From Whom No Secrets Are Hid: Introducing the Psalms

Walter Brueggemann, edited by Brent A. Strawn. Westminster John Knox, $30 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-6642-5971-6
Pre-eminent biblical studies scholar Brueggemann (Sabbath As Resistance) says Psalms are ultimately therapeutic in that they allow the reader to disclose everything, even secrets. Taking his title from the prayer for purity in the Anglican tradition, Brueggemann demonstrates how the rawness of emotion in the Psalms, however uncomfortable for some, is exactly what is needed to reveal common humanity. What can’t be told perforce must be told and full disclosure—to oneself and to God—keeps individuals healthy. An introduction is followed by Psalm categories: praise, lament/complaint, and thanksgiving. Examples include both the Psalms believers will find familiar and those rarely found in liturgy, Psalms which may not fit with the tone of contemporary worship. This is not an exhaustive work, nor does Brueggemann intend it to be. Its usefulness and uniqueness come from the idea that in praying all of the Psalms, those who pray them come to self-acceptance. He concludes with extensive notes and an appendix that explains his earlier classification system for Psalms into three categories: orientation, disorientation, reorientation. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/14/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
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