Archives For Eugene Peterson


Eugene Peterson

This is a new weekly feature where we highlight 3 poems from a recent collection of poetry.
Since today is Eugene Peterson’s birthday, we are featuring his recent volume of poems.

If you struggle to read poetry, I recommend checking out this little essay I wrote on why poetry is important.

“Like a rich and carefully crafted dessert, one must savor a poem in order to enjoy it fully—its images, its context, its sounds. A good poem is hospitable, inviting us to sit for awhile and enter into a conversation. Poetry, however, does not come naturally for us in our times; it is a discipline to which we must commit ourselves.”

This week’s collection of poems is:

Holy Luck: Poems

Eugene Peterson

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2013
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Holy Luck ]

Poem #1: The Lucky Poor

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It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another. It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions. Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up. It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement.”
―Eugene H. Peterson,
born on this date, 1932

Poem of the Day:
“Falling Leaves and Early Snow”
By Kenneth Rexroth


Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day:
Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of our Daily Choices
Julie Clawson
Only $2.99!!!
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*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – November 6, 2014


Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
Contact us, and we’ll talk about the possibility of a review.

> > > >
Next Book

This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 1979 – 2012
By Wendell Berry

*** Other Books by Wendell Berry

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In our continuing effort to fund the work of The Englewood Review, we offer you the opportunity to buy bargain theology books from CBD that we think of are interest.

Buying books this way is a win / win / win proposition. You get great books for a great price, CBD gets the sale and we get an excellent referral fee from CBD.

This week’s Bargains:

231217: Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church

By Walter Brueggemann / Westminster John Knox Press

$5.99 – Save 70%!!!

What role should the church play in the world today? This is the question esteemed theologian Walter Brueggeman strives to answer in his work Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church. His most recent collection of essays calls the church to “set itself in tension with the rest of the world.” Instead of drawing inward, Brueggemann asks the church to publicly choose a different way—to “courageously defy political polarization, consumerism, and militarism.” By demonstrating a different way, the church can lead the world forward “and adversaries can be turned to allies and to friends.”Brueggeman is the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia.

829541DA: Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories & Prayers - Slightly Imperfect Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories & Prayers – Slightly Imperfect

By Eugene H. Peterson / Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / Hardback

$6.99 – Save 71%!!!

2009 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit in Spirituality

Just as God used words both to create the world and to give us commandments, we too use words for many different purposes. In fact, we use the same language to talk to each other and to talk to God. Can our everyday speech, then, be just as important as the words and prayers we hear from the pulpit? Eugene Peterson unequivocally says “Yes!”

Tell It Slant explores how Jesus used language—he was earthy, not abstract; metaphorical, not dogmatic. His was not a direct language of information or instruction but an indirect, oblique language requiring a participating imagination—“slant” language. In order to witness and teach accurately in Jesus’ name, then, it is important for us to use language the way he did.

027373DA: Creed Without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers Creed Without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers

By Laura K. Simmons / Baker

$5.99 – Save 75%!!!

This elegant and accessible book takes an in-depth look at the life and thought of the brilliant, yet little-known theologian, Dorothy L. Sayers. Author Laura K. Simmons examines Sayers’s thoughts on topics ranging from the incarnation and the Trinity to work ethics and the arts. Simmons does great justice to a woman whose goal was to avoid Christian “slip-slop and fiddle-faddle,” and in doing so, introduces the modern church to a brilliant thinker.

432682: Cloister Talks: Learning from My Friends the Monks Cloister Talks: Learning from My Friends the Monks

By Jon M. Sweeney / Brazos Press

$2.99 – Save 77%!!!

“We can show you how to be quiet, how to listen, but only God can show you the other stuff,” Father Ambrose told Jon Sweeney long ago. “What stuff?” he replied. “You.”This is just one of the many conversations Sweeney shares in Cloister Talks-a series of glimpses into his decades-long friendships with Cistercian and Benedictine monks in various monasteries across the country. The contemplative way embodied by these communal brothers has been the single greatest source of guidance in Sweeney’s journey of faith. Here he shares with poignant honesty the wisdom and insight for everyday living he has gained along the way.

Sweeney’s conversations with monks engage various universal areas of life, including life, death, love, work, play, and spirituality. Readers will emerge with a deeper understanding of this ancient way of Christianity-a much needed antidote to the hurry of contemporary life. The monastics who populate these pages have spent a combined century and a half in their sacred vocation. They hold the keys to many of the things we all yearn for: stillness, solitude, simplicity, contemplation, and clarity of purpose.

