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Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers

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In this work, Peterson explores how Jesus used language--he was earthy, not abstract; metaphorical, not dogmatic. "Tell It Slant" promises to deepen Christians' understanding of Jesus' words, strengthen their awareness, and nurture their efforts to make all speech a blessing.


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In this work, Peterson explores how Jesus used language--he was earthy, not abstract; metaphorical, not dogmatic. "Tell It Slant" promises to deepen Christians' understanding of Jesus' words, strengthen their awareness, and nurture their efforts to make all speech a blessing.

30 review for Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Tell It Slant takes it's title from the famous Emily Dickinson poem: Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind — This sets the stage for Eugene Peterson’s argument that the parables of Jesus are told exactly this way. It’s connected to Peterson’s translation of Matthew 13:11-14: He replied, “You’ve been given Tell It Slant takes it's title from the famous Emily Dickinson poem: Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind — This sets the stage for Eugene Peterson’s argument that the parables of Jesus are told exactly this way. It’s connected to Peterson’s translation of Matthew 13:11-14: He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it. Peterson spends the first section of the book moving through the parables of Luke and demonstrating all the ways that truth dazzles gradually in each of these stories. The second section of the book deals with the language of the prayers of Jesus, although I’m not so sure they really tell the truth as slant here as in the parables. Nevertheless, it is a compelling and helpful read. In my view, Eugene Peterson is the preeminent living American Christian thinker. In a time when Evangelical Fundamentalism demands quick action and results in the working out of God's will in the world, Peterson is the patient, poetic, and prophetic voice that brings us back to the Jesus revealed in scripture and through two thousand years of Christian witness. He writes well but he does not write simply - it takes me time to work through most of his books, as I would through a satisfying meal or walk through the woods. This examination of the stories and prayers of Jesus reawakened me to the power of the gospel's parables and language. It's reminded me to be an attentive reader and listener, opening my eyes and ears to the power of the words contained in each story and prayer. Peterson saves the best part of the book for the second last chapter "Jesus Prays from the Cross." Here, he brings the reader through each part of those final moments contained in the four gospels, and there's enough in these pages to provide helpful lenten reading for many years to come. The appendix is called "Some Writers Who Honor the Sacred Inherent in Language." Here is the first paragraph of it, which I feel compelled to share. It reminds me why reading good books (both “sacred” and “secular”) is a spiritual practice: "It is no small thing that the Christian community has men and women who pay close and continuous attention to the way it uses words. The sacrilege of language is epidemic in our culture. We live in a language wasteland. The care of words is urgent Christian work. Our assignment is clear: keep them personal, preserve their place in the creation/salvation story, maintain congruence between our conversations and our prayers. The major way we do this is by keeping company with Jesus in his stories and in his prayers. I also find it useful to keep up conversations with men and women who do this well. Some of them write books. When they write well I read their books. Here are seven writers that I like very much." (271) [N.T. Wright, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, William Stafford, Francis de Sales & Jane de Chantal, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and Reynolds Price]

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trish Hermanson

    Thoughts so deep I had to read and reread about the communication methods of Jesus, the master storyteller.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I read this as an in-depth study over the course of 8 or 9 months with a group. I found that it gave us some new perspectives on the way we looked at Jesus, and provided some interesting discussion topics for us to evaluate our faith. I found some of his assertions to be a bit "out there," and didn't quite agree with everything he said, especially in a few of the more difficult parable chapters. It almost felt like reaching, at some points, for an interpretation that just wasn't there. Also, I pr I read this as an in-depth study over the course of 8 or 9 months with a group. I found that it gave us some new perspectives on the way we looked at Jesus, and provided some interesting discussion topics for us to evaluate our faith. I found some of his assertions to be a bit "out there," and didn't quite agree with everything he said, especially in a few of the more difficult parable chapters. It almost felt like reaching, at some points, for an interpretation that just wasn't there. Also, I prefer the Biblical text (I was raised on NIV), rather than his own translation directly from the Greek that he published in The Message. While it may be helpful to read it in our own form of language, I think some of it leaves out a lot of the force behind Jesus' words and actions. For example, in one parable it was translated to the effect of the main "character" saying to get people away from him, while in my Bible (NIV) it said to take the people out and kill them. Just being nit-picky...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brian Eshleman

