Eugene Peterson

by The Ecclesiologist

Patton Dodd over at Frequencies has written a wonderful reflection on Eugene Peterson and his relationship with contemporary evangelicalism.  The article can be found here.

Dodd highlights Peterson’s criticism of the (North) American church.  Here are some great quotes:

The problem with the American church, argues Peterson, is that it does not understand this spirituality. The pursuit of relevance has fostered a business-savvy, goal-driven, method-mad church that preaches the truth of Jesus while ignoring the way of Jesus.

Peterson calls the most successful Christian congregations “state-of-the-art consumer churches.” He writes of his dismay in finding “my Christian brothers and sisters uncritically embracing the ways and means practiced by the high-profile men and women who lead large corporations, congregations, nations, and causes, people who show us how to make money, win wars, manage people, sell products, manipulate emotions, and who then write books or give lectures telling us how we can do what they are doing.”

In Peterson’s view, this is why the church is failing: “our religious institutions…prove disappointing to more and more people who find themselves zealously cultivated as consumers in a God-product marketplace or treated as exasperatingly slow students preparing for final exams on the ‘furniture of heaven and the temperature of hell.’”

This is a 1,000 word article worth reading.