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Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology Paperback – January 29, 2008
"Moving Mountains" by John Eldredge
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Top Customer Reviews
In "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places," Peterson begins his "Opus"--a proposed five-volume set on spiritual theology. Spiritual theology, a common enough term in Church history, needs defining today. Simply stated, it is a theology of the spiritual life--what the Bible teachers about how we love God and love others (Matthew 22:35-40). As Peterson puts it, "The single most important thing to understand in spiritual theology is that it is not about theology ... it is a cultivated disposition to live theology."
As the sub-title suggests, Peterson writes in his normal conversational, soulful, narrative manner, explaining and exploring the nuances of the Spirit. As always, his writing is "earthy"--real, raw, captivating, and convicting.
In a day when Christian authors tend to write from extremes (either theology or spirituality), it's refreshing to see Peterson unite (reunite) the two. Not only refreshing-it's essential. An accurate understanding of spirituality must combine community (how we relate in Christ), content (what the Bible says about our relationships), character (who we are from the inside out), and competence (how we mature relationally) all in the context of Church history (listening to the voices of our ancestors in the faith).
If you're looking for a "how to" manual, you may find yourself disappointed. That's simply not Peterson's style or intent. However, if you're hoping for a foundation upon which to build your spiritual life, then you can find none better than "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places.Read more ›
I particularly appreciate his refusal to adopt the American Calvinist mentality that says all effort and all failure is our responsibility. That false understanding has infected the Roman Catholic church since the 17th century.
His appreciation of creation and our celebration of creation in wotrship, his deep understanding of history's failures and our acceptance of those failures in sacrifice are two of the most powerful sections of a book I have been rereading all winter and spring and summer.
Peterson lays the groundwork for this first of a proposed five volume set on spiritual theology, by defining the terms he uses, setting the stage from the grounding texts from which he will work out his theology of the spiritual life, etc...
The book's sections are long (only three chapters for a 338 page text), but he takes his primary ideas of Christ in creation, history and community and formats each section against the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. In each chapter, Peterson then deals with the main threat against each of these facets of spirituality, includes two grounding texts per chapter to elaborate on the spiritual aspect- one from the OT and one from the NT and then develops the implications of life in these realms.
Most of the books on spirituality that I have read are merely footnotes on the classics (John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Bernard of Clairveuax, Blaise Pascal, Francois Fenelon, etc...). Peterson's work is original, brilliantly developed, creative, readable, practical and (for you preachers) quotable!! This WILL BE a modern classic!!
"A conversation in spiritual theology." I didn't know what to expect from this subtitle. Here's what I got: an engaging overview of basic Christian theology presented in conversational tone and with practical application that isn't just "tacked on" but is integral to the theology itself. In his introduction, Peterson explains, " `Spiritual' keeps `theology' from degenerating into merely thinking and talking and writing about God at a distance. `Theology' keeps `spiritual' from becoming merely thinking and talking and writing about the feelings and thoughts one has about God."
What Peterson has done is quite difficult to pull off. This material seems fresh to me --- steeped in Christianity since childhood; at the same time I would heartily recommend it to any serious seeker (serious enough not to be intimidated by 350 pages) looking for a foundational book on Christianity. There's nothing complicated here; the material is straightforward and clear. In the first 35 pages, called "Clearing the Playing Field," Peterson tells some critically basic biblical stories and defines terms (spirituality, Jesus, soul, and fear-of-the-Lord) that set the stage for his three-part drama of how we live out our faith (1) in creation, (2) in history, and (3) in community.
The outline is very well executed, with each of the three parts showing how Jesus lived out the dynamic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book seemed complicated and unlike what I expected from the author of "The Message". It did not keep my interest or present a better grasp of the role of Christ in the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Harold L Downs
From my post on Black Coffee Reflections: - goo.gl/DWekop
I recently finished reading Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson and I find myself with the same... Read more
Absolutely amazing. I'm now reading "Christ Plays.." for the 3rd time. Halfway thru the Introduction and I had to stop and pray... and surrender. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michael B. Burke
As someone who has read several of Eugene Peterson's works, this one ranks among my favorite. (My other favorites are A Long Obedience in the Same Direction and Reversed... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Two Dollar Dog
Wow this guy knows Christ and he knows the world and he writes about the myriads of convolutions in mixing the two. A great read by a great scholarPublished 16 months ago by james maucher