The news of Eugene Peterson’s death this week re-started an old conversation I’ve had with myself over the years—a conversation about ministry, and expectations, and grace.
You see, in 1999, I graduated from seminary and was ordained a minister. My gifts upon both occasions included Eugene Peterson books…a lot of Eugene Peterson books.
[If you’re unfamiliar with Peterson or know him only for The Message, you’ll find his obituary here: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/october/eugene-peterson-died-message-bible-long-obedience-resurrect.html He wrote a number of important books aimed at American Protestant pastors.]
I’ve given away most of my multiple copies now, and the ones I kept are underlined and sticky-noted, and at least two of them are missing pages. It’s ironic, really, given the fact that I stopped reading his books on pastoral ministry for the better part of 10 years, when I came to resent the work he offered. [Read more…]