A Long Obedience In The Same Direction was an intriguing read. Subtitled Discipleship In An Instant Society, it caught my attention as an opportunity to increase my understanding of the concept of lifelong discipleship. And I wasn’t disappointed.
As Peterson’s first book, A Long Obedience In The Same Direction causes you to ask why so many publishers turned it down before IVP picked it up (It was turned down seventeen times before being published). There is a lot of great material here. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that wants everything now. And a discipleship that takes the course of a lifetime is extremely unappealing to most people.
Peterson uses the Psalms of Ascent, Psalms 120-134, as his outline. Each of these Psalms reveal a characteristic of Christian discipleship, if we are patient enough to pay attention.
He explains that the Psalms of Ascent were very likely sung, possibly in sequence, by Hebrew pilgrims as they journeyed to Jerusalem for Israel’s great worship festivals. And that same journey can be used to describe, metaphorically, our journey up towards God as well.
Peterson examines fifteen different character traits of discipleship in A Long Obedience In The Same Direction: repentance, providence, worship, service, help, security, joy, work, happiness, perseverance, hope, humility, obedience, community and blessing.
He encourages us to examine each of these in detail: slowly, imaginatively, prayerfully and obediently. As we look at each trait, God speaks to us through the Psalms and engages with us in conversation about becoming more and more of a disciple.
I really enjoyed reading A Long Obedience In The Same Direction. The only drawback for me was the fact that Peterson used The Message almost exclusively. I’m not a fan of this paraphrase; I believe that it doesn’t convey the truth of the Word of God as accurately as other translations, such as the NASB. And so, reading A Long Obedience In The Same Direction took me a little longer, because of the need to pause and read each passage in my own Bible, instead of what was printed in the pages of the book.
All in all, I felt like A Long Obedience In The Same Direction was definitely worth the time. Give it a read and see what God might do in your life as you journey through its pages.
If you are interested in reading A Long Obedience In The Same Direction, you can purchase it at Amazon.com.
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