Eugene Peterson continues his discussion and looks at four terms in spirituality. The first term is “spirituality” itself. The word has a wide range in current culture. “Once used exclusively in traditional religious contexts, the word is now used quite indiscriminately by all sorts of people in all sorts of circumstances and with all sorts of meanings. This once pristine word has been dragged through the rough-and-tumble dirt of marketplace and playground.”

Some would suggest abandoning the word, but we can hardly describe the “with-God life” apart from the word spiritual. Peterson concludes, “The current usefulness of the term is not in its precision but rather in the way it names something indefinable yet quite recognizable–transcendence vaguely intermingled with intimacy.”

Peterson is saying we have a hard time describing what “spiritual” is, but we know it when we see it. However, we still have some clarifying work to do because of the current culture. We may need to expand our current understanding of what is “spiritual.”

Peterson writes, “Superficial misunderstandings can be easily disposed of: Spirituality is not immaterial as opposed to material; not interior as opposed to exterior; not invisible as opposed to visible. Quite the contrary; spirituality has much to do with the material, the external, and the visible.”