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The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction [Paperback]

By Eugene H. Peterson (Author)
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Item description for The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction by Eugene H. Peterson...

Peterson, who has been gaining a growing reputation as a "pastor's pastor", speaks words of wisdom and refreshment for pastors caught in the busy-ness of preaching, teaching, and "running the church". Chapters include poetic reflections on the Beatitudes, advice on spiritual direction "between Sundays", and the language of prayer.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   179
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1993
ISBN  0802801145  
ISBN13  9780802801142  

Availability  0 units.

More About Eugene H. Peterson

Eugene H. Peterson Eugene H. Peterson (born November 6, 1932), is a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. He has written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language[1] (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002), a contemporary translation of the Bible.

Peterson was born in East Stanwood, Washington and grew up in Kalispell, Montana. He earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He also holds several honorary doctoral degrees. In 1962, Peterson was a founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for 29 years before retiring in 1991. He was Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. He now lives in Montana.

Eugene H. Peterson currently resides in Vancouver. Eugene H. Peterson was born in 1932.

Eugene H. Peterson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Experiencing God
  2. First Book Challenge
  3. Growing in Christ
  4. Lifeguide Bible Studies
  5. Message

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Pastoral Counseling

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction?

A very helpful book  Nov 9, 2006
My husband is a very hard working pastor. He focuses more on other people than on himself. This book reminds him that he must spend time with God for himself first, then he can help others.

A great find.
A lovely book for and about pastors  May 4, 2005
The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction, Eugene H. Peterson, Eerdmans, 1989, 171 pp.

Peterson, a pastor (though now retired after serving as a professor at Regent College, Vancover, BC), wrote this book about the pastorate and for pastors. In the first four chapters, he defines the character of a pastor. A pastor should not be busy. He should be active, in prayer, talking, teaching and preaching-but not busy. A pastor should do his work in a low-key way seeking quietly to effect biblical change in lives and community. A pastor in preaching and talking offers sacrificial love, justice and hope. He is not flashy. He wins no big battles. He prepares the ground and changes the mood a bit at a time towards belief and hope, so that when Christ returns, there will be a people waiting for him.

The pastor is a Minster of the Word and sacraments. This he must be and remain and not get caught up in the business of "running a church."

Surprisingly, the book only speaks about the Sunday work of the pastor incidentally. Peterson writes more about the rest of the pastor's life, character and work. In fact, the next eight chapters (100 pages) speak of the pastor's work between the Sundays. Here he writes about how important it is for the pastor to know his congregation, to talk and pray with them. He resolved never to serve a church so large that he could not remember everyone's names (when he wrote this book, he served a Presbyterian Church of 300). He writes about how important it is for a minister to be able to do "small talk" with parishioners. He realizes that both congregation and pastor will, at times, be tempted to have the minister preach and speak of things the congregation likes to hear and have him drift away from the biblical themes of sin, grace in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, renewal and hope. In "Lashed to the Mast" he strongly underlines how important it is to remain faithful to one's ordination vows rather than fall under the spell of siren voices.

In the XIII chapter he relates his sabbatical (year-long) story. Very interesting to read while on a sabbatical!

Peterson writes in an almost poetic way. In fact he is also a poet. The book is interspersed with his poems. The last chapter contains fourteen exquisite poems he wrote about the incarnation of the Son of God. Of course there is a close connection between pastors and poets: both work with words and are attuned to the rhythms and rhymes of life.

One will not learn important things about preaching from this book; rather, the reader will be blessed as he listens to the thoughts and reflections of an experienced pastor.
This is My Favorite of All Peterson's Books!  Mar 9, 2004
If I had the opportunity to put together a small list of "must have" books for the libraries of Christian Leaders across the nation, this book would be on that list. It is wonderfully profound and simple at the same time. It reminds the pastor what God has called the pastor to be, yet is valuable for laity to read also.

If I was forced to list one drawback with this book, it would be the writing style. Peterson is a contemplative calling pastors to this wonderfully powerful unbusy, subversive, apocalyptic lifestyle. However, many of our nation's pastors are not contemplative. They are pragmatic. If the author started the book with a mission statement, then offered several practical steps on how to arrive at the stated goal, thereby planting new churches or increasing the attendance, that would be a book that many pastors could understand. Add to that mix a paradigm shift or logical discussion of impending theological struggle and you will had a best seller. This book takes another set of skills. The type of skills necessary to enjoy poetry.

Helpful for the Busy Pastor who Shouldn't Be  Sep 24, 2003
The Contemplative Pastor - the first book I have read by Eugene Peterson - is a helpful study not in sermon preparation or church growth strategies or qualifications for eldership (the kind of stuff I usually read), but on the pastor's heart and the pastoral art.

Peterson describes the term "pastor" with three unusual adjectives: un-busy, subversive, and apocalyptic (a chapter is devoted to each term), and then charts a course for shepherding people in the mundane.

Peterson's poetry is sprinkled through the book, concluding with numerous poems at the end. Unfortunately, his poetry is not all that good. To me, it just seemed like the throwing together of pretty words without much rhyme or reason.

But there are some jewels to be mined here - especially Peterson's job description for the un-busy pastor who devotes his time to prayer, bringing messages from God, and listening to his people, his meditation on "the middle voice" in relation to prayer, and his chapter "The Ministry of Small Talk."

Profound Pastoral Insights  Sep 1, 2003
When I first started reading this book, I thought perhaps it was a waste of money. There was no meaty theological discussion, just basic, almost simplistic spirituality. Then it occurred to me that as pastors we tend to get so busy and so preoccupied with the "meaty" theological matters and the more "advanced" spiritual issues that we lose touch with the fundamentals. Here Peterson offers pastors a slower, change-of-pace that is refreshing and renewing.

I especially appreciated his chapter entitled "The Ministry of Small Talk." There is a place in our busy lives as ministers to discuss more trivial things with other people. Through spending time conversing about smaller issues, we can make larger strides in relationships.

This book is the first one I have read by Peterson. I don't plan for it to be the last. If you are a busy, burdened pastor, it will do you good to read this insightful work.


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