Friday, March 20, 2015

Eugene Peterson on the Psalms

Oliver pondering the 2015-2016 Regina Symphony Brochure
A book on my unseen host's shelf.

We are here visiting Regina at the invitation of our son, Simon, to hear his new orchestra. He takes up his position as concertmaster full time in September. And of course we are babysitting Oliver while they house-hunt.

So I finished my book quickly, Acts and Omissions by Catherine Fox. This is a serious exploration of Anglicanism in the spirit of the Barchester Chronicles, a hoot and a severe criticism of policy and polity at one and the same time. Can anyone listen, I wonder, in this time of fear?

My project marks time since I am away from my host of lexicons and dictionaries that distract me necessarily when I am reading Hebrew.

So I have time to explore the books at our host's house. The host family is away and has kindly given us the house for the week, making this extended visit possible.

What do I find? A lot of books by Eugene Peterson including his translations of the Prophets. But what strikes me is this one on the Psalms: Answering God, The Psalms as Tools for Prayer.

So I pick it up and note a chapter that references Psalm 18 - a favorite, a rock. In which he says:
The dominant diction in this theater is metaphor. Metaphor is the witness of language that spirit and matter are congruent. Metaphor uses the language of sense experience to lead us into the world of the unseen: faith, guilt, mind, God. The visible and invisible, put asunder by sin, are joined by metaphor.
Not bad, I think. This is a little book, and I think I will give it a read.

1 comment:

  1. I love the quote about metaphor, I'm preaching with a strong component of teaching about metaphor or more generally picture language on Sunday, the trouble is only about a quarter of the congregation will appreciate it :( I'd have to explain...