Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places reunites spirituality and theology in a cultural context where these two vital facets of Christian faith have been rent asunder. Lamenting the vacuous, often pagan nature of contemporary American spirituality, Eugene Peterson here firmly grounds spirituality once more in Trinitarian theology and offers a clear, practical statement of what it means to actually live out the Christian life.
Writing in the conversational style that he is well known for, Peterson boldly sweeps out the misunderstandings that clutter conversations on spiritual theology and refurnishes the subject only with what is essential. As Peterson shows, spiritual theology, in order to be at once biblical and meaningful, must remain sensitive to ordinary life, present the Christian gospel, follow the narrative of Scripture, and be rooted in the ?fear of the Lord? ? in short, spiritual theology must be about God and not about us.
The foundational book in a five-volume series on spiritual theology emerging from Peterson?s pen, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places provides the conceptual and directional help we all need to live the Christian gospel well and maturely in the conditions that prevail in the church and world today.Publishers Description
"Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places" is a book of spiritual theology, a book about living out, playing out, the Christian life. Peterson sees importance in the use of the term bspiritual theology, b as it holds together what is too often split in the church. Peterson begins his work by bclearing the playing field.b Because we live in a time in which there is a great interest -- among Christians and non-Christians alike -- in what is popularly called spirituality, Peterson begins with a lengthy discussion intended to eliminate much of the clutter that goes by the label bspiritualityb in this world. He uses this section to establish a common ground for conversation by putting in place some basic stories, metaphors, and terms.
In the three sections of the book which follow, Peterson examines the way Christ bplaysb in creation, in history, and finally in community. In so doing he discusses Jesusb birth (which launches us into creation), Jesusb death (which launches us into history), and Jesusb resurrection (which launches us into community).
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.35" Width: 6.21" Height: 1.24"
Weight: 1.54 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2005
Publisher WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING CO.
Availability 0 units.
Reviews - What do our customers think?
|Our purpose, to worship and glorify God. Mar 9, 2007|
Give the author an A for literary flair, C for communication ability, and D for substance. The carefully crafted sentences in the book roll smoothly one after the other like a beautiful story, lulling us into a neglect of the plot. What is the author really trying to tell us? It is true that in the introductory chapter he carefully defines his terms, but unfortunately these definitions are unique with him. "Spirituality" is how we live with God. "Idolatry" is using God for our purposes through praying for what we want. "Fear of the Lord," is his comprehensive term of how we live our spiritual life and does not involve fear. His valiant attempt to define the Holy Trinity ends up a hair short of polytheism.
He divides his work into three sections: Creation, History, and Communication, the three being somehow related to God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. But the story rambles on and on lacking a coherent thread and, occasionally, internal consistency. A few pages after he describes how God's breath keeps man alive, he castigates the Gnostics who believe, as apparently he himself also does, that man carries a spark of God in him. My best guess about his apparent position in the book's first section is that mankind should live "to the glory of God," worshipping and praising him. So I ask myself, "Is this why God created mankind, to sing his praises and glorify him for ever?" Perhaps this is true, but in that case I don't find this God very glorious and praiseworthy.
Frankly I gave up and stopped reading halfway through the book.
(The writer is the author of "Christianity without Fairy Tales: When Science and Religion Merge," and of the forthcoming "The Way of the Butterfly: A Scientific Speculation on God and the Hereafter.")
|Christ Plays In 10,000 places Mar 8, 2007|
|A wonderful book with many new insights into God's interaction with his people. Concrete examples of daily living for God. God can only relate to us as humans by using the exact time, place and method of His Creation...as planned by Him. Once we realize that we were created to interact with God, only through His Creation, many avenues of understanding come into play. God is there. He sometimes speaks to us in a "ministry of abscence." That is, He waits until we are totally surrendered to Him, before He wil make His Presence known.|
|I like what it says, but not how it says it Feb 10, 2007|
|As the title suggests, Peterson is proposing a new (or ancient) way of thinking about and talking about God. I love the way he captures the flavor of spiritual intimacy, and the way he captures the essence of living at peace with God. The book is full of gems of insight and language. |
But the poetic language gets both dense and protracted, and at times almost impenetrable. This is not a book to be read in a hurry. It took Peterson a ream of paper just to elucidate the odd title.
