Seminary is great, but…

"Unrelieved intellectual work, especially theological intellectual work, can shrivel your soul."

– Eugene Peterson, on the importance of serving a Christian community during seminary studies. This is one of the many reasons I’m thankful for my church community.

The Netsman and the Laird

Atheists and Christians Together

In my early days as a member at the Boar’s Head Tavern, we were pleased to get regular ideas for posts from Alastair Roberts. His site went dark for a time, but we managed to keep in touch with each other through other social media. Recently, he has taken up blogging again, to everyone’s benefit.

Read: The ‘Atheistic’ Character of Christianity and the Question of Christ


I Resonate

It is quite possible you’ll be seeing many quotes from Eugene Peterson’s The Pastor as I read through it. Honestly, I don’t want to offer too much in the way of comment. I am in seminary preparing to take on vocational pastoral work. This may be bi-vocational. It may involve planting a church. There is a chance that it could be full-time, but I don’t know that I desire or am called to give up my present place of employment, and there is holy work to be done there as well. What you see in these quotes is statements that ring in resonance with the vibrations of what I have learned these past few years, and what I have absorbed from the work of the late Michael Spencer, who also greatly appreciated Peterson’s work. To that end, I give you this from page 40:

“Congregation is composed of people, who, upon entering a church, leave behind what people on the street name or call them. A church can never be reduced to a place where goods and services are exchanged. It must never be a place where a person is labeled. It can never be a place where gossip is perpetuated. Before anything else, it is a place where a person is named and greeted, whether implicitly or explicitly, in Jesus’s name. A place where dignity is conferred.”

More Peterson

Some quotes really don’t require added commentary. Not good for blogging, but a cool drink of water for my soul. From p. 13 of The Pastor, here’s some more Eugene Peterson:

“I was acquiring a sacred imagination strong enough to reject and resist the relentlessly secularized and ghettoized one-dimensional caricature that assigned American pastors to jobs in a workplace that markets religion. When I looked around me and observed churches in competition with one another for their share in the religious market, hiring pastors to provide religious goods and services for a culture of God consumers, I wanted nothing to do with it. I couldn’t see that either God or place – holy God, sacred place – was a significant consideration in forming a pastoral identity in America.”

Reading Eugene Peterson

"The vocation of pastor has been replaced by the strategies of religious entrepreneurs with business plans." –Eugene Peterson, The Pastor, p.4

In Jesus’ day, he had to overturn the tables of sellers and money-changers in the Temple. In the US today, the mindset that needs overthrowing is one that says the church needs to be about entertainment, putting butts in seats, collecting offerings, and keeping the machine running, with little regard for taking good news outside the four walls of our megaplexes and sharing our physical and spiritual feasts with those who need it most.

I think I’m gonna like this book…

Songs for Advent, December 24

I’d prefer to post and listen to this later this evening, but I may not have the chance to post later. So, here we go. If I have time later, I may post a bonus track.

Songs for Advent, December 23

Sort of a bummer that tomorrow’s the last one.

Songs for Advent, December 22

I almost missed it.

This is the last of 3 songs I picked in memory of my Dad. (See my initial note from December 17)

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