Book Review: The Case for the Psalms: Why they are essential, N.T Wright

case_for_the_psalms_200wTitle: The Case for the Psalms: Why they are essential
Author: N. T. Wright
Publication details: New York, Harper Collins 2013
Summary: This short book is Wright’s personal plea for the continued use of the Psalms in the contemporary church, a call to join in the chorus of prayer and praise that has been going on for millenia. He argues that praying, singing and living the Psalms is transformative in deeply mysterious ways, shaping our imagination and therefore our worldview. He considers key ways the Psalms reshape our understanding of time (how they bring history and God’s future together), space (how they bring the reality of God’s presence to earth now), and matter (how they provide a glimpse of the new creation). The book concludes with a personal reflection on the power of the Psalms in his own life and faith.
Evaluation: This is a quick and easy read, but the ideas presented are inspiring and powerful. Wright draws together key themes from within the Psalms, and makes a passionate case for the place of the Psalms in our lives and in the worship of our churches. As always, Wright’s thoughtful scholarship lies behind his perceptive reflections, and here his pastoral heart is also revealed. This book will inspire readers to spend time in the biblical Psalms, as well as providing fresh and provocative thinking for the continuing challenge of how we express the deep mysteries of our faith in corporate worship.
Reviewed by: Rev Melinda Cousins
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