Review of Working the Angels: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity by Eugene Peterson


Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity is a wonderful book by Eugene Peterson.

Peterson has a firm grasp on theological literature, culture, and language. He challenges the pastor to focus on prayer, preaching, and spiritual direction. I found the book thought-provoking, refreshing, and encouraging. He finds patterns in scripture I have never seen. He also made Spiritual Direction not so obtuse for me.


"The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper's concerns - How to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that customers will lay out more money." p. 2

"Reading Scripture is not the same as listening to God. To do one is not necessarily to do the other." p. 87

"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a first hammering on our skull, why then do we read it?  So that it shall make us happy? Good God, we would also be happy if we had no books, and such books as make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. but what we must have are those books which come upon us like ill-fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us" - Goerge Steiner, Language and Silence, p. 67 (Quoted on p. 133).


192 Pages 
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