As Kingfishers Catch Fire – A Conversation On The Ways Of God Formed By The Words Of God by Eugene H. Peterson
It’s not often that one becomes “giddy” when discovering a book of sermons – a book on Christian living – a book of insights into the heart, mind and soul of a retired pastor, a prolific author and a poetic preacher – but giddy is the word that best describes the excitement I felt when I learned about Eugene H. Peterson’s new book, As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation On The Ways Of God Formed By The Words Of God.
For those who do not immediately recognize his name, Peterson is the scholarly pastor who was inspired to pen The Message – a contemporary, dynamic Bible translation – after sensing that the adults in his Bible study class “weren’t feeling the vitality and directness that I sensed as I read and studied the New Testament in its original Greek”.
As Kingfishers Catch Fire provides a context for The Message by shining a light into the heart and ministry of the man behind the translation. We learn how Peterson’s life was shaped by his 29 years of pastoral ministry at Christ Our King – a Presbyterian church he founded in Bel Air, Maryland in 1963.
Peterson shares how his congregation’s initial reception to his biblical teaching was not nearly as enthusiastic as he hoped – and how a Swiss physician (Paul Tournier) and a long-dead poet (Gerard Manley Hopkins) were influential in reshaping the direction of his ministry.
At the heart of As Kingfishers Catch Fire are 49 of Peterson’s sermons – “kingfisher sermons”, he calls them – identified in 7 groupings under the names of Moses, David, Isaiah, Solomon, Peter, Paul, and John of Patmos. These sermons, Peterson says, identify a distinctive approach that needs to be included in “the whole counsel of God”.
Peterson is an eloquent and powerful writer whose words you will want to highlight, underline, meditate and reflect upon, read over and over, and share with others as he leads you to fresh insights about God, the Bible, and the Christian life.
Speaking of the Christian life, Peterson writes:
The Christian life is the lifelong practice of attending to the details of congruence – congruence between ends and means, congruence between what we do and the way we do it, congruence between what is written in Scripture and our living out what is written, congruence between a ship and its prow, congruence between preaching and living, congruence between the sermon and what is lived in both preacher and congregation, the congruence between the Word made flesh in Jesus with what is lived in our flesh.
As Kingfishers Catch Fire is poetic, life-changing and profound – a book you’ll want to keep and a book you’ll want to share with those you love.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you!
Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Book Trailer – As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene Peterson
Peterson: In Between The Man And The Message (Video)
About Eugene Peterson
Eugene H. Peterson is the translator of the best-selling The Message Bible and the author of over thirty spiritual classics such as A Long Obedience in the Same Direction and Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. He and his wife, Jan, live in Montana.
For More Information
- Explore The Message Canvas Bible.
- Connect with Eugene on Facebook and Twitter.
- As Kingfishers Catch Fire is available on Amazon.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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