Where to begin with my review of Eric Metaxas' "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy?" How can 500 words or so really do justice to a 600-page analysis of the life of a Christian pastor who stood against Hitler and tried to guard his beloved Lutheran church from Nazi infiltration?
I'm not sure if this has ever happened to you, when it feels like something you read in Scripture punches you in the gut. In the quiet of the morning with but a single lamp on in the house, my freshly brewed coffee on a little tray I set next to me on the couch, and my Bible open to the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John, a little phrase -- two short words -- jump off the thin page and smack me a few times, knocking the wind out of me, nearly spilling my coffee.
Every pastor, or anyone wanting to become one, should read Eugene Peterson's "The Pastor." A fellow pastor friend of mine recommended it, saying Peterson's writing reminded him of mine. I'm certainly one for flattery so I bought it immediately.
One of the first pastors I worked with, one who took more arrows for me than I knew at the time (not the fiery kind Satan uses but the ones church people are as skilled at aiming as Robin Hood), always used to say that we should be working ourselves out of our jobs. That ministry belongs not just to pastors but to everyone who follows Jesus. ... Well, I have another prospect, which could lead to working myself out of my current job.