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Product Details

  • Paperback: 137 pages
  • Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (May 12, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802802656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802802651
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peterson, now retired, was for many years James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He also served as founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. In addition to his widely acclaimed paraphrase of the Bible, The Message (NavPress), he has written many other books.

Customer Reviews

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This a great book, especially for those aspiring to be pastors.
James
It reminds me to discern signs of grace everywhere and to help people see what God is doing, rather than racing in with the advice I love to give.
Darren Cronshaw
It is refreshing because Peterson's very practical and easy to read book actually helped me pray and read the scriptures anew.
Alexander Large

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By jdodgex6 on June 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
Peterson effectively cuts to the heart of pastors who too easily fall into clerical complcency. He focuses on the areas of prayer, scripture, and spiritual direction. He compels us to think of who we are, far more that what we do. It is convicting and motivating. Well written and timely.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Betty Mulloy on September 26, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The power, longevity and effectiveness of a church lies in large part on the leadership of its pastor(s). It shouldn't be about his or her administrative skills or ability to jump at every whim a member of the congregation brings forward. It should be about the spiritual life and leadership of the pastor. This isn't about perfection. It's about relationship with God. As a lay person who is active in the local church and works in a ministry to pastors, my heart delights in a pastor who puts God first and everything else in its proper place. You see, when the pastor's hunger for God is alive and well and being fed I can see it, and I have a role model to follow. When the pastor's life demonstrates the results of intimacy with Christ, I am motivated and encouraged.
As a lay person, I was brought up short because for too long I have measured my pastors by the to do list he accomplishes and the teaching she does. I have not always allowed them the space to do the most important things - being the guardian and teacher of the word and sacrament, abiding in Christ through prayer, and being the spiritual director I need rather than the quick answer to a problem I bring forward. I stand corrected.
My hope is that this book crosses the desk of every pastor in America, to renew his or her call to ministry, to give permission and encouragement in keeping the promises of ordination and installation. It will radically change the pastorate and the Church it ministers to.
Well done, Pastor Peterson. Thank you for your honesty, your leadership, and your willingness to be real and tell it like it is.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 26, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a marvelous writer who has walked the talk of a pastor of integrity. I remember reading his "Five Smooth Stones" in sem and marveling over the wisdom this man wordsmiths so succinctly for the rest of us to consume and feed on.
So it continues with this account of what angles really a pastor is about: prayer, the Word and spritual direction. Acts 6:4 certainly prescribes to Peterson's analysis as well.
This is a direct challenge to the CEO mentality in the church today. Marketing the church has taken over in too many places. The necessary corrective is offered here. As he poignantly writes: "This isn't the only task in the life of faith, but it is your task. We will find someone else to do the other important and essential tasks. This is yours: word and sacrament." Amen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bror Erickson VINE VOICE on November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Working the Angles
Eugene Peterson
A friend loaned me this book last week. It has been one of the better books on Pastoral Ministry I have read in a good long time and I will undoubtedly be buying it soon. I have to say the introduction scared me a bit, because I recognized much of the same material he covered in "The Contemplative Pastor" a book that I have read and find very useful. I was happy to see though that this was more or less a bring you up to speed introduction. The two books belong together. "The Contemplative Pastor" is a precursor to "Working the Angles." Where the former gives you reason for being a contemplative pastor, the latter teaches you the how of the matter.
The idea of "Working the Angles" are there are three things a pastor should be paying attention to in his life if he wants to be a good pastor, the three angles of a true triangle: Prayer, Scripture, and Spiritual Direction. In all these I found the spirit of a seelsorger speaking through. He hits on many of the topics another favorite author and seelsorger of mine, Bo Giertz, hits on often in books like : Then Fell the Lord's Fire, and Hammer of God, and in much the same manner.
Concerning prayer he extols the Psalms and shows how important a body of work they were for the praying community of the Old Testament. He also talks about the need for time dedicated to this task, set aside so that you can engage in it properly. He also speaks of the danger of letting prayer become a Hallmark Greeting, with no thought to it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Darren Cronshaw on March 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
Eugene H Peterson, Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity (Grand Rapids Eerdmans, 1993 [1987])

Reviewed by Darren Cronshaw

Eugene Peterson calls pastors to prayer, Scripture and spiritual direction. These are the three angles, he suggests, that if aligned will ensure the lines of ministry (preaching, teaching and administration) fall properly into place. It is repetitive and hard work, but Peterson is a great coach to keep at it. Peterson was a pastor for thirty years and is my literary mentor as a pastor and a grounded academic. He is a wonder with words and adept at exegesis, but demonstrates a capacity to relate his learning to the world of parish and people.

Rather than office management, image projection, voice control and creative plagiarism, all geared to make the pastor look good and the people feel happy, Peterson calls pastors back to their true craft. Pastoral leadership is not merely about satisfying a congregation but attending to God. This is the shape of pastoral integrity, in which he suggests three acts are foundational:

* Prayer brings us to attention before God
* Scripture helps us attend to God in his speech and actions
* Spiritual direction gives attention to what God is doing in a person

Contexts vary - from self, to the history of Israel and church, to a person - but it is God to whom pastors pay attention. When diary demands, human needs, career ambition and drivenness to succeed get me out of shape with my calling as a pastor, Peterson comes with welcome re-calibration.
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