Peterson also includes a section on askesis . He writes, "The basic necessity for and nature of askesis has been badly obscured in our time by chatty devotionalism and the hawking of spiritual "disciplines," as if spirituality were a mood that we can self-induce and spiritual disciplines were techniques that we can put to use to tend to the well-being of our souls." "We begin by insisting that askesis is not a spiritual technology at our beck and call but is rather immersion in an environment [the belly of the whale, in Jonah's case] in which our capacities are reduced to nothing or nearly nothing and we are at the mercy of God to shape his will in us" (90).
I think Eugene's definition of askesis may chart a middle way between the technologizing of the spiritual life that leads to a new legalism, and the overly zealous Lutheran approach that tends to argue that there is no "shape" to the Christian life ala spiritual disciplines.
Askesis in Eugene's sense is the imputation of passive righteousness in its sanctificatory significations.