Summer Reading: The Pastor by Eugene H. Peterson

Summer Reading: The Pastor by Eugene H. Peterson


  This past Sunday found me making my regular visit to the local Chapters bookstore solo as my husband was out fishing with a buddy for the afternoon.  We had finished up a busy week for us both – his due to additional responsibilities at work, mine due to a not-yet overcome procrastination habit – and as such were each looking forward to some down time.  And as I sometimes do still like to spend time by myself, I was looking forward to perusing shelves of books without stretching my husband’s patience too thin.  (Shockingly, not everyone likes to wander amongst aisles of books for an hour or two at a time.)  Yes, hubby and I were both in our ‘happy places’ – he in a stream with his fly rod, me surrounded by books with a coffee shop a hop, skip and a jump away.

So there I was, seeing what was new or ‘new to me’ on the shelves, when I came across a new book by Eugene H. Peterson.

Best known for his rendering of biblical text in contemporary English but with the rhythms and lyricism of the original language via The Message, his newest tome -- The Pastor: A Memoir -- is of a personal nature (hard to avoid with a memoir, I suppose).

The book piqued my interest as I read the short blurbs on its back cover:

  • “. . . This is a must-read for every person who is or wonders whether they are called to be a pastor, and for every person who has one.” ~ William Paul Young, author of The Shack
  • “A burning bush of a book, where a butcher shop becomes a temple and a bully gets saved in the funniest conversion story I have ever read . . .” ~ John Ortberg, author of The Me I Want to Be
  • “I’ve been nagging Eugene Peterson for years to write a memoir . . .  his life and words convey a quiet whisper of sanity, authenticity, and, yes, holiness.” ~ Philip Yancey, author of What Good is God?


Okay, the last blurb caught my eye more because I like Philip Yancey’s writings.  But nevertheless, The Pastor had my attention.  My husband has what is called in evangelical Christian circles the pastoral calling on his life and as his wife, it’s on mine, too.  And while we are not without fantastic pastoral examples and leadership in our lives thanks to the pastors of our church, I was interested to see what Peterson had to share in regards to his own experiences in this vocation.

Now as I am at present only 19 pages into this book I can’t offer a proper review.  But even with being a mere 6% of the way through it, I can say it was worth the price of a hardcover book as I believe it will be a book that is passed around and read again to discover new treasures within.

What books have you read where after the first few pages you knew it would be a gem?

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