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Summary

This essential authorized biography of Eugene Peterson offers unique insights into the experiences and spiritual convictions of the iconic American pastor and beloved translator of The Message. 

“In the time of a generation-wide breakdown in trust with leaders in every sphere of society, Eugene’s quiet life of deep integrity and gospel purpose is a bright light against a dark backdrop.” (John Mark Comer, author of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry)

“This hunger for something radical - something so true that it burned in his bones - was a constant in Eugene’s life. His longing for God ignited a ferocity in his soul.” 

Encounter the multifaceted life of one of the most influential and creative pastors of the past half century with unforgettable stories of Eugene’s lifelong devotion to his craft and love of language, the influences and experiences that shaped his unquenchable faith, the inspiration for his decision to translate The Message, and his success and struggles as a pastor, husband, and father.

Author Winn Collier was given exclusive access to Eugene and his materials for the production of this landmark work. Drawing from his friendship and expansive view of Peterson’s life, Collier offers an intimate, beautiful, and earthy look into a remarkable life.

For Eugene, the gifts of life were inexhaustible: the glint of fading light over the lake; a kiss from Jan; a good joke; a bowl of butter pecan ice cream. As you enter into his story, you’ll find yourself doing the same - noticing how the most ordinary things shimmer with a new and unexpected beauty.

©2020 Winn Collier (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“Winn Collier captures Eugene Peterson’s sense of wonder over the presence of God and the radiance of Scripture. Through A Burning in My Bones, you’ll learn to experience life through Eugene’s eyes: dig deep, look for what is real, find the sacred in the rough and ordinary, and live like God is real.” (Mark Batterson, New York Times best-selling author of The Circle Maker and lead pastor of National Community Church)

“How do you reduce into words the vital reality of this man, scholar, searcher, teacher, and faithful friend? Eugene was a man who brought Scripture to fresh life for me and millions of others—who else would invite the phrase Holy Luck into a retelling of the Beatitudes? Winn Collier’s skilled storytelling weaves the threads of Eugene’s life into something fitting, like the prayer shawl he wore in his study every day.” (Luci Shaw, Regent College writer in residence and author of The Generosity poems) 

“I knew Eugene Peterson for thirty years, or at least I thought I did. He didn’t talk much, especially about himself. I knew nothing about his mouse tattoo, his Pentecostal mother’s radio program, the abysmal failure of his first church plant attempt, his friendship with a young Pat Robertson, or his square dancing prowess. Somehow Winn Collier ferreted out the little known facts about Eugene that, taken together, complete the picture of a humble, gentle giant who brought the Bible to new life for millions and became an inspirational model for beleaguered pastors everywhere.” (Philip Yancey, author of What’s So Amazing About Grace) 

What listeners say about A Burning in My Bones

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Superb

A thoroughly enjoyable insight into a soul seeking to live a holy life. Highly recommended.

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Best book about humanity and faith

I didn’t want the book to end and shall read and re read it’s wisdom, gentleness and love.

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Wonderful

Absolutely loved every word. I have long loved The Message and read it for more than twenty years . This wonderful account beautifully read has only enhanced my high regard for its author. Usually listen again. Dr Annie 8/1/22.

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Pure inspiration.

Fantastic to follow the story of his life and family both triumphs and regrets. What a presence and integrity lived.

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  • Beth Spafford
  • 02-04-21

Thank you

Though I didn't know Eugene Peterson personally, I have long considered him to be a sort of pastor, mentor and father to me. I have devoured many of his books and listened to several of his classes from Regent College on audio. Thank you to Winn Collier, to Eugene Peterson and to the Peterson family for sharing a life that encourages me in this long obedience. It is a well-written book that doesn't shy away from the ups and downs of his life, that in turn encourages me to continue in prayer, reading and living out the Scriptures and focusing on love and charity.

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  • Shawn Beaty
  • 23-07-21

Now I know him...

I cried at the end.... a brilliant telling of a complicated, controversial and brilliant man. You will be blessed to finsh this book.

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  • Mike Vantine
  • 01-04-22

A joy!

This is a man that I have loved learning about, and whom I want to share time with.

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  • Tyrone Rinta
  • 02-08-21

Inspiring, Moving & Thought Provoking

it started a little slow but that was all very important for the entirety of the story. I had a hard time putting it down. Crazy how much influence he ended up having in our world. A great read for everyone, especially those in pastoral ministry.

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  • Amazon Customer Bob
  • 09-07-21

Powerful story about a gifted man.

This is a unique story about a man who has many talents but chooses to focus on one of his gifts moving forward. He disciplines himself to try and become a writer and also a man of God. He succeeded but life also became challenging towards the end. Good people he surrounded himself with were helpful.

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  • Sara Cedillo McLeod
  • 07-06-22

Truly blessed by this man’s life

Speaker was good. I love the journey through Eugene’s life. I am looking forward to reading the books of his life’s work and definitely the translation of the Bible

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  • Tea Lady
  • 22-07-22

Story of one of my heroes

This was magnificently written, and it conveys the spirit of Eugene Peterson’s work. I appreciate Eugene Peterson even more now.

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  • True American
  • 19-07-22

A wonderful gift after 35 years of marriage

Winn, You have given us something new after 35 years of marriage! I downloaded the audio book hoping it might be something my husband and I could enjoy as we traveled the Oregon coast during our 2 week summer vacation.

Used to a van full of kids piled in the back of our mini-van with books and child oriented audio bumping around as we traveled the miles. Now, with it back to the 2 of us, we are finding our way as we explore this new stage of life together.

We were hooked from the very first chapter and listened as we drove 101, sat in glistening Oregon creeks or by the campfire. We even shared a set of AirPods, 1 each, at times.

It was the perfect companion, giving us countless hours of conversation and another opportunity to grow together in our faith and love of Christ.

Thank you for your devoted work on this project. We were inspired and strengthened and are secretly hoping that a film company will take notice and produce this exceptional story for the Big Screen. Even if Eugene would have cringed at the thought.

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  • Joe G.
  • 18-07-22

a view to the life of a saint

Eugene Peterson wasn't perfect; and he knew it. Humility tempered his brilliance. His eyes were on Jesus, and it showed. What a gift. Thank you.

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  • Babar21
  • 08-07-22

beautiful and deep

it is an inspiring biography, giving you the feeling of being in the presence of a godly man. it is encouraging to discover that his conception of pastoral ministry was not natural but something he had to struggle with himself.