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Engaging the Culture, Changing the World, should be required reading for any professing Christian as Eaton provides a blueprint for sharing a message of hope in an increasingly hopeless world. Communicating the Christian story by becoming culture experts, embracing the Christian Scriptures, and modeling genuine grace-filled community, is a compelling challenge for any Christian University committed to providing “bread” (instead of stone) for its students so they are grounded in good philosophy as well as equipped with the knowledge and critical thinking skills required to engage the culture and change the world.

Gregory J. Gelderman Ed.D. ’04
SPU Certification Officer
Seattle Pacific University

First, I must acknowledge my admiration for your excellent work and perseverance with the Response. All these years you have navigated your way thru the changing currents and formats of the Response. Well done.

Thank you so much for Eugene Peterson's volume The Pastor. It was a delightful read and full of wonderful insights into a pastors life. America would be in a much more healthy spiritual climate if all pastors could approximate Dr. Peterson’s style, depth, and insight. Most pages held my interest with refreshing intrigue. From these pages I will take a desire to be more deliberate in contemplative reflection of my environment.

Lon Dockter CC ’65


I love Response magazine and read every issue cover to cover (the back cover is my favorite). After putting it down, I am always inspired to read something, learn something, paint something, or just sit and think about something. Which then got me thinking about the pace of my life. Too fast. So now I am trying to teach myself the art of doing nothing. Zero. Turns out it’s really hard to do … nothing. And I’m a horrible teacher. Just out of curiosity, I’d love to see what the Response team would do with the idea of nothingness. I think you could make a fun issue out of it.


Wendi Parriera '05


Thank you SPU for the gift of Pastor Eugene Peterson’s The Pastor. I have enjoyed his The Message for a number of years — always appreciative of scholars whose gifts of contemporary verse illuminate God's Word with nostalgic excitement.

Peterson's The Pastor was especially cogent to me, as I recalled my own, nearly 50 years of struggle to be a pastor of some seven Methodist congregations, very similar to the labors Peterson so ably described again for me. Peterson's New York seminary was mine, too, and several of his professors mentioned, mine as well. It was SPU's professor Walter Helsel who introduced me to Peterson’s (and mine) seminary several years before Eugene attended.

Reading Peterson's sojourn was a great pleasure for me, and I trust other pastors will find his life of humble service an inspiration to them, as it has been to me. I intend to loan the gift you gave me to several pastor friends — especially to some new pastors just getting started.

Robert Waller


Thank you for gifting me with The Pastor. I am a huge fan of "Pastor Pete" and especially the wonderful gift he gave to all of us in the congregation he may never know, The Message translation of the entire Bible. It is my favorite and I use it as my Bible reference in the book I am writing. Reading The Pastor will benefit not only pastors or those with religious interest. It will benefit all who seek to be a better Christian and a real steward of Jesus Christ on earth.

Eugene Peterson is a rare individual who is not afraid of the dark … His writing is clear and upbeat and puts light on the darkness, more like going for a walk with one of your heroines or heroes in life.

Jan Peterson needs to write a book as well to share what it is like to be the Pastor's wife. The Peterson family are the kind of people I would love to have for neighbors.

I was so moved by this book that I have gifted it to a young man who is planning to be a youth pastor. Being a real pastor and steward of Christ in this unsaved world is not an easy quest. Yet I believe from what I have read in this memoir and other books and writing of Eugene Peterson. What you read is what you get. And what a gift it is.

Thank you again for the early Christmas gift that will help me to be a better Christian. As a result of this book I put some light on my own darkness and volunteered to step up to the plate and start a Bible and prayer sharing group in my church. We are underway and I can better appreciate the insights that were revealed in this book.

All the best to you at this time of the year. Being a cancer survivor for the last five plus years everyday is a celebration of our Lord and I am enjoying finding new ways to serve.

Ira Katz


You were kind enough to mail me a copy of Eugene Peterson's memoir The Pastor a couple months ago. I just finished reading it and enjoyed it very much. As I read, I couldn't help thinking about the pastor of my own church, what it means to be a pastor, and how that vocation differs from that of being preacher, evangelist, church administrator, etc. It was a distinction I had not thought of in any depth before. Pastor means, to me, shepherd, and I'd say that's what it means to Peterson, as well. It truly is a calling that comes from the heart, more than a profession one chooses. It reminds me in many ways of my own calling, that of homemaker. Very loosely defined, sometimes uncomfortably so to those of us who like lists and goals and marking off accomplishments. It's more a life's work — something one doesn't necessarily choose as a job, but is rather irresistibly drawn to, with no choice in the matter.

This is what runs through my mind at completing Peterson's book. He is thoughtful and thought-provoking and a fine storyteller.

Thank you for sending me the book.

Lynn Bowen Walker


My sincere appreciation to you for Eugene Peterson’s memoir, The Pastor. I read it with a sense of memory in my 60+ years of pastoral/teaching ministry, recalling events, people, and churches.

The freshness of The Pastor was more than the recording of events and people and dates, but a memoire of a pastoral journey, arriving and yet becoming. In our success-oriented society, all congregations would increasingly benefit with an “unbusy” pastor. The earthy, the use of nature in the pastor-memoir (e.g., the badlands) gave enlightenment to those pastor times.

I always enjoy Response. Thank you for sending it.

Floyd L. Cooper
University Park, Iowa


I thoroughly enjoyed Eugene Peterson’s The Pastor: A Memoir. His writing style is so readable, so refreshing and thought-provoking, and to use one of his own quotes from another writing, he helps us discern God’s holiness in our dailiness.

Thank you for sending it. I’m sharing it with others!

Wilma Robinson
Dolores, Colorado