    It is more biblical exposition than "How to Enrich Language". I felt a little misled, but his exposition is skillful and engaging.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marcás

    Eugene reminds us that Jesus' prayers start in heaven and finish on earth. They are distinct but are organically and persistently paired in unity. His emphasis on narrative is also there, as ever, and allows him to follow the main scriptural motifs up and down the mountain. “This kingdom of God life is not a matter of waking up each morning with a list of chores or an agenda to be tended to, left on our bedside table by the Holy Spirit for us while we slept. We wake up already immersed in a large Eugene reminds us that Jesus' prayers start in heaven and finish on earth. They are distinct but are organically and persistently paired in unity. His emphasis on narrative is also there, as ever, and allows him to follow the main scriptural motifs up and down the mountain. “This kingdom of God life is not a matter of waking up each morning with a list of chores or an agenda to be tended to, left on our bedside table by the Holy Spirit for us while we slept. We wake up already immersed in a large story of creation and covenant, of Israel and Jesus, the story of Jesus and the stories that Jesus told. We let ourselves be formed by these formative stories, and especially as we listen to the stories that Jesus tells, get a feel for the way he does it, the way he talks, the way he treats people, the Jesus way.” -Eugene Peterson

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    This was my first time reading Eugene Peterson, and although I found the book a little difficult to get through at times, I am completely captured by his thoughts and understanding of words and Jesus and the sacred and secular. AMEN.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Greco

    Exactly what you might expect in a book on language and prayer written by the man who translated the entire Bible. Insightful. Revelatory. Challenging. Encouraging. I'm so grateful for Peterson's legacy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Better than the earlier two volumes in this series, this book examines the parables and prayers of Jesus. It reads like an eloquent thoughtful sermon series. Eugene Peterson has a generous spirit, guiding us with his wisdom and experience, noting the pitfalls of the spiritual life without ever attacking straw-men or sounding cranky. He is at his best when writing about prayer and language - two of his favorite topics which makes this a great, accessible work.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nancie Carmichael

    Language is powerful. Too often we reduce the deepest truths to platitudes, formulas and cliches. Tell it Slant by Petersen takes us back to the sometimes inscrutable, convicting words of Jesus. I recommend this book highly for all who deal in words--especially us religious types. "Truth must dazzle gradually..."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy Riccio

    I love how much Eugene Peterson values words and how he so simply uses the words of Jesus to give me a whole new, simplified take on prayer and on the parables. I really liked this book a lot, but only gave it four stars because there were a few portions that were really dry.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian White

    Another great volume from Peterson. These are always slow books for me. Each page can be savored. He makes me think and draw near to Jesus. I want to soak in these truths.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michele Morin

