Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Wednesday Review: A Long Obedience

 Hello, hello! Welcome back to the Wednesday Review! Today I'm reviewing a book I just finished reading: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, by Eugene Peterson.

Introduction: Eugene Peterson was an american pastor, possibly best known for his paraphrase of the Bible into casual modern English, called The Message. I have never read any Peterson before, but I've known about A Long Obedience for a long time - my mom read it years ago and really loved it. I had a chance to meet Mr. Peterson and his wife in 2014 at a faith & arts conference, just a few years before he passed into his reward. I didn't end up speaking much with Mr. Peterson (logistics), but I sat at a meal with Mrs. Peterson, and she was lovely. I purchased a copy of the book and now I've finally read it.

Briefly, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society,* is a discipleship-focused examination of the Songs of Ascents (Psalm 120-134). Each psalm, in sequence, gets its own chapter, in which Mr. Peterson deals with the main theme of the psalm and its role in Christian living.

My Review: I enjoyed this book. It was not what I expected - I had no idea of its structure before I started in - but I soon got used to it. I liked the way each chapter began with a reprint of the corresponding psalm,** followed by a relevant and pithy quote, and I thought the way the chapters were further divided into sections was helpful.

The structure made it very easy to read a chapter a day - in fact, I recommend it. It seems fitting that a book about the slow path of obedience should be read slowly, but I also made a number of notes and underlines in the text,^ as there was a lot of thoughtful content.

Overall, I liked the book and would recommend it to others. I wish everyone would at least read "Chapter 14: Obedience." There's a very nice metaphor in there illustrating why it's important for Christians to be reading the Bible - including the Old Testament.

Copyright: 1980; the anniversary edition I used was printed in 2000
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Length: 2012 pages (in the anniversary edition - not pictured)

My rating: 4.5 Stars

*That's the full title and subtitle.
**Albeit in Message verbiage, which is fine but not my preference.
^I even highlighted a few bits!

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