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The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way (Spiritual Theology #3)

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  759 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
The Jesus Way part of Eugene Peterson's meaty "conversations" on spiritual theology A way of sacrifice. A way of failure. A way on the margins. A way of holiness. In The Jesus Way Eugene Peterson shows how the ways of those who came before Christ Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, and Isaiah revealed and prepared the "way of the Lord" that became incarnate and complete in Jesu ...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
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(showing 1-30 of 1,565)
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Feb 24, 2016 papasteve rated it really liked it
I had been working through some questions about my faith, and wasn't getting anywhere. There are lots of people out there who think they have the answers, but none of them were satisfying. The current style of the Millennials (I am not even close to being one) is to use yourself as your own guide. There is a line: "The person who seeks to be their own lawyer has an idiot for a client." I had some sense that that would be true if I tried to be my own guide through my own spiritual morass. So I we ...more
Jul 13, 2013 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Puts a lot into perspective! Really enjoyed this book and will read it again!
Dave Courtney
Feb 03, 2014 Dave Courtney rated it liked it
I have a particular appreciation for Peterson. I picked up the first book in his spiritual theology series at a dark time in my life and faith. He allowed me the freedom to think deeply about my Christian faith, and opened the door to discover a world of intelligent yet faithful believers who have paved the way through a strong history of dedicated spiritual and Christian conversation. Book 1 (Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places) was not as much a classic as it was an honest and slowly meanderin ...more
Bob Price
May 24, 2011 Bob Price rated it really liked it
Is it wrong to covet a man's spiritual life? Probably. But Eugene Peterson is one of those men I would love to just be around to see if any of his spirituality could drip on me.

Peterson's book The Jesus Way is a book about discipleship. In typical Peterson fashion, he is able to be extremely practical without really being 'practical.' He speaks about theology in a way that shapes the every day understanding of our world.

The Jesus Way is composed of several chapters that examine the 'ways' of
Jul 25, 2007 Jim rated it really liked it
Eugene is expansive as he leads us into the narrative of scripture showing us that the Jesus way begins with Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah and Isaiah before he shows the Jesus way in relation to other ways (Herod, Caiaphas and Josephus) and means before us in the world. The section on sacrifice in the Abraham story was extremely helpful. The theme of God paving the way in a personal, relational and community way (not individualistic ever) was also beneficial. As pastor who struggles in restoring ...more
Apr 23, 2016 Mark is currently reading it
The Jesus Way is beautiful and prickly as a cactus. Peterson invites readers to converse and argue with him, and I did. I argued that he does not mention love despite preaching of its Incarnation, does not mention the child who Christ says we must become in order to enter the kingdom, does not ground his rejection of what he calls 'spirituality' in example, yet seems to need what I call spirituality when he cites Merton, Muir, and John of the Cross. At the same time, this prickly pear of a book ...more
Jen Michel
Jan 30, 2011 Jen Michel rated it it was amazing
Eugene Peterson is probably my favorite Christian author. His spiritual insight is profound - I find him raising questions that many around me aren't asking. And there's nothing pretentious in his writing. Undoubtedly you have the sense as you read Peterson that he is a fellow sojourner, a man whose decades in the ministry have disabused him of notions that easy answers are to be had. This book is a MUST READ by all Christians, but I warn you, it will undo you. I put the book down this morning c ...more
Oct 16, 2007 Jasonlylescampbell rated it really liked it
I have about 20 pages left. Peterson really understands that we are an information happy society ... always looking for easy definitions and more assimilated information that we can immediately put to use (or file away). He believes that life should be more personal and so I really think that part of his wandering, story-filled way of writing is to force us out of those robotic habits. He wants a conversation (like he says in the title) and he intends to have it. It is much more like reading goo ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Kitty rated it it was amazing
This is the 3rd in the series, and an easier read than Christ plays in 10,000 places. There is SO much great theology just casually strewn through this book. The chapters are vignettes, and could be read stand alone. Peterson's ability to pull back and give a birds eye view so he can zoom in and make a point is amazing. The chapter on Abraham is a case in point. If you read the sacrifice of Isaac on it's own, it is a terrifying story, but if you pull back and remember what God is doing with Abra ...more
Al Gritten
Sep 22, 2010 Al Gritten rated it it was amazing
While we often say that we believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, Peterson says that if we want to know the Jesus truth, and have the Jesus life, we have to live the Jesus way. He explores what makes the Jesus way different, looking at not just Jesus, but at the way others, such as Moses, David, Elijah and more, lived the Jesus way in their lives. But even more, he looks at the ways others, like Caiaphas, Herod, Pharisees, and Essenes and more, are NOT the Jesus way. I like the way Pe ...more
Blake Chenoweth
Feb 23, 2015 Blake Chenoweth rated it it was amazing
Eugene Peterson challenges all Christians in this book to think about if we are complacent in our christianity. He writes with a frankness and great insight to those who would be comfortable sitting in the pew instead of living in the presence of God. He starts by describing how if Jesus is really the way we should start living like that. Then each chapter deals with a different character and what they learned about God and how they point to Jesus being the way.

