If you ask me: “Who are the 2 pastors that have most influenced your theology and understanding of the pastoral vocation?” That’s easy. From the sheer volume of real estate that they occupy on my bookshelves: John R. W. Stott and Eugene Peterson. (Thousands of other people who have answered the call to serve the church would say the same thing. I didn’t say I was creative 🙂 ) Stott’s gift is clarity. Peterson’s gift is vision.
Stott is a theologian who acts like an evangelist. He lives on the other side of complexity and invites us to worship our Maker there. Stott explains fundamental truths in a way that expands our trust and love of God. His gift is clarity.
Peterson sees Christ in everything. Perhaps I could say he’s a monk who lives like a statesman. A public figure with a deep, deep interior life. He makes God so big, yet treats Him like He is right there. Peterson lives and writes about life that is SO interesting because God is in all things. His gift is vision.
In the past 6 months 2 books have come out about their lives.
I am almost done with this biography of Stott, Basic Christian. Its strength is in its subject, not in its author. I have grown in my appreciation of how hard Stott worked. Writing and preaching and leading are hard– nobody gets around that. Stott labored and labored to make things clear.
I can’t wait to start the memoirs of Peterson, The Pastor. I can see from the chapter titles that a lot of the stories have come out in other books, but I can’t wait to spend some long hours reading them all at once.
I am always encouraged by the stories of the faithful. Maybe one of these books will encourage you too.