I would have enjoyed it more if he could have accomplished it in 150 pages. But accomplishment is not the point of a Conversation in Spiritual Theology, is it?
The fact that I found this book frustrating to read tells me that I fail at a broad spiritual discipline it expounds: Sabbath Keeping
|Peterson Says Things That Need To Be Said Jan 26, 2007|
|Eugene Peterson is concerned that the heart of Christian spirituality is being lost as individual Christians go about the activities of their daily lives. He hope is to reawaken us to the "fear of the Lord" as that "way of life that is lived responsively, and appropriately before who God is, who He is as Father, Son and Holy Spirit."|
Like John Piper, with whom there is overlap in his writings, Peterson aims to prompt us away from a merely practical, reductionist "moral-code" interpretation of serving God and more toward a vital, warm, embracing of our God. In these things I wholly and fully agree.
Peterson takes a few too many liberties, in my opinion, with Scripture. His emphasis on living with God tends, as I read him, to place relational and experiential things above a diligent, concerned, study of the things Scriptures requires of us. There are statements that he makes, concerning the keeping of the Sabbath for example, with which I entirely disagree. But his fundamental approach is sound and he says things that need to be said.
Read him with an eye toward his main points and keep the dialog going on how best to achieve them.
|Taking Creation Seriously Jan 25, 2007|
|From my blog RealCurrents (see profile for info):|
I recently quoted, in AeroGo of all places, from Eugene Peterson's "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places". Peterson's willingness to take (as scientists, engineers and environmentalists do) a serious interest in creation is one reason this is an important book. It's unfortunately rare to find a book that seriously grapples with basic elements of our world such as time, place, animals, etc., from a Trinitarian theological perspective (though James Jordan's "Through New Eyes" and Gary North's "Is the World Running Down?" are worthy examples).
In doing so, Peterson considers a lot of issues fundamental to the Christian life. His 350pp book is especially strong in addressing the need for a proper balance between theology/scripture and practical living, and I bet a lot of folks will be surprised to read his treatment of some things.
We've been reading it in my Sunday school class, and I've really liked it, yet still have a long way to go to finish it. Consequently, I can't definitely recommend it in total yet (I've been disappointed quite a few times by books that started out strong diagnosing a problem, and then fell off a cliff trying to prescribe a solution). Nevertheless, the book deals with a lot of the same issues I've looked at for years in parts of my research. In essence, "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places" is taking direct aim at many of the key subjects the Church has either studiously avoided or never seriously considered, but really needs to be grappling with in an age increasingly fascinated with both technology and spirituality.
Let me just give a couple of quick examples of this. The first is escapist premillennial/pre-trib/rapture eschatology (whatever you want to call it). Rather than get into an endless debate about the books of Daniel and Revelation, Peterson simply shows (pp. 65-71), from Genesis 1, how the trite "waiting for Jesus to come back" is really a failure to respond in gratefulness to God's gift of time to us.
Second, regarding creation, one of the most common questions I hear folks ask about spiritual things is "What happens to animals when they die?" It's disturbing then, considering that God started the Bible talking about His creation, how little the Church has seemed interested in so much of it (and so, at times, of science). Peterson doesn't address, specifically, this question, but does consider (pp. 77-82) some of the basic differences between people and animals, disctinctions which, if understood, would cast the human evolution debate in a whole different light.
To sum up, regardless of potential faults, "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places" may well prove to be one of the books that sets the "paradigm" for Christian thinking in the 21st century. And, yes, we certainly need a paradigm shift - a la Thomas Kuhn - to clear out a lot of the accumulated debris that's impeded the Church's thinking, and positive impact on our world, for well over a century.
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