A Spirituality of Listening: An Interview with Dr. Keith Anderson

This week on The Allender Center Podcast, Dan Allender is joined by his long-time friend and colleague Dr. Keith Anderson, President of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, to talk about Keith’s new book, A Spirituality of Listening: Living What We Hear. “This book is delectable,” says Dan. “The content is rich and compelling and life-changing, but also the writing is simply beautiful and comes out of Keith’s long history of the love of the Word and the love of words.”

Keith: “Listening is a spiritual practice, certainly, but it is first of all—I am deeply convinced—an act of defiant faith. […] It says that we are convinced that the living God continues to speak.”

KeithBookIn A Spirituality of Listening, Keith discusses how most of us have tamed Scripture into merely a source for information, ideas, or ammunition to be used in debates—rather than reading it and listening to it as one of the ways in which God speaks to us.

Keith: “My claim is that we need to have familiarity, an intimate familiarity, with Scripture. We need to listen well to the word of God in Scripture in order to train our ears to hear the voice of God in the familiar and ordinary voices of our lives. But our listening is contested on all sides.”

As we learn to listen for God more closely in our day-to-day lives, Keith argues that we will find ourselves living in “a world that is enchanted with presence.” In a culture that is inundated with screens and soundbites, this kind of listening requires intentionality and commitment. But, Keith stresses, it does not require isolation; we don’t have to retreat to the woods or climb a mountain in order to listen well.

Keith: “What are the other places, in my normal routine, where God might speak? How do I listen for presence and voice at home, or on my commute, or in the voice of my wife, or in the voices of co-workers?[…] At the core of this, it is a call to grow our capacity for sacred conversation. And I’m convinced that God wants to be in conversation with us throughout the day.”

Next week, Dan and Keith will continue the conversation about A Spirituality of Listening—particularly about Keith’s insights into how to listen to story in a deep and meaningful way.