The only thing I've read by Eugene Peterson is The Message and I've been working my way through his companion devotional The Message: Solo - An UncommThe only thing I've read by Eugene Peterson is The Message and I've been working my way through his companion devotional The Message: Solo - An Uncommon Devotional, which is founded on the exegetical method of lectio divina, although after reading Eat This Book I hesitate greatly to call lectio divina a "method". For eating the book that is the bible is a truly beautiful metaphor that Peterson pulls right out of the bible itself, out of the book of Revelation, to help us understand a different approach to reading this amazing and holy book, one whereby we enter into the millennial-arching story of God's undying, passionate and tender love for his adulturous people and his ingenious self-sacrificial plan to win us back, rather than using it for our own purposes. He shows us how this bible is alive -- indeed how language itself, written and/or spoken, has creative power -- and how it can form our flesh and blood existence in and for God if we only let it. Although I had "known" this in my head, Peterson's book moved it down and planted it in my heart and the bible has come alive to me in a way I've never experienced before, where I see God revealing himself, see my own story in the stories of the bible's heroes and villains, and feel things more deeply or indeed, for the first time, as I enter into the stories with God and with all the holy community, as Peterson calls all Christ-followers. There also seems to be a developing intuition and skill in me of reading and seeing what isn't there explicitly in words but which deeply informs the narrative. "Let him who has ears to hear" is a phrase oft used by Jesus and Peterson thinks this is just what he means, and my hearing grows keener with each moment I spend in God's living word. Incidentally - or maybe not so incidentally - so does my intimacy with God, and my joy, and peace.
Another aspect I really enjoyed about Eat This Book is Peterson's obvious expertise of what he speaks. It appealed deeply to my intellect and desire to learn new things, not just in the spiritual sense but in a thinking, critical sense. Peterson is an excellent writer and I enjoyed his prose tremendously; they reminded me of the solid, common sense writings of C.S. Lewis and Oswald Chambers although they are not gilded with those writers' post Victorian pre-WW1 whimsy and poetry. Peterson stays solidly in the modern age, but his prose built a lovely bridge between my renewal-seeking mind and my tender heart for God.
His writing around the mystery of language, spoken, written, or biblical or in our daily lives was particularly moving and meaningful to me as a person who has traveled and lived all over the world and speaks multiple languages. As a linguist (a study I often dream of pursuing) his treatise on how language develops neurologically, culturally and historically made my gray cells sing. A veritable cranial chorus began when he explored biblical language and I perceived yet again, but newly somehow, the genius and mystery and glory of the God I love there. It was like meeting a long-time lover again for the first time, and even now as I write this review, I'm in danger of spinning off into praise and adoration, so enraptured was and am I by this "intellectual" subject that makes my heart sing!
Finally, Peterson shows us how The Message came to be, how his own experiences as a pastor in a small town church and his own formation by eating the bible led him to the translation of the holy scriptures - and catch this - back into the every day language of its first hearers and readers.
Don't miss this book. I borrowed it from the library but it will soon have a permanent place in my library - a privilege which few books garner these days.
I was fascinated by this book. As a nutritionist and detox specialist, and candidate for my PhD in Natural Medicine, an understanding of biology and oI was fascinated by this book. As a nutritionist and detox specialist, and candidate for my PhD in Natural Medicine, an understanding of biology and other sciences is foundational to my understanding of life, including my faith in God, particularly as a friend ad disciple of Jesus. So often we hear that the scientific can not explore or explain the spiritual, to which, after reading this book, I say "Nonsense!" Lipton, by explaining the biological, chemical and quantum physical properties and behavior of the cell and its beautifully orchestrated, intelligent responses to environment, real or perceived, has established a direct line of understanding of how I and other people of faith "Live, and move and have our being" in God, and how He is present with and in us at all times. A simple, beautiful scientific idea that has profoundly informed and impacted my relationship with my Savior and my understanding of scripture. Highly recommended....more
So, turns out I'm a Christian mystic...who knew?! What I love about mysticism is it honors & empowers a lot of how I experience the presence of ChSo, turns out I'm a Christian mystic...who knew?! What I love about mysticism is it honors & empowers a lot of how I experience the presence of Christ: in unknowing mystery, silence, & surrender. I very much liked the explanation of & guidance around the Lectio Divina, so much so I have begun doing it. Thanks to Carl McColman for writing this book....more