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The Jesus Way: A Conversation in Following Jesus

Hodder & Stoughton
RRP $29.95

The Jesus Way’ is an extended meditation on what Jesus meant when he said: “I am the way…” (John 14:6). Peterson is concerned that the Christian church has lost sight of the distinctive ‘ways and means’ involved in following Jesus. He has written this book to encourage contemporary followers of Jesus to re-evaluate their lives in the light of the “rich and textured narrative laid out for us in our Scriptures…”

Peterson seeks to delineate the Way of Jesus by exploring, first of all, the life of Jesus, and then by examining the lives and stories of six key men in the Old Testament: Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Isaiah of Jerusalem, and Isaiah of the Exile. His premise is that the Jesus Way can only properly be understood by being thoroughly conversant with those who preceded and paved the way for Jesus.

He then goes on to study the lives of three key historical figures from the time of Jesus – Herod, Caiaphas, and Josephus – who exemplify ‘other ways’ of living that are contrary to the Jesus Way. His conclusion is perceptive: “What stands out as we consider all these dismissed options is that following Jesus is a unique way of life. It is like nothing else. There is nothing and no one comparable.”

This book is beautifully written – rich in metaphors and furnished with in-depth biblical and historical scholarship. Peterson displays a passionate appreciation for the beauty of language, especially as it is used in Scripture.

This book is dense and detailed, incisive and challenging. It is compelling reading for those who claim to follow Jesus in this postmodern, pluralistic age.

The book ends with an appendix in which Peterson recommends seven books for further reading on discerning the Jesus Way.

Book reviewed by Daniel Hann.