Brother Lawrence says we should be contemplating the Lord while we do the dishes, but to be honest… I was contemplating myself recently. A couple of things were culminating in my head as I emptied the dishwasher and I just had to put them down on paper to process things. The first is, Rob Bell was interviewed by USA Today recently and in the article that was posted there was a quote from Richard Mouw my Seminary president. Mouw said Love Wins is "a great book, well within the bounds of orthodox Christianity and passionate about Jesus. The real fight, says Mouw, a friend of Bell, a Fuller graduate, is between “generous orthodoxy and stingy orthodoxy. There are stingy people who just want to consign many others to hell and only a few to heaven and take delight in the idea. But Rob Bell allows for a lot of mystery in how Jesus reaches people.” Sounds good, right? Well, here is the “sting” – a lot of conservative Christians would disagree. In fact a lot of conservative Christians are disagreeing. So why does the president of a Christian seminary take side with Rob? Is it because Rob is a student and friend? Maybe… …Or is it because Richard Mouw isn’t really credible as he is the president of a so-called “liberal” seminary? A simple google search will reveal several conversations (and a few warnings) about the state of Fuller and it’s views on biblical authorship and inerrancy. I would argue that most would not see Mouw as being an "outside voice" - they would simply lump him into the same box as Bell and seal it up. So what does this have to do with me? Glad you asked. Here is where my train of thought began racing today… So far I have been rejected/denied by at least 153 churches; and I would say that the majority of those churches were outside California. Most don’t give any reasons, and most of the time I right it off to inexperience. But something happened recently that caused me to wonder… The most recent church to consider me is out in Texas and during an interview… two times… I was asked about my “liberal seminary.” Plus, during the interview it was also mentioned that a few months ago I wasn’t even being considered strictly because I was from California. So I start adding things up… When you’re a little church out in the bible belt, or you consider yourself a “conservative” church… what do you do with a resume from a punk kid out in California who says he went to a liberal seminary? Because I would contend that some smaller churches would be willing to “give a break” to a young pastor wet behind the ears.. but when youth is connected to “liberal”… is that a recipe for unemployment? Is my only hope a church in Los Angeles or San Fransisco? Funny thing, I don’t consider myself a liberal. In fact, I don’t consider my Fuller education very liberal either and I am sure some of my professors would probably take offence at the title. With every application I sent out, I included a statement of faith. I wonder how many search teams (of well meaning, hard working people) never even read it.