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A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society Paperback – Deluxe Edition, July 28, 2000
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"I've never read a book by Eugene Peterson that didn't stir and challenge me." -- Max Lucado, author of In the Grip of Grace
"Wonderful book, one of the very best guides to the Psalms! Peterson's combination of passion and insight match the psalmists" -- Tim Stafford, author of Knowing the Face of God
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
This is one of Eugene Peterson's earlier books, published about twenty years ago. During a lecture in May of 1999 in Vancouver, B.C. he remarked that many people had said to him that they loved the title, but hadn't quite gotten around to reading the book. This, of course, might be a sign that it's a bad book. Or it could be an indication that it simply doesn't deliver what some folks are looking for. I would suggest that it's a very good book indeed, but that you need a certain orientation in order to read it.
You need to love the Bible, for one thing. I don't mean love the Bible sentimentally. You need to be one who is willing to embrace the Bible for exactly what it is as it defines itself. It is not a promise book or a guide to "effective" living. Nor is it a book on how to keep out of hell. It is rather an immensely frank compilation of writings that point out God's presence in human history as a whole and God's presence in each person's life. It becomes God's word to us by virtue of its insistence upon God's "take" on reality at all points. That may not be so popular. In fact, I'm sure of it. It is certain that this reading of the Psalms of Ascent will not go down that well with the North American Christian who is looking for inspiration or solace or affirmation or any of the other self-gratifications we tend to require.
On the other hand, if you like to get to the bottom of things, Peterson's your man. Witness this excerpt:
"A common but futile strategy for achieving joy is trying to eliminate things that hurt: get rid of pain by numbing the nerve ends, get rid of insecurity by eliminating risks, get rid of disappointments by depersonalizing your relationships.Read more ›
Eugene Peterson finds in the Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120-134), a cycle of songs sung by Jewish pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem to worship, a wonderful parallel to the modern (and timeless) Christian pilgrimage. Each chapter is a meditation on one of the songs, and Peterson draws out the ways each of them show us an aspect of the Christian faith (Repentance, Providence, Worship) and how they relate to each other. (It is natural that the journey begins with repentance and ends with blessing; the rest of the sequence is just as intuitive.)
Eugene Peterson has a poet's heart and a theologian's training, but the former prevails. Others may be perturbed that he does not explain exactly why suffering exists in the world; I am grateful that instead he chooses to meditate upon the way that suffering is a central ingredient of human experience...."in suffering we enter the depths; we are at the heart of things, we are near to where Christ was on the cross."(134)
I enjoyed and appreciated this book not because it taught me a lot of new things, but because it caused me to slow down and reflect; to remember things I had learned, and see them with new eyes. Like the songs sung on the journey, it is not so much intended to impart new information, but to bring back into mind (and spirit) the old things, the ancient things -- the things that have the power to redeem us and heal us.
This is incorrect.
Quoted from the copyright page of the book: "Biblical quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, 1973, and are used by permission."
This book was written in 1980 - a long time before Mr. Peterson finished his own translation, The Message.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful, deep, rich exploration of the Psalms of Ascent. Will appeal particularly to literary intellectuals. Worth reading over & over.Published 3 days ago by Stephanie Y.
This was a very good reminder that prayer and scripture are the building blocks of faith and that the Bible is to be read slowly, prayerfully and obediently.Published 19 days ago by Mike Arndorfer
Peterson writes well. They strike me as a number of short homilies. Great translations of the bible.Published 1 month ago by Karl Hess
Read this s book with my future husband it was a requirement I had said to myself my future husband must read this book before we get married. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sylvia Gauvey
I read Peterson's classic on the long journey of Christian discipleship (along with Josh Moody's "Journey to Joy) as part of my study and preparation for a teaching series on the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alexander R. Tandon
Thank you for sending me the book a long obedience in the same direction discipleship in an instant society. It arrived in great condition. Read morePublished 2 months ago by R A Harrill
I have not read anything by Eugene Peterson, other than the Message translation of the Bible. The title of the book piqued my interest. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Crystal Medrano
What the world needs: more obedience in living life as shown by the creator less conflict on earth.Published 4 months ago by Art Druckenmiller