    The recent biographical movie featuring the life of J.R.R. Tolkien captures him saying, “After all, what’s language for? It’s not just the naming of things, is it? It’s the life blood of a culture, a people.” Language and the way we use it reveals our thinking and our character. The structure of a language reveals what’s important to the people who speak it. In Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers, pastor and author Eugene Peterson argues that language The recent biographical movie featuring the life of J.R.R. Tolkien captures him saying, “After all, what’s language for? It’s not just the naming of things, is it? It’s the life blood of a culture, a people.” Language and the way we use it reveals our thinking and our character. The structure of a language reveals what’s important to the people who speak it. In Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers, pastor and author Eugene Peterson argues that language is a gift from God through which we sing and pray and, using the very same syntax and parts of speech, can also order a burger at the drive through or tell a story to a two-year-old. Peterson describes the language Jesus used in his three embodied years by capturing a line from an Emily Dickinson poem: “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.” Particularly in Jesus’s parables, it’s clear how the truth “comes up on the listener obliquely, ‘on the slant'” (20) and then overtakes one with its clarity. His use of language wars against our natural tendency to compartmentalize speech into secular and sacred spaces. Jesus used the language of the people and the metaphors of his space and time to tell stories and to pray. Jesus in His Stories The four gospel writers differed in their focus, but collaborated in presenting the ways in which Jesus used language to preach, teach, and converse his way through first-century Palestine. Peterson zooms in on the ten parables unique to Luke’s gospel to illustrate Jesus’s “story telling way with words” (31) that give us deeper insight into God and His ways: Life is Personal by Definition “When we deal with God, we are not dealing with a spiritual principle, a religious idea, an ethical cause, or a mystical feeling.” (44) Avoid Chattering Godtalk “A lot of our talk about ‘the things of God’ is a way of avoiding the personal presence of God in the hurt and hungry people we meet.” (56) The World is Prodigious in Wealth “God does not barely save us, doling out just enough grace to get us across the threshold of heaven. He is lavish.” Jesus in His Prayers The language of prayer is “local and present and personal.” (160) Words that bubble up from the heart are the same when addressed to God or to a close friend. The six New Testament transcripts of Jesus’s prayers mentor readers in the language of prayer–and also in the absolute necessity of it in a following life. Peterson advises readers to leave room for silence in prayer, a form of punctuation in which monologue is transformed into conversation. Then, he cautions about the ease with which we can lapse into pretending to pray, to use, “the words of prayer, practice the forms of prayer, assume postures of prayer, acquire a reputation for prayer, and never pray.” (161) Jesus’s prayers sing his life of unity with God and shimmer with intimacy that invites us to advance beyond the “I’ll pray for you” narrative and jump into something more relational, substantial, and whole in our conversations with God. Involved and Participatory Language Peterson’s writing is almost unbearably relevant and always leaves me flipping pages to check for chapter endings because I’ve become saturated with more truth mid-chapter than I can absorb or assimilate. His insights crackle and spark, leading me into a new way of reading a familiar parable that intensifies its intended message and anchors it in the narrative arc of Jesus’s purpose as The Storyteller. Tell It Slant sets up a framework for exploring large and sweeping concepts (parables and prayer) using pictures and particulars harvested from Peterson’s experiences and deep understanding of Scripture. He advocates for a use of language that is both “involved and participatory” (68), a use of words that rejects complacency and guards our hearts against depersonalizing God. To that end, he offers the stories and the prayers of Jesus as a model for how language can witness to the holy while still anchoring us to this very real and startling world. Many thanks to William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Summer Sattora

    There's almost nothing more disappointing than when a friend recommends a book to you that they love and you...don't. (Maybe when the opposite happens: you recommend a book and the other person doesn't like it.) I almost DNF'd this so many times, but I stuck with it because I thought maybe it would get better. It didn't. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, although I have some clues. It felt like Peterson couldn't decide if he wanted the language he used to be on the scholarly level of N.T. Wr There's almost nothing more disappointing than when a friend recommends a book to you that they love and you...don't. (Maybe when the opposite happens: you recommend a book and the other person doesn't like it.) I almost DNF'd this so many times, but I stuck with it because I thought maybe it would get better. It didn't. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, although I have some clues. It felt like Peterson couldn't decide if he wanted the language he used to be on the scholarly level of N.T. Wright (whom he quotes often and praises highly at the end of the book, and whom I also admire greatly) or on a more "every day" level, similar to what he uses in The Message. It rode this shaky middle ground that kept tipping to one or the other and was incredibly frustrating for me. This line can be rode quite well, which you know if you've read any of the Crossan/Borg collaborations. But it just missed the mark for me. Even the moments where I thought he had something interesting to say got lost in the stuff that didn't work for me, although those moments were enough that I gave this a 2 instead of a 1. I kept feeling like I was being talked down to or talked at in a way that wouldn't leave room for discussion. His way or the highway. One moment that sticks out as a reason maybe why this book didn't work for me is when he says that he loves the hypocrites and not the tax collectors. I'm the opposite. And if he's writing to those hypocrites, then maybe he's not writing for me. This book has a lot of good reviews and has a good rating here, so I may be in the minority. I should also say that while it's not the Bible translation/interpretation I reach for, I do like The Message. I think it gives a good perspective on the Bible that helps in figuring out what's being said. I haven't read any other Peterson and after the struggle I had with this one, I won't be reading any more any time soon.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha McDuffee