226180: The Richness of Augustine: His Contextual and Pastoral Theology The Richness of Augustine: His Contextual and Pastoral Theology

By Mark Ellingsen / Westminster John Knox Press

$7.99 – Save 73%!!!

In an inclusive reading of Augustine, Ellingsen reveals a patterned conceptual richness in Augustine’s thought. He demonstrates that the Augustinian traditions claimed by the Catholic church, the Presbyterian church, and virtually every Protestant denomination all have validity. The Richness of Augustine is a wonderful introduction and a rich ecumenical and historical resource. It is the first introduction that places in focus the significance of Augustine’s African cultural and ethnic roots.


“Write What You See.

A review of
The Pastor: A Memoir.
By Eugene Peterson.

Reviewed by Margaret D’Anieri.

[ Enter here to win one of five copies
of this book that we are giving away! ]

THE PASTOR- Eugene PetersonThe Pastor: A Memoir.
By Eugene Peterson.
Hardback: HarperOne, 2011.
Buy now:  [ ]

In an article titled “Books in Search of an Author,” Lillian Daniel wrote, “Pastors are always complaining about what they did not learn in seminary. The book I wish for is along these lines but is not about boiler repair, tuck-pointing and the exact measurements for an elevator that will hold a coffin. I wish I knew more about these things, but I do not want to read about them. As a pastor, I simply long to read more books by pastors about being a pastor.”[i] The search has found its author. Peterson himself notes an encounter with someone described to him as a “leading pastoral theologian”, author of eight “influential” books. Peterson later found out this man had been an associate pastor for one year; he looked in the index of all eight books and didn’t find a single reference to prayer.

This memoir is a reflection on the ingredients that have gone into Peterson’s formation as a pastor, the refining of his own call in a period of time he calls “the badlands”, and his understanding of pastoral identity in our day and age. Best known as the author of The Message, a contemporary paraphrase of the Bible, Peterson grounds his vocation as writer and pastor in words from the book of Revelation:

Continue Reading…


Eugene Peterson - THE PASTORWe’re giving away FIVE copies of Eugene’s Peterson’s excellent new memoir, THE PASTOR (Read our review above…)

You may enter to win once per day as long as the contest is running…
(Additional entries only need to complete steps #2 and #3.)


To Enter the contest:

1) Receive our free weekly online edition via email -or-
LIKE our Facebook page (LGT: More info…
Sorry, following us on Twitter does not count here…  )

2) Post the following message on your blog, Facebook Page, or on Twitter:
I just entered to win a copy of Eugene Peterson’s THE PASTOR from The Englewood Review ( @ERBks )! You can enter too:

3) Leave a comment below noting which option you chose
for #1 and a link to your post for #2 before 12AM on Friday March 18, 2011.

We will draw the winners at random after the contest ends, and will notify them within a week.


A Generative Excess in Reality

A Review of
For the Beauty of the Church:
Casting a Vision for the Arts

W. David O. Taylor, editor.

Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.

For the Beauty of the Church:
Casting a Vision for the Arts

W. David O. Taylor, editor.
Paperback: Baker Books, 2010.
Buy Now: [ ]

“Beauty is simply reality itself, perceived in a special way that gives it a resplendent value of its own. Everything that is, is beautiful insofar as it is real… The genius of the artist finds its way by the affinity of creative sympathy, or conaturality into the living law that rules the universe. ”

— Thomas Merton, from No Man is an Island

For the Beauty of the ChurchThese lines from Merton’s essay “Conscience, Freedom, and Prayer” have seemed to me to be the most generous description of art as anything I’ve come across: it is expansive and encompassing (“everything…insofar as it is real”) and it binds art to the rest of life, and not just life, but life in its reality, (a “resplendent value of its own”). This broad vision for art (which I will try to expand further) is in contrast to theories of aesthetics, of work, of theology, of ecclesiology, etc., that are marked by limitation and fragmentation. What Merton does so wonderfully is to affirm that none of these can be separated; God is at work reconciling all things, and in our human arts we participate in that work. The reconciliation of all things seems to be the starting place for any vision for ‘the arts’ or for the church.

