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A Fragile Stone: The Emotional Life of Simon Peter Paperback – January 22, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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First Corinthians - Women's Bible Study Participant Book: Living Love When We Disagree by Melissa Spoelstra
First Corinthians - Women's Bible Study Participant Book
Melissa Spoelstra's First Corinthians Bible study helps readers discover how to live love even when you disagree | Learn more | See author page
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Card, a Dove Award-winning songwriter and author or co-author of more than 14 books (including Scribbling in the Sand, one of PW's Best Religion Books for 2002), here turns his attention to the Apostle Peter, who he says has been ignored by contemporary Protestants and Catholics alike. Card delves deep into the "emotional life" of Peter, the disciple Jesus called "the Rock." We are wrong when we assume that this title came because of Peter's strength or perfect stability, Card warns; Peter was a flawed man and an unlikely choice to be a foundation. He did, however, eventually become this sure foundation: Card traces Peter's evolution through the Gospels and the Book of Acts to the mature expressions of leadership and care for the flock that we see in his two epistles. In those letters, Peter extends the call of discipleship to all who confess Christ, using the same title Jesus once conferred exclusively upon him to call others to be "living stones" of God's spiritual temple. As always, Card offers some stunning exegesis and biblical insights, pointing readers to connections they might not otherwise have made. (In the post-resurrection scene where Jesus asks Peter three times whether Peter loves him, for example, Card posits that Jesus is giving Peter the opportunity to make restitution for his three earlier denials. "Painful as the questions are, they are an expression of Jesus' creative forgiveness.") This book is original, compelling and full of joy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Card offers some stunning exegesis and biblical insights, pointing readers to connections they might not otherwise have made. . . . Original, compelling, and full of joy." (Publishers Weekly (starred review), June 16, 2003)

"[Michael Card's] unabashed love for Peter shines through these pages and permits him to probe the emotional complexity of the man without romance or sentimentality. . . . Card is not a neutral, dispassionate observer when Jesus dismantles Peter's false self of inner agitation, drivenness, bravado and emotional turmoil in order to shape a new creation who will become the unquestioned leader of the apostolic community. A Fragile Stone speaks to wobbly disciples who never seem to get it all together and to naive leaders who think they have. Michael Card has written a lyrical love song about Peter, and personally, I found the melody contagious." (Brennan Manning, author of A Glimpse of Jesus (from the foreword))
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (January 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830834451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830834457
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I finished this book in only 3 days because I couldn't stop reading, I loved it!
Card uncovers personal perspectives about Peter and about Jesus. Some highlights (among MANY) that struck me:
WHEN Peter tried to walk on water:
"The lesson is that Peter needed to sink in order to take that next step of faith in Jesus. Because walking on the water does not ultimately increase our faith, only sinking does! Those who ask for miracles and receive them soon forget. But those who suffer for Christ's sake never forget."
"And what often goes unappreciated is that Peter's short walk was indeed a triumph of faith. It was his first miracle!"
ON GOOD FRIDAY:
"Jesus and his disciples were celebrating their Passover on Thursday when everyone else in Jerusalem was making preparations on Friday. This means that the Jews of Jerusalem were preparing and slaughtering their Passover lambs at precisely the same moment the following day, when Jesus, the Lamb of God, was dying on the cross."
ON PETER'S DENIAL:
After he denies Jesus the third time, Luke records that Jesus turned to him and looked at Peter across the courtyard.
"It was this look, I believe, that broke Peter's heart.
The understanding gaze of Jesus could not have been one of disdain or condemnation. That was not Jesus' way. I believe the only look that could have broken Simon Peter was of love and forgiveness. Which is just what we would expect from our Savior."
There's also a segment that tears at your heart when Jesus, resurrected, asks Peter three times to take care of his Sheep, neutralizing Peter's three denials. It has never before struck me with the force of Jesus' kindness and forgiveness as Card reveals it.
This book is less than 200 paperback-like pages that go by quickly.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always loved Peter so much for his impetuousness, imperfections, and deep love for Christ. In this book, Michael Card has presented a much more real Peter than I have ever seen. I can see him so clearly now as he grew in his faith, love, obedience, and strength in Christ. I see him with his personal struggles as he comes to the realization that the Messiah must die and that following Jesus may very well lead to his own death. In the chapter describing the changes around Jesus during the last week of his life, Michael Card focuses on the fact that people began leaving Jesus because He made them realize that following Him would be hard, challenging, dangerous, and yet more fulfilling than any other experience of life. When the people say that what Jesus is describing is hard and who could bear that life, they begin leaving. Jesus turns to the twelve and asks if they are going to leave as well. Only Peter answers telling Jesus that He is Lord, Savior - where else would they go? In the past, when I have read or studied this part of Scripture, I just assumed that Peter was giving a strong affirmation of their faith and faithfulness. Michael Card gives another and much more realistic portrayal - Peter is tired, sad, disappointed and he agrees with the people who said that following Christ is hard and difficult to bear. His answer is more one of resignation - You are the Lord, Jesus. You are the Savior, you are the way to salvation - Where else are we going to go?? I have read these pages to almost everyone I know because Card continues on with these thoughts and states that at some point in our lives, we will also be disappointed with Christ. Things will go in a way we never wanted or imagined - he gave the examples of losing a child or getting cancer.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I simply ADORED this book. I started falling in love with Peter when I was re-reading the Gospels this past summer. I realized how much I have in common with him, and that no matter how many times he screwed up, Jesus still loved him. At that point, I decided I wanted to learn everything there was to know about him.

This is the first (and only) book I've ever read specifically about Simon Peter, but it was exactly what I was looking for. I told a couple of people that Peter is my favorite person in the Bible, and the responses I got were, "Why? Because he's a hothead?" and "Why? He's a bumbling idiot." Prevailing opinion about Peter seems to be less than favorable, which is kind of ironic. I think he most accurately represents anyone who is... you know... human.

Michael Card presents Peter's relationship to Jesus just beautifully. It's not just about worship. It is about friendship. A real friendship, with expectations, disappointments, joy, sorrow, the whole nine yards.

I think everyone should read this book. It tears away all of the sterile images of Peter and Jesus and replaces them with people. Real people you can relate to.
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Format: Hardcover
The most outspoken of the Twelve Apostles, Simon, later called Peter stands as a unique figure in history. To the Catholics, he is the first Pope, infallible and supreme among the disciples. The Protestants respect him, though many tend to think of him as a good ol' boy. If any of the twelve who followed Christ in the inner circle could be considered His best friend, likely, it would have been Simon Peter.
This was the man who alone among them dared to rebuke Christ; but he also made the declaration that was the cornerstone of the church. Peter displayed great valor and ignoble cowardice. Being impetuous was his greatest flaw, and greatest asset. Using the Bible, tradition, and secular history, Mr. Card makes a song of Peter's life. By using the popular Message Bible translation, he assures that the readers have no doubt of his meaning, however, he often cites scripture without the accompanying verse. Perhaps this is a clever way to get the readers to read their own Bible?
*** Whether this is true or not, reading A Fragile Stone will bring to life both the man and the times. It is plain to see that Simon Peter lived up to his call as one of the Rabbi's talmidin, and truly imitated his Master. ***
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore
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