Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Jesus Way

It's Wednesday and for Trae and Mandy, it's horse-riding day. Since coming to Fresno, we've been especially blessed with a host of new, dear friends who love our family as if we were their own.
Among our new friends are Gary, Wilma and Kelly Holcomb.
Wilma judges Quarterhorse and Reigning Horse shows all over the world and has routinely sacrificed her time to teach Trae her way around horses. Trae gets to help out around the Holcomb's barn, receives training on handling and riding from Wilma, and then gets to ride. Without question, among Trae's best friends in California are Reggie, Buzz, Mister and Ginger.
Last week, I received in my inbox from Amazon a notice of Eugene Peterson's new book The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways that Jesus is the Way. This book is the third in his ongoing conversation (the first two books are Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places and Eat This Book).
In The Jesus Way, Peterson takes on the advent of consumerism within the contemporary church head-on. I'm just getting into the book, but I can tell from the first chapters that it is classic Peterson -- rich, meaty and timely.
Here's a couple of snippets to whet your appetite:
"Jesus is an alternative to the dominant ways of the world, not a supplement to them" (2).
"The North American church at present is conspicuous for replacing the Jesus way with the American way" (5).
"We cannot pick and choose ways and means that are more to our liking. The popularized acronym WWJD ("What would Jesus do?") is not quite accurate. The question must be, "How does Jesus do it" (8)?
"The way Jesus leads and the way that I follow Jesus are symbiotic. And this symbiosis is not treated with sufficient seriousness and depth in the Christian community of North America" (8).
"Ways and means that are removed or abstracted from Jesus and the Scriptures that give witness to him amount sooner or later to a betrayal of Jesus. In this kingdom-of-God world, the person that we follow is the primary shaping influences on the person that we become (emphasis mine), Christians follow Jesus" (15).