Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1987 - Religion - 137 pages
"In Working the Angles, Peterson calls the attention of his fellow pastors to three basic acts--which he sees as the three angles of a triangle--that are so critical to the pastoral ministry that they determine the shape of everything else. The acts--prayer, reading Scripture, and giving spiritual direction--are acts of attention to God in three different contexts: oneself, the community of faith, and another person. Only by being attentive to these three critical acts, says Peterson, can pastors fulfill their prime responsibility of keeping the religious community attentive to God. Written out of the author's own experience as pastor of a 'single pastor church,' this well-written, provocative book will be stimulating reading for lay Christians and pastors alike." -- Publisher's Website

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pastor or parishioner -- listen up

User Review  - ValS -

Meant to inspire and critique the pastoring profession, it is great to read even for non-pastors. It's an old book, but the message is still fresh and urgent -- pastoring is not principally administration or entertainment. It's so pithy and can keep us ALL on our toes. Read full review

User Review  - John Curtis -

The book is not as well organized as Peterson is capable of, but its thematic and practical content - particularly the chapter to the tendency of pastors/counselors to classify people - is pretty much seminal. This is an important book. Read full review

Selected pages


Greek Stories and Hebrew Prayers
Praying by the Book
Prayer Time
Turning Eyes into Ears
Contemplative Exegesis
Gaza Notes
Being a Spiritual Director
Getting a Spiritual Director
Practicing Spiritual Direction

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About the author (1987)

Eugene H. Peterson was born in East Stanwood, Washington on November 6, 1932. He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, a bachelor of sacred theology from New York Theological Seminary, and a master's degree in semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He founded Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland in 1962, where he served as pastor until retiring in 1991. He then became a professor of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. His first book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, was published in 1980. He wrote over 30 books including Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Eat This Book, Tell It Slant, As Kingfishers Catch Fire, and Every Step an Arrival. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language won a Gold Medallion Book Award. He died from complications of heart failure and dementia on October 22, 2018 at the age of 85.

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