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Take and Read: Spiritual Reading -- An Annotated List Paperback – December 14, 1995

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Editorial Reviews


Books & Culture
"A fine gift for students and for new Christians."

Christian Century
"Keep Spiritual Reading within arm's reach. Readers will consult this not only to shape personal reading lists but also for help in pondering predicaments such as what to recommend for a parish retreat."

Clergy Journal
"For Christians who wish to deepen and broaden their understanding of their own religious tradition, this book is like a map to the best reading available to pursue this goal."

Library Journal
"A rich resource for pastors and general readers."

Publishers Weekly
"Peterson's choices range from the expected to the delightfully different. His wide-ranging definitions of what is spiritual and his book-lover's zeal encourage readers also to befriend books and enjoy their deep spiritual rewards."

About the Author

Eugene H. Peterson was a longtime pastor and is professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. His many other acclaimed books include Tell It Slant, The Jesus Way, Eat This Book, and the contemporary translation of the Bible titled The Message.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; annotated edition edition (December 14, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802840965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802840967
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,995 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you are a Christian interested in growing deeper spiritually, and you view that not as an arduous task but rather a joyous adventure (and if you are not afraid to challenge yourself intellectually as well as emotionally), I highly recommend this book! Reading the previous two reviews, it seems that some misunderstanding about the book's intent led to a measure of frustration. Put simply, this is not a "book" per se. Rather, it is a "book ABOUT books". But what a book!
My church experience has been that contemporary laypeople are not often challenged to embrace the idea of reading (aside from the Bible) as an ongoing spiritual discipline; those of us who do try often have little idea where to begin, particularly in the area of Christian "classics". From what I have seen in some Christian bookstores, "Christianity lite" abounds, and books of questionable value jostle for shelf space along with the gems.
This book was a refreshing entry into a deeper world. To reap its benefits, time, patience and attention is required of the reader, both to search out the books and to immerse oneself in the wisdom they offer -- all of which goes against the culture of "busyness" in which we live.
I have already derived much joy from the books I have purchased upon the author's recommendations. The books are arranged by chapter theme, and cover numerous areas of Christian life and thought. I have given this book over the years to numerous friends and relatives, both pastors and laypeople. Everyone has loved it! Two long-time and highly knowledgeable Bible study teachers "stole" my book and kept "refusing" to return it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By O.Chemist on June 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
I don't think I have ever read this entire book, but every time I pick it up I discover new writers and their books, each with fascinating insights into human nature and the relationship of Christian faith to living. It is especially helpful in introducing the reader to authors and subjects that one is not always even aware of. It's like browsing Peterson's library with him there, commenting on what he enjoyed and was challenged by in each book or what he appreciates about each author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chad A. Moore on August 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Eugene Peterson, noted Christian author, preacher, professor, and translator of the Bible paraphrase "the Message," compiles a categorized and annotated list of recommended reads. A wide variety of categories are covered from the normal pastor/preacher/theologian ones such as commentaries, prayer, Jesus Christ, pastoral ministry, spiritual formation, spiritual direction, worship and others but also surprising ones such as classics, history, poetry, novels, and mysteries.

Peterson is not giving a list for academics and scholars, no, not at all. He is leading us through the books and authors that have shaped him in every area of his life. And Peterson loves words and literature so it seems that he is really enjoying just talking about the books he loves. I wish more recommended reading lists were like this because so many (that I've read) focus only the theological / biblical categories of reading but we all know that pastors/preachers don't read just commentaries and systematic theologies (they'd better but that's not all). So what else is good reading? I certainly don't agree with all Peterson's choices but I like this book because it gives a full-plate of reading for all the literary "food groups" of the mind.

If you're looking for academic bibliography this is not it, but if you're a bibliophile that's thrilled with the passion of another book-lover's tales then this is for you. The excitement is infectious and may your wallet be warned!

Happy reading!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Westerholm on May 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this excellent book, Peterson provides a great guide to getting into the sometimes overwhelming world of spiritual classics.
However, a lot of frustration will be avoided if you see this book for what it really is - an arrow pointing toward the books themselves! If you want to see Washington D.C., you'll be very dissapointed if you only study a map of it! This book is simply a map through the overwhelming stack of spiritual classics.
Especially helpful is Peterson's recommendations of specific translations and editions. I'm enjoying the fruits of the time I spent with "Take and Read"!
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