In Memory of Eugene Peterson, What Pastors Don’t Have to Do, & the Bookish Life,
Wisdom for Your Weekend is your regular installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web. Presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with guidance from Pastor J.D., this is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” While we do not always agree with everything these authors post, we share these resources because we find them challenging and enriching. As we often say around the Summit, when it comes to reading, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”
Articles of the Week
The Bookish Life: How to Read and Why, Joseph Epstein. There are dozens of reasons to devote yourself to the reading of great books. (For instance.) Epstein sums many of them up in this delightful essay about his “bookish life.” If you love reading, this essay will articulate much of what you already know—but in much lovelier form than you and I generally express it. On the other hand, if you find yourself a little skeptical of book readers, preferring online articles and quick summaries, perhaps give Epstein a moment or two to win you over.
The Rich White Civil War, David Brooks. Election day is quickly approaching. That makes the daily bellowing of our nation’s political parties—left and right—all the harder to ignore. But as Brooks wisely points out, we don’t have a mere two political groups in our nation. Sure, we only have two major parties. But we’ve got closer to seven political factions. What are they, and why does it matter? Spoiler: Even if you don’t care about politics, you should care about what Brooks has to say here.
11 Characteristics of Spiritually Weak Christian Leaders, Chuck Lawless. What’s frightening about this list is just how many of these characteristics can co-exist with seemingly strong leadership. Don’t be deceived: While you may be able to “succeed” for a while, pursuing the ministry while letting your spirituality suffer has only one destination—destruction.
3 Things Pastors Don’t Have to Do, Aaron Wilson. If Lawless’ warning has you down, try this one as a chaser. Pastors certainly have to care for their flock and for their character. But there’s a bunch that pastors take on that they don’t necessarily have to. Be freed, my friends!
Eugene Peterson Has Completed His Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Kate Shellnutt. Eugene Peterson was, as one writer put it, a “shepherd’s shepherd.” Few pastors cared as deeply as Peterson about inspiring other pastors to stay grounded in Scripture and to stay humble in life. Far beyond his famous Bible translation, The Message, Peterson impacted millions with his ministry and writing. Our earth is a bit dimmer today in his absence. But don’t weep too long for Peterson: He’s finally experiencing the fullness of joy he talked about all his life.
On the Lighter Side
Professional vs. Beginner Opera Singer, TwoSetViolin. I’ve never been to the opera. Maybe if there were more beginners, I’d consider it. (And, for the record, even the “beginner” here would far outshine me.)