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The Pastor

July 7, 2011

I have been a great admirer of Eugene Peterson for some time. I did not appreciate his writings when I was younger but the older I get the more wisdom and insight I see in every page. I am convinced it is not Peterson who is getting better it is simply my ability to appreciate solid pastoral insight that has matured over the years. The Pastor is the autobiographical journey of Eugene Peterson and his wife Jan subtitled “Every step an arrival” Each chapter is a short “snapshot” of a ministry adventure or learning oppertunity. The book travels from Montana and The Assemblies of God to the East Coast and Prsebyterianism. It includes the issues surrounding the founding of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church ouside of Baltimore to the translation of The Message. The book is of course well written, Eugene Peterson is a wordsmith of the highest degree. The discussions about church planting and calling should be read by everyone entering the ministry. In addition to the very personal insights and stories severial times Peterson’s scholarship shines through including the observation on the book of Revelation on page 244 “Pastor John of Patmos knew the Bible inside and out. The Revelation has 404 verses. In thos 404 verses, there are 518 refrences to earlier Scripture. But there is not a single quote; all the refenences are allusions. Here was a pastor and writer who was absolutly immersed in Scripture and submitted himself to it.” I read that quote a couple of weeks ago and I am still reflecting on the implications of that insight for my life and ministry! Overall the book was a treat that includes a new introduction to the power of Alexander Whyte in the life of a pastor for as Eugene tells the story it was Whyte’s writing that ‘preached to his life for decades before preaching on Sunday. There are more characters, quotes, insights and authors named than could possibly covered in a short review so do yourself a favor and get a copy for your desk and read it often! I know I will be revisiting the book again soon.

One Comment
  1. Alice Robbins permalink

    I have always like Eugene’s stuff! Thanks!

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