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The Psalms and the Life of Faith Paperback – September 1, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Walter Brueggemann is Professor Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and was a past president of the Society of Biblical Literature. His most recent books include Disruptive Grace: Reflections on God, Scripture, and the Church and Journey to the Common Good.

Patrick D. Miller is Charles T. Haley Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the author of numerous books, including "The Religion of Ancient Israel". He is coeditor of the Interpretation commentary series and the Westminster Bible Companion series. In 1998, he served as President of the Society of Biblical Literature. He was also editor of "Theology Today" for twenty years.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800627334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800627331
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fred W Hood on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Having read and/or perused, Finally Comes The Poet, Israel's Praise, The Prophetic Imagination, I decided to wade thru the waters of W.B.'s "out of the depths" of The Psalms And the Life of Faith! Chapter One is remarkable for 81 footnotes, most from Westermann, Wink, Ricoeur, Gunkel, Heschel, Buber and Barth.
W.B. favors writing, speaking, thinking in pairs: "creation and Israel, sun and moon, prisoners and widows, loss of certitude and loss of power... On the one hand, the faithful power of God destabilizes, puts us at risk... On the other hand, the faithful power of Yahweh makes new and leaves us with abiding astonishment, healing, forgiven, restored..."
Skipping over chapters to Pastoral care in the one he describes, Covenanting as Human Vocation... "distinct from a narrowly based psychology or counseling, means nurturing persons... into a fresh metaphor that holds the possibility of making all things new!" (What a magical wordsmith!)
This description of Pastoral care illustrates W.B. as having researched Paul Tillich's Theology as basis for Pastoral Care. He most likely is familiar with the marvelous stories of Fred Craddock, Abraham Heschel and Martin Buber. All of the above are related qualities for good pastoral care. I am so convinced of W.B.'s genius for writing, teaching, thinking, preaching, relating, that I look forward to the possibility of auditing his fall class in the Prophet Jeremiah.
Hopefully and Imaginatively, Chaplain Fred W. Hood
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INTRODUCTION
Concerned with the role that the Book of Psalms plays in the lives of worshipping Christians, Walter Brueggemann critically examines this text from several perspectives. Of these perspectives I am struck mostly by two which I will discuss in this paper.

"THE COSTLY LOSS OF LAMENT"
Brueggemann observes that the psalm of lament played a critical role in the spiritual lives of the Israelites. However, contemporary congregations lose the spiritual benefit of these psalms as they employ them neither regularly nor as an expression of their life challenges; hence the psalms become a casual text in their spiritual pursuits. Brueggemann believes that the congregation acquires a "loss of life and faith" when these psalms are not a part of their corporate experience. I find this an interesting notion and wonder which congregations lead him to this belief.

Not that I have worshipped in a statistically significant number of churches, but I have worshipped in enough traditional African-American congregations to render an exception to Brueggemann's belief. In fact, I avoid worshipping in such congregations precisely because of their emphasis on hymns of lament. These hymns do not necessarily come from the psalter, but they are of the same tone and I find them depressing.
Conversely I have also worshipped in churches that thrive as a part of the praise and worship movement. From this movement, traditional devotion and singing of hymns have been replaced or reduced by more joyous songs that focus on praising and worshipping God rather than focusing on needy human conditions and the cries for God to fix them. If these praise and worship focused congregations help to inform Brueggemann's assertion, I agree with him.
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Excellent!
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Brueggemann is unmatched in his profundity and clarity.
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Wonderful
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