I love the Lord and he loves me.
I will not forget, and neither will he.
That was the poem that a seven-year-old Christian Wiman handed his pastor—during the altar call, no less. The young Wiman didn’t wait for a response or say a word, he just ran back to his pew. Soon after, the pastor published Wiman’s poem in the Southern Baptist Convention’s newsletter.
“I gave him a poem,” Wiman says on this episode of The Russell Moore Show. “That was my gesture of salvation.”
In the decades since, Wiman has wrestled with his faith, suffered from cancer, and continued to find meaning in writing poetry. On this episode, he and Moore discuss the poetry in Scripture, how Jesus engaged with suffering, and how poetry can help pastors in their preaching. They talk about why poetry can be intimidating, entry points for engaging it, and how poetry can reveal the joy in our lives.
Resources mentioned in this episode include:
- Zero at the Bone: Fifty Entries Against Despair by Christian Wiman
- My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer by Christian Wiman
- Joy: 100 Poems edited by Christian Wiman
- The Tree of Life
- Frederick Buechner
- “The Figure a Poem Makes” by Robert Frost
- Theology and Joy by Jürgen Moltmann
- “How the Poet Christian Wiman Keeps His Faith” by Casey Cep for The New Yorker
- W. A. Criswell
- Abraham Joshua Heschel
- The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
- Sara Grant
- The Sickness unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition of Edification & Awakening by Anti-Climacus by Søren Kierkegaard
- Miroslav Volf
- “The Ground of Being”
- Basil Bunting
- John Milton
- William Shakespeare
- William Wordsworth
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“The Russell Moore Show” is a production of Christianity Today
Executive Producers: Erik Petrik, Russell Moore, and Mike Cosper
Host: Russell Moore
Producer: Ashley Hales
Associate Producers: Abby Perry and McKenzie Hill
Director of Operations for CT Media: Matt Stevens
Audio engineering by Dan Phelps
Video producer: Abby Egan
Theme Song: “Dusty Delta Day” by Lennon Hutton