Tag Archives: Eugene Peterson

The Good Old Days

Time cover TFADr. Theodore F. Adams  was the legendary pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church from 1936 to 1968, and president of the Baptist World Alliance from 1955 to 1960. He was on the cover of Time Magazine December 5, 1955. Almost 50 years after leaving the First Baptist pulpit, he is still revered.

The 1950’s were a booming era for churches. And those churches that also had a gifted pastor like Ted Adams were busting at the seams. I’ve heard some of the old-timers recall that all you had to do was open the doors and get out of the way. The pews were filled every Sunday.

A lot of churches that boomed in the 50’s are struggling to survive these days. With dwindling congregations, aging buildings and an unhealthy measure of nostalgia, they’re trying to figure out how to bring back “the good old days.” They point to the mega churches, the embodiment of American success and wonder, “why can’t we be like that?”

That’s the situation for the fictional Eternal Hope Baptist Church of Homer, Alabama in our film SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL. They remember the good old days when the church’s founder, Brother Big Bob Cross presided over a thriving enterprise. But these days, there are lots of questions and few answers: How do we keep the young folks engaged? How are we going to keep the church doors open? And, of course, “What would Brother Big Bob do?” Continue reading The Good Old Days

Quiet, please!

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength.”

“Thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,” according to the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 30:15).

New RiverEugene Peterson, translator of The Message, says in his introduction to the prophet Nahum, “God’s characteristic way of working is in quietness and through prayer… If we are conditioned to respond to noise and size, we will miss God’s word and action.”

And Richard Rohr writes, “You cannot talk God into ‘coming’ into you by longer and more urgent prayers. All you can do is become quieter, smaller, and less filled with your own self and your constant flurry of ideas and feelings. Then God will be obvious in the very now of things, and in the simplicity of things.”

I’m going to stop writing now… be quiet and listen.


Some of the books influencing my thinking about the Prodigal Project


Unchristian:  What a new generation really thinks  about Christianity…  and why it matters
by David Kinnaman (Baker Books, 2009)

Applebee’s America:  How Successful Political, Business, and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community
by Douglas B. Sosnik, Matthew J. Dowd and Ron Fournier  (Simon & Schuster, 2006)

They Like Jesus But Not the Church:  insights from emerging generations
by Dan Kimball (Zondervan, 2007)

What’s So Amazing About Grace?
by Philip Yancey (Zondervan, 1997)

Blue Like Jazz
by Donald Miller  (Thomas Nelson, 2003)

Tell It Slant:  a conversation on the  language of Jesus in his stories and prayers
by Eugene Peterson (Eerdmans, 2008)

Practice Resurrection:  A conversation on growing up in Christ
by Eugene Peterson (Eerdmans, 2010)

The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri J. M. Nouwen  (Doubleday, 1992)

The Prodigal God
by Timothy Keller (Dutton, 2008)
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