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Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,358 ratings  ·  176 reviews
Eugene Peterson explores the heart of what it means to be fully and genuinely human. His writing is filled with humor and self-revelation, insight and wisdom, helping to set a course for others in the quest for life at its best.
Paperback, 213 pages
Published January 29th 2008 by InterVarsity Press (first published November 1st 1983)
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Ian I read the book of Jeremiah as I was reading this - he goes through it from beginning to end, and you can see where he is at in Jeremiah, in each chap…moreI read the book of Jeremiah as I was reading this - he goes through it from beginning to end, and you can see where he is at in Jeremiah, in each chapter of this book. That worked really well for me.(less)

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May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Remember the story about the old man, his stick, his old, mangy horse... and the carrot? Every day the old man would drive his wagon into the rich folks’ area to sell his wares, encouraging his worn-out horse to keep going - just by dangling that carrot in front of his face.

And the old horse was too dumb and slow-witted to realize he was the one pulling the old man, the stick... and, of course, the carrot - continually out of reach of his mouth!

So it is with us. Incited by our best friends’ acqu
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was strangely just what I needed. Peterson talks through the life of Jeremiah and his story. He takes the narrative of Jeremiah's life and connects it to the narratives of all believers. He talks about being the best that you can be.

I found this book to be very enriching to my soul. In a weird sort of way, I couldn't read it quickly. I felt as if I needed a few days to deal with the truth of each chapter, applying it to each and every part of my life. For something that I thoroughly en
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As usual with Peterson's books, I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful statements of truth in this book. Like Lewis, Peterson is great with metaphors and helps me visualize the backdrops of Scriptural passages. This book draws from the life of the prophet Jeremiah, and after reading it I feel like I have a better grip on Jeremiah's world. And there are lots of connection points to our world -- Peterson is so good at highlighting those! This book was absolutely worth reading and I shall, undoubtedly, ...more
Mark Thomas
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
First I should say that I am a big fan of "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction" and I am a person who is glad that we have "The Message" Bible paraphrase. I am a Eugene Peterson fan so I may have rated this a little higher than I would have if someone else had written it. What I enjoy is that it seems that he invariably has some very quotable ideas about Christian living and the life of faith.