    Peterson walks through Jesus' parables and his prayers as a framework for discussing the importance and sacredness of language. Each chapter can almost stand on its own, so this is great for devotional reading as well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    I don't know if you could ever go wrong by reading Eugene Peterson. It took me a couple tries to get going into this books, much to my discredit. His works have so much depth.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diane Chang

    Definitely requires multiple read. I was blessed to have a book group that would meet and discuss monthly. Changed and greatly impacted my prayer life and redefined what prayer is.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    I read Peterson because he makes me think. I don't tend to get as much out of his stuff some others, but I get a few good nuggets, and I know my mind has been challenged by his views and style.

  18. 4 out of 5

    David J. Harris

    Inconsistently helpful, but really shines in some spots.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andy Gore

    What can I say? This is Peterson's usual heartfelt and pastoral passion for prayer. Read, digest, be inspired and encouraged Jesus is praying for you.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Koenig

    2nd favorite in the series after “Christ Plays...”

  21. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    I’ve been reading the fourth book in Eugene Peterson’s Spiritual Theology series called Tell It Slant (borrowing the title from an Emily Dickinson poem). Peterson, like ususal, has a gift for expressing the depths of Christ in ways that are quite ordinary, relatable, livable — much like Jesus in his ministry. So far in the read, Peterson has been writing about the gift of language and how Jesus used language to inspire life and relationship with God the Father. We live in several genres of langua I’ve been reading the fourth book in Eugene Peterson’s Spiritual Theology series called Tell It Slant (borrowing the title from an Emily Dickinson poem). Peterson, like ususal, has a gift for expressing the depths of Christ in ways that are quite ordinary, relatable, livable — much like Jesus in his ministry. So far in the read, Peterson has been writing about the gift of language and how Jesus used language to inspire life and relationship with God the Father. We live in several genres of language — preaching, teaching, conversation, etc. Within these genres, the Gospel writers seem to gravitate to one or another. Mark – the preaching; Matthew – the teaching (cf. p.11ff in Peterson’s book). This leads us to the Gospel of Luke. Luke holds some of the most beautiful conversation pieces of Jesus — those moments like in 9:51ff when Jesus and his disciples are walking through Samaria and they’re having on-the-road, ordinary conversation using language like you and I use when we’re talking over dinner, on the phone with a friend, or out in the garage when we’re cleaning. Conversation. Personal, ordinary, with-God conversation. Throughout the book, Peterson writes about the power of story and parables. Parables and stories invite us in as active participants – our God given imaginations are fired up and we enter into the parable as participants. Jesus isn’t passing out information about the Kingdom and other things but instead he’s creating participants! The “travel narrative” that Peterson writes about contains these things so far in my reading: The neighbor parable. Instead of defining what a neighbor is, Jesus sends the guy out with a story – a story that impacts the soul in the life of being a neighbor. Definitions can depersonalize. We can out-smart the definition of a neighbor and skimp around being neighbor to certain people because they don’t measure up to our definition. “Life in the company of Jesus is not a discussion group but an act of becoming” (p.65). The friend parable. This one prevents us from using a special language for prayer, a language separate from the language we would use to talk to friends with. “Prayer, speaking and listening to God, is no more ‘spiritual’ than the words and silence we employ to get along in the world with one another. The way we talk in the company of Jesus is no different than the way we talk in the company of our friends” (p.65). A third parable is about a guy who makes a barn to try to store more possessions. Here we’re invited to see ourselves as a person who might be wanting to make a barn – for a good reason really: we have a lot of material things to take care of and to continue to mass up. We’ll use it for good, we promise. But here, Jesus speaks about the tendency for us to use the high-minded concerns we might have as a cover up for sin – namely or especially greed. Are our concerns for building a barn for our stuff outweighing our concern for making sure our neighbors have bread? The fourth (so far as far as I’ve read) is about manure. Manure is slow as it causes affect, change, life not unlike the resurrection. The story is about a farmer who sees an otherwise useless fig tree. He says, “chop it down.” The gardener replies, “well, let me put some manure around it and let’s give it another year.” This story invites us into the Jesus Way – a way that is filled with patience and even non-violence (physically, verbally or non) (or getting our way done when we think it needs to be done). This story creates in us a patience to see the minuscule tools of God at work (things like seeds, yeast, etc.). My overall take on the book and how it impacts with-God life: Life is about a story. Life with God is about living into the story with God in Jesus. The entry point is the forgiveness of sins and from there we’re in this process of transformation, not by information and dogmatics, but really by the Spirit using His Story and bringing us into it. Information alone is quite useless, but when we’re impacted by the Story, that’s when everything inside our teachings and information and all become alive within us. When we’re brought into the story, it’s not a passive existance. We’re enlivened and re-created. We don’t have much to do with how we have found ourselves in the story, but we are finding ourselves in a state of faith alive in action – renovated by the Spirit. May we all become better story tellers – telling our story in God because it is God’s story with us.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David

