16 August 2015

Book Review: Leap Over a Wall

As I was reading Eugene Peterson's Leap Over a Wall: Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians (1997) two thoughts kept resurfacing. First, I really think someone should seriously consider making a Braveheart style about the life of David. Second, I think more people need to read the writings of Eugene Peterson.

In Leap Over a Wall, Peterson explored the life of David, not as the model life, but as the normative life of a believer, at least in some regards. He wrote, "Life isn't an accumulation of abstractions such as love and truth, sin and salvation, atonement and holiness; life is the realization of details that all connect organically, personally, specifically: names and fingerprints, street numbers and local weather, lamb for supper and and a flat tire in the rain" (p. 3). The Bible is story--a true story to be sure, but a story that communicates truths about God and about us. The details of David's life provide one of the most extensive narratives to understand what life before God looks like.

One of the things I most appreciate about Peterson's writings is the way he is able to take a passage and wring out truths that map on to real life. He sees things in story that I miss. He cleans my interpretive lenses. He walks me into the story in a way that I can smell the air at Brook Besor and can feel the emotion of a kneeling Abigail. Leap Over a Wall is another strong addition to the Peterson corpus.

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