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Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness

– tekijä: Eugene H. Peterson

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
681725,130 (4.24)-
In this book Peterson clarifies the pastoral vocation by turning to the book of Jonah, in which he finds a captivating, subversive story that can help pastors recover their vocational holiness. Peterson probes the spiritual dimensions of the pastoral calling and seeks to reclaim the ground taken over by those who are trying to enlist pastors in religious careers.… (lisätietoja)

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A última pessoa de quem se espera ouvir falar de crise pessoal é o pastor. A imagem que se forjou do sacerdote em séculos de história cristã aponta para uma figura praticamente imaculada, imune a vacilações, tão sólida em suas estruturas internas quanto o próprio Cristo. Na prática, porém, suas fragilidades se revelam – às vezes, em episódios cruciais para seu ministério. Em certo momento da vida, o pastor Eugene Peterson passou por este conflito. Descobriu que, ao contrário do que pensava, sua identidade como “crente” e sua vocação como “pastor” não andavam necessariamente de mãos dadas. Viu-se diante do que chamou “grande abismo”, numa alusão a Lucas 16:26. E foi naquele momento que clamou a Deus e redescobriu a espiritualidade própria do chamado que recebera.
A vocação espiritual do pastor, publicado anteriormente pela United Press sob o título À sombra da planta imprevisível, é o relato dessa experiência decisiva, que Peterson compartilha a partir de uma reflexão sobre a personalidade de Jonas e a contenda que travou com sua vocação. Com a autoridade adquirida em anos de prática e uma bagagem acadêmica considerável, Peterson desconstrói mitos e resgata a essência do chamado pastoral, abordando questões que envolvem o labor ministerial e a espiritualidade toda própria que ele pressupõe.
  livros.icnvcopa | Feb 19, 2020 |
Every year I read or re-read a book by Eugene Peterson, and he never fails to encourage and challenge me as a Christian and as a Pastor. I almost made it through this year without reading one yet. Here he uses the story of Jonah to talk about his vision of ministry, a vision we need to be reminded of because it is opposite of much of the vision of the world. Several stories also are in his autobiography, The Pastor, but the stuff on Jonah and ministry is absolutely golden. I encourage everyone to read a Peterson book each year. You'll profit, as I have. ( )
  Luke_Brown | Sep 10, 2016 |
A must-read challenge for pastors, and would-be pastors, alike.

Written after 30 years of experience, and drawing from the sketches we have of Jonah's various failures in 'ministry', Peterson makes a strong case to beware the programmes and busy-ness of much of church life. He rightly diagnoses that it's very easy for pastors and church leaders to be sucked into these things, as they can be assessed and measured by denominations or shown off to other leaders, but that this often will become a religious work that squeezes out the very God they're supposed to be about. Instead he makes the case for pastors to recover a properly pastoral ministry, not just a religious one, and to take time in the very ordinary small details of people's lives, to seek out how God's Spirit is at work. Often this act of listening and then naming will bring an appreciation of God's work that all others, the person included, will miss. For example, here's a passage from page 164:

"Pastoral work is fundamentally creative work. The section of the creed in which he set up ecclesiastical shop is the third, beginning with "I believe in the holy spirit". If this is so, if we in fact believe in the holy spirit, then we must not at the same time trying to moonlight as efficiency experts in religion. We cannot nurture the life of spirit in a parishioner while holding a stopwatch. We cannot apply time management techniques to the development of souls."

Towards the end he more directly explains the need for pastors to be doing "spiritual direction" for those around them, noting the longevity of the practice, even if the inherited term for it is difficult for many. As I read more about how others suggest we should disciple others, it will be interesting to see whether there are tensions between the two approaches.

And along the way he has some wonderful passages that encapsulate the work of a church leader, and many that explore the temptations unique to such leaders. And he gives some useful advice about anger.

Unfortunately, parts of the book felt over-written, repeating his current theme without really adding anything. And he plays up the importance of Revelation in his section on Eschatology, but (at least for me) doesn't follow through and explain why. Otherwise this would be 5 stars. ( )
  jandm | Sep 19, 2012 |
In Under the Unpredictable Plant, Eugene Peterson looks at his many years of dual service (to the church and to God) through the lens of Jonah’s ministry to the people of Nineveh. Most importantly, Peterson makes the argument that we should not be striving towards ‘Tarshish’ as Jonah does, but that pastors should be focused on going to the place God is leading them. Once the pastor arrives at that place, Peterson recommends staying there. Peterson recommends getting out of the dualistic thinking that one is serving both God and parish. The parish is only served by the pastor if the pastor is first in service to God. For Peterson this meant giving up control of the day-to-day business of the church and giving up on the idea that something better is over the next horizon. Peterson makes the comparison to the Jonah story here, describing how Jonah tried to sail off to a better place, only to find out that being in service to God meant that he couldn’t go anywhere but Nineveh. ( )
  cbradley | May 17, 2012 |
This is one of the best books i've read. Every pastor should read it several times. ( )
  faespindola | Jun 30, 2010 |
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In this book Peterson clarifies the pastoral vocation by turning to the book of Jonah, in which he finds a captivating, subversive story that can help pastors recover their vocational holiness. Peterson probes the spiritual dimensions of the pastoral calling and seeks to reclaim the ground taken over by those who are trying to enlist pastors in religious careers.

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