Eugene Peterson: a pastor I respect

Eugene Peterson: a pastor I respect August 30, 2011

Even before I was ordained as a pastor in 1987, I read everything Eugene Peterson wrote. He has also lead me to other great writers, such as Annie Dillard, Eugen Rostenstock-Huessy, Luci Shaw, and more. He is a pastor I respect and I think the church and her pastors need to listen to him. Here’s a small clip from PBS you might enjoy:

Watch the full episode. See more Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Long ago I created a t-shirt idea in Eugene Peterson’s honor:

eugene

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  • Pat Pope

    I like that. 🙂

  • …paraphrase your T-shirt? 😉

  • Kurt

    So, you made me curious…what are the reasons you have found Peterson a pastor worthy of respect? I’ve read a couple of his books, and am quite fond of THE MESSAGE…

  • 1. he’s not caught up in fads
    2. believes in good solid teaching
    3. doesn’t think there’s a miracle cure for the church
    4. more concerned with how theology is lived than theology itself
    and i could go on.

  • I couldn’t agree more. I’ve come to read the entire Bible as myth. It doesn’t have to be “true” in order for me to see the profound message that it has for our generation and for generations to come. The following two quotes come to mind:

    “If you believe something is true, you don’t argue that it’s true. You live as though it’s true.” –Eckhart Tolle

    “A myth is something that never occurred, but is always happening.” — Stephanus of Byzantium, as rephrased by philosopher Jean Houston

    Those two quotes encapsulate my approach to scripture. I don’t argue it. I try to live it. I don’t use it to predict the future because it’s more important to try and find the present moment in the text.

    Thanks for sharing this video.

  • Steve

    I haven’t read much of Peterson; I’m most familiar with the Message, which I have to admit I don’t like at all.

  • What a wonderful, pleasant human being. He’s so spot on about the greed and materialistic bent of U.S. culture. No, I’d never reconvert because of him (or those like him), but I think the world is certainly a better place for people like him.
    He and his wife make such a cute couple, too. 🙂

  • 5. He doesn’t think a pastor/church should cater to what the people want. (variant on #1 – not caught up in fads.)

    5. He believes the “mainstream” churches are what will hold IT together.

  • fishon

    He confuses me at a couple of points.
    1. He says “What’s true. I’m not really interestes in what’s true; I want to know if I can live it out.”
    —–How can you possibly live out what’s true if you DON’T know what is true?

    2. The mainline churches are holding things together when all the fab stuff is gone.
    —–In his biggest pipe dream.

  • Pat Pope

    Hi Fishon. When I read that comment about not being concerned about what is true, what I think he’s saying is that he’s not as concerned about something being true as much as he’s concerned about living it out. I think his stating about wanting to live it out indicates that he recognizes truth. But some people obsess over whether something is true or not true and construct great arguments over truth, but they’re not as good at living it out. In other words it all stays theoretical for them. Does that make sense?

  • fishon

    Pat,
    Yes, that does make sense.

    YOU WROTE: “But some people obsess over whether something is true or not true and construct great arguments over truth, but they’re not as good at living it out.”
    —-I’m going to borrow that sentence and use it in a article I will write, for a local e-mail News Letter. I will not take credit for the thought, will give it to you.

  • Fishon: Now, about that mainstream comment; I gather your allegiance is with the marginal. But that makes sense because your marginal. (Just trying to describe here.)

  • Pat Pope

    Thanks, Fishon. 🙂

  • fishon

    sam scoville
    August 31, 2011 | 1:10 pm

    Fishon: Now, about that mainstream comment; I gather your allegiance is with the marginal. But that makes sense because your marginal.
    —Sam, in the scope of things, I am quiet insignifcant.

  • I understand: aren’t we all? Still, knowing that (or not) we each have our unique points of viewing–which we share or not, sometimes with authority, sometimes hesitantly. I was echoing your comment to me a few threads back–when I claimed “the mainstream” apparently does not seem to have the same kind of problems that agonize the followers of this series. You offered the observation that I would feel that way because I was mainstream. I’m actually out of the stream all together, but cherish the heritage and tradition that probably would be called mainstream. IN reply to a student asking in class yesterday: “what’s the difference between “religion” and “spirituality” I said, “not sure, but I myself am not spiritual worth a damn but I’m religious as hell.” The discussion proceeded for the rest of the hour.

  • fishon

    sam scoville
    September 1, 2011 | 4:51 am

    a student asking in class yesterday: “what’s the difference between “religion” and “spirituality” I said, “not sure, but I myself am not spiritual worth a damn but I’m religious as hell.” The discussion proceeded for the rest of the hour
    —-Oh, oh, I would have loved to have sit in on that discussion.

  • Christine

    Crystal – How would you find, say, Deuteronomy in the present moment and try to live it out?