In 1983, Leadership Journal published an article: "Curing Souls: The Forgotten Art," that came like a blast on the trumpet. "A reformation may be in process in the way pastors do their work," the already seasoned pastor and writer Eugene Peterson declared. "It may turn out to be as significant as the theological reformation of the sixteenth century."
Since then, Eugene Peterson's call for pastors to return to "the cure of souls" has been amplified in books that have become classics of ministry literature (including Working the Angles and The Contemplative Pastor), and it continues to reverberate in pastoral discussions. In a day when ministry conversations are increasingly digital, disembodied, and focused on numbers, Peterson's 30-year-old call is especially relevant.
Healthcare reform is one of the pressing issues of our day. But we need a reminder of the urgency of continuing and amplifying Peterson's call to a perennial work of healing. With that in view, read and contemplate Peterson's call, and live closely to that good and dangerous Cure of Souls.
A reformation may be in process in the way pastors do their work. It may turn out to be as significant as the theological reformation of the sixteenth century. I hope so. The signs are accumulating.
The Reformers recovered the biblical doctrine of justification by faith. The gospel proclamation, fresh and personal and direct, through the centuries had become an immense, lumbering Rube Goldberg mechanism: elaborately contrived ecclesiastical gears, pulleys, and levers rumbled and creaked importantly but ended up doing something completely trivial. The Reformers recovered the personal passion and clarity ...