This article was originally written for Christ Hold Fast. At times, evangelical Christianity can be a paradox. For as much as Protestants have spurned Roman Catholicism, they’re much more Catholic than they’d ever like to admit. By which, I mean, we operate with a stricter conditionality that we’d probably ever feel comfortable confessing. Besides our functional theology of grace plus works, which so often creeps in, the pastoral office is continually lofted to heights above where Scripture mandates. Growing up a pastor’s kid, I was privy to see and experience this firsthand. There’s an invisible target on the backs of the minister and his family, as they endeavor to serve the church without messing up. And in one sense, there is a peculiar calling and standard that any aspiring pastor must live up to. God’s Word is clear on that. (1 Tm 3:1ff) But in another sense, the pastoral office is much less complex than that. All preaching boils down to a dying man preaching to other dying men.