Re-evaluating an Author

I did not like Walter Brueggemann’s Theology of the Old Testament. It was inaccessible, ethereal and elusive… and it was verbose. I didn’t like it so much, that I almost missed what may prove to be a phenomenal book.

Where Theology of the Old Testament is a massive tome of a book (700+ pages) this one is 77. Perhaps if Brueggemann had limited himself to the same brevity…well, nevermind.

Anyway, I may be jumping the gun, because I’ve just finished the Preface. However, if the Preface is any indication then Spirituality of the Psalms is going to be a great book!

Listen to some of these quotes:

We understand in baptism that the loss of control of our lives (disorientation) is the necessary precondition of new life (new orientation). – pg xi

…Psalms…is finally an act of hope. But the hope is rooted precisely in the midst of loss and darkness, where God is surprisingly present. – pg xii

…the Psalms invite us into a more honest facing of the darkness. The reason the darkness may be faced and lived in is that even in the darkness, there is One to address….Because this One has promised to be in the darkness with us, we find the darkness strangely transformed, not by the power of easy light, but by the power of relentless solidarity. – pg xii – xiii

But the psalm writers will not tolerate a faith in which human well-being is not honored. – pg xiv

Well, I start Chapter One tomorrow. I’ll let you know if the rest of the book is as good as the Preface has promised.

P.S. I started reading Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer today too, so I’m not sure which I’ll read tomorrow…

2 thoughts on “Re-evaluating an Author

  1. Didn’t read anything today…worked in the yard and played with kids…even better use of time!

    Bought each of the older kids a new bike as they had out grown the previous version. Fixed handlebars, and re-tightened training wheels all afternoon, after multiple crashes and “lay-downs.”

    Great fun!

  2. In that case, the viewpoint of the book is definitely not existentialist, because Brueggemann makes it clear he believes the message of the psalms is that whatever season of life we find ourselves God is there, and the psalms are intended to give expression to the reality of God’s presence in (to use his words) orientation, disorientation, and new orientation.

    I made it through page 12 this morning, and I’ll post a review once I’m done.

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