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Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ Hardcover – January 22, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Christian maturity and character formation isn't about finding a strategy, or setting goals, or measuring congregational growth by market analysis, argues the writer in a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the New Testament book of Ephesians. Professor emeritus at Vancouver's Regent College and author of more than 34 books, including the popular Message paraphrase of the Bible, Peterson practices what he calls theological aesthetics, giving new vitality to such common words in the Christian vocabulary as saint, gift, and church. Christians are called to live out the resurrected life that was incarnate first in Jesus and then in us, the author asserts. It's no insult to the veteran writer to say that his tone is sometimes imperative and occasionally even a little cranky. After all, the message isn't new—but the commentary is, as usual, thought provoking and helpful for readers who want a different, sometimes contrarian, perspective on Christian discipleship. (Feb.)
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Publishers Weekly
“Thought-provoking and helpful for readers who want a different, sometimes contrarian, perspective on Christian discipleship.”

Christian Century
“A beautiful harmony of voices in the book that speaks gospel to contemporary kindergarten teachers, bankers, lawyers and homemakers.”

“Peterson’s writing style forces the reader to slow down and pay attention to words and metaphors, which is only fitting since part of his message is that we should slow down and pay attention.”

Sharing the Practice
“As vintage Peterson, this study bears all the marks of wisdom gleaned through a faithful walk with people and a deep immersion into Scripture. . . . This book was, I discovered, not a text for speed reading but rather for deliberate pondering.”

"It is filled with many gems. . . . Practice Resurrection has plenty of depths to be mined for the pastor and layperson alike. . . . Within its pages there is much that is well worth reading and digesting.”

“A gem, a biblically rooted, exegetically precise, wisely expressed gem. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in recent months, maybe years. For Baptists and Presbyterians and Pentecostals and Anglicans -- this one’s for us.”

Practical Theology
“The book is a joy to read, not only for its rich insights on growing up in Christ, but for the beauty of its prose. . . . This book is a magnificent finish to Peterson’s tour de force in spiritual theology.”

Congregational Libraries Today
“This is essential reading for students of the New Testament and for church leaders ready for a refresher course in Christian life.”

Trinity Journal
“Those who have already been mentored through Peterson’s prolific writing will doubtless welcome this newest addition to their collections. Those who have not yet encountered his books will find a worthy introduction in this volume on growing up in Christ.”

“Peterson is a poet, a master of words, and speaks in constant metaphor. . . . When I take Peterson’s work in bite-sized pieces, a rich reward results every time.”
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (January 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802829554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802829559
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,424 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Grant Marshall on March 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By The Least of These on March 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ

I had a lot of bad assumptions about Peterson. Initially, I thought THE MESSAGE was just another paraphrase intent on dumbing down the gospel, watering the Word, and trying to be "seeker-friendly" at the expense of becoming God-less. I carried those false assumptions into my reading of PRACTICE RESURRECTION. I was wrong. This was the first Peterson book I have read. I cannot tell you how many times I found myself practically shouting, "Amen," "Praise the Lord," "right on," etc. I even went out and bought a copy of the CONVERSATIONS version of THE MESSAGE. I have come to accept it as one more tool in increasing my personal understanding of God's Word, improving the quality of my walk with Christ, and in motivating me to BE more, DO more, LOVE more, not to grieve the Holy Spirit, and just be a better member of the body of Christ. JESUS IS LORD. And, Eugene Peterson knows that, teaches, that and blesses as he shares his very keen spiritual insights.

Did I say I was wrong before? Well, count me a fan now.

Buy this book, read it, share it and buy yourself a second copy to highlight, write notes in, and put all those little post-it flags in to mark your favorite passages. Unfortunately for me, the WHOLE book is a favorite passage.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. Lonas on March 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Church takes a lot of beatings in popular Christianity today. Tell-all memoirs from the hottest new writers detailing the quirks and sins of "church people" and the psychological harm they've caused fly off the shelves. It has become fashionable to debate the value of the Church to the cause of Christ, and words like "community" and "gathering" have become the acceptable way to describe the assembly of believers. Too many of the rebuttals written by traditionalists seem more concerned with tradition than with the Church.

In Practice Resurrection, Peterson explores the Church as it is, the Body of Christ born of the Holy Spirit, not as it has been or as we would like it to be. He is mindful that the Church is imperfect (by way of its composition of sinners saved by grace), but seeks to build it up rather than deconstructing it. He writes, "Sooner or later, though, if we are serious about growing up in Christ, we have to deal with the church. I say sooner."

Peterson's book (the fifth in a series of works on spiritual theology) is, in essence, an informal commentary on the book of Ephesians. He points out that almost all New Testament letters to churches were written because of something--doctrinal error, rampant sinfulness, pointless squabbles, etc.--but Ephesians appears to be motivated by Christ's love for His people. He applies Paul's encouragement to the Ephesians to the life of today's Church as a model, urging believers to "walk worthy of the calling with which [we] have been called" (Eph. 4:1).

The title, Practice Resurrection, comes from Paul's grounding of His entire description of the Body in the fact of Christ's resurrection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By robert johnston on November 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the introduction to the last page, Peterson delivers an opus criticism of `churchology' using Ephesians as the model. I think, at the moment, that you need to be a seasoned reader of Peterson, as well as settled in the disciplined path of mature Christianity to appreciate Resurrection's relevance. The book might not be for the many but the few who `get it'. I would believe that pastor's might struggle with it. It's not a text for the dead, the babies or the lukewarm.

Peterson goes for the jugular of Christian `hypocrisy'. Of course there's hypocrisy. Of course it's not Christian. But there is no church in the NT legacy and none today that can avoid the reality of communal imperfection. Yet, perfection is what is demanded and towards that perfection, Peterson cheers us on.

I've thoroughly enjoyed Peterson's books and recommend and gift them to my more mature-in-Christ brothers and sisters. I considered providing a copy of Resurrection to a pastor friend ... but if he read it, he might be troubled by the message that comes with the gift. It's clearly thinking like mine here that is the crux of Peterson's writing ... so I'll think on it. Peterson's Resurrection is different from his previous fare. Peterson writes with `in your face' verve to force the reader to visualize the image of the demands of communal worship as gleaned from the instructions to the Ephesians. The Holy Spirit is a change-up master that relentlessly pulls us individually and confederately forward into unknown territory. We that choose to follow would do well to be equipped with Peterson's wisdom.
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