More quotes from Eugene Peterson from Eat this Book

(I am reading off and on and enjoying this book. It takes a lot of brainpower to keep up with him but well worth it.)

— “We are not interested in knowing more but in becoming more.” (p. 59)

–“There are hard things in this book (the Bible), hard things to hear, hard things to obey. There are words in this book that are difficult to digest. John got a severe case of indigestion.” (p. 64)

–“Every careful reader of the Bible is struck by how “recurringly odd and unaccommodating it is to what we are used to and expect. The Bible is “no easy read.” (p. 65)

–“It is far too common among us to develop a problem-solving habit of approach to the Bible, figuring out what doesn’t seem to fit and then sanding off the rough edges, so that it slips into our ways of thinking more easily. We want to use it for comfort, and if it doesn’t work comfortably we reconfigure it so that it will.” (p. 65)

–“But nothing in our Bibles is one-dimensional, systematized, or theologized.” (p. 65)

–“The most frequent way we have of getting rid of the puzzling or unpleasant difficulties in the Bible is to systematize it, organizing it according to some scheme or other that summarizes “what the Bible teaches.” If we know what the Bible teaches, we don’t have to read it anymore, don’t have to enter the story and immerse ourselves in the odd and unflattering and uncongenial way in which this story develops, including so many people and circumstances that have nothing to do, we think, with us.” (p. 66)

–“But the Bible also has all the questions, many of them that we would just as soon were never asked of us, and some of which we will spend the rest of our lives doing our best to dodge.” (p. 66)

–“We enter the text to meet God as he reveals himself, not to look for truth or history or morals that we can use for ourselves.” (p. 66)

–“We talk of “making the Bible relevant to the world,” as if the world is the fundamental reality and the Bible something that is going to help it or fix it. We talk of “fitting the Bible into our lives” or “making room in our day for the Bible,” as if the Bible is something that we can add on to or squeeze into our already full lives.” (p. 66)

–“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 it from the bleachers—or even expensive box seats. We are in on it.” (p. 69)

–“The most important question we ask of this text is not, “What does this mean?” but “What can I obey?” A simple act of obedience will open up our lives to this text far more quickly than any number of Bible studies and dictionaries and concordances.” (p. 71)

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7 thoughts on “More quotes from Eugene Peterson from Eat this Book

  1. –“Every careful reader of the Bible is struck by how “recurringly odd and unaccommodating it is to what we are used to and expect. The Bible is “no easy read.”

    Brian; if this is so, just who was the bible written for, if this is so then I understand more fully the statement, the gate is narrow and few will enter.
    What is wrong with the bible today, is the person who reads into the bible that which is not there. their opinion of what someone else meant, my advise is to just read the words, not in between the lines.

  2. Brian, just one more thought on the subject. The higher educated, educated in religion based schools, seem to think the mystery of God is hidden in the words written in the bible and we have to search it out, by searching for clues. Nothing could be farther from the truth, the mystery is revealed in the words of Christ, not in some hidden clue.

  3. Brian

    I agree with you, if I understand you correctly. If you notice that peterson’s quote is on the same page with some other statements, you will see that he doesn’t promote an esoteric, mystical understanding of scripture.

    at least so far in the book

  4. Gerrie

    I’m new to this blog, and would appreciate help: someone mentioned a teaching or written piece of Eugene’s about the disciples / apostles directly after pentecost in their dilemma of “organizing” the emerging church. It has to do with the fact that they were (mostly) “untrained” in the modern idiom of “theological education”
    Can you point me in a direction?

  5. b

    I am sorry, but I can’t remember where that is. I have read a couple of other Peterson’s works but I can place that.
    I hope you find it, if I come across it, I will reply here.

  6. Howard

    The Bible is so relevant to our daily lives. Those who eat this book well will experience the exceedingly joy and peace that the book promised.

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