Peterson: In Between the Man and the Message

A short film directed by Greg Fromholz

Released on YouTube at the end of August, this beautiful 18-minute film, directed by Dublin-based Greg Fromholz and filmed by Tiny Ark, gives us a rare glimpse of Eugene Peterson - best known as the man behind The Message Bible. Here, Greg Fromholz shares a few thoughts on the project.

It is often said, “Never meet your heroes.” The reasons are simple enough: because heroes can disappoint - at times through no fault of their own - with all the expectations we thrust upon them. Yet, sometimes, you meet your heroes and don’t walk away disappointed.

For me, the honour was absolute when sitting down for five days with Eugene and Jan Peterson to create the short film Peterson: In Between the Man and the Message.

Eugene Peterson is considered one of the most prolific written voices of our time. As a clergyman, scholar, author and poet, he has set about articulating a journey of faith for millions to engage and follow in. But, as I sat in my home in Ireland, I was wondering who Eugene Peterson is beyond the books and next to the fireside; between the quotable sound bites and the depths of his early morning mountain walks; past the volume of the prophetic voice and in his silent humanity. And who is Jan, his companion on the journey?

The short film Peterson: In Between the Man and the Message endeavours to capture the essence of a life, going beyond the what and how of Eugene’s literary and life accomplishments and embracing the why. Why does all of this matter to him? What compels him to articulate his inner life? What matters most after all these years in ministry?

In the film, we look to embrace Eugene and Jan’s life at home, as a family, and even in a canoe across Flathead Lake; as we welcome a story of refined and marinated wisdom to wash over us in silence and spoken word; and as we capture for generations an intimate glimpse of a humble man whose life and work has shaped the way we live.

Humility is a way of living your life in relationship with others without competing.
— Eugene Peterson

As a filmmaker and human being, it was an opportunity that I am truly grateful for. And it was even more of a joy to create in collaboration with Don Pape of NavPress, Tiny Ark Films and Eugene and Jan Peterson.


Greg Fromholz is also the Director of Phyllis, the biographical film of author and theologian Phyllis Tickle, released in 2015, and of Divine Dissatisfaction, about the life of author and evangelist Tony Campolo, to be released in 2017. For more information, go to or @gregfromholz on social media platforms.