1. Winn Collier
Winn Collier, pastor of All Souls in Charlottesville, Virginia, who is writing Peterson's biography, said he first discovered The Message when he was a child, and grew to know the author personally.
"I can tell you, with the clearest conviction: the Eugene Peterson we've all seen in public is the Eugene Peterson you find behind closed doors.
"Eugene was wildly generous, profoundly humble. Have you met a man in whom there was no guile? Who did not play the power games we assume must be played? Have you encountered a man who believed so much in kindness that he would not betray it, even if it meant being taken advantage of or being misunderstood? I have. Eugene loved his God with every fiber of his being. He prayed and laughed and even cussed a little," he wrote on his website.
"I do not write this glowing homage because he was a faultless man without failings or shortcomings. Eugene wrestled with temptations, and in his private writings, he demonstrated a relentless grappling with his humanness. For a man who insisted on honoring what it means to be human in God's image, it would be disgraceful for me to caricature Eugene as anything other than human," Collier added.
"And yet he was also holy. He loved the Father, Son, and Spirit. He loved his family like mad. He loved his friends."