The Pastor: A Book Review

As a former seminary professor for candidates for the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA), I wonder if today's new pastors would be able to use Peterson as a model to emulate in present day cultures of church and community, if they were to limit themselves to the strategies for navigating congregational and denominational waters. He did not seem concerned about economic realities, multi-cultural complexities, or the calls to justice that are part of the gospel proclamation. Most of the ministry he describes is out of range of the painful adversarial wars in both church and national politics. However, a new pastor, or an old one, a lay person or seeker will be blessed by listening and learning from the interior journey of a soul who seeks to be the person and to do ministry that God has ordained for him.

The last chapters are less well developed than some of the earlier ones; possibly one does not have the perspective on the present day shaping of call as it is in process that one does in looking back over history. Nevertheless, to read Eugene Peterson's The Pastor was like opening a present, a gift of memory, of soul friendship, and a story of Grace Received. It can make readers glad to have opened it.

3/1/2011 5:00:00 AM
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