The Wisdom of Each Other demonstrates the life-changing value of friendships. With originality and warmth, Eugene Peterson opens our eyes to one of God's greatest and most overlooked provisions for counsel, encouragement, and renewal - honest, Christ-centered relationships.
©1997 Eugene H. Peterson (P)2011 Zondervan
This is an easy book to listen to in bits and pieces in between other audio books, since it is a collection of letters written from Peterson to a fictitious old friend, Gunnar. Each letter has enough to mull on in its own right, so they make for great listens on short trips around town. And the wisdom of these letters is something to come back to again and again. I've read the book at least four times before I listened to the audio book.
I loved his suggestion that 70-year-old Gunnar have the youth group over to prepare, cook, and eat a meal together, mentoring through casual conversation over kitchen work instead of hyped up games and motivational talks.
He has an earthy voice which lends warmth to the letters.
Peterson's writing always resonates with me so this was no exception. It is like getting responses to questions about your daily journey with God, getting a tap to lean left here and turn a little right there, or steady as you go.
It's not really a story but a series of answers to letters from a fictional friend. The topics are good jumping off points for pondering or discussing with others. You don't have to agree with every one and some may not mean anything, but it is enjoyable listening to him speak about so many issues. Almost like a FAQ for church-goers.
The narrator sometimes makes the observations sound too pointed or negative, which I'm pretty certain Pastor Peterson didn't intend.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
I intentionally picked this up with CS Lewis' Letters to Malcolm because they seem to be about the same basic thing (letters to friends as spiritual encouragement). But while Letters to Malcolm was very personal and revealing, this felt flat. First it is written as an exercise in spiritual mentoring. These are not actual letters compiled but instead are written to characterize the types of letters that Peterson often writes. This gives it form and coherence, but it left the whole thing feeling contrived. I am a huge fan of Petersons. I have read more than a dozen of his books. But I am fairly disappointed in this one. There are some good nuggets here, but it free more curmudgeonly than normal Peterson.
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