U2 lead singer Bono will release a short film about the Psalms that was made in collaboration with Eugene Peterson, a retired Presbyterian pastor and author of The Message.
The 20-minute film, Bono and Eugene Peterson: The Psalms, is set in Peterson’s Montana home and in New York’s gallery for the International Arts Movement and follows a conversation about the book of Psalms as the foundation of their friendship.
Bono became friends with Peterson after they met in 2010 during U2’s 360 Tour.
The documentary is produced by Fourth Line Films and directed by Fourth Line’s Nate Clarke. The NBP notes that the film is the first production to be released by the Pasadena school’s new website, Fuller Studio, a resource from Fuller, a seminary founded by a 1940s preacher who reached the masses through radio broadcasts.
“Our hope is that as a result of watching the film, people will be curious or inspired to read the Psalms themselves and to discover this remarkable book of poetry in Holy Scripture that has captured Bono and Eugene’s imaginations,” David Taylor, the film’s producer and director of Brehm Texas, which is an initiative of Fuller Seminary’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts told the New Boston Post. “Their conversation at the Peterson’s home in April 2015 represented their second time to meet and it proved to be a very lovely afternoon together.” The film will “connect with fans of U2, fans of Eugene’s writing, church and lay leaders, artists, worship leaders, and folks involved in the intersection between faith and culture.”
The Message, which was published in segments from 1993 to 2002, seeks to capture the tone of the text and the original conversational feel of the Greek, in contemporary English.
“While I was teaching a class on Galatians, I began to realize that the adults in my class weren’t feeling the vitality and directness that I sensed as I read and studied the New Testament in its original Greek,” Peterson said of why he wrote The Message. “Writing straight from the original text, I began to attempt to bring into English the rhythms and idioms of the original language. I knew that the early readers of the New Testament were captured and engaged by these writings and I wanted my congregation to be impacted in the same way. I hoped to bring the New Testament to life for two different types of people: those who hadn’t read the Bible because it seemed too distant and irrelevant and those who had read the Bible so much that it had become ‘old hat.'”
In a 2002 interview, Bono revealed that he read parts of the Psalms from The Message to his dying father.
Bono often talks about the importance of his Christian faith and includes spiritual themes in many of his songs. He has also suggested that Billy Graham played a significant role in his coming to faith, even giving tribute to the world-famous evangelist in the introduction to a song, “Thank you Billy Graham.”
In a 2013 interview with Irish news channel RTE, Bono expressed a belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ: “[Who is Christ] is a defining question for a Christian…you’re not let off easily by saying a great thinker or philosopher…he went around saying he was the Messiah…he was crucified…because he said he was the son of God. He either was the son of God…or nuts…[and] I find it hard to accept that millions of lives… have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nut. I don’t believe it.”
Bono and Eugene Peterson: The Psalms is out now.
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