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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tell it Slant: comments
While Christian writers like Eugene Peterson, and Dallas Willard, and Richard Foster, and others are teaching us compehensively about what Jesus taught, along with how he lived, died, rose, and ascended, there are still many Christians who think the only important thing is to know what He did on the Cross, which gets us to heaven. I think all Christians will appreciate...
Published on November 11, 2008 by Dan

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2 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rub the dust from your eyes...this is dry, dry, dry
I expected something totally different. I thought this book was going to teach me how to slant my language the way Jesus did to get his point across in a non-threatening way. That is not at all what this book is. This book examines may of Jesus' parables in depth, and does so admiringly but not critically. By that I mean that it ignores the pitfalls with some of the...
Published on March 28, 2011 by John Powers


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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tell it Slant: comments, November 11, 2008
By 
Dan "Dan" (Sacramento, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
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While Christian writers like Eugene Peterson, and Dallas Willard, and Richard Foster, and others are teaching us compehensively about what Jesus taught, along with how he lived, died, rose, and ascended, there are still many Christians who think the only important thing is to know what He did on the Cross, which gets us to heaven. I think all Christians will appreciate Peterson's book, Tell It Slant. The question is whether the reader has ears to hear. Jesus' purpose was not to get people into heaven. It was to get them into the Kingdom of God. And the difference between those two ideas is huge. The first is non-transformative and ego-serving. The second is radically life-altering, unto eternity. Eugene Peterson is an author who reliably guides us into understanding what it means to Repent -- change how you think -- and live in the present and eternal Kingdom. His use of Jesus' own words in stories and prayer guide us to an accurate understanding of the Kingdom and what it means to be a citizen of that Kingdom. In other words, what it means to be a disciple of Jesus (not just a convert who has the password to heaven's gates). If you're familiar with Willard, Foster, et al., why read this book? Preconceptions affect perceptions. The clearer your preconceptions are about the Kingdom of God, the more easily you will recognize it when you run into it. The less you know about the Kingdom, the less you will live according to its order and reality, and the less your life will truly work. Read Peterson to prepare yourself for the daily, moment to moment encounter with God and His Kingdom.
As an aside, I would disagree very slightly with Peterson's portrayal of these words of Jesus as just common talk. His words should certainly form the way we must commonly think about the Kingdom and life. But, as Kenneth Bailey points out in his books, Jesus words reflect intentional poetic genius when understood in His cultural context. So, I would highly recommend Bailey as a supplement to Peterson.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another "must read" for the aggressive God-seeker, November 20, 2008
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This is the 4th book in Peterson's conversation series. "Tell It Slant" is focused on the "conversational Jesus". The conversational Jesus is revealed in two parts ... along a long walk ... and through Jesus in prayers. Peterson tasks the reader to go beyond the words and engage the mind in the Jesus discussion.

Part one follows Christ through Luke's travel narrative of the final walk from Galilee, through troubled Samaria, to arrive in Jerusalem for His final days. Peterson reanimates and brings life to the words of the traveling Messiah as he teaches, considers, and observes along this final journey. The Jesus dialogue is intensely considered through 11 distinct, but interlaced conversations along the road. Part one alone is worth the price of the book. As I write 2 weeks after completing the book, I'm thinking that part one is a standalone masterpiece. Each conversation, as Peterson guides our minds, is a timeless, living metaphor that immerses the modern reader in the calm thoughts and considerations of the Master on the road to crucifixion. I found that I had to limit my reading to only one of 11 conversations per day ... so compelling is the Peterson contribution.

Part two shifts away from the "casual" travel narrative to the praying Jesus through 6 prayers ... 6 praying conversations, between Christ and God, about us, in increasing situational intensity. We have rote memory of these prayers. Therein lies a problem as Peterson considers them. Peterson does a superlative job in pointing the reader to the conclusion that there is much more to these well known prayers than our memories can evoke. The patterns of a life with Christ through, prayer dialogue, is compelling.

In Peterson's surely tireless career as translator, as an academic, and with long term roots as a pastor shepherding a real live congregation of sinners toward the Word, Peterson provides readers with his fascinating vantage and insight from his maturing walk in the Jesus way.

The 4 book series, and assuredly those to come, are a must read for the aggressive God seeker.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TELL IT SLANT is about more than Jesus' use of language, March 4, 2009
By 
FaithfulReader.com (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
TELL IT SLANT. Huh? The phrase is a not-quite-grammatical derivative of the clichéd "tell it straight." It isn't original to author Peterson; it's from a line of poetry by Emily Dickinson: "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant." Peterson sees the idiom as descriptive of Jesus' mode of communication, especially as portrayed in 10 parables that are unique to the Gospel of Luke --- found between Luke 9 and 19, sometimes known as Luke's "Travel Narrative."

