“The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential”
A new book on the psalms (popular level) was published today by N.T. Wright (see link). I hope this book will arouse some interest in one of the most neglected parts of scripture today. The Psalms were practically the guidebook for all Christian worship throughout the whole history of the church, and their virtual absence from contemporary evangelical worship is astonishing (a few noteworthy exceptions granted). From the book’s back cover:
Reading, studying, and praying the Psalms is God’s means for teaching us what it means to be human: how to express our emotions and yearnings, how to reconcile our anger and our compassion, how to see our story in light of God’s sweeping narrative of salvation. Wright provides the tools for understanding and incorporating these crucial verses into our own lives. His conclusion is simple: all Christians need to read, pray, sing, and live the Psalms.
For some years now, I have been in the habit of reading through the Psalms every month, and I cannot commend the practice enthusiastically enough. The morning and evening rhythm of readings from the Psalms anchors one’s prayer life in scripture in a way that nothing else can. If you’re at all interested in giving this a try, check out this schedule for reading the Psalms monthly (or even weekly), based on the divisions found in the Book of Common Prayer. Another thing worth adding to it, if you wish, is daily reading a chapter from Proverbs, which gets you through the book once a month as well.