You have to really carefully read this sentence to be sure you hear what it is saying. It does not say "those who believe in the Son have life and those that don't won't have eternal life. " It says those who believe will -- and those who don't obey won't. A very interesting way to say that belief involves entering into the drama God has prepared for us. It just so happens, that Eugene Peterson follows what I quoted yesterday with the following relevant comment about reading Scripture.
"We enter the world of the text, the world in which God is subject, in order to become participants in the text. We have our part to play in this text, a part that is given to us by the Holy Spirit. As we play our part we become part-icipants.
We are given this book so that we can imaginatively and believingly enter the world of the text and follow Jesus. John Calvin in his treatment of Holy Scripture is commonly cited in this regard "all right knowledge of God is born of obedience". There is hardly a Scripture exegete or translator of any standing in the Ch5ristian community who hasn't said the same thing.
If we have not entered this text as participants we aren't going to understand what is going on. This text cannot be understood by watching from the bleachers -- or even from expensive box seats. We are in on it."
-- Eugene Peterson in "Eat This Book" page 69