Tell It Slant

Tell It Slant by Eugene Peterson
a conversation on the language of Jesus in his stories and prayers

"For a parable is not an explanation. A parable is not an illustration.  We cannot look at a parable as a spectator and expect to get it. A parable does not make a thing easier; it makes it harder by requiring participation, by entering the story..."  (from pg. 59 of this book)

This is a great book about the language and stories of Jesus...his parables and prayers. This book helps us to appreciative the sometimes mysterious and sometimes ambiguous words of Jesus. He didn't always issue commands and directions for finding the will of God but invited people to ponder, wrestle, learn, and grow into the Kingdom. Here are a couple of parts that I loved:

  • about Apocalyptic language "as something useful in waking up people who are sleepwalking through this world of wonders." (from chapter 10)
  •  Chapter 18 alone is worth the cost of the book! "In a religious atmosphere that was stagnant with the bad breath of nitpicking moralism, Jesus was a fresh breeze. Under a Roman occupation that was brutal and oppressive, Jesus was undiminished and unintimidated."
This is the fourth volume in Peterson's Spiritual Theology series, the others are:
  1. Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (Christian theology lived out in the day to day)
  2. Eat This Book (reading Scriptures from a fresh perspective)
  3. The Jesus Way (The Way of sacrifice, failure, and holiness)
  4. Tell It Slant
  5. Practice Resurrection (on Christian maturity and character formation)
Any of these books would be a great small group project, each will definitely cause you to think. And this one would be especially good in a day of competing stories. We (the American church) need to begin redeeming language and stories to regain some positive influence in our culture. Beginning now.

The kingdom of God is like...

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