Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Jesus Way

So, I've just started reading The Jesus Way by Eugene Peterson. So far, it's great! If you've never read Peterson before, you should get stuck in to his Spiritual Theology series - starting with Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, followed by Eat This Book and then continued in The Jesus Way. They are eye-opening and heart-warming, and also challenging - I feel as if my heart is being probed for false motives and sub-Christian beliefs. Incidentally, if you dislike The Message as much as I do, please don't let that keep you from reading these books!

Anyway, the thesis of this current instalment is simple: if we're going to do Jesus' work, we need to do it in Jesus' way. We can't just adopt whatever methods seem to work. Not just the ends, but also the means are important to God.

And so I came across this passage yesterday:
More often than not I find my Christian brothers and sisters uncritcially embracing the ways and means practiced by the high-profile men and women who lead large corporations, congregations, nations and causes, people who show us how to make money, win wars, manage people, sell products, manipulate emotions... But these ways and means more often than not violate the ways of Jesus. Christians today are conspicuous for going along with whatever the culture decides is charismatic, successful, influential - whatever gets things done, whatever can gather a crowd of followers - hardly noticing that these ways and means are at odds with the clearly marked way that Jesus walked and called us to follow. Doesn't anybody notice that the ways and means taken up, often enthusiastically, are blasphemously at odds with the way Jesus leads his followers? Why doesn't anyone notice?

(The emphasis is mine, but that's how it sounds in my head...)

It's Freshers' week in two of the Universities I work with. My prayer and desire for the Christian students at both is that they would do the job Jesus has given us to do in the way that Jesus would have us do it, in the power that only Jesus gives.


  1. "...if you dislike The Message as much as I do, please don't let that keep you from reading these books!"

    Cheers :) Though as I've placed myself on a book-buying ban until I've read 20 more of the books on my shelves, I'll have to remember that advice for later!

  2. I never quite finished Christ Plays. He writes in a great style. My struggle with Eat was that it looked like not very much book for quite a lot of money... should I assume you think I should get it regardless?

  3. A bargain at twice the price, Dave... Take and read!