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The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way [Kindle Edition]

Eugene H. Peterson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Following his Eat This Book as the third of a five-volume series on spiritual theology, Eugene Peterson continues his theological conversation with the church in The Jesus Way. Here he considers all the ways that Jesus is the Way compared to the distorted ways the modern American church has chosen to follow. Arguing that the way Jesus leads and the way that we follow are symbiotic, Peterson begins with an extensive study of how the ways of those who came before Christ a Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Isaiah of Jerusalem, and Isaiah of the Exile a revealed and prepared the way of the Lord that became complete in Jesus. He then challenges the ways of the contemporary American church, showing in stark relief how what we have chosen to focus on consumerism, celebrity, charisma, and so on obliterates what is unique in the Jesus way. A stunning analysis of the gap between the personal Jesus and the impersonal modern church, The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way is sure to engender debate and to inspire a movement back to the true way of Christ.

Editorial Reviews


Profound scholarship and spiritual wisdom. . . . Soak yourself in The Jesus Way.
— Dallas Willard

"As with Peterson’s other volumes, The Jesus Way is marked by his careful, informed interpretation of biblical texts. Peterson is a biblical theologian and pastor in mind and heart. He also writes with precision and clarity."
— The Living Church

"Eminently readable. Recommended."
— Choice

"No one simply reads or, worse yet, skims Peterson. One ponders Peterson, as Peterson ponders the Bible."— Scot McKnight

About the Author

Eugene H. Peterson, author of the best-selling contemporary translation of the Bible titled The Message, is professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2353 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (March 1, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001DL7NSW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,260 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Especially in his senior years, Eugene H. Peterson has become a prophetic voice, gently but firmly challenging the American church to be concerned with the way it declares and lives out the Gospel. The title of the book refers to Jesus's statement recorded in John 14:6: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." Jumping off from that point, Peterson quickly delves into a discussion of ends and means. "We cannot skip the way of Jesus in our hurry to get to the truth of Jesus." Put another way: "Only when the Jesus way is organically joined with the Jesus truth do we get the Jesus life." Or: "The popularized acronym WWJD ('What would Jesus do?') is not quite accurate. The question must be 'How does Jesus do it?'"

After an initial chapter about Jesus Himself, which includes Peterson's interpretation of the meaning of Jesus's three wilderness temptations, Peterson presents six chapters based on Old Testament characters who illuminate Jesus's message and meaning for us. (1) Abraham --- a way of faith and sacrifice. (2) Moses --- "the way of language," as receiver of the Torah, in some ways analogous to the Gospels. (3) David, whose "way of imperfection," including prayers that express his need and repentance and gratitude, "provide us with an imagination that is capable of understanding the operations of God to do His perfect work in us." (4) Elijah, who lived on the margins of society: "The essence of the Elijah way is that it counters the...culture's way." (5) Isaiah of Jerusalem, who proclaimed and lived in the reality of the holiness of God. (6) Isaiah of the Exile, who preached "images of the living God of salvation" that were rooted "in a solid sense of creation and history." Here Peterson returns to a discussion of the means of our salvation: the suffering servant.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging Church Culture May 12, 2007
By Don
Over the past 15 years I have read Eugene Peterson's books. They have always challenged me to take a hard look at whether my faith is being based upon a genuine relationship with God or if I have slipped into the arrogance of cultural Christianity. The Jesus Way is by far the most insightful and frank challenge to those who would be content to slumber in their pews instead of living in the Presence of God. If you want to have the clarity of The Message strike at your heart's perceptions of Christianity in America, you must read this work.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living Like Jesus July 14, 2007
"The Jesus Way" is the third book in Peterson's opus concerning conversations in spiritual theology. The first two books are "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places" and "Eat This Book." Spiritual theology is teaching on how to grow spiritually.

Peterson's latest work reminds one of Dallas Willard's excellent premise: to be like Jesus we must live the way Jesus lived. Peterson fleshes out how Jesus lived by looking at the life of Christ and by looking at Old Testament and New Testament examples of people who lived like Jesus.

For deep insight into spiritual formation into the image of Christ, "The Jesus Way" points the way with biblical precision and relational power.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Soul Physicians, Spiritual Friends, and Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction .
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Portraits and the Purification of Means April 27, 2008
Eugene H. Peterson, The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways that Jesus Is the Way (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007).