This book is a study of the book of Jeremiah but really is a study of how to live a life that has mea
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Eugene Peterson's modern day classic about Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah. Book examines what it means to be fully human, to risk and trust God, to run with the horses instead of stumbling along with the crowd. This is a small book but should be read slowly, thoughtfully. Probably needs to be read a few times.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jeremiah, Bible Study,
Run with the Horses is a re-imagined and updated version from Eugene H. Peterson's previously published version in 2009. With quotes from "The Message" translation of the Bible, Peterson blends personal stories along with observations and thoughts regarding Jeremiah. (The person and the book in the Bible). It is well thought out and challenging... Challenging in that it isn't a "feel good" wasn't he amazing and wow we should be like him type of Bible devotional. Instead it challenges the reader ...more
Laurel Hicks
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring biography of the prophet Jeremiah.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this simultaneously with reading Jeremiah; what a powerful experience, illuminating so much about Jeremiah’s life and times. Peterson’s insights for contemporary life are timeless and provocative. A rich book, challenging me in timely ways.
Conrade Yap
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Eugene Peterson's best books. Based on the life of the biblical prophet Jeremiah, Peterson gives us a counter-cultural view of what "life at its best" means. We live in a world that measures success by all the wrong variables. We think that becoming rich and famous would lead us to happiness. We devour non-stop programs and busy ourselves with all sorts of activism to try to get a sense of fulfillment but to no avail. We think of excellence based on the wrong standards of measurem ...more
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For some reason, I've always been drawn to Jeremiah the prophet. I've often wondered why God chose to reveal so much about this man's character compared to the other prophets in Scripture. Peterson takes the portrait given to us in Scripture in Jeremiah and expands on it beautifully. Jeremiah did not see much in the way of results during his ministry; he grappled with God and wondered why he was chosen for his task (similar to Moses). But in the end, he was faithful to what God had called him to ...more
Nathan Metz
Sep 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Run with the Horses is a study in the life of Jeremiah. Peterson follows the book of Jeremiah covering every major event with his attempt at making the life of a prophet the standard for normal Christian life. The admirable goal of the author is made stronger by the character and text which was chosen. Prophecy books are some of the most underused Scriptural texts. Prophets by their very nature are considered mostly unrelatable and outcast from mainstream society. The result is a study which pul ...more
Jan Anne
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Eugene Peterson is the granddad you never had. His ways of communicating faith, scripture, and 'Christian living' is beyond phenomenal. I read this because Bono said it had "kept him sane," and funny enough the book is almost a full argument against our pop-culture and it does a fantastic job at it. But the replacement of that culture is not appealing, at least parts aren't in my opinion. He assumes things about the Bible and other ideas that I would love to see challenged. I guess I had an imag ...more
Ty Roper
My life verse is Jeremiah 12:5 "If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete (or run) with horses? Lovely book about the life of Jeremiah. He was radical.
Jonathan Tony
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bono recommended this book. Not to me directly, but I wish. Anyway, it’s awesome. Read it if you want to understand Jeremiah more and what a true prophet of God he was.
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know what attracted me to this book at first, the title. Run With The Horses – The Quest for Life At Its Best was written by Eugene Peterson in 1983. But also the author, I like Eugene Peterson’ writing, it is almost novel poetic in style, but with biblical application. Now this book has been out for over 25 years, however so much good application that can be gained by reading it. The popular message of today is live your best life or do what makes you happy, this book will be very counter t ...more
Anita Ojeda
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This commemorative edition of Eugene H. Peterson’s classic, Run with the Horses, intrigued me. Heretofore, my general impression of Jeremiah came from the word jeremiad—a prolonged lamentation or mournful complaint. It doesn’t sound much like something an optimistic person like myself would want to spend time on.

Peterson made me see Jeremiah in a completely different light. Yes, Jeremiah lamented, warned, and annoyed his contemporaries with his prophecies from God. But he also lived an incredibl
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I want to remember this passage:

The Intimacy of Prayer
Nearly everyone believes in God and throw casual offhand remarks in his general direction from time to time. But prayer is something quite different. Suppose yourself at dinner with a person whom you very much want to be with- a friend, a lover, a person important to you. The dinner is in a fine restaurant where everything is arranged to give you a sense of privacy. There is adequate illumination at your table with everything else in shadow
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: most-influential
I read this in the early eighties just before it was published when I worked for the publisher. I loved how Peterson turned a series of hard-to-digest prophetic passages into rich, deep spiritual insights by grounding them in the life of Jeremiah himself. This took some detective work since the Bible provides only a few biographical clues. (I gave it only 4 stars because when I reread it a few years back I was surprised to find the writing wooden and not as accessible as I had remembered.) But t ...more
Jim Keating
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'd give it 10 stars if I could. Our small group from church studied two chapters at a time, and discussed at our bi-weekly dinners, so it took a little while to get through. Every sentence is packed with wisdom. It gives a new appreciation for the book of Jeremiah and illustrates how the scriptures can come alive and be pertinent to navigating our lives on earth and be joyful in doing so.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This updated edition with quoted verses from The Message and eulogy from Eugene Peterson's son should be on your To Read list. Also, special are words from Peterson about the commemorative edition written in the final year of his humble yet remarkable life.

Peterson relays a passion for living and encouragement from the life of Jeremiah. Life is to be lived as a quest for the best no matter our circumstances and opposition. What a timely book for our time.

