The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1993 - Religion - 171 pages
Any pastor who needs and wants to get back to basics will do well to absorb this book. Eugene Peterson, well known as "a pastor's pastor," here speaks words of wisdom and refreshment for pastors caught in the busyness of preaching, teaching, and "running the church."

In The Contemplative Pastor Peterson highlights the often-overlooked essentials of ministry, first by redefining the meaning of pastor through three strengthening adjectives: unbusy, subversive, andapocalyptic. The main part of the book focuses on pastoral ministry and spiritual direction "between Sundays" these chapters begin with poetic reflections on the Beatitudes and then discuss such themes as curing souls, praying with eyes open, the language of prayer, the ministry of small talk, and sabbatical--all with engaging, illustrative anecdotes from Peterson's own experience.

The book ends with several meaning-full poems that pivot on the incarnation, the doctrine closest to pastoral work. Entitled "The Word Made Fresh," this concluding section is a felicitous finale to Peterson's discerning, down-to-earth reflections on the art of pastoring.

 

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Contents

Foreword
1
The Naked Noun
15
The Unbusy Pastor
17
The Subversive Pastor
27
The Apocalyptic Pastor
39
Ministry amid the Traffic
53
Curing Souls The Forgotten Art
55
Praying with Eyes Open
67
Is Growth a Decision?
95
The Ministry of Small Talk
111
Unwell in a New Way
117
Lashed to the Mast
129
Desert and Harvest A Sabbatical Story
141
Poets and Pastors
155
Poems
157
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