Metaphor and the Psalms

I wrote a paper on the different voices that come into play in the book of the Psalms (possible future post) and came across a great quote by Eugene Peterson.

He writes in Answering God:

Metaphor is the psalmic antidote to the dematerializing venom of the gnostic. This language is so ruggedly and inescapably material. If we live in a country of shepherds, and know what if feels like to carry a shield, and have occasion from time to time to enter a fortress, and then address God as shepherd, and shield, and fortress, our metaphors bring us closer to the material world at the same time they bring us closer to God. When we pray we do not rise above the commonplace of the material, but embrace them, and in embracing them to find intimacy with the one who made them. Materiality is affirmed as precious.

Peterson is speaking of guarding against a kind of elitism- that we are some form of high society. And how often we live that way in our daily lives- even just our minds. This reminds me of the first chapter of I Corinthians, where Paul tells us over and over- we are not big and strong and cool. We are the lowly and the simple.

Some other thoughts: Is Christianity the only consistent worldview to embrace care for creation while also affirming human dignity? And of course, ideas like this break down the sacred/secular barrier.