Interview with Eugene Peterson


Last week, Religion News Service blogger, Jonathan Merritt, posted an interview he had with Eugene Peterson.

As I’ve shared plenty of times, I appreciate the pastoral writings of Peterson. I’ve read a few of his books and reviewed them: Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Eat This Book, and The Contemplative Pastor. And I plan on reading quite a few others.

I’d encourage you to read Merritt’s interview with the now 81-year old Peterson. He asks 8 particular questions, and I really appreciated the final question and answer:

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How Do You Know?

Many of you will know my ‘other’ blog over at To Be Continued, where my continuationist colleague, Marv, and I post articles about the continuing work of the Holy Spirit today. Below is his most recent article on how we know (yet never 100% perfectly) it is God speaking. I thought it was excellent from a very practical-pastoral level of helping encourage God’s people in the area of God speaking today.

The question is “How do you know?” We contend, based on the Scriptures, that God’s Spirit continues to communicate with believers today, as He has throughout history, and even more so, since Jesus prophesied and commanded his disciples to be led by the Spirit after He returned to the Father (John 14-16).

Okay, so given this instruction, how do we know when the Spirit is speaking? Does “speaking” equal an audible voice? If it is non-audible but internal, how it this communication to be distinguished from our own thoughts?

How do you know? The question comes both from skeptics of “modern-day” revelation–the classic “maybe it’s just last night’s pizza,” as well as a sincere learner, seeking practical understanding of the ways and means of this ministry that our Lord has called us to. It’s a fair question either way, and I want to touch on a few shreds of how it can possibly be answered. Largely, it depends on exactly what is being asked. Continue reading

Prophecy in the New Covenant, Part Two

This article continues the two-part series from my blogging colleague, Marv. It was originally posted at our continuationist blog, To Be Continued.

In part one I argue that a fundamental distinction of prophecy under the New Covenant is that it occurs within a prophetic community, where every regenerate individual has the ability to hear God’s voice for him/herself. At the people’s own request immediately following the Sinai lawgiving, God agrees henceforth to speak to them through an intermediary, and not directly. The people agreed in return to heed the prophet’s word as God’s. They would fail to do so, of course.  Nevertheless in Deut. 18:17, God calls this request a good one. Whether this represents His complete approval or merely acquiescence to their desire, He has something better for the Body of Christ, beginning with Pentecost.

This new thing, this better thing is the Spirit poured out on “all flesh,” every member of the redeemed community without distinction. All can hear God’s voice. Therefore, prophecies given within this prophetic community can be weighed (diakrino, 1 Cor. 14:29), and tested (dokimazo, 1 Thes. 5:21) by others, who also hear the Lord’s voice. Continue reading

Prophecy in the New Covenant, Part One

This two-part series was posted by my blogging colleague, Marv, over at our co-blog, To Be Continued. It was a good two-post blog and so I wanted to re-post it here as well.

Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.

Sinai. Year One of the new Nation constituted by YHWH Himself, for His own purposes. Yesterday they were an ethnic group, an agglomeration of clans and tribes, united by common ancestry: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. In the incubator of Egyptian bondage they had been fruitful and multiplied. Then, through Moses, YHWH came to take them to Himself:

You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Exodus 19:4 ESV)

They saw it for themselves. Continue reading