Books: The Jesus Way

November 28, 2016

A couple of years ago I started a book by Eugene Peterson, author of The Message (a popular paraphrase of the Bible), Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, the first of a series of five books on spiritual theology. I also purchased The Jesus Way, the third book in the series, then set it aside until I had finished at least the first book.

But somehow the first book wound up in a pile of books I’m in the middle of reading, and hasn’t moved from that spot in a while. Then last month, when looking for something to read on a trip to a conference in Indiana, I noticed The Jesus Way and decided to read it. I read half of it during the trip, and finished it recently.

The subtitle of the book describes it well: “a conversation on the ways that Jesus is the way.” Evangelical Christians are familiar with John 14:6, where Jesus says “I am the way” (and “the truth and the life”). But what it means for Jesus to be the way is not usually explored, simply assumed: Jesus is how we are made right with God, how we get to heaven.

Peterson says, “Too many of my faith-companions for too long have been reducing the way of Jesus simply to the route to heaven, which it certainly is. But there is so much more.” Peterson emphasizes the meaning of “way” as a road to follow, not just for getting to the right destination, but for how to travel along the way.

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On competence and wonder

February 8, 2012

Until recently, I never would have thought of there being any connection between competence and wonder. But I’ve been thinking about them lately because of what I read in a book by Eugene Peterson.

I’ll write more about the book when I’ve finished it, but there is so much in it that I plan to write separate posts about some topics. One is about Sabbath-keeping, which Peterson approaches in a different way from anything I had read on the subject previously.

Peterson makes a fairly common observation that children experience a sense of wonder frequently, but adults much less so. What is different is his explanation. Usually, I think, the reasons given have to do with being too busy, too wrapped up in what we think are important concerns but that often are actually distracting us from what is really most important in life.

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