Spirituality and Exegesis (2) – E.Peterson

EatthisBook-EPetersonAlso today we continue quoting from Eugene H. Peterson’s Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading. In this work Peterson is addressing the proper way to read the Scriptures so as to derive the greatest and highest spiritual benefit. And in chapter four he makes an important connection between spirituality and exegesis. We began pulling some quotes from this section yesterday, and we give you some more today.

After criticizing those who think that “spirituality” is a purely mystical and subjective experience and who judge serious study of the Bible (exegesis) to be unspiritual, Peterson writes this:

But, inconvenient or not, we are stuck with the necessity of exegesis. We have a written word to read and attend to. It is God’s word, or so we believe, and we had better get it right. Exegesis is the care we give to getting the words right. Exegesis is foundational to Christian spirituality. Foundations disappear from view as a building is constructed, but if the builders don’t build a solid foundation, their building doesn’t last long.

…Which is to say, the more ‘spiritual’ we become, the more care we must give to exegesis. The more mature we become in the Christian faith, the more exegetically rigorous we must become. This is not a task from which we graduate. These words given to us in our Scriptures are constantly getting overlaid with personal preferences, cultural assumptions, sin distortions, and ignorant guesses that pollute the text. The pollutants are always in the air, gathering dust on our Bibles, corroding our use of the language, especially the language of faith. Exegesis is a dust cloth, a scrub brush, or even a Q-tip for keeping the words clean.

6 Ways to Beat Reader’s Block

6 Ways to Beat Reader’s Block | PWxyz.

ReadersBlock-2You have, no doubt, heard of “writer’s block”: the experience of not being able to write for a time. Well, readers can also experience this mental “block”, and feel unable to read for a time.

In this little online article posted by Rose Fox (Nov.22, 2013) suggestions are given for overcoming this “reader’s block”. I think you will find it helpful for those times when you are in this funk. And every reader falls into it from time to time.

I spent most of 2013 suffering from reader’s block. Whenever I thought about reading, it didn’t sound like fun; it sounded like effort. I could easily think of any number of things I’d rather be doing. When I needed to read something for work, I had no problem doing so, and even enjoyed much of what I read. But as soon as I closed the file or put down the book, reading for pleasure felt impossibly far out of reach.

Fortunately, there are ways around this problem. Here are six steps for beating reader’s block and getting back that passion for reading.

1. Treat your book aversion like any other sort of anxiety or phobia.

For some people that means gritting your teeth and jumping in. For others it might help to have support from a friend: make a reading date, or read aloud to each other. One might medicate, or meditate, or sit in a favorite peaceful place. Whatever you do to overcome other anxieties can also help you overcome this one.

2. Whet your appetite.

Read an article, a poem, or a short story–ideally a really superb one that reminds you just how great the written word can be. If you’d rather try a longer book, place a bookmark 20 pages in and stop when you get there. Set a timer for reading, or read on your commute so there’s a defined end-point. Leave yourself wanting more.

Published in: on November 26, 2013 at 6:06 AM  Leave a Comment