For a few weeks now, I have been reading through Eugene Peterson’s second volume of his five-volume ‘conversation’ series. It’s called Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading.
I do appreciate the pastoral wisdom and insights Peterson gives, which can be a soothing balm to one who reads so much scholarly theology.
Peterson shares these thoughts with regards to God’s revelation and the Bible:
We begin at the beginning. We call this book “revelation,” God revealing himself and his ways to us, not so much telling us something, but showing himself. Books have authors. However we conceive the words to have gotten written on the pages of our Bibles, the Christian church has always held that God is somehow or other responsible for this book in a revelatory way, in contrast to a merely informational way. The authority of the Bible is immediately derived from the authorial presence of God. In other words, this is not an impersonal authority, an assemblage of facts or truths. This is not the bookish authority that we associate with legislation codified in a law library, or the factual authority of a textbook on mathematics. This is revelation, personally revealed – letting us in on something, telling us person to person what it means to live our lives as men and women created in the image of God. (p24)
The words, this whole word of Scripture, is alive and active by the Spirit. I can understand why we are called to ‘eat this book’.
I want to read this book. I resonate with the tired feeling of reading too much scholarship. Sometimes we need to read Scripture as Scripture, which means letting it read us as much as we are reading it.
Yes, letting Scripture read us as much as we read it. But it will be a refreshing cup of water because 1) he is solid and evangelical but not so dogmatic and 2) he has such pastoral insight.
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Interestingly succinct to what I heard this morning at a conference I attended. In fact I blogged about it (http://mye-scratchpad.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-addiction.html). How important it is, like Brian said, to allow the Word to have a “conversation” with us. Amen to the Living Word of God!
Yeah, the metaphor does come alive!
Thank you for this book, like all your other books, you help me grow joyously.