For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts is a new collection of essays edited by W. David O. Taylor, and birthed out of the “Transforming Culture” conference in Austin, bringing together artists and pastors to talk about the church and the arts. The eight essays in this book, from writers such as Andy Crouch, Eugene Peterson, and Jeremy Begbie, traverse often very different perspectives on said topic, from Andy Crouch’s chapter which offers a broad view of culture-making, to what seems to be more of an emphasis on some sort of “arts ministry,” whether it’s directly called that or not. That said, I have a hard time engaging with very many of these essays because of an underlying vision of art, church, worship, and work that is too narrow. I want to be careful because I do appreciate that these conversations are being had, but I hope to stir imaginations beyond ‘ministries’ or ‘outreach;’ beyond the once-a-week ‘worship service;’ and beyond making “Christian” a marketable adjective.

Continue Reading…


Many Christians do not realize that the Church has traditionally celebrated Easter, not just as a one day holiday but as a season that stretches from Easter Sunday to Pentecost.  The season of Easter presents a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus.   We’ve selected several recent books on these themes for you to consider during this Easter season.

Recommended Reading for the Easter Season:

829559: Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up In Christ Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up In Christ

By Eugene H. Peterson / Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

$17.99 – Save 25%!!!

The fifth and final book in Peterson’s best-selling Conversations in Spiritual Theology, discusses Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, urging readers make Christian character to the centerpiece of their lives. New birth in Christ is essential, notes Peterson, yet the American church does not treat Christian growth and the formation of character with equivalent urgency. Practice Resurrection strikes at the heart of healthy Christian formation by using the voice of Scripture to guide us into the fullness of Christian maturity.

697013: Revisiting the Empty Tomb: The Early History of Easter Revisiting the Empty Tomb: The Early History of Easter

By Daniel A. Smith / Fortress Press

$21.99  – Save 24%!!!

What do the Gospels and Paul’s letters actually say about Jesus’ resurrection? How should we understand the meaning of the empty tomb? What do Jesus’ encounters with his disciples after his death suggest? How is his disappearance linked to his future role? A careful, nuanced synthesis of this vital, perplexing topic. 192 pages, hardcover. Fortress.

838486: The Challenge of Easter The Challenge of Easter

By N.T. Wright / IVP Books


Lost among the colored eggs and chocolate candies is Easter’s bold, almost unbelievable claim: Jesus has risen from the dead, and now everything is different.

Bestselling author N.T. Wright looks at Easter in its earliest context, where a band of followers discovered the fulfillment of all the promises God had made to their people over the centuries. The announcement of a new era unsettled their friends and scandalized their oppressors. That era extends to our day, where to celebrate Easter is to live as though God is among us, making everything new.

825332: We Believe in the Crucified and Risen Lord We Believe in the Crucified and Risen Lord

By Mark J. Edwards, ed. / IVP Academic

$34.99 – Save 30%!!!

This commentary offers unique access to the doctrines and beliefs of the church’s earliest theologians. As such, it provides a rare tool for scholars and laypersons-immediate access to the relevant writing on a specific topic in the Church Fathers. Taking its title from the Nicene Creed, this volume, We believe in the Crucified and Risen Lord, covers primary source treatments of the doctrine of the person and work of Jesus Christ. The commentary follows the creed phrase for phrase, as gives extensive commentary on each phrase from a diverse group of early Christians ranging from Justin Martyr to Gregory of Nazianzus, and from such well known authors as Augustine, to the very obscure such as Arnobius of Sicca.


Leave More Tracks Than Necessary

A Review of
Practice Resurrection:
A Conversation on
Growing Up in Christ.
by Eugene Peterson.

Reviewed by Ragan Sutterfield.

Practice Resurrection:
A Conversation on
Growing Up in Christ.
Eugene Peterson.
Hardback: Eerdmans, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Eugene Peterson - Practice ResurectionLooking at the church today we may well wonder what God was thinking.  Our congregations are filled with lax believers, pulled by the world, this way and that.  Looking around at the group of people filling the pews on a Sunday morning we think, surely this isn’t what God had in mind.  If only we could be like the early Church, we say, when Christianity was vibrant and authentic and not nearly so lazy and messy.

Eugene Peterson’s new book, Practice Resurrection, answers exactly these sorts of concerns and he does it by wiping away any of our ideas about some authentic, pure Christianity in the early church.  His task is to show us what it means to grow up in Christ, in the churches we have, and his guide for how we do this is Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians.  The question is how Paul could say such grand things about the work of the Holy Spirit in that Ephesus when the church was clearly a mess?  “Obviously, the church is not an ideal community that everyone takes one look at and asks, ‘How do I get in?’” Peterson writes, “Clearly, the church is not making much headway in eliminating what is wrong in the world and making everything right.  So what’s left?”  What, indeed.

