(RNS) — Eugene Peterson, the bestselling author of “The Message” and longtime pastor praised as a “shepherd’s shepherd,” passed away Monday morning (Oct. 22) at age 85.Among Peterson’s last words were, “Let’s go,” according to a statement from his family.
“During the previous days, it was apparent that he was navigating the thin and sacred space between earth and heaven,” according to his family. “We overheard him speaking to people we can only presume were welcoming him into paradise. There may have even been a time or two when he accessed his Pentecostal roots and spoke in tongues as well.”
Peterson pastored Christ Our King Presbyterian Church, a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation he founded in Bel Air, Md., for 30 years while also writing widely to encourage and develop other pastors.
He is best known for “The Message,” his popular paraphrase of the Bible in contemporary language that made the Bible accessible to many Christians. Altogether, he wrote more than 30 books, including his 2013 memoir “The Pastor” and the Christian classic, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.”
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