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Leap Over a Wall : Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians Paperback – May 6, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Toward the end of this book, Peterson, author of the immensely popular translation of the New Testament, The Message, observes that "the Christian life isn't a romantic idyll." Rather, he says, the Christian life is fraught with pain, spattered with grief and paradox and, in the end, lit by hope. Out of a deep awareness of these truths, Peterson engages in an examination of the life of David to illuminate the ways in which the divine is often hidden in the ordinary. Exploring a number of scriptural passages about the life of David, Peterson shows the ways in which David's life, though fraught with struggles and shortcomings, was one filled with exuberance and animated by God's deliberate power. The author brings the Old Testament world revealingly close to our own century, and he makes vivid the notion that God's purposes are worked out in the ordinariness of specific human lives.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Peterson's mother told him many stories when he was a child, filling them with vital detail and color. Later he learned that she had, although never violating their spirit, embroidered some of the Bible stories. He does as much to the stories of David that he retells, but he points out his variations from what the Bible says and states his reasons for them. Mostly, those reasons seem intended to show that he knows biblical research well and isn't just a talented storyteller strutting his stuff. Both his knowledge and his literary skill are impressive, but not as impressive as his ability to make the character of David and the 20 episodes of David's life that he rehearses and interprets illustrate what it is to live consciously in the presence of God, although, like David, one is no miracle worker but all too commonly human. This is an ideal popular companion for study of the man from whom Matthew and Luke labored to show Jesus was descended. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (May 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006066522X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060665227
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peterson, now retired, was for many years James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He also served as founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. In addition to his widely acclaimed paraphrase of the Bible, The Message (NavPress), he has written many other books.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book, detailing and probing the life of King David, has provided many valuable insights into the matter of living in communion with God even as being fully human. Although I was skeptical, I am glad to note that the biblical text was handled with integrity. The author researched the texts that he commented on, and admitted to speculation when doing so. This book is a must-read for anyone who struggles with the matter of living with God even as he or she struggles with being human. Peterson's narrative style also pulls the Davidic story right off the pages! The perspective is refreshing and challenging at the same time.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Tim Rittenhouse on November 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Peterson brings a breath of fresh air to a stagnant atmosphere of worn out spiritual cliches. He makes the Bible come alive again,and gives flesh and blood to the names and places that we have heard and read about all of our lives. He forces you out of one dimensional thinking to three dimensional reality. His words get to the real heart of the matter. He words call out to my heart and challenges me to to seek and know God, God who knows me better than I know myself.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Donald S. Meador on March 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found a copy of this book in my in-law's attic. I looked through the contents and decided to read the chapter on Friendship - David and Jonathan. Peterson is profound in this chapter. His comments on friendship as an expression of spirituality were so insightful that I am viewing my relationships with others in a new way already. I was even convicted that my friendship with my wife was not sufficient by God's standard. Wow, what a difference one chapter can make. I can hardly wait to buy this book and read the all of Peterson's reflections on the life of David. I like this "earthy spirituality." Give it a try, you might like it too.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
I don't know about you, but I have really become tired of reading books about Biblical characters that make them all sound like super saints. In Leap Over a Wall, Eugene Petersen turns biography on its head and gives his readers a look at King David that comes much closer to presenting a Biblical look at Old Testament person. David becomes three dimensional in the pages of this book. We see his failings and his victories and we can relate. Petersen's amazing insights into the stories of David's life gives the reader a real sense of hope and encouragement. I wish that every believer would read this!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Khoo on November 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
What does it mean to be a Christian? Is the Bible passe, or is it still relevant for today? Does Christianity mean the triumphalstic life? What is the end goal of being a Christian? How can I live an authentic Christian life?

Eugene Peterson (the author of The Message) reflects on the life of David in this book and looks at what we can learn. Every chapter contains important lessons to being a Christian, and areas that we are to reflect on, and how we interact with God in our relationship with Him. The life of David becomes a platform for us to learn about our spirituality and relationship with God.

The following are some facts about David:

- The David story is the most extensively narrated single story in the Bible. We know more about David than any other person in the Bible.

- The life of David showed the humanity of this man after God's heart, and there are many themes that run through the life of David, e.g. parents, relationships, danger, murder, temptation, adultery, pride, humiliation, children, wives, rejection, sickness, justice, fear, peace, death...

- David did not perform any miracles.

- David sinned more than Saul, yet he was known as a person after God's own heart.

- David was known as a man served God's purposes in his generation (Acts 13:36).

The story of David is simultaneously earthy and godly. It shows us that we are never more alive than when we are dealing with God. David was an unfortunate parent, an unfaithful husband, and if we look at him from a purely historical perspective, he was a barbaric chieftain with a talent for poetry. But David's importance isn't in his morality or his military prowess but in his experience and witness to God.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Beth B on October 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you have ever felt discouraged by your own imperfections in your Christian walk, read this book! David is about as earthy and real as a person gets. As another reviewer wrote, the chapter on the friendship between David and Jonathan is also insightful and valuable. Eugene Petersen explores the reality of David's life situations and choices, and how his relationship with God was affected by them. In so doing, he highlights how God grows us and walks beside us throughout all of the trials of life, even those we bring upon ourselves. Ultimately, despite everything, David remained "A man after God's own heart" proving the existence and endurance of God's grace and acceptance, and that there's hope for us all!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Trey Sklar on October 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
A fantastic life-giving work in the middle of an insipid age. This book about David is a book about real and bold living. A great encouragement and a call to live the Kingdom life now... today. One of the most significant books I have ever read, this belongs alongside the Narnia Chronicles and Robinson Crusoe as a standard bearer book for living bold and free in God's realm.
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