Thursday, June 26, 2008

How I Answer

Brute Squad: What Seminary did you go to?
Answer: St. Louis. But I could have gone to either.

Brute Squad: Ok then, Who were your favorite professors?
Answer: I liked them all.

Brute Squad: Seriously, you must have had some that were better than others?
Answer: Oh yeah. But I don't like to speak ill of the dead.

Brute Squad, thinking furiously: So some of your least favorite professors died?
Answer: Probably. Or they will. We all will.

Brute Squad: Do we know any of the same people? Who were your classmates?
Answer: Probably. It's a small Synod. We know each other.

And so it goes. Reflecting upon this I suppose I'm a jerk. I guess I shouldn't wonder why I have few friends. But I refuse to play the game. I've got enough labels already.

In all fairness once I make the point, I usually answer their questions.

True Answers:
Feuerhahn, Nagel, Voelz, Robinson.

I won't answer here the question of who my friends are. I don't want to drop names, enrage people or leave others out. But as much as it sounds like something Mr. Rogers would say, in a true sense you readers are my true friends. You are the people most willing to put up with my ravings and waste your good time here. Thank you.

I feel compelled to mention one other name: Steve Anderson, pastor in Chicago. At the Seminary he helped me move from one dorm room to another (several times, as I recall) and finally out of the dorm altogether. He's shown true friendship in countless other ways as well through the years. But a friend who helps you move is one that deserves public recognition. He's a better friend to me than I am to him. Cheers, Steve!


  1. Rev. Benjamin Harju said...

    Once, when meeting a pastor in the district for the first time, his first question to me was, "What seminary did you go to?" To which I responded, "Ft. Wayne." To which he immediately responded with a look of obvious distaste, saying, "Why?"

    (sigh) Partly because I was told by someone with the unofficial, behind-the-back nick-name of Arch Heretic, "Don't go there; they'll turn you into a Roman Catholic." Aren't synodical schools grand?

  2. Orianna Laun said...

    I was once asked when my husband graduated from Ft. Wayne. I said that he had gone to St. Louis. They assumed that no Confessional pastor can come from the Lou'. . .

  3. The Rev. BT Ball said...

    So Steve gets a shout out? Of course, I am a lousy friend it is true.

  4. Christopher D. Hall said...

    Ok, Ben...this is exactly why I didn't want to name names. I should say that you are one of the only of the St. Lounatics who have commented here.

    Ben is the kind of friend that invites you to be in his wedding--a great honor. But the wedding is in Montana...five hours from the nearest airport...which is 500 miles from anything else...where you almost get killed on the night of the rehearsal dinner... and there's more, but friendship prevents me from saying more ;)

    But it was a great wedding. I had a blast, apart from the Planes, Trains and Automobiles saga of getting there and back.

  5. Rev. Eric J Brown said...

    This is one of the joys I have with my situation. My dad is a pastor, so I already have a bit of a reputation simply as being his son. Second - he was born ALC - became LCMS in the late 70s when I was baptized because, well, the LCMS was the near by church with a school.

    So, although I've never been anything but Missouri, I don't have a lot of the life-long traditional Missouri hangups. And I'm arrogant and cocky, and if someone wants to look down on me about something, I'll just start throwing our random quotes from Luther or the Church fathers until they become embarrassed and go away.

    Oh, and Rev. Ball - I was so impressed with you at the Convention - but finding out that you hung out with the likes of Hall. . . disappointing, disappointing. Schlubs like me hang out with Hall.

  6. SJ Anderson said...

    Thank you, Chris, for the kind words. Although I've never posted here, I have been lurking about for a while. I always enjoy your ruminations.

    By the way, I enjoyed the picture of you in your Easter chasuble. Welcome to the hyper-euro crowd!