The Jesus Way: a Conversation on the Ways that Jesus is the Way, by Eugene H. Peterson [Book Review]

JesusWay-EugenePeterson-09142009I wonder if Peterson’s primary starting place is the modern evangelical tendency to use pragmatic business methods to attempt to accomplish God’s much larger purposes. Peterson says as much on page 1. He notes how we unhesitatingly embrace the ways and means of the culture. And yet we remain ignorant (perhaps willfully so) of the ways and means of Jesus. So Peterson set out to show what Jesus’ way looked like. Along the route he shows how Abraham, Moses, Elijah and David and others walked that way.  Abraham’s (near) sacrifice of Isaac takes center stage as a test of how obedient he would be, and serves as a model for our own obedience when the way toward God’s promise is murky. All the people mentioned above help flesh out this way of utter obedience and resistance to the simple solutions the culture offers. On the other hand, the way of Herod and Josephus show how not to follow Jesus, with their self-focus and willingness to let expediency rule.

The book has been a marvelous balm as I try to make counter-culture moves with my own work life. In particular, seeing that God’s plans have not offer looked like the career that our culture has recently touted. Of course, today, since loyalty between companies and employees is largely dead, lots of people are rethinking how and if ”success” and ”career” fit together. For most today, a career is assumed to include several companies before the silver chord is severed. 

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