February 08, 2011

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Eugene Peterson's Foreword for "Lucky" "I have just finished reading the book you are holding in your hands, Glenn Packiam’s Lucky. And I’m feeling lucky. I’m feeling lucky to have spent a few hours in the company of a pastor who cares enough about the Gospel of Jesus and the Kingdom of God to take them seriously on their own terms, to respect their integrity. He doesn’t “adapt” them to the American consumer culture. He doesn’t strain to make them relevant to a secularized way of life that is only interested in God on its own terms. He is not a Bible “salesman” selling a religious product at cut-rate prices. He begins by throwing us into the deep end of the pool, introducing the centerpiece of Christian teaching with Jesus blessing a quartet of losers: the poor, the hungry, the grief-stricken, the despised (Luke 6:20-24). And the water is freezing cold. But Pastor Packiam doesn’t apologize—he seems to think that Jesus means what he says. I hear him saying to us, “Get used to it.” And we do get used to it, largely because the biblical message is conveyed to us on its own terms, as narrative. Not “truths” or “principles” or “advice”, proof texts proving that Jesus didn’t really mean what he said. The story, from Genesis to Jesus, gathers us into relationships and plot. Nothing impersonal here. Not only do the Scriptures retain their original “storied,” relational, character in the pages you are about to read but the poor, hungry, grief-stricken, and despised also retain theirs. None are lumped into categories and accounted for by statistics. They have personal names; they live in locatable places. We find ourselves in the company of a pastor who knows the men, women, and children he serves in Jesus’ name. The stories convey a sense of accuracy...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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