The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  

 

Finally Comes the Poet

One of the works that has been deeply influential to my faith and to the practice of that faith as a preacher is Walter Brueggemann's Finally Comes the Poet. In it he writes:

"To address the issue of a truth greatly reduced requires us to be poets that speak against a prose world.  The terms of that phrase are readily misunderstood. By prose I refer to a world that is organized in settled formulae, so that even pastoral prayers and love letters sound like memos. By poetry, I do not mean rhyme, rhythm, or meter, but language that moves like Bob Gibson's fastball, that jumps at the right moment, that breaks open old worlds with surprise, abrasion, and pace.  Poetic speech is the only proclamation worth doing in a situation of reductionism, the only proclamation, I submit, that is worthy of the name preaching. Such preaching is not moral instruction or problem solving or doctrinal clarification.  It is not good advice, nor is it romantic caressing, nor is it a soothing good humor. 

"It is, rather, the ready, steady, surprising proposal that the real world in which God invites us to live is not the one made available by the rulers of this age..."

In the latest volume of Texas Monthly, Tom Bartlett profiles Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine, who is leaving his post to take one at Yale Divinity school.  In the article, we snatch a glace at Christian's faith history, one which is honest and conflicted, and which offers poetic proclamation. One of his observations: “I think people often make the mistake of believing that people turn to God because they’re scared. And I don’t know that that’s quite it. I think they turn to God because the noise of life has been turned off, and suddenly you can hear.”

One of my hopes for Wayne Presbyterian is it will be a home for all who are less intrigued by the noise of the prose world and more fascinated by the poetry that frames a life-giving gospel.  To embrace that identity, it means allowing ourselves to be comfortable with not knowing all the answers but  at the same time not allowing ourselves to be so comfortable that we stop seeking them. 

The article in Texas Monthly can be found here. I hope it moves for you like it did for me--with all the surprise of a Bob Gibson fastball.

Posted by Casey Thompson at 9:24 AM
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