I preached on Romans 12:1-2 today and at the end of my sermon, offered my own paraphrase. I don’t claim it to be near as wonderful as Eugene Peterson’s from the message but I wanted to offer this as a summary of my sermon. For what it’s worth:

“As we understand God’s whole, all-encompassing mercy for what it really is, we should naturally be offering our lives for the sake of His cause, His Kingdom and His agenda for the world, even when it looks like a waste of time, money and resources to outsiders. As we do so, we must come together and work together as a community to be constantly and painstakingly aware of our culture’s default way of life and especially of the way our culture defines ‘the good life.’ We need to constantly struggle together to swim against those tempting currents, graciously helping and calling each other to a more selfless way of life. We do this by engaging in a pursuit of truth that does not merely provide us with good facts and information about God but rather, transforms us and changes us into people who live in the way that he set out for us.”