    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) I read these books out of order and "Tell It Slant" is sadly the final book in the series for me. The series is ve 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) I read these books out of order and "Tell It Slant" is sadly the final book in the series for me. The series is very good and challenging. Makes for a great Small Group resource for those that are ready to go "further up and further in." My dog-ears and notes from "Tell It Slant": -pg. 19 - The travel narrative of Jesus in Luke and the purpose of parables -pg. 59 - More on parables, "We cannot look at a parable as a spectator and expect to get it..." -pg. 64 - Poverty and Wealth -pg. 130 - Apocalyptic language as something useful in "waking up people who are sleepwalking through this world of wonders." -pg. 150 - God as a rival in the god-business; self as god(s)... -pg. 179 - good stuff about the "will of God," currently a very murky concept... -pg. 183 - praying for "our daily bread" is more than an acknowledgement of need. "It is a thankful embrace of a good creation and our place in the created order." -pg. 232 - Brilliant page! Taboos, stagnant religious atmosphere, nitpicking moralism, occupation, brutal and oppressive - in this place Jesus was a fresh breeze...walked among people with an ostentatious grace! -pg. 244 - Walking into the midst of sin and evil and death This is a great book about the language and stories of Jesus...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...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jason Kanz

    Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers (2008) by Eugene Peterson is the 4th book in his 5-volume spiritual theology series. As the subtitle says, Peterson uses the first part of this book to explore the stories and parables of Jesus and the second half to explore Jesus' way of praying. The first section the book was centered around the journey to Samaria described in Luke 9 to 19. On his journey, Jesus used the opportunity to teach his disciples, typica Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers (2008) by Eugene Peterson is the 4th book in his 5-volume spiritual theology series. As the subtitle says, Peterson uses the first part of this book to explore the stories and parables of Jesus and the second half to explore Jesus' way of praying. The first section the book was centered around the journey to Samaria described in Luke 9 to 19. On his journey, Jesus used the opportunity to teach his disciples, typically through the medium of parable. Peterson looks at how Jesus was not simply a theologian, but that he engaged people through the telling of stories. Too often, storytelling seems to be a lost art today, though Jesus was the master storyteller. In this part of the book, chapter 5 "Manure: Luke 13:6-9" was perhaps my favorite. Peterson, through one of the stories of Jesus, educates the reader that Jesus often does not work quickly. He writes, "Manure is a slow solution. When it comes to doing something about what is wrong in the world, Jesus is best known for his fondness for the minute, the invisible, the quiet, the slow--yeast, salt, seeds, light. And manure." In the second half of the book, Peterson introduces the reader to six prayers of Jesus. His exposition on Jesus' "high priestly prayer" in John 17 is essential reading for the Christian to know that we are invited to join in the Trinity. We are loved by a relational God who invites us in. Another important concept Peterson raised here was that of the importance of silence in prayer and in language, an oft overlooked virtue, particularly in modern culture. I would recommend this book, or any in the series, to those who want a deeper understanding of the spiritual life of the believer.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Al Gritten

