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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
Among his books, this is my go-to book that grounds me in my calling and prevents me from disillusionment. Love it and highly recommended.
I. The Naked Noun
II. The Unbusy Pastor
III. The Subversive Pastor
IV. The Apocalyptic Pastor
V. Ministry amid the Traffic
VI. Curing Souls: The Forgotten Art
VII. Praying with Eyes Open
VIII. First Language
IX. Is Growth a Decision?
X. The Ministry of Small Talk
XI. Unwell in a New Way
XII. Lashed to the Mast
XIII. Desert and Harvest: A Sabbatical Story
The Word Made Flesh
XIV. Poets and Pastors
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.
Now that you've identified that struggle, how do you correct it? Welcome to this book!