I had to finish this book at some point…

A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson, Translator of the Message by Winn Collier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book had to come to an end at some point, no matter how long I delayed it. I read small bits. I wrote a lot in my journal. So much of Peterson’s early life was so familiar to my own, growing up in the Assemblies of God. How the Scriptures came alive to him in that seminary class was my story in a Bible college class when I was a junior.

Peterson’s temper. His inner struggles that no one really knew about. His struggle with the church as a whole… and his passionate love for the church all at the same time.

Winn Collier has gifted us with a biography that perfectly captures Peterson’s voice and at the same time it invites us to sit in a comfortable chair and feel like Peterson sits with us. This book deeply moved me.

And, it had to come to an end. I delayed it as long as possible. I mourn moving on from it. Honestly.

Peterson held a place I had hoped I could hold in my own spiritual life: the place of ambiguity. I still have decades to go (the Lord willing) and I have my doubts as to being able to stay in that place of love and ambiguity. Our culture is so explosive and demands too many answers when few answers are to be had.

I pray for the resolve to live in the mystery. The ambiguity. I don’t want to be nailed down any longer on the culture wars junk. I want to love Christ and love others. Even if it is perfectly imperfect, this is where I want to be found.


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A Burning In My Bones - By Winn Collier (hardcover) : Target

“Build another building”

Reading in Eugene Peterson’s biography (and remembering this story from his memoir), there was the time in beginning Christ Our King church that they finally built their building. It was a glorious time. Then, people began to disappear.

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Church as commodity

This morning a thought in prayer was this: The church must always be subversive. It needs to always be in the servant role.

Then I continued my meandering through A Burning in My Bones, the biography of Eugene Peterson.

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One of the beauties of liturgy

One of the things that may confound some folks who wonder about me leaving the Pentecostal denomination I grew up in is how I go to a place that has liturgy. I mean, it “repeats” every Sunday! Where is the moving of the Spirit?

(Of course, no one actually asks me these things. Silence is the code these days.)

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We need the true prophetic voice again

“The prophets purge our imaginations of this world’s assumptions on how life is lived and what counts in life. Over and over again, God the Holy Spirit uses the prophets to separate his people from the cultures in which they live and to put them back on the path of simple faith and obedience and worship in defiance of all that the world admires and rewards.” — Eugene Peterson, As Kingfishers Catch Fire

We need the prophets again. Not only that, we need to pay attention once again.