Eugene Peterson and Me

Moments before class, I saw the headline “Eugene Peterson Has Died at the Age of 85.”1 Although I knew he was in hospice care, I was still caught by sadness. A student peeked into my office with a question and I closed my computer. We walked together to class. Of course, I was still thinking about Eugene. Somehow, it was fitting that I would be teaching young writers this morning.

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Thank you for sharing that story. Eugene Peterson has certainly been a blessing in my life and has impacted my faith by strengthening my deep love for God.

Maybe one of my favorite verses from his Message:
Matthew 11: 28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Just gorgeous!


What a beautiful story about a true disciple and a gentle spirit. You are so fortunate to have spent time with the Petersons! Aside from the Message Bible, our Sabbath School class at Sligo discussed one of his book on Revelation some years back; we still talk about it. He was something of a mentor to Bono, too, and as a U2 fan I enjoyed a video of Bono in conversation with the Petersons at their cabin. When he left, charging up the trail to the road, Mrs. Peterson called out, “Don’t run!” I am in the midst of one of Peterson’s books right now. I’ll continue reading it with your treasured memories in mind.


A number of years ago I purchased The Message Bible.
I have enjoyed his readings in both Old and New Testament.

Several years ago at my Episcopal church we did Eucharist with Bono’s music.
Singing along with him. Someone had written out the words and passed them out.
Was very moving to do that.

When an SDA says a person is “not religious”, I wonder about the SDA. And what the
SDA’s expectations are in “religious”. The major step I see is helping a person to make
connection with their “Higher Power”. A lot of people have had BAD Experiences with
Religion. But might be able to have a pleasant one with their Higher Power. I have seen
this in the Rooms of AA and NA. Emotionally SCARRED from Bad Religion. But enjoying their Higher Power every day with prayer and meditation. Has been a wonderful phenomenon to be
able to witness.


Wonderful story…but what stood out to me was the comment about Bryan’s religious state- “Not yet”. Perhaps that part may never completely be true. However, the statement, "He (Eugene) was a good example of a true Christian spirit.”, says it all. Bryan knew enough about what comprised a true Christian by the example of Eugene Peterson. Beautiful.


Thank you for telling your story. I rely heavily on my Message Bible to teach an adult Sabbath School class…it delivers such a punch, and no one is confused about what the text means.

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