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Eugene H. Peterson's Quotes

Eugene H. Peterson profile photo

Born: 1932-11-06
Profession: Clergyman
Nation: American
Biography of Eugene H. Peterson

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I believe God takes the things in our lives - family, background, education - and uses them as part of his calling. It might not be to become a pastor. But I don't think God wastes anything.

Tags: Education, Family, God

I cannot fail to call the congregation to worship God, to listen to his Word, to offer themselves to God.

Tags: Cannot, God, Word

One way to define spiritual life is getting so tired and fed up with yourself you go on to something better, which is following Jesus.

Tags: Life, Spiritual, Yourself

People are not problems to be solved. They are mysteries to be explored.

Tags: Mysteries, Problems, Solved

The role of the pastor is to embody the gospel. And of course to get it embodied, which you can only do with individuals, not in the abstract.

Tags: Abstract, Gospel, Role

When you are part of a megachurch, you have no responsibility to anybody else.

Tags: Anybody, Else

American culture is probably the least Christian culture that we've ever had because it is so materialistic and it's so full of lies. The whole advertising world is just, it's just intertwined with lies, appealing to the worst of the instincts we have.

Tags: American, Christian, Whole

I get asked, 'What do you miss most about being a pastor?' I think it's the intimacy, the incredible gift of intimacy. You go through death with somebody, with their families, and there's an intimacy that comes through that that is just incomparable.

Tags: Death, Gift, Somebody

I think pastors are the worst listeners. We're so used to speaking, teaching, giving answers. We must learn to be quiet, quit being so verbal, learn to pay attention to what's going on, and listen.

Tags: Giving, Learn, Used

If people don't know their pastor, it's easy to put the pastor on a pedestal and depersonalize him or her. It's also easy for pastors, who don't know their congregations, simply to classify congregants as saved or unsaved, involved or not involved, tithers or non-tithers.

Tags: Her, Him, Put

If you don't take a Sabbath, something is wrong. You're doing too much, you're being too much in charge. You've got to quit, one day a week, and just watch what God is doing when you're not doing anything.

Tags: God, Week, Wrong

If you keep the Sabbath, you start to see creation not as somewhere to get away from your ordinary life, but a place to frame an attentiveness to your life.

Tags: Away, Life, Place

In high school I was very much involved in poetry. You cannot read a poem quickly. There's too much going on there. There are rhythms and alliterations. You have to read poetry slow, slow, slow to absorb it all.

Tags: Cannot, Poetry, School

Pastors need to know what's going on in the world and what has been going on for 4,000 years. We need a way to read Scripture which is imaginative, interpretive.

Tags: Pastors, Read, Scripture

People learn to shop for churches; there is no loyalty to the church. They're consumers being attracted to one product or another. I think it's sacrilege, to tell you the truth, it really is.

Tags: Another, Loyalty, Truth

Religion is a very scary thing, because a pastor is in a position of power. And if you use that power badly, you ruin people's lives, and you ruin your own life.

Tags: Life, Power, Religion

Spirituality is no different from what we've been doing for two thousand years just by going to church and receiving the sacraments, being baptized, learning to pray, and reading Scriptures rightly. It's just ordinary stuff.

Tags: Church, Learning, Reading

That's the whole spiritual life. It's learning how to die. And as you learn how to die, you start losing all your illusions, and you start being capable now of true intimacy and love.

Tags: Learning, Life, Love

The minute the church and pastors start saying what do people want and then giving it to them, we betray our calling. We're called to have people follow Jesus. We're called to have people learn how to forgive their enemies.

Tags: Giving, Jesus, Saying

The most important thing a pastor does is stand in a pulpit every Sunday and say, 'Let us worship God.' If that ceases to be the primary thing I do in terms of my energy, my imagination, and the way I structure my life, then I no longer function as a pastor.

Tags: God, Life, Sunday

The Spirit works through community. Somebody will have a stupid, screwy idea. That's okay. The point of having creeds and confessions and traditions is to keep us in touch with the obvious errors.

Tags: Idea, Keep, Stupid

There is nothing terribly difficult in the Bible - at least in a technical way. The Bible is written in street language, common language. Most of it was oral and spoken to illiterate people. They were the first ones to receive it. So when we make everything academic, we lose something.

Tags: Difficult, Language, Lose

There's nobody who doesn't have problems with the church, because there's sin in the church. But there's no other place to be a Christian except the church.

Tags: Christian, Place, Problems

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