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Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading [Kindle Edition]

Eugene Peterson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

Continuing Peterson's major evaluation of contemporary Christian spirituality, EAT THIS BOOK focuses on spiritual reading. Taking its title from the angel's instruction to John in the book of Revelation: 'Take it and eat it; it will be bitter in your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth', EAT THIS BOOK discusses the benefits of reading Scripture and the challenges of engaging with it today. As with other books in the series, EAT THIS BOOK is written for both academic and lay audiences. Challenging but rewarding, it combines first-rate scholarship with illustrations drawn from raw human experience.

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Rich, generous and wise, Peterson's "conversation" will help readers at every stage of faith to live their faith more deeply. (Publishers Weekly (for Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places) )

Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places is a book for all places, for all times, for all peoples and for all situations, however tragic and hopefless they may seem to be. (Gerard Hughes (for Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places) )

Eugene Peterson knows how to share Biblical and theological insights in ways that both inform and excite his readers, and in this work he excels even his own high standards. (John Drane (for Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places) )

There is no pastor in the world that I trust more than Eugene Peterson, and this book offers us Eugene at his best — poet, storyteller, wonderer, biblical scholar, sage, practiced disciple, and lover of God. This is a life-transforming and liberating book. (Marva Dawn (for Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places) )

Book Description

B-format edition of book two of Eugene Peterson's landmark Spiritual Theology series; foundational reading for the twenty-first century church.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 310 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (27 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005LWR6J0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,322 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
By Helen Hancox TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Eugene Peterson, translator of "The Message", is a true wordsmith. Part of the pleasure in reading this book is the way in which he crafts his sentences, encouraging you think deeply and to read further. Subtitled "The Art of Spiritual Reading," this is no manual on Bible study approaches but it seeks to evoke a desire for us to delve into the Bible to search out God's voice - leaving our own selfishness and personalities behind. The metaphor of eating the book - really taking it within us and having it become part of us - was reinforced throughout the text.

The last two chapters sat slightly oddly in this book. They describe how Peterson began his "The Message" translation of the Bible and then discuss the important discoveries of ancient papyri at Oxyrhynchus and Ugarit and how they affected our understanding of the language of the New Testament. I loved these two chapters but I felt they were a slightly uneasy fit in the overall book - I would have preferred them to be the preface to another book entirely - one I sincerely hope that Peterson chooses to write!

Overall, this book is a pleasure to read, it spoke to me and convicted me about my approach to the Bible and the limits that we put on it through our superficial reading of these holy texts.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning how to read again 19 April 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read a heck of a lot of Christian books. Very rarely do I ever give a book 5 stars. Why is this book worthy of that honour? Two reasons: First, the content, it tackles a subject of primary importance - how to read the bible for 'formation' not 'information'. Peterson highlights that our basic tutoring in reading is with the aim of extracting information. That's not what the bible is for. It's a gift to us for the shaping of our daily lives. Second, the style, it is written by a master of words, someone at the peak of his craft. I found myself re-reading lines and phrases just for the sheer pleasure of letting the words dance again through my mind. The ultimate worth of the book though is that I found it worked. It taught me valuable lessons in how to read my bible again, afresh. My lazy habits have been corrected, I've received new techniques of engaging with the text, I'm a whole lot richer for spending an tenner on this book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and appealing 2 Mar. 2012
By William Fross VINE VOICE
Eat This Book focuses on how to do more than merely read the Bible for facts and information. It centres on the notion of "lectio divina", or spiritual reading, which Peterson presents as a (or even the) traditional form of engagement with the Bible. There are four elements:

Meditatio/Meditation or engagement
Contemplatio/Contemplation, or as he explains it, living it out

He also offers some fascinating stories and examples that show how the Bible text has been shaped by historical context, and how translation has both helped and hindered our appreciation of it. One example: there are many words which were only found in the Greek New Testament. This led theologians to develop the theory of a unique language that only the Holy Spirit used. It was only as a result of archaeological research that people realised that the New Testament was actually written in down-to-earth street language - the very opposite of what they assumed. The Holy Spirit does not speak in elevated language at all, but the opposite, in a way that everyone can understand. What, Peterson asks, does this say to our love for complex language and religious phraseology?

Stories like this were fascinating and helpful. I found the model of spiritual reading helpful and will attempt to make use of it. I also appreciated Peterson's clear enthusiasm for the Bible and he shows how his scholarship has served to greatly deepen his understanding and love for it.

However, I did find the book rather slight: it feels rather like a collection of short essays than an in-depth study of its topic. I would have appreciated more developed thoughts on the stages of lectio divina (rather than one chapter on the whole thing).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful book 27 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Its a pity that the writer chooses to defend his own translation method for The Message rather than leave it more general. He makes a good job of defending translation for meaning rather then translation for literal word for word accuracy. Well worth a read. The message implicit in "eat this book" can be applied to a wide variety of reading.
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