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The Pastor as Minor Poet: Texts and Subtexts in the Ministerial Life

, 2009
ISBN: 9780802829627
  • Format:Digital
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Today’s pastors—often expected to be multitasking marvels who can make their churches “successful”—are understandably confused about their role. Craig Barnes contends that the true calling of a pastor is to help others become fully alive in Christ, to be a “minor poet,” or poet of the soul. As such, pastors are to read the major poets of Scripture and history in light of the dust and grit of daily parish life.

The Pastor as Minor Poet eloquently calls pastors to search for a deeper understanding of what they see—both in the text of Scripture and in the text of their parishioners’ lives. A critical part of this poetic vision involves discerning key subtexts beneath these texts, which allows pastors to preach the heart of the Word and to understand the hearts of their people. Written with a seasoned pastor’s depth of understanding and a poet’s sensibility and sensitivity, this book will minister to and inspire pastors everywhere.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Interested in similar titles? Be sure to check out Eerdmans Pastoral Resources Collection (8 vols.).

  • Calls pastors to search for a deeper understanding of Scripture and their parishioners’ lives
  • Provides insight from a seasoned pastor’s depth of understanding
  • Explores the true calling of a pastor as ‘minor poet’ or poet of the soul


  • Who Is the Pastor?
  • The Parish Poet
  • The Unpoetic Congregation
  • The Poet’s Pathos
  • The Poetic Community
  • The Subtext of Scripture
  • The Subtext of Human Life
  • The Subtext of the Poet
  • Writing the Poetry
Barnes knows all about being a pastor, how to use authority, how to lead, how to listen, and how to provoke. He knows, moreover, that it finally all comes down to faithful words that can conjure alternative scenarios of the future. In a society cold with technical reason, this summons to poetic truth is of huge importance.

Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

  • Title: The Pastor as Minor Poet: Texts and Subtexts in the Ministerial Life
  • Author: Craig Barnes
  • Series: The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2009
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Pages: 146
  • Era: era:Contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Pastoral theology; Clergy; Pastoral theology › Anecdotes; Clergy › Anecdotes
  • ISBN: 9780802829627
  • Resource Type: text.monograph.poetry
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2019-10-03T23:08:20Z

The Rev. Dr. Craig Barnes became the Robert Meneilly* professor of leadership and ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2002. In addition to this teaching ministry at PTS, he currently serves as Senior Pastor at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Previously, he served as the senior pastor of the National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC. Barnes earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago, where his doctoral advisor was Martin Marty. He is the author of several popular books, including most recently Searching for Home: Spirituality for Restless Souls (Brazos Press, 2006), Sacred Thirst: Finding God in the Desert of our Longings (Zondervan 2001) and Hustling God: Why We Work So Hard for What God Wants to Give (Zondervan 1999). A well-known Presbyterian, he is also the author of numerous published articles and is a popular speaker at Seminary and church events. The Meneilly Professorship was established in honor of the Rev. Robert Meneilly ‘47. It is designed to provide instruction in understanding the dynamics of congregational life and leadership. It also provides experienced pastoral presence on the campus.

Save up to 50% on pastoral resources


Digital list price: $19.99
Regular price: $15.99
Save $4.80 (30%)