"Sixty years ago I found myself distracted," Eugene H. Peterson writes. "A chasm had developed between the way I was preaching from the pulpit and my deepest convictions on what it meant to be a pastor." And so began Peterson's journey to live and teach a life of congruence-congruence between preaching and living, between what we do and the way we do it, between what is written in Scripture and how we live out these life-giving truths.
Nothing captures the biblical foundation for this journey better than Peterson's teachings over his 29 years as a pastor. As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God (WaterBrook, May 16, 2017) is a never-before-published collection of teachings which will be appreciated by anyone longing for a richer, more authentic spirituality.
Peterson, best known as the translator of The Message Bible, is a biblical scholar who has written more than 30 spiritual classics selling over 20 million copies.
His strikingly beautiful prose-coupled with his warm, inviting style and deeply grounded insights-will usher readers into a fresh understanding of how to live out the good news of the Word made flesh.
The 49 messages in As Kingfishers Catch Fire were crafted for his congregation in Bel Air, Maryland, which he pastored for 29 years. With the exception of a few minor editorial touches, these classic teachings are presented in their original form so readers will find historical references such as the moon landing.
The messages cover a wide variety of topics, from Genesis ("Friend of God"/Abraham), to the Psalms
("I AM the Good Shepherd") to Revelation ("The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.")
This collection of teachings is a must-read for those interested in foundational messages from the definitive voice for Christian spirituality today.
Praise for As Kingfishers Catch Fire:
"As Kingfishers Catch Fire covers it all, the A to Z of Christian spirituality. It is filled with the kind of wisdom that can only come from long obedience in the same direction! It's more than a book; it's a gift. Thank you, Eugene!"
-Mark Batterson, New York Times best-selling author of The Circle Maker and lead pastor of National Community Church, Washington, DC
"There is no one who has done more to shape my 'pastoral imagination' than Eugene Peterson. Now, through this extraordinary collection, we see how words become pastoral work. An exegete and a poet, Peterson opens up to us not only the text but its world, welcoming us to walk with Moses, David, Isaiah, Solomon, Peter, Paul, and John. And as we do, we find ourselves keeping company with Jesus. Read it devotionally; read it as a study in sacred storytelling; read it to come alive along the Jesus Way."
-Glenn Packiam, associate senior pastor, New Life Church, Colorado Springs
"I can hear Eugene Peterson's warm and gravelly voice in each well-crafted chapter of As Kingfishers Catch Fire. I wish I could have been in a pew listening to the Word spoken for a particular time, place, and people, but reading this collection is the next best thing. Peterson's attention to biblical texts, theological concerns, and earthy applications for real people are the same threads we find in his many books. Reading just the introduction to each section is time well spent, but I promise you won't stop there."
-Dan Baumgartner, senior pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood
"In the last years, Eugene's writing has kept me sane." Bono, U2
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eugene H. Peterson, a translator of The Message Bible (17 million sold), is professor emeritus of Spiritual Theology of Regent College, British Columbia, and the author of over 30 spiritual classics (20 million sold) including A Long Obedience in the Same Direction and Leap Over a Wall. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic Languages from John Hopkins University. He also holds several honorary doctoral degrees. In 1962, Peterson was founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for 29 years before retiring in 1991. He and his wife, Jan, live in Montana.