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Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

A provocative challenge to read the Scriptures on their own terms---as God's revelation---and to live them as we read. Countering the trend toward subjective personal interpretation, Peterson suggests an alternative approach, offering fascinating insights on the nature of language, the ancient practice of lectio divina, and the role of translations, including The Message.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 186
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802864902
ISBN-13: 9780802864901
Availability: In Stock
Series: Spiritual Theology

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Publisher's Description

Eat This Book challenges us to read the Scriptures on their own terms, as God’s revelation, and to live them as we read them. With warmth and wisdom Peterson offers greatly needed, down-to-earth counsel on spiritual reading. In these pages he draws readers into a fascinating conversation on the nature of language, the ancient practice of lectio divina, and the role of Scripture translations; included here is the “inside story” behind Peterson’s own popular Bible translation, The Message.

Author Bio

Eugene H. Peterson was a longtime pastor and is professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. His many other acclaimed books include Tell It Slant, The Jesus Way, Eat This Book, and the contemporary translation of the Bible titled The Message.,

Editorial Reviews

Christianity TodayAward of Merit, Spirituality (2007)

Lauren F. Winner
— author of Girl Meets God and Real Sex
"Deep, stirring, luminous, even profound — if you are going to read one book about reading Scripture, it should be this one."

Gerald Sittser
— author of A Grace Disguised
"Eugene Peterson has written a magnificent book about how to read the Bible. As any editor would say, a book must 'show,' not just 'tell.' Peterson's book does exactly that. The book itself has a biblical quality to it. Peterson uses vivid language; he tells and then reflects on wonderful stories; he invites readers to read their own stories in light of the story. This book is the fruit of decades of reading, pondering, conversing about, praying over, and living this story. Peterson encourages us to read the Bible as if we were dogs gnawing on a bone. Eat This Book made me lick my chops."

Church & Synagogue Libraries
"Peterson explores the ancient discipline of lectio divina and how its elements of reading, meditating, praying, and living can help us receive Scripture as 'formative for the way we live our lives, not merely making an impression on our minds or feelings. ' . . . Recommended."

Publishers Weekly
"Peterson's exposition of lectio divina is one of the fullest to appear in recent years. . . A worthy sequel to his 2004 hit Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places."

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  1. Cape Cod, MA
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    I wouldn’t recommend
    April 18, 2012
    Adam Miller
    Cape Cod, MA
    I recently read this book for a class on orthodoxy and hermeneutics. And while I could offer a very critical review of the book, I would much rather explain its potential weight and value.

    "Eat This Book" is Peterson's second installment of a five part series on spiritual theology. More of a conversational journal, the book centers around the importance of reading and reviewing a text in order to internalize it's meaning. Peterson is a very eloquent author who is extremely gifted in articulating words in a picturesque way. After reading it, I was inspired and hungry to get into the Bible. But while Peterson is a passionate writer, I wouldn't recommend his book without certain warning.

    How you read a book is certainly important and plays a major role in what you get out of it. Many people do not know how to read the Bible. Furthermore, many people do not approach the Bible without a certain set of presuppositions. Peterson is not exempt. He tells the story in the book about what led him to paraphrase the Bible and how it came about that he wrote "The Message" (A complete paraphrase of the whole Bible in common, everyday language). The problem is that Peterson would consider his paraphrase a translation, but if it is a translation, we obviously have two different opinions on accuracy.

    The risk with any translation is adding, subtracting, or narrowing a particular meaning from the original author's intent. While Peterson's intentions may be pure, his process does not make proper provision for his own limitations. In the end, Peterson's premises bypass proper syntax in translating the text. This does not mean that there is nothing of value from Peterson's book or paraphrase, but it should be perceived with awareness of it's limitations and not accepted as a spiritual authority.

    Where you begin matters. If you think of the Bible allegorically, your paraphrase will reflect personal identity more than contextual accuracy. With that said, I think there is a good deal of valuable take-aways from the book, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without a clear understanding of orthodoxy and hermeneutics.

    Check out my book reviews every Wednesday at worthyofthegospel.com
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