I started feeling the tug toward agnosticism sometime during my PhD program. I remember clearly a particular moment, and it was, somewhat ironically, while I was serving as the pastor of the Princeton Baptist Church.
Even though I was incredibly busy at the time (I was taking a full load of graduate seminars, preparing to take my PhD exams, serving as a Teaching Assistant for a class taught by Bruce Metzger, AND serving as the pastor of the church) I enjoyed the ministry very much. Well, parts of the ministry. I have never enjoyed transition rituals very much: baptisms, weddings, funerals, and the like. And of course pastoring a church involves doing such things. And I wasn’t thrilled with visiting the sick – I was a bit out of my depth on that one. But I did very much enjoy interactions with the people I worked with in the church, and I especially liked preaching nearly every week.
I remember thinking at the time, though, that …
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