Book Review: The Wisdom of Each Other
Author: Eugene Peterson
Publisher: Zondervan ISBN: 9780310242475
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and interaction with the mind of Eugene Peterson.
The Wisdom of Each Other: A Conversation between Spiritual Friends is a collection of letters, actually responses in the form of letters from Peterson to a “fictional friend” named Gunnar Thorkildsson. Peterson explains in his introduction that “Gunnar” is not an actual person, but he is “real.” Nothing has been “made up” and all the details found in the responses come from actual encounters with men and women. Gunnar, I believe, serves as a vehicle with which to share these stories and encounters… and a means by which the reader can share a glimpse into the world of this conversation between spiritual friends.
This is a brilliant platform in my opinion and provided me an opportunity to be a “fly on the wall” for these interchanges. In this context, I was able to glean a wealth of insight and wisdom from the bountiful pastoral experience of Eugene Peterson.
I think one thing I particularly enjoyed was learning how meaningful and insightful succinct responses can be. Time and again, Peterson’s responses to Gunnar were very to-the-point, and seemingly, were suggestively aimed at answering issues that were likely much deeper than what the original letter may have hinted at.
Another thing I appreciated very much about this book and style of writing was its earthiness. I’ve been a reader of works by Peterson for a number of years now and this little book was of a different tone than any other I’ve read to date. It really did seem “organic” and natural as the conversation played out. It was very believable to me and I must admit that I felt as though I were seeing a different side to Peterson than I have experienced in other books by him.
This is a short book at just over one hundred pages. It is not a difficult read, but it is loaded with insight and the way it is written naturally leads the reader to a reflective posture. It is a great addition to my library of Peterson titles and I can only wish it had been in my library sooner. A great read, I recommend it highly.