A great book to continue the seri
Adam Shields
Short review: This is my second attempt through this book. So I have to knock it down a bit for being a bit unstructured and meandering. But I did "get it" this time. Overall I think the last (of 3) sections was the best. It is focused on the alternative ways Jesus could have lead using the other political, social and religious movements of Jesus' day.

Full review on my blog at
Adam Parker
May 04, 2016 Adam Parker rated it really liked it
In The Jesus Way Eugene Peterson begins by constructing character studies of some of the Bible’s greats: Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, and Isaiah, revealing in their stories and personalities traits that were latter exemplified and perfected in Jesus. The stories were rich and full of practical meaning, and Peterson’s writing style—somewhere between poetry and historical narrative—only added to the impact of the book. The last section, which I found most informative and enjoyable to read, dealt ...more
I loved The Jesus Way because it takes seriously that to be "in Jesus" is "a way." It is a walk, a journey on a path.

For a book about the way of Jesus, Peterson takes an unusual path. Most of the book is about several Old Testament characters, each as an (imperfect) example of a certain way to walk in God, all of them pointing toward Jesus, who would be the perfect model of the way in which we should walk. He finishes with six negative examples (Herod, the Zealots, Josephus, etc.) who show the
David A-S
Jan 15, 2016 David A-S rated it really liked it
Whether or not this particular book is a 4star book or not, I am wavering. What is without question is that as a pastor and person of faith, I benefit from sitting down and sipping from the cup of Rev. Eugene. He has a way of bringing someone back and refracting one's vision.
Oct 14, 2010 Josh rated it really liked it
Note to self:

Of the series so far, I still like Christ Plays the best.

Between "The Jesus Way" and "Eat this Book" its a toss up - I'm so glad I read both and I wouldn't want to live without either.

There are so many gems in Peterson. He is my mentor from afar. He gets my imagination going and my soul invigorated to follow Jesus.

I will leave a single quote in my review:

page 242:

