The final chapter in The Jesus Way presents two other ways that Jesus could have chosen (Peterson ingeniously presents a way and a counter-way in each of these chapters): the way of Josephus, and the way of the Zealots. He spends some time giving us the history of Josephus, who was a brilliant, charismatic scoundrel. His way was one of propaganda, and thinking only of himself. “Religious propaganda is religion without morals.” The way of the Zealots was one of violence, and he shows us how they truly believed in what they were doing, and did it all in the name of God–for the Jewish cause (and there are many “zealots” today). The first Christians did NOT use violence, “even though in the religious atmosphere of the day it was the most natural thing in the world to do”. The reason they didn’t is because they were following Jesus–who told Peter to put his sword away and healed the guard’s ear that Peter had cut off (when Jesus was arrested)–an example of His refusal to use violence. Peterson finishes off by saying that the only way that we can possibly follow Jesus is by praying/making our life a prayer–“which gradually and steadily internalizes and embodies a robust confidence in God’s rule and a relaxed acceptance of our humanity.”
And WE would finish off by saying you can’t get CLOSE to everything gleaned from this book by reading it only once! But one theme that has jumped out at us again and again, is the idea of being “personal”: “…the only way that we can follow in the way of Jesus is by being personal participants–not just by thinking right thoughts or carrying out assigned tasks, but prayerfully and believingly involved in the very lives with whom, name by name, face by face, God is involved.”
OK! That’s the last of the notes, but not the last of studying that one! Rob has given us lots of material during this Summer Reading Club our church has had, so there’s that to go over too.
Meanwhile, things are “on a roll” for getting The Student “back to class”! He now has his schedule, which is quite full. That’s good, because it means he won’t get tired of his little living space. He’s quite happy/relieved that the classrooms are all close by and familiar, and that he’ll be doing “online journalism” this term! This weekend is Packing Up weekend!
Walk to Rivendell: We went 17 miles on Day 6, and now as we begin this 7th day of travel, we’ve gone a total of 115 miles.