There is no question that bringing men and women to new birth in Christ is essential. But, argues Eugene Peterson, isn't it obvious that growth in Christ is equally essential? Yet the American church does not treat Christian growth and character formation with equivalent urgency. We are generally uneasy with the quiet, obscure conditions in which growth takes place. Building maturity in Christ too often gets relegated to footnote status in the text of our lives.
In Practice Resurrection Peterson brings the voice of Scripture — especially Paul's letter to the Ephesians — and the voice of the contemporary Christian congregation together to unpack what is involved in the practice of becoming mature — growing up to the "stature of Christ."
"For far too long now, with full backing from our culture, we have let the vagaries of our emotional needs call the shots. For too long we have let ecclesiastical market analysts set the church's agenda. For too long we have stood by unprotesting as self-appointed experts on the Christian life have replaced the 'full stature of Christ' with desiccated stick figures.
"So what I want to do here is engage in an extended and serious conversation with my brother and sister Christians around the phrase 'growing up in Christ.' And I want to bring an old and wise and trusted voice into the conversation, the voice of St. Paul. . . . The words he wrote are as up-to-date as anything we are likely to hear these days, and strategically crucial for what faces us." ~From the introduction of Practice Resurrection
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eugene H. Peterson, author of the best-selling contemporary translation of the Bible titled The Message, is professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia.