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

by Eugene H. Peterson

Hardcover, 2008




The fourth volume in Peterson's best-selling "conversations" in spiritual theology Just as God used words both to create the world and to give us commandments, we too use words for many different purposes. In fact, we use the same language to talk to each other and to talk to God. Can our everyday speech, then, be just as important as the words and prayers we hear from the pulpit? Eugene Peterson unequivocally says "Yes!" Peterson's Tell It Slant explores how Jesus used language, particularly in his parables and prayers. His was not a direct language of information or instruction but an indirect, oblique language requiring a participating imagination -- "slant" language. Tell It Slant beautifully points to Jesus' engaging, relational way of speaking as a model for us today.… (more)


Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (2008), Edition: 1st Edition, 304 pages

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LibraryThing member StephenBarkley
Eugene Peterson's latest series of books have been the perfect blend of theology and spiritual formation. Unfortunately, this book lacked some of the quality that marked first three in the series. Here's why:

* He's more dependent on his sources in this volume (N. T. Wright, Kenneth Bailey, etc). If
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you've read Bailey in particular, Peterson's book becomes superfluous.
* The book is under-edited. Peterson's prose is unique, but left to itself it can become repetitious. One time I thought I had lost my place in the book only to find that he repeated the same phrase verbatim from a couple pages back.
* While the form of the book was the same as the earlier one, but the content felt lacking. Maybe because the parables and prayers of Jesus are so well known, it was hard for Peterson to bring new insights to life.

It's tough to write a review like this for Peterson—he's one of my favourite authors. Still, just like the best goalie can let in a few too many pucks on any given night (a better but more obscure metaphor: even GSP can get TKO'd by Serra), the best authors can put up the occasional lackluster performance.

I'll be looking forward to volume 5.
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