John Piper is well-known not only as a preacher, but also as a poet. In this article, he points out carefully that one third of the Bible is poetry, and why that might be.
He gives two reasons:
- it expresses the inexpressible – or at least tries to
- it is slow communication, it forces the reader to slow down, to take in the nuances
He has written a short article, whereas a few weeks ago on this blog, we’ve heard a much longer videoed talk by Canon Oakley, on why poetry is important to the church and belief – under the title “resonance, not relevance”.
However, Christian denominations being what they are, it’s helpful to have leading figures in different branches of the same tree/vine saying the same thing.
For those writing poetry (or sermons), I’d warmly recommend listening to John Piper’s talk on George Herbert, and writing as a spiritual practice. Viewable here.