Seems there’s some sort of dust up over the proper title of Jill Biden, wife of the PRESIDENT ELECT, Joe Biden. Some business about “Dr. Biden” being the proper designation rather than just Jill or Ms. Biden or whatever. I confess that I thought she was an M.D. rather than an Ed.D. She has a doctorate in education, not medicine, not a PhD. Doesn’t matter to me. It’s a free country. She can insist on whatever title she wants. I’ll not quibble about it.
But nothing is more inflated in church life than this business of titles. Well, maybe egos are more inflated, but I’m writing about the business of the pastor/preacher who is not just Bubba but DOCTOR Bubba.
He done went and got hisself a doctorate, probably a Doctor of Ministry unless he raised a lot of shekels for some institution and got handed an honorary doctorate.
I think things have settled down on this from a few years ago when you couldn’t have a speaker, a pastor, a conference leader who wasn’t touted as DOCTOR Jim Bob.
Independent Fundamentalist Baptists, of which we are not numbered unless you count the perpetual critics, were the worst offenders. Back when I would get mailouts for Bible conferences, newspapers even, all the speakers were Dr. Freddie, Dr. Johnny, Dr. LeRoy, Dr. J. Willie…you get the picture. I suppose conference hosts and sponsors believed the title added street cred and gravitas to the lineup.
I’ve heard distinguished DOCTORS preach who couldn’t string together a single declarative sentence although they were world class shouters and spitters.
Come to think of it, some doctorates aren’t worth a pail of tepid expectoration, if John Nance Garner, doctor of jurisprudence, will forgive me.
Let’s name names, shall we?
I think Dave Miller has a DMin but he’s never insisted on being called “Dr. Miller.” He prefers “King David.”
Team member Adam Blosser is working on a D.Min. He might be hard to handle once he gets it.
Todd Benkert, another team member, looks like a doctor, got the glasses going for him and all. Hikes the Grand Canyon.
Occasional contributor Bart Barber has a PhD, I think. Maybe some obscure part of Baptist history. Makes me sleepy just thinking about it. Among the few humble Texans, he doesn’t insist on the title.
I’ll stick with “Doctor” for my physicians and my professors, thank you. We’ve got enough ego inflation around here anyway.
I”m shouting PRESIDENT ELECT in this article just to see who might be triggered. I can recommend a real medical doctor for you, probably a psychiatrist.
Not to leave out Brent Hobbs. He may have a real, think PhD, doctorate.
Yeah, I understand full well that our six seminaries have to offer DMins and PhDs. Enrollment pays and there’s not much incentive to flunking any student out. Call me Dr. Cynical if you wish.