Saturday, February 18, 2006

Reading Peterson's "Eat This Book"

It has been difficult to write as there is to much going around in my head, but I thought the following quote from Eugene Peterson's book "Eat This Book" (pg 46) was right on the mark for my current mindset. He is talking here about reading the Scriptures.

The vast and embracing world of revelation to which our spiritual­ity text gives witness is a narrative form that is badly served when we ei­ther atomize or privatize it. We obscure the form when we atomize Scrip­ture by dissecting it, analyzing it like a specimen in the laboratory. Every detail of Scripture is worth pursuing endlessly; no scholarly attention expended over this text is ever wasted. But when the impersonal objec­tivity of the laboratory technician replaces the adoring dalliance of a lover, we end up with file drawers full of information, organized for our convenience as occasions present themselves.

He goes on to say.

It ceases to function as revelation for us. Far too many contemporary spiritualities, as befits our technological age, are obsessed with technique. If the Christian Scrip­tures are treated as just another tool for enlightenment or access to the knowledge that is power, sacrilege has been committed. We also obscure the form when we privatize Scripture, using it for what we are wont to call "inspiration." Our Holy Scriptures, of course, are pervasively personal. We are personally commanded and blessed, rebuked and comforted, warned and guided. But personal is not the same as private. Privacy is possessive and isolating. The private is what is withdrawn from the com­mon good for individual control or use or enjoyment; it is stealing. When we privatize Scripture we embezzle the common currency of God's revelation. But Scripture is never that — the revelation draws us out of ourselves, out of our fiercely guarded individualities, into the world of responsibility and community and salvation — God's sover­eignty. "Kingdom" is the primary biblical metaphor for it.


andyp said...

Right on.

Danoudperk said...

Double right on