Thursday, January 26, 2006

Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places

If you're looking for a good book on spiritual theology, you can stop looking. Eugene Peterson's Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places is his first installment in a five-volume Spiritual Theology (the 2nd volume, Eat This Book is now avaiable). The title, taken from a Gerald Manley Hopkins poem (who I recommend), reveals the universal yet particular focus of the work- Christ is everwhere to be seen, in all of life. Peterson writes: "The focused conviction expresssed here is that it is Christ, the God-revealing Christ, who is behind and in all of this living (p.3)." However, Peterson's approach is not radically Christocentric. Instead, he takes a deliberately trinitarian approach to spiritual theology, unpacking Christ and his relationship with the Father and the Spirit through three distinct movements/chapters: 1) Christ and creation 2)Christ and history 3) Christ and community. The thesis is simple; it's an invitation to join the perichoresis (~dance)of the Trinity in everything you do.

He begins by debunking popular notions of "spirituality," without throwing out baby and bathwater. He then moves into creation, history and community. I'm not finished with it yet, but so far, so good. At times, I wish the theological roots went even deeper, but he does a good job integrating "theology" and "spirituality."
In typical Petersonian style, his turns of phrases, vivid imagery and biblical-tehological thought blend together in a delightful read. It's the kind of book that's worth curling up with. It demands meditation, repentance, and worship.

Check it out or buy it, you won't regret it.