Eugene Peterson: On Story

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After pastoring for thirty years, Eugene Peterson became professor of spiritual theology at Regent in Vancouver, B.C., a position from which he has since retired. This is part two in a three-part interview with him:

San: In the academic environment it’s easy to intellectualize everything. How can we keep from developing the kind of mentality that would view the Trinity as “a great three-point sermon outline”?

EP: I have never had the luxury of just reading the Bible in isolation. It’s not a luxury really. It’s a curse. So I’ve always had to think about, pray about, talk about the doctrine of the Trinity or whatever in terms of the people I’m with. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word Trinity, in fact. I’d rather show it in action than use it in words. Of course, that is what spiritual theology is—theology in its working clothes. As a pastor …

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Eugene Peterson: That “Good-for-Nothing” Sabbath

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Today I’m pleased to feature an interview with Eugene Peterson, who was a pastor for thirty years before becoming professor of spiritual theology at Regent in Vancouver, B.C. He has written many books such as the translation of the Bible, The Message; Under the Unpredictable Plant; Working the Angles; Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work; and Subversive Spirituality.

San: We live in such a busy world. How do we slow down?

EP: The first thing is that you have to be convinced it’s important. Unless you’re convinced, it’s hard to do. The world is conspiring against you. And your pastor most of all. So first I think you have to be convinced it’s true.

There’s one book which I think is indispensable for convincing you it’s true—Abraham Heschel’s book, The Sabbath. If you read that book three times, you will think, “There is no way I cannot keep the …

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Hotel Darfur?

By Life In The Body, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Have you seen “Hotel Rwanda”? If you have, then like me you might have promised yourself, “Never again will I sit by silently if this sort of thing happens again.”

As a nation, the U .S. danced around the atrocities in Rwanda by referring to them as “acts of genocide” instead of calling them what the whole bloody (literally) mess really was: Genocide. Period.

Like the townspeople in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” we as a country pretended not to see the obvious when we accepted the acts-of-genocide rhetoric. The way our national conscience works, the label “genocide” would carry with it a moral obligation to actually stop the atrocities, but acts of genocide—well, what could anyone expect us to do about isolated incidents?

Still, when the number of those incidents reaches 800,000 in a country the size of Maryland, it ought to jar us into seeing the naked truth. Sadly, …

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