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In his seminal work, Celebration of Discipline Richard Foster persuasively argued that "the desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people." Upon reading this statement, many disciples would probably feel guilty about their lack of a personal devotional time or perhaps a waning commitment to prayer. However, as Eugene Peterson teaches us in this work, genuine spiritual depth requires us to develop other disciplines as well. One of the most essential of these disciplines is that of Lectio Divina or Divine Reading. In Take and Read Peterson provides us with both a concise introduction to the practice of Divine Reading and gives us a thorough list of literary, theological and devotional titles which will help us to dig the wells of our hearts just a bit deeper. This is one little volume should not be absent from a pastor's or a serious reader's shelf.
Spiritual reading has fallen on bad times. Today, reading is largely a consumer activity, done for information that may fuel ambitions or careers-and the faster the better. Take and Read represents Eugene H. Peterson's attempt to rekindle the activity of spiritual reading, reading that considers any book that comes to hand in a spiritual way, tuned to the Spirit, alert to intimations of God. Take and Read provides an annotated list of the books that have stood the test of time and that, for Peterson, are spiritually formative in the Christian life. The books on this list range from standard spiritual classics to novels, poems, and mysteries, and include an equally broad spectrum of authors-from Augustine and C. S. Lewis to William Faulkner and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Annotations following each entry offer Peterson's own significant insights into the power of each work.