      • CurtisMSP

        She may not be doing it intentionally, but certainly her rock-band background causes her to carry herself in a manner different from typical pastors, which sometimes gives the appearance of seeking fame.

        • Stacey (the kids’ Aunt Tasty)

          The problem with appearances, isn’t it.

  • CurtisMSP

    In contemporary liturgical circles, Marty Haugen is more well known than Nadia. And in contemporary Lutheran history, Martin Marty is more influential. But if you are talking internet and talk-show buzz, then yeah, that would be Nadia.

    It would be disappointing, though, if internet and talk-show buzz, alone, is what people are aspiring to these days.

    • I don’t think either of those is a pastor.

      • CurtisMSP

        Marty was a pastor from 1952 to 1962. But I think the strict emphasis on “working pastor” is going to skew your results. The role of the pastor is quite diminished in the Lutheran church, compared to many other denominations. The music and liturgy directors, as well as education staff, church council, and active lay leadership play as much or more role in Lutheran church ministry and identity than the pastor does. Lutherans, historically, shy away from strong personality figures, and seek a more diffuse church identity.

  • Garrison Keillor?