Eugene Peterson on the Jacked Up Church ~ BitterSweetLife

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Eugene Peterson on the Jacked Up Church

I just read an interview with Eugene Peterson (thanks to Jared Wilson) that reminds me why Peterson is one of my favorite contemporary voices. He talks about "spirituality" and the American church, and I found a slice that is pertinent to a lot of recent discussion and some of the buzz that surrounded Pagan Christianity? Check it:

[interviewer:] Since the Reformation, though, we've championed the idea that the church can be reformed.

[Peterson:] Hasn't happened. I'm for always reforming, but to think that we can get a church that's reformed is just silliness.

I think the besetting sin of pastors, maybe especially evangelical pastors, is impatience. We have a goal. We have a mission. We're going to save the world. We're going to evangelize everybody, and we're going to do all this good stuff and fill our churches. This is wonderful. All the goals are right. But this is slow, slow work, this soul work, this bringing people into a life of obedience and love and joy before God.

And we get impatient and start taking shortcuts and use any means available. We talk about benefits. We manipulate people. We bully them. We use language that is just incredibly impersonal -- bullying language, manipulative language.

Read the whole thing.

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brad brisco said...

Great quote from Peterson. I was in a meeting just today where some were talking about evangelism in a way that is describe here by Peterson: "We talk about benefits. We manipulate people. We bully them." I was asking myself, "why do we do this?"


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