I am honored and excited that Eugene Peterson has written the foreword to Year of Plenty. Peterson has been a mentor from afar through his numerous books on pastoral practice and the spiritual life. He is most well known for his paraphrase translation of the entire Bible, called The Message. He has written prophetically and eloquently about the church in North America for several decades. My favorite of his many books is titled Under the Unpredictable Plant, which has significantly influenced my approach to being a pastor. So, needless to say, I was thrilled when he agreed to be associated with my book project, and even more so when I got a look at what he'd written. Here's an excerpt of what Peterson has to say in the foreword:
"(Year of Plenty) is a story honestly and modestly told—no apocalytptic ranting, no preaching, no pontificating. And very much a story--the detailed account, with insight and humor, of a suburban family with two pre-teenage daughters negotiating a way of life through the maze of American consumerism.
Albert Borgmann writes convincingly of the necessity, if we are not going to be ruined by living second-hand in a consumerist culture, of developing what he calls "focal practices"--practices that keep our lives attentive and present and participating in what is immediate and personal. Craig and Nancy Goodwin with their daughters are providing the rest of us with an unpretentious witness to just what is involved in focal practices.
The embracing context for this story as it is told here is the Word that became flesh, moved into our neighborhood—think of it, our very backyards!-- and revealed God to us. Care of creation (environmentalism) is fundamentally about this incarnation, the core doctrine of the Christian faith, God with us in the Jesus of history....
Year of Plenty is...a convincing witness to the sanctity of the everyday, the ordinary, the things we eat and clothes we wear, the names of our neighbors and the money we spend, which is to say, Jesus in our neighborhood.