Meet the Man Behind the Bono and Eugene Peterson Conversation
Image: Photo by Holly Fish

In the short film The Psalms, Eugene and Jan Peterson welcome an unusual visitor to their lakeside cabin in Montana—Bono.

Peterson is the author whose Bible paraphrase The Message has sold millions of copies. Bono is a global activist who sings with an Irish rock band. The two sit together at a table, sipping tea and talking about their shared love of the psalms. Watching them interact is like seeing “a 12-cylinder Maserati next to a horse-drawn carriage,” says the film’s producer, but the contrast is what makes the conversation so interesting.

“Is it a mash pit?” Peterson asks, recalling his first U2 concert.

As Bono and Peterson converse, the camera cuts now and then to the producer’s far less recognizable face—a man in his early 40s asking questions and nodding. His name is David Taylor; he’s an assistant professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary’s Houston campus.

At first glance, the film simply offers two celebrities chatting about music, mosh (not mash) pits, and the psalms. But for Taylor, the two men embody his own long-term mission. Bono’s music is infused with biblical passion, while Peterson leads with the soul of an artist and writes with the soul of a poet. Cultivating those kinds of artists and pastors—and kindling friendships between them—is the heartbeat of Taylor’s work.

Although the church has made strides in the past few decades to revive its historically rich relationship with the arts, many congregations still strain to bridge the divide between artists on one side and pastors and worshipers on the other. Artists often speak and work in ways remote from mass culture and everyday experience, while many ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
From Issue:
Read These Next
Also in this IssueWhat It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College
What It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College Subscriber Access Only
The evangelical university has received negative press on LGBT matters. My own experience paints a different picture.
RecommendedCover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church
Cover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel ChurchSubscriber Access Only
Some visitors claim to be healed. Others claim to receive direct words from God. Is it 'real'--or dangerous?
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickThe Refugee Ban Is Back, But Church Connections Might Trump It
The Refugee Ban Is Back, But Church Connections Might Trump It
World Relief wants clarification over today’s big Supreme Court decision.
Christianity Today
Meet the Man Behind the Bono and Eugene Peterson Conversation
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2016

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.