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Under The Unpredictable Plant

December 19, 2012

The longer I serve in ministry the more I appreciate the wisdom and writitng of Eugene H. Peterson. Over the years he has been like a “pastor” to me allerting and warning me about the potential subtle sins applauded by congrigations and other ministry leaders. In UNDER THE PREDICTABLE PLANT:An Exploration of Vocational Holiness(Eerdmans, 1992) Peterson uses the book of Johan to explore the spiritual dimensions of ministry in a Wester 21st century context. The book contains fascinating insights from Eugene’s personal story to illustrate his points. For those who have read Peterson’s autiobiography they serve as poignent reminders of the context of these individule elements for those that have not they will wet your appitite for more. The book its self is full of briliant insights some presented as nuggets; “It is on our virtuous behavior that we are lible to the gravest sins.It is while we are being good that we have the chance of being really bad…It is in the course of being a good pastor that we have the most chance of developing pastoral pride, arrogance and insensativity” (P. 31) Other times the genus is in larger sections; beginning on page 99 a section on prayer that continues through page 115 is so profound I took the entire first movement in my undergraduate class on Leading Ministry Teams to read outline the section and then invite reflection and response, I am still thinking through some of the concepts months later. This book continues the series of books on pastoral minisry including WORKING THE ANGLES, FIVE SMOOTH STONES and I hope some additional future works by Eugene Peterson. I purchase read and reread anything I can find by Peterson I urge you to the same!

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