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The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction Paperback – October 22, 1993
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"This excellent treatise on the rediscovery of the authentic purpose of true pastoral care deserves attention, dialogue and action."
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Top Customer Reviews
I wish I had read this book before entering ministry. Some of the dark times would not a felt so dark knowing that another had asked the same questions.
Practical, interesting and a refreshing book to read.
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."
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.
The Contemplative Pastor is broken into three sections. In the first, "Redefinitions," Peterson explored three descriptors for a pastor: unbusy, subversive, and apocalyptic. I was recently moved by his description of the "unbusy pastor" in his later memoir The Pastor and had some familiarity with the idea of the apocalyptic pastor. Briefly, in Peterson's thoughts, pastors should be characterized by settledness, margin, and patience, working without frenzy in the day to day life of the church and of the world.
The second section--the longest--is called "Between Sundays". Peterson meaningfully argues that much, if not most, of the work of the pastor takes place from Monday to Saturday. The nine chapters here are built around the beatitudes with an eye toward soul care. Each chapter begins with a poem and then moves into the realities of spiritual direction, exploring themes such as creation, prayer, language, small talk, and suffering.
The final, albeit too brief, final section contains a number of poems about the incarnation. Peterson asked, "is it not significant that the biblical prophets and psalmists were all poets?" To answer his rhetorical question, yes, I believe it is significant. Words matter.Words convey truth, but they also convey beauty.
Like his previous works The Contemplative Pastor by Peterson is a joy to read, whether or not you are a pastor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are some great deep thoughts here. Some things that will make me examine my pastorate. But other portions I either disagreed with or found uninteresting. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Ben Palm
I love this book and I appreciate it more every time I pick it up! There are times in my practical personality find it hard to follow or keep up, but I always appreciate... Read morePublished 2 months ago by T. Lusk
What more can be said for Eugene Peterson? I read his books because of his economy of words. He doesn't use 10 paragraphs to say what can be said it 2. Read morePublished 12 months ago by jobae
This is a very stimulating book that all Christian pastors should read.Published 12 months ago by Jon K. Newton
I have read this book several times over the last 20 years. It both challenges and reinforces my thinking.Published 14 months ago by Richard Katz
This book deserves to be read by anyone who is striving to survive as a Christian and knows what it is like to battle the winds of cultural mores. Read morePublished 15 months ago by karen e taylor