Apr 27, 2016 by Will Maule

Bono And Eugene Peterson Talked About The Psalms: Here Are The Most Inspiring Quotes

"I remember thinking "Great words, shame about the tunes," says Bono regarding his early experience of the Psalms in a Church of Ireland service. Eugene Peterson, on the other hand, found them hard to interpret having come from a theological background that took the word of God as wholly literal. 

But the two are coming together in a new project in order to promote readership of the psalms. They have released a video set in Peterson's incredibly scenic lakeside residence, where they discuss the power of the psalms, songwriting and the rawness of the words of scripture, spoken by desperate characters who were longing after God. "It's not smooth, it's not nice, it's not pretty, but it's honest," says Peterson. In light of the honest lamenting structure of the psalms, Bono offers some insightful advice for modern Christian artists and musicians. "I find a lot of dishonesty in Christian art," Bono says. "And I think it is a shame because these are people who are vulnerable to God, in a good way."

Bono believes that we need to get honest in our gospel songwriting. "Write a song about your bad marriage. Write a song about how you're pissed off at the government. That's what God wants from you - the truth. That truthfulness will blow things apart!" So how do we express ourselves in a violent world, where our feelings may be full of frustration, whilst still honoring God in our hearts? "We need to find a way to cuss without cussing," says Peterson. "The psalms do that. They just lay it out. I think they're really important. We've gotta have some way in context, in the context of the Bible, to tell people how mad we are."

Peterson also talks of how the cross should remind us of the violent world that we live in. "Where there's violence, there's got to be some kind of response. Is it more violence or less? I'm glad we have a cross in every room of this house. But when I look at those, I don't think of decoration I think that this is the world we live in, and its a world with a lot of crosses. And I just would like to spend my life doing something about that through scripture, preaching and friendship."

Peterson concludes "Now my years are getting shorter and I don't have nearly as many left, but I don't want to escape that, escape the violence."

Watch this powerful video below.

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