Top positive review
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Poetry of transformation...
on 17 December 2013
N.T. (Tom) Wright (previously Bishop of Durham and currently Chair of NT and Early Christianity at St Andrews) is always worth listening to, and this book is no exception. He makes a personal and passionate case for a greater emphasis on the Psalms within the liturgy of the church and the spirituality of Christians.
His case is rooted in an understanding of the original context of the Psalms (especially in the Temple worship of Israel) but is far from being simply a study of history and context. Rather he sees the Psalms as transformative: 'The regular praying and singing of the Psalms is transformative. It changes the way we understand some of the deepest elements of who we are, or rather, who, when, and what we are: we are creatures of space, time, and matter, and though we take our normal understandings of these for granted... the Psalms will gently but firmly transform our understandings of all of them.'
This book is readable and accessible, thoughtful and helpful, and although relatively brief it would serve as a good stimulus to reconnect yourself or your church with the Psalms in ways old and new. Based on reflections originally delivered in 2012 at a conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this book occasionally feels like an accumulation of talks rather than a planned work, but maybe that is in keeping with its subject!
If you are currently ploughing through volumes in his Christian Origins and the Question of God series then this book would provide light relief. If you are a regular user of his New Testament for Everyone series then this will be a good place to turn. A good book that has done me good!