Living the Resurrection by Eugene Peterson
It sounds like it should be a book about Easter. It is, after all, about the resurrection. And it is about Easter, sort of. But more that a book about resurrection, it is a book about spiritual formation. Peterson uses the term “formation by resurrection”. While the title of the book is Living the Resurrection, a more fitting title might have been Living in Light of the Resurrection.
This book about formation by resurrection does not propose to give us another system of spiritual formation. It suggests that we are formed in the everyday matters.
First, Peterson re-introduces us to the wonder of the resurrection. As believers two thousand years removed, we acknowledge with our minds that resurrection is an event filled with wonder, but our hearts seem to have lost that sense. We need to be reminded of how big a deal this resurrection really is. Without Christ’s resurrection, everything else we know and believe falls apart. There truly is wonder in the resurrection.
Then, Peterson illustrates how our formation by resurrection comes about through the everyday happenings of life. He uses two post-resurrection meals with Jesus (after the walk to Emmaus and on the seashore with the disciples) to give us this picture. It is easy to fall into the mind-set that spiritual formation requires a program and curriculum. Peterson shows us that life change happens when believers incorporate the risen Lord even in the mundane things of life.
Lastly, Peterson describes how formation happens in Christian community. It is not our reliance on professional clergy that leads to spiritual formation, it is our interaction over the Word with the resurrected Christ with other believers that leads to increased maturity.
Living the Resurrection was written by Eugene Peterson, who also gave us The Message (Bible paraphrase). I do not care much for The Message and I did not expect to like this book either. I am glad I was wrong. This is a good little book. I highly recommend it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”