No religious skills that any of us acquire will ever produce resurrection, and no spiritual strategies that we work out
Sep 24, 2015 Roxanne rated it it was amazing
i love this book, the premise is so simple and easy. Walk in the ways that Jesus did, and know that he is the way, a daily journey.
Apr 11, 2015 Mjschuurman rated it it was amazing
Korte stukjes met een goede vraag een een mooi gebed. Erg leerzaam
Dec 03, 2014 Lisa marked it as to-read
Shelves: nonfiction-faith
Recommended by Emily P Freeman
Brian Eshleman
The character sketches from the Old Testament highlighting the characteristics of the coming Christ of various personnel or reasonably interesting. What really grabbed me, though, was toward the end of the book where Peterson describes the cultural landscape one to which Jesus came. His description of the ready-made options for leadership available from Jesus' contemporaries made for interesting comparisons. Seeing His legacy compared to that of the Pharisees, Harrodians, and heirs to Josephus m ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Jt added it
Shelves: christian-living
a interesting read
Circle of Hope Pastors
Peterson seems to be giving the wisdom of age, here, and he is getting down to the radical basics of being a Christian. In several deep ways he goes over why the living the Jesus life the Jesus way gets to the Jesus ends. Very Circle of Hope, I think. He can be hard to read at times but the content here is insightful, with little facts evreyone needs to know along the way. If you want deep basics of faith and some stimulating Bible interpretation, read this.
Jul 12, 2014 Emily rated it liked it
Not as compelling as some other volumes in the series, but still worth the read.
Aug 31, 2011 Samuel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People looking to improve their spiritual walk
I really enjoyed this book. Unfortunately I had a long gap of time between the first and second halves of the book. I had not read his previous two books which I guess are lead ups to this. I will have to go back and read those as well. Peterson does a great job of using the lives of major and minor people from the Bible to juxtapose those lives against the way we (the Western) church should be living ours. I learned a lot reading this book.
Kerri Thorn
May 24, 2015 Kerri Thorn rated it it was amazing
It is easy for Christians to choose a way other than the path of Jesus. In this book, Peterson firmly, but gently reminds us what it means to walk in the way of the Master.
Mar 09, 2010 Doug rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this one. The opening chapter is best, as it lays out the pattern of thinking I was looking for, namely, getting folks to think in terms of faith in Jesus as a faith in a distinct, alternative way of life rather than faith in the mere truth of Jesus. But after that chapter it just seems like it rambles through general good points, but it doesn't really stick to the notion of "the way" as it promises.
Jun 22, 2016 katie rated it liked it
Shelves: spirit, read-in-2016
Not as absorbing as the previous books in the series. Includes a briefly described angle on the Magnificat that I will not forget and a short but fascinating discussion on beauty.
Rod White
Aug 12, 2007 Rod White rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jesus followers
Peterson seems to be giving the wisdom of age, here, and he is getting down to the radical basics of being a Christian. In several deep ways he goes over why the living the Jesus life the Jesus way gets tot he Jesus ends. Very Circle of Hope, I think. Even though he can be hard to read at times, the content here is so insightful, with little facts evreyone needs to know along the way, that I'm fiving it.
Aug 24, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This work of Peterson's shines light on the ties between God's work in the lives of those who lived prior to Christ and to the work of Christ Himself. It is both a review of the impact of the lives of David, Isaiah, Elijah and a call for us as followers of Christ to live in such a renewed manner.

Challenging and definitely worth reading!
Joy Matteson
May 10, 2013 Joy Matteson rated it it was amazing
Eugene Peterson's books are meant to savor and take one's time in. I think I bookmarked half the book and wrote the other half in my journal. The Jesus Way takes the major characters of the Bible and explains their relation to the Jesus Way in an engaging manner. I especially liked the descriptions of Elijah and Isaiah. Great stuff.
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Eugene H. Peterson is a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. For many years he was James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College. He also served as founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. He has written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language a contemporary translation of t ...more
More about Eugene H. Peterson...

Other Books in the Series

Spiritual Theology (5 books)
  • Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology (Spiritual Theology #1)
  • Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading (Spiritual Theology #2)
  • Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers (Spiritual Theology #4)
  • Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ (Spiritual Theology #5)

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“The way of Jesus cannot be imposed or mapped — it requires an active participation in following Jesus as he leads us through sometimes strange and unfamiliar territory, in circumstances that become clear only in the hesitations and questionings, in the pauses and reflections where we engage in prayerful conversation with one another and with him.” 62 likes
“[Jesus] said “Follow me” and ended up with a lot of losers. And these losers ended up, through no virtue or talent of their own, becoming saints. Jesus wasn’t after the best but the worst.” 6 likes
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