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Archives / 2009 / September

 

Book review: Life Is Mostly Edges: A Memoir

Marty Thurber

 

If you’ve ever wondered why you’re a pastor, you will enjoy reading Calvin Miller’s Life is Mostly Edges: A Memoir. If you’re like am, you don’t question your call to ministry; but sometimes you question God about the people to whom you are called to minister.

You also thought that you were a pastor when they gave you your first church or when they ordained you. Miller will free you of such notions. He shares his life with us not only as a pastor but as a human being who survived the pastorate, even thrived. Miller talks about the pastor who is still becoming a pastor.

Reading Miller, you see yourself. You identify with people and problems, joys and hopes—and come away with confidence in God and His call for your ministry. I consider Life Is Mostly Edges: A Memoir as not only a pastor’s manual on how to live life as a pastor full time, but more importantly, living a great life as well. His writing integrates the pastoral office and the human life. He paints the picture for us of a life lived well and happy over much of the twentieth century and into the current one, all the while serving as pastor of a church that he founded and loves.

The picture, while not always attractive, is powerful because the story comprises an honest account of a pastor’s life. His memories become way marks on your journey. Many of his experiences are universal to all pastors, and I’m fairly certain that every pastor who stays at it for a while will find relevant wisdom in Miller’s open book.

The temptation to deny our calling to ministry infiltrates our lives in dozens of ways. One of them includes being consumed by the pastorate, thereby living the other parts of our lives in poor fashion. As I read Miller, I hear the voices of pastors whom I know. They look back over the years and events of their lives, wondering if they could have done better. And I think of life’s true goal: living at the edges as well as the center—not satisfied that my pastoral role alone is living a true and fulfilling life.

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