Won and I met for burritos last week as we talked through the first four chapters of Eugene Peterson’s The Jesus Way. Those of you who have read Peterson know that it’s a good idea to read him slowly. Slowly because he wades into some deep waters.
In The Jesus Way Peterson sets out to differentiate the American Way with the Jesus Way. He doesn’t spend much time describing the values of our American culture; sentences like, “A consumer church is an antichrist church,” are not the norm. Rather, through the lives of biblical figures he shows what life lived on the Jesus way looks like.
The first four chapters look at the examples of Jesus, Abraham, Moses and David. Reading Peterson’s observations of these well-known people, it becomes clear that the way of Jesus will not be found in a list of correct doctrines. About Jesus he writes,
There are- and their absence is conspicuous- no summaries of his attributes, no test results of his intelligence or aptitudes, no lists of his accomplishments. Every detail is embedded in his metaphor-studded story. We are intended to enter by imagination and faith and prayer into the story, this narrative, and get a feel for what is involved, the relationships that make up the web of this way.
In the lives of Abraham, Moses and David we see how these men pursued God in haphazard but generally authentic ways. One example: Moses, according to Peterson, demonstrates the importance of God-formed language. A “healthy community” depends on a “healthy language”.
A reoccurring idea in The Jesus Way thus far is the importance of the community of God to be distinct. Distinct in the stories we tell, our robust imagination, the language we use to describe the world, etc. This of course raises a question: In your experience, are the people of God a unique community formed by our pursuit of Jesus? Or, does our life together more closely resemble our surrounding culture?
4 thoughts on “the jesus way (1)”
I’ve been reading through the Bible this year…I’m always amazed at how much I don’t remember about my God unless I’m sitting with a certain truth. Its the same with Jesus. As I was reading through the Gospels, I was reminded about so many things I know but don’t think about every day. My daily life revolves around me, my loved one, my job, and is impacted by my culture. If I’m going to be formed by Jesus, I need to be spending time with Him. Every day. Maybe other people retain things longer than I do, but I find I need fresh reminders of His character, His Passions, Values, and Pursuits. I want His character to be formed in me and I want to be passionate about what matters to Him, investing my life in His Kingdom. I often think I’m being formed by Jesus, living for Him, caring for what He cares about, until I spend time with Him and am reminded how life changing He really is. Oh…and BTW…He uses His Word to remind me and Transform me. I can’t do it myself! All of this to say, I don’t think we take our pursuit of Jesus as seriously as we should. I think we coast, assume, live on automatic faith/pilot…. We, I, need to be more purposeful in following Jesus.
George Clooney is really a very compelling acting professional and an remarkable person also. I enjoy everything that he engages in, from his position on gay rights along with other political views to his latest flick The American. Which was in fact a outstanding movie flick, nonetheless it might not be what most anticipated, it was still a terrific movie flick.