Eugene Peterson: Wisdom and Reading

Eugene Peterson is one of my many favorites. Here he talks about his heroes and mentors most of whom are long gone. Others he meets only in books.

There is more to come. Here he attacks the clergy/laity divide. In the next one he strikes against the articifical divide between the secular and sacred.

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2 comments

  1. Pingback: Some thoughts on the clergy/laity thing « Douglas and Main
  2. 2reasons

    This reminds me of Mt. 23:1-11: “Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. ‘The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees are the authorized interpreters of Moses’ Law. So you must obey and follow everything they tell you to do; do not, however, imitate their actions, because they don’t practice what they preach. They tie onto people’s backs loads that are heavy and hard to carry, yet they aren’t willing to lift a finger to help them carry those loads. They do everything so that people will see them. Look at the straps with scripture verses on them which they wear on their foreheads and arms, and notice how large they are! Notice also how long are the tassels on their cloaks! They love the best places at feasts and the reserved seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to have people call them ‘Teacher.’ You must not be called ‘Teacher,’ because you are all brothers of one another and have only one Teacher. And you must not call anyone on earth ‘Father,’ because you have only one Father in heaven. Nor should you be called ‘Leader,’ because your one and only leader is the Messiah. The greatest one among you must be your servant. Whoever makes himself great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be made great.'”

    Jesus knew, of course, how quickly we move from dividing people into groups to making one group superior to another. Or, as a famous Supreme Court ruling has it, ‘separate is inherently unequal.’ There is a certain usefulness to distinguishing clergy from laity, but I think Jesus did not mean for clergy to think themselves superior, or to be thought of as superior. We all — clergy and laity alike — need to be mindful of this.

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