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Michael Card: A Fragile Stone

 

Michael Card, A Fragile Stone: The Emotional Life of Simon Peter (InterVarsity Press, 2003) 200 pages.

Those of us who have enjoyed Michael Card’s music for many years will be pleasantly surprised to find that he is not only a wonderful musician but also a wonderful author. Through the use of the Gospels and the letters of Peter, Card gives the reader a three dimensional look at Peter. Under Card’s guiding hand the image of Peter comes to life; he is no longer a one dimensional person. Many of us have been told of a Peter who never failed to put his foot in his mouth or of Peter the Rock. Yet there is more to Peter than this.

Card shows how Peter grows in faith and understanding of who Jesus is and the mission Jesus must undertake. Peter’s personal struggles at the coming death of his best friend and the possibility of his own, draws you into the text. Card gives new insight into passages of scripture that challenge our long held assumptions. For example, during the last week of Jesus’ life his followers began to realize that taking the road Jesus was traveling would be dangerous and challenging. Many of them left, preferring to take the easy road. Peter, we have been told, staunchly stays at Jesus’ side. Card gives the reader another possibility, the apostles are tired and perhaps disillusioned, Peter’s affirmation of Jesus as Lord is not one of faith as it is a statement of fact—“You are the Lord, where else can we go?” The question is the same for us, do we decide this Christian life if too difficult or do we acknowledge who Jesus is and trust in him?

Card looks at not only the events of the Gospels, such as Peter’s first miracle of walking on the water, but he also looks deeper. Was the significance of this act the fact that Peter walked on water or the fact that he believed Jesus would save him? Walking on the water did not increase Peter’s faith, but his sinking did. After Peter’s three denials of Jesus, according to Card, when Jesus looked at Peter it was not a look of disdain but of kindness—a look that broke Peter’s heart. It was through this heartbreaking event that the Peter became the Rock. The Lord lets Peter know that he has been forgiven, by three times asking him to feed the sheep thereby counteracting Peter’s denials.

I picked up this book solely because it was written by Michael Card, I believed it would be a very good and I was not disappointed. Peter is just like us, fallible. Just like Peter we doubt, we fear, we make mistakes, yet though all this Card shows us that Peter was firm in his faith and choose Jesus above all else.

Reviewed by Patricia Riley

 

Publisher’s page: http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=3445

 

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Category: Biblical Studies, Fall 2006

About the Author: Patricia Riley, PhD (Regent University), has taught numerous adult Bible Studies at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Eastpointe, Michigan where she works at the Legacy Gift Coordinator. Dr. Riley has written several articles for the Italian/English encyclopedia about Protestant heroes of the Faith, Testimoni della fede nella Chiese della reforma (Rome: Nuova’ Citta Editrice Della P.A.M.O.M.).

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