    The fourth book in Peterson's Pentateuch of spiritual theology, this one explores the narratives that Jesus tells on the road to Jerusalem. Jesus spent his early ministry in Galilee (according to the 3 synoptics) and when it was time for his passion he told his disciples that they must travel to Jerusalem. To get to Jerusalem from Galilee they had to pass through Samaria - a land where Jews were reluctant to go, a place where Jesus would be an alien. All 3 synoptic texts explore this "travel nar The fourth book in Peterson's Pentateuch of spiritual theology, this one explores the narratives that Jesus tells on the road to Jerusalem. Jesus spent his early ministry in Galilee (according to the 3 synoptics) and when it was time for his passion he told his disciples that they must travel to Jerusalem. To get to Jerusalem from Galilee they had to pass through Samaria - a land where Jews were reluctant to go, a place where Jesus would be an alien. All 3 synoptic texts explore this "travel narrative" but Luke's is the fullest record and the place where we hear some of the parables of Jesus that we remember most. Peterson explores this travel narrative in Luke and what each parable might say to us today about our faith and our journey in Samaria. He concludes the book with a section on prayer as it relates to the narratives that Jesus tells. Peterson writes very well, his narrative is engaging and in addition to his expertise in linguistics, he brings his many years as a pastor and a seminary professor to bear on the understandings of the narrative text of Luke. But Peterson's book is not a dry textbook, it is an engaging exploration of the stories that Jesus tells and inspirational looks at the way they can, and should, shape us as Christians today. This entire series has been outstanding and I look forward to reading the last book!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Peterson loves language. He is very attentive to the way things are said and written. Just read his Bible paraphrase, or anything else he has authored! In Tell it Slant, Peterson turns his attention to Jesus' language in two particular areas: casual encounters, and prayer. The casual encounters occur in His "Samaritan journey," between His departure from Galilee, and His arrival in Jerusalem. This period of time was characterized by meandering, non-task-oriented conversations, and Peterson draws Peterson loves language. He is very attentive to the way things are said and written. Just read his Bible paraphrase, or anything else he has authored! In Tell it Slant, Peterson turns his attention to Jesus' language in two particular areas: casual encounters, and prayer. The casual encounters occur in His "Samaritan journey," between His departure from Galilee, and His arrival in Jerusalem. This period of time was characterized by meandering, non-task-oriented conversations, and Peterson draws out some fascinating insights on Jesus' perspective & focus. Then, Peterson turns to the words of Jesus in lrayer, showing how down-to-earth they are. The book is fairly long, and sticks to a similar theme over a wide variety of Scripture texts. As a result, I enjoyed reading it devotionally over the course of 3 years, slowly soaking it in. It might be a little repetitive if rushed through, but if taken gradually, it can increase your awareness of and appreciation for the language of Jesus in the everyday.

  26. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is the fourth book in a series, although each book can be read by itself as they do not really build on one another. I have greatly enjoyed each book in the series. Reading Eugene Peterson is a delight. His books give the feel that he is speaking right to you, having a conversation with you. The first half of this book focuses on Jesus' stories, all lifted from his encounters while traveling to Jerusalem in the middle section of Luke's gospel. These stories arose in everyday life as a respo This is the fourth book in a series, although each book can be read by itself as they do not really build on one another. I have greatly enjoyed each book in the series. Reading Eugene Peterson is a delight. His books give the feel that he is speaking right to you, having a conversation with you. The first half of this book focuses on Jesus' stories, all lifted from his encounters while traveling to Jerusalem in the middle section of Luke's gospel. These stories arose in everyday life as a response to questions and in normal conversation. Peterson's point is that our most spiritual conversations happen in our mundane, daily lives. The second section of the book looks at six prayers of Jesus. Jesus' prayers teach us how to pray. Peterson uses the metaphor of an acorn: Jesus' prayers are like an acorn out of which can grow a sort of oak tree prayer life. Overall, a great read and highly recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ginelle

