Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Crowder goes slumming /Psalming: Gilligan's Island, R-rated T-shirts, automated urinals, St. Airport...and sunsets and sushi

It draws from some of the
masters on Psalms: Bruegggman and Peterson..

and has profound theological reflection..

                                        often based on  such profound references as:

  • Gilligan's Island (midrash on the "two rescues" of Psalm 40),
  •       Nunzilla (see Appendix C)
  •                     the Pistol Smoker BBQ in Waco Texas (Psalm 63, map included)
  •                           a theology of automated urinals (as commentary on Psalm 84..of course! Obvious!)

  • It even deals with some serious semiotics by way of an R-rated T-shirt  (full story and T-shirt photo at this link:"David Crowder has 3 words for judgemental pastors"

What other book could this be but the wimpy-bearded David Crowder's "Praise Habit: Finding God in Sunsets and Sushi."   One reviewer has coined it "Dave-Barry-meets-David-the-Psalms," and it was originally marketed for teens.  But though it might suffer a  bit from"youth pastor" style at points,  I shelf it with no shame next to my  Brueggemann and NT Wright books on the Psalms.

" Here is a book about a guy who wants to give something back to God and is interested in helping you and me do the same. He might have accidentally stumbled upon the meaning of life. Dave Crowder is a good writer, and he dares to tell us the truth about himself and his calling. This one is worth reading." -Donald Miller, author, Blue Like Jazz

"I knew Dave was a sparkling musician and a wild, fun person. I knew he had crazy hair and made weird clothes fashionable. I also knew he was a man of honest and vital faith. I should have known he would be a truly extraordinary writer. Now I know! Praise Habit is a delight to read and good for the soul."-Brian McLaren, pastor, author, A New Kind of Christian 

Here are a few random things I like about this book..

Crowder tells a hilarious story which sucks us into a discussion of  public lament  seen from a new angle:  the night the power went out at the Holiday Inn:

"...every room was dark that winter Lubbock night at the Holiday Inn, and there was something shared in the darkness...To pursue praise properly we will bring our public moments into this pursuit, and in doing so we may even gain perspective.
 Walter Brueggemann writes about communal laments as "statements about the religious dimension of public events of loss..the recovery of this mode of psalmic prayer may be important if we are to overcome..the apathy that comes with abdication."
..We are all in our rooms when the darkness falls, and we must make effort and look each other in the eyes, or if the night still covers and we cannot yet see, we must reach out our hands to feel the lines on each others' weathered faces and fumble to trace and feel our mouths as they speak words of shared understanding and longing.  And in our embracing, sparks of praise will splinter the darkness like fireworks. (p. 98)

The fact that there  are "songs that won't let you out of the car."  (p. 146)

The challenge to "paint with fury." (p. 92)

The airport stories.
There has long been something sacred ..and scary?..about airports to me.
 We have even spent part of a "worship service" at our local airport.
I love to study at the airport.

First, he had me laughing about his adventures  in airports  meeting famous people...Richard Simmons, Mel Gibson and Bob Dole. (p. 51, in a section on Psalm 8).
But then, this, which morphed my laughter into mourning:

"and in airports I am occasionally afraid to watch other people, these spaces so full of dark and light.  It's like I absorb the pain..the joy..the place is just so full of humanity and the stuff of living--the sadness of departure, the happiness of return, the heaviness of individuality--those in constant motion and those sitting quietly waiting in covert inanimateness, thinking If I am still just enough  (From the Conclusion: Symptomology, p. 151)
Why am I afraid to be thus afraid? Why do I grieve not grieving?
Am I enough?...

Okay, to end on a light and frivolous note:
Do check out the copyright  page, where he has snuck in all kinds of stuff most readers will never catch.
And do use it to chart your bias towards penguins.  It's the only book I know of where the copyright page is worth the (full) price of the book..

Even that may be a profound lesson in spiritual formation and the Psalms (:

Oh, some links (from both sides of the wars):

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!