There are two kinds of spiritual writers: mechanics and artists.

Mechanics focus on how spirituality works, on tightening the nuts and bolts of prayer, meditation, fasting, and the like. By showing us how these means of grace work, they help us draw closer to God and godliness. Richard J. Foster is a mechanic of the spiritual life. His Celebration of Discipline is a masterful user manual of spiritual practices.

Artists, by contrast, show us what spirituality looks like. They don't write user manuals; they paint portraits. Not landscapes, mind you - portraits. For spiritual artists, spirituality is personal, biographical, narrative. They show God in human form, and godliness in human form - warts and all. Eugene H. Peterson is a spiritual artist, and The Jesus Way is an exhibit of masterfully drawn portraits.

It is also a frustrating book for our mechanically inclined, North American souls. Unlike The Celebration of Discipline, The Jesus Way includes no three- or four-step guidelines for prayer and fasting. If you're looking for that kind of guidance, don't bother reading this book. It will not give you The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Christians or The Secret of Becoming Like Jesus. It is not about How to Win Souls and Disciple People. It is, instead, "a conversation on the spirituality of the ways we go about following Jesus." It is a gallery of portraits in which the artist's perspective paints his subject in a new light.

The portraits in Peterson's gallery are biblical and historical figures: Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Isaiah, Herod the Great, the Pharisees, Caiaphas, the Essenes, Josephus, the Zealots.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I have read this book with great interest and a good feeling inside. The question of what Jesus really meant when he said "I am the way (and the truth and the life)" has bothered me for a long time. After reading Eugene Peterson's book I still have to think it over. Peterson does not give any simple answer. However he does - like what I believe Jesus did - tell anecdotes and supply us with jigsaw pieces that can be put together, approaching an answer.

I have tried to do that. From Abraham's faith and the narratives of Moses, through David's prayers and repentance, Elijah's trust in God, and the emerging gospel partly uncovered by "Isaiah" (of Jerusalem and of the Exile) - from all these we get contributions to what it means to follow Jesus. Even the lessons to be learnt from the encounter with Herod, Caiaphas and Josephus - political and ecclesiastic leaders of their day - contribute to understanding of what it meant to be a Christian in those days. That experience is easily translated into what you can expect being a Christian today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!
The depth of revelation is inspiring. It is book that opens the eyes of your heart to new ways of seeing and hearing God. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Consuelo Bennot
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
This is not the kind of book one sits down and reads, whether to be motivated or educated. But the "Conversation" is absolute and worth ones time to read. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Photo1
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the most needful books for American Christianity
I'm biased: I love everything Peterson writes. This book is no exception. In fact, I think it is one of his better works. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jason P. Burden
5.0 out of 5 stars Conversations with Peterson
Love All of the conversation series by Eugene Peterson. He has such a great way of unpacking scripture in a way that helps you get deeper.
Published 9 months ago by Dorothy J Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Slowing things down...
As with all of Eugene Peterson's books, if you are looking for a quick read, keep looking. This is one that will force you to slow down and fight your way through. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Peterson at his best.
This is Peterson at his best. His understanding of the presence of Christ in the Old Testament is outstanding. His skill as a writer is wonderful to read.
Published 12 months ago by Vladev
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jesus Way by Eugene Petersen
I don't a thing about the book; it was highly recommended in a group meeting. I am not a Eugene Petersen fan, so I hope the book is as wonderful as the person recommending it made... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Beverly A Newell
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Conversation
Eugene Peterson is a great conversationalist, whether in the dialogue with God's word in "The Message," or in the journey of listening and discovery one finds in reading his books. Read more
Published on June 16, 2012 by A Pilgrim
3.0 out of 5 stars Jesus is the Way; what does that mean?
The Jesus Way is the third in Eugene Peterson's "spiritual theology". This book is concerned with exploring the various ways Scripture presents "the way". Read more
Published on January 24, 2012 by Jacob Sweeney
3.0 out of 5 stars We often live like Jesus is the Life, sometimes like Jesus is the...
This is the second time I have started this book. A couple of years ago, I got bogged down and did not finished it. Read more
Published on August 18, 2011 by Adam Shields
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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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