    Peterson addresses the use of language, and it's importance in Christ's parables and prayers, as well as in how we as Christians communicate today. Having read The Message, I thought Peterson's text would be easy to follow - do not be fooled into thinking that. Peterson is a fantastical linguist, and he definitely lets you know it in Tell IT Slant. After trudging through the first chapter of strangely punctuated paragraphs and digressing thought, I was able to follow him more once he actually sta Peterson addresses the use of language, and it's importance in Christ's parables and prayers, as well as in how we as Christians communicate today. Having read The Message, I thought Peterson's text would be easy to follow - do not be fooled into thinking that. Peterson is a fantastical linguist, and he definitely lets you know it in Tell IT Slant. After trudging through the first chapter of strangely punctuated paragraphs and digressing thought, I was able to follow him more once he actually started talking about Jesus' parables. I finally got slightly comfortable with his writing style around ch 18, however I still had to struggle through meandering topic lines and paragraphs full of similes or metaphors for one thing. I got very little out of this book because it was so hard to follow and digest. I am going to keep it, and hopefully the next time I read it I'll be able to come away with more.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Blake Chenoweth

    Tell It Slant is Eugene Peterson's 4th volume in his conversations on spiritual theology series. This book is one of my favorites and I must admit I didn't think it would be. It's subtitle is on the language of Jesus in stories and prayers, and I am not a huge lover of languages as many of my friends are, but this book was spectacular. It inspired a couple of sermon series for us next year. One on the parables of Jesus and one on the prayers of Jesus. Two big themes that Peterson shares and chal Tell It Slant is Eugene Peterson's 4th volume in his conversations on spiritual theology series. This book is one of my favorites and I must admit I didn't think it would be. It's subtitle is on the language of Jesus in stories and prayers, and I am not a huge lover of languages as many of my friends are, but this book was spectacular. It inspired a couple of sermon series for us next year. One on the parables of Jesus and one on the prayers of Jesus. Two big themes that Peterson shares and challenges us to live out these stories of Jesus and to pray alongside him. If you are looking for a great book on the traveling narrative of the gospels this is it. He inspired me several times to put the book aside and look at the parables that many of us have read our whole lives with a new perspective. Another blessing of a read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Eugene Peterson is one of those mentors-from-a-distance for me. His depth, insight, and amazing mastery of language always feeds my soul and informs how I live, pastor, and write. This fourth book in his spiritual theology series is every bit as good as the ones that came before it. In this study of the parables and prayers of Jesus, Peterson draws out the way that Jesus talks about God with non-religious people. In addition to the insights he draws from the parables and prayers themselves, Pete Eugene Peterson is one of those mentors-from-a-distance for me. His depth, insight, and amazing mastery of language always feeds my soul and informs how I live, pastor, and write. This fourth book in his spiritual theology series is every bit as good as the ones that came before it. In this study of the parables and prayers of Jesus, Peterson draws out the way that Jesus talks about God with non-religious people. In addition to the insights he draws from the parables and prayers themselves, Peterson provides important windows into the method behind Jesus' storytelling, and invites the reader to consider the ways we can talk about God among people who are more interested in other things. Highly recommended!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I wanted to be able to give this book more stars. I had really high expectations, which were partly met but partly not. I found places in this book where I felt Peterson spoke with great insight and poignancy, but at other times I felt like he lacked focus. This is probably his writing style, which is quite different from many pastors/theological writers. I like his emphasis on how the language of Jesus was everyday, ordinary speech and not some special, divine "talk" that he used to speak about I wanted to be able to give this book more stars. I had really high expectations, which were partly met but partly not. I found places in this book where I felt Peterson spoke with great insight and poignancy, but at other times I felt like he lacked focus. This is probably his writing style, which is quite different from many pastors/theological writers. I like his emphasis on how the language of Jesus was everyday, ordinary speech and not some special, divine "talk" that he used to speak about religious or spiritual things. But in the end I didn't feel that Peterson conveyed this idea as clearly throughout the book as he might have. It's a worthwhile read nonetheless, but not as strong as I had hoped it would be.

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