The Jesus Way – Eugene Peterson

28 08 2009

petersonI’m not sure what to make of this book. Its the 3rd in a projected 5 volume series on Spiritual theology. As I read through each chapter I became frustrated that Peterson spent so much time beating around the bush. But then his conclusions came in sharp and penetrating. Each chapter read like a meander up a mountain. The summit was breathtaking, but hard work getting there. Perhaps we need more books like Peterson’s that slow us down to a blur. In our current culture we operate at break neck pace, and want everything now. Everything must be instantaneous or else we lose interest and are onto the next thing. This Christian is sick of consumer Spiritualities and tired of living on fast food diets.

Peterson is long winded and poetic and I got the impression that Peterson refused to give quick answers, or 5 step how to spirituality techniques that always fall short of what they promised to deliver. I must say on first glance I was confused by this book. How can it be a book about Jesus if spends most of its time discussing Old Testament Characters and some new pagan leaders? But I guess the book is an excercise in Biblical theology. Peterson allows the Bible to speak for itself, and as we soak ourselves in its story we find that the Jesus way becomes clearer. The most helpful chapter was that of Israel’s exile. Peterson did an excellent job of conveying how devastating it must have felt for those going through that. The despair, the pain, the anguish, the confusion, I felt all of that while reading that chapter. Having studied the Bible for some years now it is refreshing to read authors who move you, and challenge your thinking. I reccomend the book.


Comment of the Day

26 08 2009

Came accross this one at Bill Mckinnon’s blog today:

there’s only room for one person on the Judgment seat of God – and that person ain’t you”

Nelsons Illustrated Guide to Religions

10 08 2009

NELSONSWorld religions are a subject I have not spent much time studying. The western world today is hot bed for different religions and belief systems. Coming in at over 800 pages  Nelsons guide can tire out even the most experienced reader. What I really liked about this book was that it gave a host of pictures for each religion or sect. That meant I could tie it to something visual and remember his comments a little better. Of course the book  is written from an evangelical Christian perspective, so those looking for an unbiased take on the religions should look elsewhere – (perhaps in a bottomless pit on the side of pluto). That aside I think the section was the most helpful was the section on Christianity and the different denominations within protestant Christianity that helped me the most. Although I knew a bit about Anabaptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans etc I did not know a lot.

If you know someone who has recently come to faith in Christ and has a background in a different religion then this book will help you understand some of where they are coming from. It will also give you a basic understanding of the difference between Christianity and the different religions. My advice is to use it as a reference book and use it to gain a basic understanding of the religions you encounter on the street.