Eugene Peterson believes that the end does not justify the means. The Jesus Way is a treatise for pilgrims who follow Jesus. We are on the way, and the "ways and means" of following Jesus matter as much as the end product or destination.
This Spiritual Theology series (including Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places & Eat This Book) contain books which are not meant to be devoured, but instead, chewed slowly and savored. This was not an easy book to read - not only because there were hard things to here (necessary, though), but also because the depth to which Dr. Peterson plunges.
Dr. Peterson looks at several "ways and means" of both biblical and extra-biblical characters and how to properly follow Jesus. Each character chosen shows a different facet of following Jesus, but each one is necessary in its own rite. We start off by walking with Jesus (the Way) and investigating how he dealt with temptation, the metaphors he uses of both the Kingdom and himself as well as other "ways & means". Dr. Peterson feels that the church has grasped tightly to the Truth & Life metaphor Jesus used, but sometimes fails to understand or rightly hold up Jesus as the Way equally. How we travel is just as important as where we end up.
Dr. Peterson also takes us through the journeys of Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David, Isaiah of Jerusalem & Isaiah of the Exile. Through each of these sojourners, the reader learns to follow Jesus faithfully, communicatively, penitently, and three other ways.
The second part of the book was very helpful for me, personally. Dr. Peterson looks at contrasting movements and historical figures and then compares & contrasts their extremes to the Way of Jesus. Contrasting the extremes of Herod to the Pharisees, Caiaphas to the Essenes & Josephus to the Zealots and then of how the Jesus Way is a fresh, different & new approach to the journey than those ways.
I have always been a fan of Eugene Peterson, ever since I discovered his writing in Leap Over a Wall ten years ago. (I need to review that book - it is one of my all-time favorites). This Spiritual Theology series is well worth the time and energy you will spend reading it.