The following excerpt is from the devotional book, “Living the Message,” by Eugene H. Peterson. This pastor-professor is probably the person I want to grow up to be like; he has a gentleness and eloquence that is seldom seen–and highly respected.
Dr. Peterson died in 2018.
“When Christian believers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does. Outsiders, on observing this, conclude there is nothing to this religious business, except perhaps, business…and a distant one at that. Insiders see it much differently.”
“Just as a hospital gathers the sick under one roof and labels them as such, the Church collects sinners.”
“Many people outside are just as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised. It is similar with sinners outside the church.”
“One way to define spiritual life is getting so tired and fed up with yourself you go on to something better, which is following Jesus.”
Some other quotes by Eugene Peterson:
- “All the persons of faith I know are sinners, doubters, uneven performers. We are secure not because we are sure of ourselves but because we trust that God is sure of us.”
- “Suffering attracts fixers the way road-kills attract vultures.”
- “When we sin and mess up our lives, we find that God doesn’t go off and leave us- he enters into our trouble and saves us.”
- “That’s the whole spiritual life. It’s learning how to die. And as you learn how to die, you start losing all your illusions, and you start being capable now of true intimacy and love.”
- “American religion is conspicuous for its messianically pretentious energy, its embarrassingly banal prose, and its impatiently hustling ambition.”