Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology

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9780802828750: Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology
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Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places reunites spirituality and theology in a cultural context where these two vital facets of Christian faith have been rent asunder. Lamenting the vacuous, often pagan nature of contemporary American spirituality, Eugene Peterson here firmly grounds spirituality once more in Trinitarian theology and offers a clear, practical statement of what it means to actually live out the Christian life.

Writing in the conversational style that he is well known for, Peterson boldly sweeps out the misunderstandings that clutter conversations on spiritual theology and refurnishes the subject only with what is essential. As Peterson shows, spiritual theology, in order to be at once biblical and meaningful, must remain sensitive to ordinary life, present the Christian gospel, follow the narrative of Scripture, and be rooted in the "fear of the Lord" -- in short, spiritual theology must be about God and not about us.

The foundational book in a five-volume series on spiritual theology emerging from Peterson's pen, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places provides the conceptual and directional help we all need to live the Christian gospel well and maturely in the conditions that prevail in the church and world today.

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About the Author:

Eugene H. Peterson was a longtime pastor and is professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. His many other acclaimed books include Tell It Slant, The Jesus Way, Eat This Book, and the contemporary translation of the Bible titled The Message.,


Logos BookstoresBest Theology/Doctrine/Reference Book (2005)
Academy of Parish ClergyTop Ten Books of the Year (2006)
Christianity TodayWinner, Spirituality (2006)

Mennonite Brethren Herald
"Any one of his latest three books is well worth its while, but Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, the largest at more than 300 pages, is notable for what it undertakes: a bringing together of biblical theology with lived spiritual life."

Pro Ecclesia
"Marked by intellectual and spiritual maturity, by an author moving sure-footedly through demanding terrain, discerning where the dangers lie and guiding us around them."

Christianity Today
"A tour de force in spiritual theology, combining incisive cultural analysis and biblical exposition with a sweeping and engaging vision of the Christian life."

Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"Rich, generous, and wise, Peterson's 'conversation' will help readers at every stage of faith to live their faith more deeply."

The Living Church
"Peterson describes his book as a conversation. It is, above all, a conversation among biblical texts. Through clear language, he shines new and welcome light on numerous connections within the Bible."

The Christian Century
"Eugene Peterson keeps surprising us. It is hard to imagine where he will go next with his spiritual theology. . . His pen hugely blesses the church."

Christian Scholar's Review
"Christ Plays invites consideration, not as a text to be categorized, but as a discourse to be imitated. . . [Peterson] habitually counters spiritual reductionisms by calling his readers to historic Christian practices."

Circuit Rider
"Peterson knows intimately the rhythms of the local parish; possessing a background in biblical languages, he also writes with depth and passion about the scriptures and their connection to the human condition. This lifelong pastoral vocation, deepened with a sustained attention to translating the scriptures, has come to fruition in a marvelous new book: Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. . . Peterson is biblically coherent, culturally relevant, spiritually engaging. He is orthodox without being narrow-minded, critical without being dismissive, pastoral without being sentimental, evangelical without being joyless, scholarly without being pedantic. His style is conversational, and yet his subject matter is of utmost importance."

"Explores a biblical spirituality that works in the ordinariness of life while exposing the shallowness of contemporary Christianity. What artists do with color and sculptors do with texture and dimensionality, Peterson does brilliantly with language."

M. Craig Barnes
"Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places is the pivotal work on spiritual theology we have been waiting for. Eugene Peterson allows classical theology to make its own claims for contemporary spirituality. His particular genius is to reveal these insights by peering beneath the surface to speak of deeper, eternal truths for the soul as well as the mind."

Marva J. Dawn
"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. He woos us into exquisitely perceptive Bible readings, diagnoses the dangers of our common shortcuts, and immerses us in the community of those who live the truth of the Trinity in Jesus' way. This is a life-transforming and liberating book. I pray that many people will give it thoughtful, reverent attention."

Frederick Dale Bruner
"What would a spiritual theology look like that came from the hands of a person who, after a long and faithful pastorate crowned by a remarkably fruitful professorate, had been immersed in translating the whole of Holy Scripture? It would look like Eugene Peterson's Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. Completely free of gimmicks and cheap techniques, this book settles in convincingly at the center — in the God-honoring Sabbath of creation, the Christ-centered supper of salvation, and the Spirit-honoring meals of community building and evangelism. I believe this is the deepest meditation on spiritual theology in our time."

Timothy L. Brown
"In 1987 Eugene Peterson saved my pastoral soul. He did it with the ancient wisdom of Working the Angles. He is at it again with Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. Everything I know and love about Peterson, personally and vocationally, stands skyscraper tall on the pages of this book. His life and his obedience are as tight as a lug nut on a fire hydrant. Here is a single-minded book for the pastor trying to shepherd the flock through the hill country of postmodern moral multiple choice. Here is a book for the scholar and teacher trying to find a sane way to rejoin the severed body parts of theology and practice. Here is a book for thinking Christian believers who know, if only intuitively, that all the religious self-help books in the world will never help us to 'play Christ' in that world 'in ten thousand places'!"

Anne Svennungsen
"How refreshing! A spiritual theology that begins and ends with God — God's initiative, God's action in daily life, God's grace. Peterson is at his finest here, offering profound biblical and theological insight with the eloquence of a poet. Each page left me thirsty for more — even as I found remarkable refreshment in these deep waters of wisdom and faith."

“In this first and foundational volume of a five-volume series, Peterson rescues spirituality from both its ancient connotations of cloistered monasticism and its modern contamination with self-help boosterism and neopagan recreation. . . . Richly ecumenical, Peterson’s reflections will attract Christians from diverse affiliations.”
“The book flows with engaging examples and a delightful literary touch. . . . Highly recommended.”

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9780802862976: Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology

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Publisher: Eerdmans, 2008

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