Lashed to the Mast


Christianity Today once described Eugene Peterson this way: "If Eugene H. Peterson were not a Presbyterian, he might be a monk. … He is bearded, balding, and thin. He has a quiet, raspy voice that sounds as if it belongs to a man who has weathered many dark nights of the soul. … When he speaks, the coarse, gentle words seem to rise from a genuine depth."

This article, which debuted in Leadership a decade ago, was judged by many readers as "coarse, gentle words rising from a genuine depth." Eugene probes a common problem—the expectations people place on ministers—and doesn't stop until he reaches the essence of ministry.

Ann Tyler, in her novel Morgan's Passing, told the story of a middle-aged Baltimore man who passed through people's lives with astonishing aplomb and expertise in assuming roles and gratifying expectations.

The novel opens with Morgan's watching a puppet show on a church lawn on a Sunday afternoon. A few minutes into the show, a young man comes from ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Getting the Gospel Right
Getting the Gospel Right
Scot McKnight says the church's problem is rooted in what we preach.
From the Magazine
I Was Filming a Dangerous Action Scene When I Gave My Life to Christ
I Was Filming a Dangerous Action Scene When I Gave My Life to Christ
How a film and television stuntman met the Lord in the air.
Editor's Pick
His Eye Is on the Pastors
Seasoned Salt
His Eye Is on the Pastors
God sees and watches (as do others), which is both a comfort and a caution as pastors navigate their calling.
close