The mature Christian doesn’t necessarily have their act together. They do, however exemplify the fruits of the Spirit. They are also typically humble, merciful, gracious … seekers of God and the good of others, aware of their faults, honest with others about them, and ever so not schismatic. They ground their existence, purpose, values, and contentment in God rather than the things of this world.
Winn’s biography of Eugene H. Peterson portrays him as that type of person, whether he expressed these things as an individual, a husband, a father, a pastor, an author, or a seminary teacher. His passion for God gave meaning and purpose to all these areas of life. The book serves as a wonderful complement to The Pastor: A Memoir.
Peterson wasn’t flawless; nonetheless, his view of the pastorate, spirituality, and the whats and hows of church life—all of these concepts have proven extremely helpful to me. I don’t just refer here to the external acts of pastoring: preaching, praying for the sick, etc. Doing things for God can be very different than doing things both with God and by God’s initiative and strength. It is a tricky endeavor to be that pastor, while also being a spouse, a dad, and a neighbor. Job well done, Eugene.
If you haven’t read Peterson’s books and you’re a pastor, please do so. If you have, this one by Winn Collier may helpfully complete what you’ve previously read.
Thanks Winn! Peterson and Isaiah, it seems, had kindred passions. Isaiah typifies his with these words: “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you“ (Isa 26:9). You represent Peterson’s passion for God by your title, A Burning in My Bones.