Reading Eugene Peterson for Lent

On Sunday, I challenged the people at Centre Grove to give up something (e.g., sweets, TV, etc.) or take up something (e.g., a spiritual discipline, etc.) for Lent.

I’ve decided to go with a taking up practice this year, namely, reading Eugene Peterson, perhaps best known for his monumental work, The Message. I discovered Peterson when I was in seminary in the early 1990s and I remember reading The Contemplative Pastor, which had a huge impact on me. I subsequently read other books including, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction and Working the Angles (all non-required reading in seminary, I believe).

Unfortunately, I haven’t read much of Peterson since I graduated from seminary, except that Joleen and I read Living the Resurrection a couple years ago. He didn’t write much while working on The Message, but now that he’s back to writing and working on a series on spiritual theology, I want to get back to reading Peterson.

This Lenten season, I want to read two books that have been on our reading pile for a while: Eat This Book and Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. I also plan to read the Psalms from The Message as well.

I started in Eat This Book, which is “a conversation in the art of spiritual reading.” Peterson contends that how we read the Scriptures is as important reading them. The key is reading the Scriptures “on their own terms” (xi). Peterson goes on to say …

What is neglected is reading the Scriptures formatively, reading in order to live (xi).

I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the inspirational, challenging, and thought/heart-provoking writings Eugene Peterson!

2 thoughts on “Reading Eugene Peterson for Lent

  1. Peterson is a good read. I’ve enjoyed a number of the books you mentioned. Have you looked at Simon Chan’s work Spiritual Theology. I recommend it to anyone I talk to that is interested in spiritual theology.
    If you have read it any thoughts on the last chapter dealing with the pastor as spiritual director?

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