Continue Reading…


Books and Culture reviews two recent
books on reading

Ah, to have been a reader two centuries ago, in a golden age of English literature. Or so we think. But the thrust of William St. Clair’s The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period is quite different. St. Clair has done prodigious research to drive home his thesis that in this “golden age,” books were largely inaccessible to ordinary people. Moreover, the real enemy of the common reader was the book trade. One bitter author from the early 19th century told the story of God endeavoring to find a London publisher for the Bible. The first one the Almighty approached “disliked the mangers and carpenters, wanted the characters to be made aristocratic, and asked for the story of King Herod and Salome to be expanded.” The next one offered to print it on a vanity publishing basis.


In the Romantic period, St. Clair explains, the English book trade was committed to positioning new literary texts on the costliest end of the spectrum, thus restricting sales to a tiny élite. A typical new book would have cost a maid six weeks’ income. This strategy reached its zenith with William Wordsworth’s The Excursion (1814). For the price of that book (48.5 shillings), a person could buy one hundred fat pigs. One man bought his own printing press and thereby set himself up in business for the same amount as this single volume of contemporary poetry!


Such an arrangement was no gift to authors, who, not surprisingly, generally wanted to reach a large audience. At such a price, Wordsworth’s book did not sell out its first edition for fifteen years, thereby holding back a cheaper version that might have reached the reading nation. Not a single copy of Wordsworth’s book was sold in his own home county of Cumberland. Even an aristocrat such as Lord Dudley felt he could not afford first editions. Publishers often destroyed copies that they could not sell at the list price rather than risk destabilizing the high-price atmosphere by discounting them. …

Read the full review:

The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period.
Willliam St. Clair
Paperback: Cambridge UP, 2007
Buy now [ Doulos Christou Books $43 ] [ Amazon ]

The Intellectual Life of the British Working Class.
Jonanthan Rose
Paperback: Yale UP, 2003
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Scot McKnight reviews
Eugene Peterson’s new book Tell It Slant.

No one writes like Eugene Peterson and, because he has translated the Bible (The Message) in its entirety, there is probably no one who can plumb the depths of the spirituality of biblical language like Peterson. That he has chosen the parables and prayers of Jesus as the space for this topic in Tell it Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in his Stories and Prayers thrills me.


Question for the day: What has Peterson taught you? Which areas of life — other than political campaigning — need the most attention when it comes to language? What are of church life most needs attention when it comes to the words we choose to use?


My colleague, Mary Veeneman, was recently asked by Christianity Today to review Tell It Slant and the first thing that came to mind when I heard she was asked to review Peterson was a double-thought: good for you and too bad for you. I thought “good for you” because reading Peterson is always delightful, suggestive, and personally rewarding. I thought “too bad for you” because — as reviewers quickly learn — discovering his “thesis” is always difficult. Why? Peterson doesn’t present an argument but evokes a world. And how does a review argue with an evocation that is rich in imagery, metaphor, and insight?

Read the full review:

Tell It Slant:
A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in his Stories and Prayers.

Eugene Peterson
Hardcover: Eerdmans, 2008
Buy now [ Doulos Christou Books $20 ] [ Amazon ]

An Interview with Rob Walker, author of

SS: Regarding the book’s title, Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, why do you characterize the relationship between seller and consumer as secret?


RW: People are always saying to me, “I’m not much of a consumer.” I think that’s indicative of this attitude a lot of us have in which we distance ourselves from branding and consumption. It’s this idea that it’s interesting to think about other people behaving in funny ways around that stuff, but it’s never you. People are comfortable talking about this when they read these behavioral economic books, that all these subtle things go on which affect our decision-making that we don’t consciously think about, but for some reason we don’t want to apply that thinking to day-to-day consumer behavior. And that’s why it’s a secret. That’s a big thing I hope people take away from the book — having a better sense of their own real-life thought-processes. Having this kind of “I’m above it all and immune to it” attitude is really counterproductive, and it’s exactly the place a marketer wants you to be. I’m not saying you need to make a spreadsheet every time you buy a box of cereal, but maybe thinking twice sometimes isn’t a bad idea.

Read the full interview:


Rob Walker.
Hardcover: Random House, 2008.
Buy now [ Doulos Christou Books $20 ] [ Amazon ]