This is an insightful book on the goals and practice of reading Scripture. Using the vision of John’s revelation where he eats the scroll, Peterson argues that spiritual reading (lectio divina) must lead to not only reading but also living the text. Although some practices are less clearly outlined from a practical approach, Peterson’s overall framework and exhortation to practice spiritual reading are helpful and encouraging. One of the central claims of the book is that spiritual reading goes beyond “what does it say” to “what can I obey”. (See some reflections on this book in these two posts: here and here).
In this work, Peterson uses the fifteen songs of ascent (Psalms 120-134) as a model for Christian discipleship. Although some of the ideas occasionally seem forced into this framework, I like the design nonetheless, and his comments on discipleship are insightful and applicable. From humility to joy to perseverance and a whole host of others in between, Peterson provides an array of helpful angles from which to peer into discipleship. I would recommend this book for new believers, small group studies, and any Christian who needs to be reminded that growth in Christ is not an overnight occurrence but rather a long obedience in the same direction, the march up the hill to “Jerusalem” to worship God in the temple by means of His Son, a Son who has already walked this road before us.