Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Evangelicals

While writing my book on Bonhoeffer, I stop now and then to read other books or old notes from various readings and fields. I don’t want to look at Bonhoeffer with tunnel vision!

The most valuable books to me in ministry were those by Eugene Peterson. Glancing through my notes from his book “The Contemplative Pastor,” I’ve been reminded this morning of Peterson’s advice that pastor’s are not to impose some particular form or task on a congregation but to listen for the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in that congregation. Peterson’s father, with whom Eugene sometimes worked as a young man, was a butcher. He taught Eugene that “a beef carcass has a will of its own.” That is, the butcher’s knife must follow the meats contours rather than simply cutting wherever.

The same lesson showed up in a different field when PBS interviewed pianist Artur Rubenstein on…

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