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On Living Well: Brief Reflections on Wisdom for Walking in the Way of Jesus

Eugene H. Peterson
WaterBrook, 240 pages

Eugene Peterson’s writings inspired generations of pastors to delve deeper into the sacred Word with his unique blend of scholarship and accessible language. From his lived experience, he articulated his sacred encounter with God from relationships with congregants, friends, and family. His translation of the holy Scripture into The Message continues to draw wide swaths of readers.

On Living Well presents excerpts of Peterson’s previously published works, sermons, and weekly newsletter Amen!, written for his congregation in Bel Air, Maryland, as well as fragments of unpublished writings. These excerpts are short – often just a paragraph – and rarely more than a page.

Editor Paul L. Pastor describes the compilation sought to preserve Peterson’s words with only the lightest revisions. Published posthumously, many of these excerpts appear rough, leaving a reader to wonder what Peterson’s polish and further expansion may have produced. For those accustomed to Peterson’s clarity and completeness, these portions might prove frustrating; other devotees may be enamored with any drop of wisdom.

The selections are organized within major categories of “On Beginnings,” “On Simplicity,” “On Prayers and Praises,” “On Mercies,” and “On Glories,” to accompany a reader’s walk with Jesus. Alternatively, a reader might randomly flip through pages.

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Jo Forrest serves as senior pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.