Tag Archives: The Contemplative Pastor

“Some pastors are lazy and no good” by Martin Luther

“Some pastors and preachers are lazy and no good. They rely on these and other good books to get a sermon out of them. They do not pray; they do not study; they do not read; they do not search the Scripture. It is just as if there were no need to read the Bible for this purpose.

They use such books as offer them homiletical helps in order to earn their yearly living; they are nothing but parrots and jackdaws, which learn to repeat without understanding, though our purpose and the purpose of these theologians is to direct preachers to Scripture with such books and exhort them to plan to defend our Christian faith after death, against the devil, the world, and the flesh…

Therefore the call is: Watch, study, attend to reading. In truth, you cannot read too much in Scripture; and what you read you cannot read too carefully, and what you read carefully you cannot understand too well, and what you understand well you cannot teach too well, and what you teach well you cannot live too well.

Believe a man who has found this out. It is the devil, it is the world, it is our flesh that are raging and raving against us. Therefore, dear sirs and brethren, pastors and preachers, pray, read, study, be diligent. Truly, this evil, shameful time is not the season for being lazy, for sleeping and snoring. Use the gift that has been entrusted to you, and reveal the mystery of Christ.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 3547, 1110.

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Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Elders, Martin Luther, Preaching, Quotable Quotes

“Some pastors are lazy and no good” by Martin Luther

“Some pastors and preachers are lazy and no good. They do not pray; they do not study; they do not read; they do not search the Scripture… The call is: watch, study, attend to reading… [Y]ou cannot read too much in Scripture, what you read you cannot read too carefully, what you read carefully you cannot teach too well, what you teach well you cannot live too well… Therefore dear… pastors and preachers, pray, read, study, be diligent… This evil, shameful time is no season for being lazy, for sleeping, and snoring.”

–Martin Luther, WA 53, 218, as quoted by Fred W. Meuser in “Luther as Preacher of the Word of God,” in The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther, Ed. Donald K. McKim (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 141.

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“I get much more respect than I deserve” by Marilynne Robinson

“I get much more respect than I deserve. This seems harmless enough in most cases. People want to respect the pastor and I’m not going to interfere with that. But I’ve developed a great reputation for wisdom by ordering more books than I ever had time to read, and reading more books, by far, than I learned anything useful from, except of course, that some very tedious gentlemen have written books.

This is not a new insight, but the truth of it is something you have to experience to fully grasp… Often enough when someone saw the light burning in my study long into the night, it only meant I had fallen asleep in my chair. My reputation is largely the creature of the kindly imaginings of my flock, whom I chose not to disillusion.”

–Marilynne Robinson, Gilead: A Novel (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), 39-40.

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“The prophets and psalmists were all poets” by Eugene Peterson

“Is it not significant that the biblical prophets and psalmists were all poets? It is a continuing curiosity that so many pastors, whose work integrates the prophetic and psalmic (preaching and praying), are indifferent to poets. In reading poets, I find congenial allies in the world of words. In writing poems, I find myself practicing my pastoral craft in a biblical way.”

–Eugene Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 156.

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“The middle voice” by Eugene Peterson

“Prayer takes place in the middle voice.”

–Eugene H. Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993),  104.

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