In a not-so-surprising way, Eugene Peterson views the apostle Paul as pastor Paul:

I am interested in Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans a Holy Spirit source document for pastoral theology, a piece of writing that is a working demonstration of spiritual formation in the Christian community. My interest is piqued by living in an age in which the work of much of the church’s leadership is neither pastoral nor theological. The pastoral dimensions of the church’s leadership are badly eroded by technologizing and managerial influences. The theological dimensions of the church’s leadership have been marginalized by therapeutic and marketing preoccupations. The gospel work of giving leadership to the community of the Christian faithful has been alienated from its source.

Peterson argues the designation of Paul as “pastor” in four ways:

  1. Scripture. Paul’s thinking is subordinated to all that God has revealed of himself and his purposes in Holy Scripture.
  2. Mystery. Paul’s embrace of mystery is an embrace of God and God’s ways, as mystery revealed and glory revealed.
  3. Language. Paul treats the language as a living energy field. Words are not tight containers of “meaning” but evocations of discourse, proliferating nuance and implication.
  4. Community. Paul calls on the community as a community that can only be achieved and understood theologically.

Source: Eugene Peterson, “Pastor Paul,” Romans and the People of God: Essays in Honor of Gordon D. Fee on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday.

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