Peterson notes that Luke doesn't emphasize Jesus the teacher or the preacher; rather, "Luke has a particular interest in immersing us in the conversational aspects of Jesus' language." He's engaging the imagination and telling stories. These parables are told when Jesus is "on the road"; he has left his home territory in Galilee and is traveling with disciples, through Samaria, toward Jerusalem and his final days. "A kind of intimacy develops naturally when men and women walk and talk together, with no immediate agenda or assigned task except eventually getting to their destination." Here's where Jesus tells the story called the "prodigal son" and a story about an unfruitful fig tree that is given fertilizer and another year to prove itself.

The second part of the book moves from Luke's parables to six prayers of Jesus, as recorded primarily in Matthew and John. We've seen how Jesus talks with his friends and followers. How does he talk with God, whom he calls Father?

Peterson's "language" schema is most evident in the book's opening and closing chapters. In the scriptural discussion, it's easy to get delightfully lost in the textual insights --- which must be chewed and savored. As he acknowledges up front, the content was developed in college "courses on language, Scripture, and prayer" at Regent College, in Vancouver. This shouldn't scare off armchair readers with a modest interest in Christian spirituality. At the beginning of most chapters he deftly summarizes content previously covered, hooking it to the passage at hand, providing clear guideposts for readers.

Ultimately Peterson challenges us to emulate Jesus in his use of language, engaging people where they are and talking with God personally, not in stuffily pious phrases.

I particularly liked Peterson's take on Jesus' "Seven Last Words," which he categorizes as one prayer. He discusses the phrases in the order they are presented in the Gospels, so "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" is in the middle of the lineup. After three pages of reflection, Peterson draws a personal application: "This is not a prayer we hold in reserve for our deathbed... We pray it when we get out of bed each morning, alive yet another day, ready to go to work...: `Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.'"

You see, TELL IT SLANT is about more than Jesus' use of language. It's also about our relationships and how we communicate in them --- whether with neighbors, co-workers or God.

--- Reviewed by Evelyn Bence
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Prepared to Be Touched and Changed, May 8, 2010
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You cannot read anything by Eugene Peterson and not be touched and changed by your reading. Especially, applying his teaching on "spiritual reading" to his other works. Of the books in this series, THIS was my favorite. The last section of the book on entering/praying the prayers of Jesus is wonderful and worth the price of the book by itself. As Pastor Peterson unfolded the prayers of Jesus, I could not help but be transported into the various scenarios that occasioned each prayer. Then, I could not help but feel the presence of Christ as He entered my scenarios. It is an amazing exchange, an amazing experience, and one that drives me to want to be a better Christian. I know that, in myself, I cannot be. But, in HIM, I can and will be.

Thank you Pastor Peterson.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!, April 14, 2009
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What a great book! Eugene Peterson is full of so much insight and cultural background. This is not a book for just serious academics, just the opposite, it's for everyone. As someone who has been involved in Christian education and formation I'd recommend this book for everyone.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Home Run!, January 30, 2009
By 
June Evans (Bountiful, UT United States) - See all my reviews
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Eugene Peterson has hit a homerun again. I have read the 3 books preceding this one in the series and it seems they just get better and better. The author is showing us how Jesus leads our spiritual development as he ministered on the earth. New insights on the life and purpose of ministry of Christ are included in each volume as they are presented. A must read but recommend reading the first three to see the accumulating development.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trying to be a Christian today., September 26, 2009
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Peterson helps us understand Jesus' parables and how they apply to today's life. He gives fresh, eye-opening insight for living. Along with the companion study guide, this would make a great book for a small group study.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!, February 23, 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! Eugene Peterson is one of my favorite writers and this book caused me to stop often and commune with the Holy Spirit over a point that I had just read. Thank you Eugene! You have once again added depth to my spiritual life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eugene Peterson is as good as ever., August 23, 2009
In TELL IT SLANT, Eugene Peterson once again has written a book which gives Christians new insights into passages
of scripture which are so familiar that we are numb to their power. He takes from all the many sources he has at his
disposal, including good understanding of Hebrew and Greek, to produce a whole that grabs us, makes us say, "Yes,
I see that now!" What a joy, that a man of great gifts like Peterson uses them so well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye and Ear Opening, January 14, 2014
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For me, what Peterson did with this book is open up the ministry of Christ. I used this book as a resource in developing a class on the Teachings of Christ. I was not very far into the book before I expanded my theme to include the stories of Jesus. Peterson took these stories that I was very familiar with and presented them to me as...stories. For one of the first times in my life, probably since I grew to be too old for stories, I simply enjoyed the telling of them and what they probably meant to the people of that time. If Peterson does one thing well, and he does many, it is to make us look at the relaxed unhurried nature of Christ and His life in the Gospels. But yet despite the fact that his pace does not seem so fast, He is always just where He needs to be. This is a book that I will go back to again and again to remind myself that the way of Christ is easy and His burden is light, and when I find that not to be true in my life it is because of the extra burdens I have added.
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Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers
Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers by Eugene H. Peterson (Paperback - September 21, 2012)
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