I received a complimentary copy of the bo
Mark Durrell
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful reflection on the life of Jeremiah.
Yolanda Smith
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2020
Eugene Peterson does an incredible job outlining the incredible life of Jeremiah the Prophet and brings relevant application to our modern times.
John Nash
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First Peterson book I’ve read and I have been missing out big time. Worth reading for more reasons than a good reads review will justify. Will be recommending to others for sure.
Chris Wermeskerch
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Taking Jeremiah's life, from the book bearing his name, Peterson explores what human life should truly look like. He explores how Jeremiah and Yahweh's interactions explain and illuminate the Christian way of life, challenging our burn-out and over-worked culture. Peterson's death was felt across the spectrum of Protestant churches, but his legacy lives on in the helpful books he's written with his characteristic pastoral tone and familiarity with the entirety of the Bible.
Jeff Elliott
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: devotional
As with nearly everything he writes, I love Peterson's work here. Jeremiah can be a tough read. Peterson highlights the stories of Jeremiah's life and the work of God.
Mary Vogelsong
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best - Commemorative Edition, by Eugene Peterson
Run with the Horses is Eugene Peterson’s commentary on selected passages from Jeremiah. Peterson, best known for his paraphrase of the Bible into modern language – The Message, uses that text as his platform. I say platform instead of starting point, because in many instances in Run with the Horses Peterson returns to scripture’s original language to tease out not just the definition of a wor
Mar 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I had seen the author with Bono on a YouTube video at the author's home on Flathead Lake in Montana and was intrigued. I just couldn't get into it and called it quits after 35 pages.
Oct 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-the-spirit
First, I love the title both for its reference to horses, but also the sense of freedom it implies. This is an updated book previously published in the 1980s. The theme is the story of the prophet Jeremiah, a Biblical character I hadn't known much about.

What I liked about this book includes being able to read it in chapters and then put it down for awhile if needed so you can process it. Also while sometimes it seemed to bog down in places with history or religious background information, all of
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you have struggled to understand the book of Jeremiah, this is the book for you. The author brings Jeremiah to life. We feel his pains, understand his fears and are brought into his life in such away that we almost feel we are right there with Jeremiah throughout his time in Israel. The practical applications are also er wonderful and give a clear understanding of the book. You will never read Jeremiah the same again!
Spook Sulek
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Most People
Recommended to Spook by: Anne Swanson!
Shelves: how-to-live
Amazing. I'm going to have to read more of Peterson's work, because this was such an invigorating view of a prophet I haven't spent much time learning about previously. Not only did this book give a lot of information and detail, but Peterson has a gift for making it relevant to one's own life, which is an integral part of religion!
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Eugene H. Peterson was a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. For many years he was 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. He had written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language ...more

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29 likes · 7 comments
“Before Jeremiah knew God, God knew Jeremiah: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.” This turns everything we ever thought about God around. We think that God is an object about which we have questions. We are curious about God. We make inquiries about God. We read books about God. We get into late-night bull sessions about God. We drop into church from time to time to see what is going on with God. We indulge in an occasional sunset or symphony to cultivate a feeling of reverence for God. But that is not the reality of our lives with God. Long before we ever got around to asking questions about God, God had been questioning us. Long before we got interested in the subject of God, God subjected us to the most intensive and searching knowledge. Before it ever crossed our minds that God might be important, God singled us out as important. Before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. We are known before we know. This realization has a practical result: no longer do we run here and there, panicked and anxious, searching for the answers to life. Our lives are not puzzles to be figured out. Rather, we come to God, who knows us and reveals to us the truth of our lives. The fundamental mistake is to begin with ourselves and not God. God is the center from which all life develops. If we use our ego as the center from which to plot the geometry of our lives, we will live eccentrically.” 17 likes
“THE PUZZLE IS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE LIVE so badly. Not so wickedly, but so inanely. Not so cruelly, but so stupidly. There is little to admire and less to imitate in the people who are prominent in our culture. We have celebrities but not saints. Famous entertainers amuse a nation of bored insomniacs. Infamous criminals act out the aggressions of timid conformists. Petulant and spoiled athletes play games vicariously for lazy and apathetic spectators. People, aimless and bored, amuse themselves with trivia and trash. Neither the adventure of goodness nor the pursuit of righteousness gets headlines.” 14 likes
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