Synopses & Reviews
There is no question that bringing men and women to new birth in Christ is essential. But, argues Eugene Peterson, isnt it obvious that growth in Christ is equally essential? Yet the American church does not treat Christian growth and character formation with equivalent urgency. We are generally uneasy with the quiet, obscure conditions in which growth takes place. Building maturity in Christ is too often relegated to footnote status in the text of our lives. / In Practice Resurrection Peterson brings the voice of Scripture especially Pauls letter to the Ephesians and the voice of the contemporary Christian congregation together in understanding what is involved in the practice of becoming mature growing up to the stature of Christ.
"Christian maturity and character formation isn't about finding a strategy, or setting goals, or measuring congregational growth by market analysis, argues the writer in a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the New Testament book of Ephesians. Professor emeritus at Vancouver's Regent College and author of more than 34 books, including the popular Message paraphrase of the Bible, Peterson practices what he calls 'theological aesthetics,' giving new vitality to such common words in the Christian vocabulary as 'saint,' 'gift,' and 'church.' Christians are called to live out the resurrected life that was incarnate first in Jesus and then in us, the author asserts. It's no insult to the veteran writer to say that his tone is sometimes imperative and occasionally even a little cranky. After all, the message isn't new but the commentary is, as usual, thought provoking and helpful for readers who want a different, sometimes contrarian, perspective on Christian discipleship." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Ephesus and the Ephesians -- The church of Ephesus : Ephesians 1:1-2 -- The church we never see -- Church illusions and deceptions -- The miracle of church -- The message to the Ephesians : Ephesians 4:1, 7 -- The axios metaphor -- The Psalm 68 text : "you ascended the high mount ..." -- The blessing of God -- God and His glory : Ephesians 1:3-14 -- Lost in the cosmos -- God's verbs -- God's glory -- Paul and the saints : Ephesians 1:15-23 -- "I remember you in my prayers" -- "All the saints" -- "It is here, we are on it, it is under us" -- Grace and good works : Ephesians 2:1-10 -- Acquired passivity -- Good works -- Works as a form for glory -- The creation of church -- Peace and the broken wall : Ephesians 2:11-22 -- The brambles of individualism -- "A serious house on serious earth" -- The ontological church -- "[Jesus] is our peace" -- The hospitable church -- Church and God's manifold wisdom : Ephesians 3:1-13 -- "I am the very least of all the saints" -- Meshech and the tents of Kedar -- Inscape -- Shadow work -- Prayer and all the fullness : Ephesians 3:14-21 -- "Glory in the church and in Christ Jesus" -- "I bow my knees before the father" -- "All the fullness" -- "The inner man" -- One and all : Ephesians 4:1-16 -- "The calling to which you have been called" -- The language of paraclesis -- Deometry -- Baron von Hugel -- The congregation at work -- Holiness and the Holy Spirit : Ephesians 4:17-32 -- Stalamus chief -- Negative space -- Shy member of the Trinity -- Love and worship : Ephesians 5:1-20 -- "Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold-- " -- The language of love -- "Sleeper, awake!" -- Household and workplace : Ephesians 5:21-6:9 -- Borrioboola-gha -- "Wing to wing and oar to oar" -- Between -- The ark and the tomb -- The wiles of the devil and the armor of God : Ephesians 6:10-17 -- "Stand firm" -- "The wiles of the devil" -- "The whole armor of God" -- "Pray in the spirit at all times" -- "Tychicus will tell you everything". Study guide: The church of Ephesus (Eph. 1:1-2) -- The message to the Ephesians (Eph. 4:1,7) -- God and his glory (Eph. 1:3-14) -- Paul and the saints (Eph. 1:15-23) -- Grace and good works (Eph. 2:1-10) -- Peace and the broken wall (Eph. 2:11-22) -- Church and God's manifold wisdom (Eph. 3:1-13) -- Prayer and all the fullness (Eph. 3:14-21) -- One and all (Eph. 4:1-16) -- Holiness and the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:17-32) -- Love and worship (Eph. 5:1-20) -- Household and workplace (Eph. 5:21-6:9) -- The wiles of the devil and the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-17).