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Having Ears, Do You Not Hear?

Ancient practices help us stop merely studying the Bible, and start listening to it.

The Bible is not a textbook. Nor is it a manual to be studied, mastered, and mechanically applied. Instead, pastor and author Eugene Peterson believes we should listen to the Word of God and reflect upon it like poetry till it infiltrates the soul. Peterson is best known for The Message, his paraphrase of the Bible. But in Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading (Eerdmans, 2006), he draws upon the ancient practice of lectio divina as a way for leaders to humbly listen to Scripture and experience transformation. Leadership's managing editor, Skye Jethani, spoke with Eugene Peterson about spiritual reading, and how the practice allows busy pastors to slow down and listen once again to God.

When were you first introduced to lectio divina?

To tell you the truth, I can't remember. But I was doing lectio divina long before I ever heard the term. In high school I was very much involved in poetry. You cannot read a poem quickly. There's too much going on there. There are rhythms ...

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