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Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity
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Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity


Eerdmans 1987

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.

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According to Eugene Peterson, American pastors are abandoning their posts at an alarming rate. They are not leaving their churches and getting other jobs. Instead, they have become “a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches.” Pastors and the communities they serve have become preoccupied with image and standing, with administration, measurable success, sociological impact, and economic viability.

In Working the Angles, Peterson calls the attention of his fellow pastors to three basic acts—which he sees as the three angles of a triangle—that are so critical to the pastoral ministry that they determine the shape of everything else. The acts—prayer, reading Scripture, and giving spiritual direction—are acts of attention to God in three different contexts: oneself, the community of faith, and another person. Only by being attentive to these three critical acts, says Peterson, can pastors fulfill their prime responsibility of keeping the religious community attentive to God.

In the Logos edition, Working the Angles is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Examines three basic pastoral acts: prayer, reading Scripture, and giving spiritual direction
  • Offers reflections and commentary out of the context of the author’s own work


  • First Angle: Prayer
    • Greek Stories and Hebrew Prayers
    • Praying by the Book
    • Prayer Time
  • Second Angle: Scripture
    • Turning Eyes into Ears
    • Contemplative Exegesis
    • Gaza Notes
  • Third Angle: Spiritual Direction
    • Being a Spiritual Director
    • Getting a Spiritual Director
    • Practicing Spiritual Direction

Praise for the Print Edition

A good book to help us all be attentive to God in our practice.

Sharing the Practice

Ministers sweating it out on the front line should not miss it.

Expository Times

A provocative book. Peterson offers a stimulating challenge to much current pastoral practice. . . . His writing has the unmistakable ring of truth.

Theology Today

Eugene Peterson is a prophet. Like the words of most prophets, his criticisms of his peers in the clergy are not easy to take, but when one considers carefully his positive statements the rightness of his speech can be recognized. . . . This is a book that is hard to put down, but the reader must stop every so often to consider what it is saying. it is not a book which can easily be forgotten.

The Clergy Journal

Product Details

  • Title: Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity
  • Author: Eugene H. Peterson
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: 200

About Eugene H. Peterson

Eugene H. Peterson was a longtime pastor and is professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. His many other acclaimed books include Tell It Slant, The Jesus Way, Eat This Book, and the contemporary translation of the Bible titled The Message.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition

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