“The Christian life is the lifelong practice of attending to the details of congruence — congruence between ends and means, congruence between what we do and the way we do it, congruence between what is written in Scripture and our living out what is written, congruence between a ship and its prow, congruence between preaching and living, congruence between the sermon and what is lived in both preacher and congregation, the congruence of the Word made flesh in Jesus with what is lived in our flesh.” — Eugene Peterson, As Kingfishers Catch Fire
I have no sense of imagination. I will miss Eugene Peterson.
Peterson saw pastors moving from church to church, often in exhaustion, and identified the problem—a sense of pastor as program director for a church that often viewed the gospel as a way to success, or at least avoidance of suffering. His answer was a paradigm shift, but not the kind found in ministry self-help bestsellers.
“The paradigm shift is not accomplished by a change of schedule, attending a ministry workshop, or getting fitted in a new suit of spiritual disciplines—although any or all of these might be useful,” he wrote. “It is the imagination that must shift, the huge interior of our lives that determines the angle and scope of our vocation. A long, prayerful soak in the biblical imaginations of Ezekiel and St. John, those antitheses to flat-earth programmatics, is a place to start.” From this article.
Spiritual giants are in transition. Dallas Willard a few years ago. Today, Eugene Peterson. Continue reading “Another spiritual giant transitions to glory”
I have held to what I call a “theology of place.” I minister in a physical place. I don’t minister in theory. I try to minister in reality. That has to do with where I am. Continue reading “The theology of place”
“Everyone more or less believes in God or gods. But most of us do our best to keep God on the margins of our lives, or, failing that, we refashion God to suit our convenience. Continue reading “The need for prophets”
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. (Ps. 29:1-2) Continue reading “Finding Beauty”
To pray is to first listen. Prayer is about giving attention.
Eugene Peterson notes in As Kingfishers Catch Fire that there are five books of Psalms and each book has a concluding thought. Five books in one. Five conclusions.
We realize our Hebrew ancestors wisely arranged this book of prayers to protect us from presumptuous prayer. Presumptuous prayer speaks to God without first listening to him. Presumptuous prayers obsessively, anxiously, or pretentiously multiply human words to God with, at best, a distracted, indifferent, or fitful interest in God’s words to us. But God speaks to us before we speak to him. If we pray without first listening, we pray out of context. — Eugene Peterson