Eat This Book

Books / Religion

Richard Kew has posted a thoughtful and informative review of Eugene Peterson’s latest book.

From Kew’s review:

“Eat This Book is a slender volume by Peterson standards, a mere 180 pages, but it took me two months to get through it. Part of the reason for this was that I did not have the time to sit down and read it with a lot of continuity, but part of the reason was that even if I had had such time, I would not have been able to hurry along because there is too much in here to rush over.

I consider Eugene Peterson as one of my mentors. I joke that I knew him before he was famous, which is true. Back then I was drawn to seek his friendship and counsel because I perceived a person who (to use a quote from John Updike that he uses early in this book) had discovered ‘that truth is holy, and truth-telling a noble and useful profession’ (Page 8). Eugene Peterson is a truth-teller, par excellence, someone who had been captured by the truth, was determined to follow it wherever it might lead, someone who I felt worth learning from and make a model for my life.

This book is the second of a series in pastoral theology, and is all about what it means to be in the business of the Truth. For Peterson this is about getting on with what Austin Farrer calls ‘the forbidding discipline of spiritual reading,’ which is the text being used to form our souls. The task is forbidding ‘because it requires that we read with our entire life, not just employing the synapses of our brain. Fordigging because of the endless dodges we devise in avoiding the risk of faith in God. Forbidding because of our restless inventiveness in using whatever knowledge of ‘spirituality’ we acquire to set up ourselves as gods…’ (Pages 9-10).”

Kew goes on to write about Peterson’s thoughts about the centrality of Holy Scripture for our spiritual and secular lives. There’s an awful lot to like in this book apparently – especially for a thourgh-going Bartian such as myself. I’ve ordered my copy and I’m looking forward to reading it once I finish The Roots of Christian Mysticism (which is what I’m taking with me to General Convention to keep grounded…)

Eat This Book — A Review of Eugene Peterson’s book

(Via The Kew Continuum.)

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...