Practice Resurrection – Eugene Peterson

15 03 2010


Rating: 4 out 5

When it comes to his books, Peterson and I have a love hate relationship. I’ve read 4 out 5 in this series (Eat this book is one I haven’t got yet) and each time I find myself going through a similar wave of emotion. There are times when Peterson meanders and waffles on to the point where I am ready to close the book and throw it away. But when I hit that point Peterson brings everything he’s said to a sharp conclusion, and it all makes sense. I love his books and I hate them at the same time. But I have to say that this was his best effort since “Christ plays in 10,000 places”. The book is an informal commentary on Ephesians, which Peterson claims to have taught for many years to his congregations. Peterson is intent on seeing Christians grow to the full measure of stature in Christ. In other words Peterson wants us to become mature Christians, not tossed by every wind and doctrine. There is so much meat in this book that it’s hard to summarise it all. I really like his chapter on Grace and Works. All my life I had seen the two as almost antithetical to each other. At best they should be a sign of the grace already received from Christ. But Peterson took a different route. Grace always requires a form, a container, otherwise it becomes an impersonal and abstract doctrine. Good works are the containers for Grace to be taken out from the impersonal to the personal. God is intensely personal, nothing about the God we serve is impersonal. I had never thought of it from that angle. If you’ve got the time and patience, read this whole series from start to finish. Scott Mcknight is right, one does not skim Peterson, one ponders Peterson.

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