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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Mrs Philocrites recommends Eugene Peterson.

Here at Philocrites World Headquarters we have a number of Eugene Peterson's books, although I'm embarrassed to say that they're all part of Mrs Philocrites' collection. Peterson's translation of the Bible, The Message, is well worth having, but my wife says she especially values A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. Peterson talks to Christianity Today on the occasion of his latest book, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology, and says all sorts of interesting things including this passage about one of James Luther Adams's favorite theologians:

Frederick von Hugel said the institution of the church is like the bark on the tree. There's no life in the bark. It's dead wood. But it protects the life of the tree within. And the tree grows and grows and grows and grows. If you take the bark off, it's prone to disease, dehydration, death.

So, yes, the church is dead but it protects something alive. And when you try to have a church without bark, it doesn't last long. It disappears, gets sick, and it's prone to all kinds of disease, heresy, and narcissism.

Check it out. ("Spirituality for All the Wrong Reasons," Mark Galli, Christianity Today 3.4.05; via Icthus)

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 13 March 2005 at 10:27 PM

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