I have noticed it, too. Use of the book of Psalms in Christian worship seems to be dwindling.
When I was a boy, our Presbyterian Church's hymnal had a section in the back called "responsive readings." My recollection is that almost all of them were drawn from Psalms. And hardly a Sunday went by without use of this section.
Today I may see a snippet of a psalm in our worship bulletin or hear reference to one in a sermon or sing a hymn drawn from one. But the book of Psalms no longer has a central place. And I'm guessing this may be true in other faith communities.
Wright, one of today's most prolific Christian authors, makes his case well. And makes it not just with scholarly insight into the psalms and why they served as the hymnbook of the early Christian church, but also with personal stories of what these sacred Hebrew poems have meant to him.
He pretty much avoids the question of who wrote them. A wise decision, given scholarly disagreement about that. (Recently here on the blog I wrote about a new book on King David that asserted that David, despite conventional wisdom, did not write the psalms.)
In many religious communities, such as monasteries, the psalms are read every day as a routine part of worship. One reason is that they express a wide range of emotions and reflect the human condition in many ways.
Wright is right that both Christians and Jews lose something important if they aren't marinated in the book of Psalms. As he writes: ". . .to neglect the church's original hymnbook is, to put it bluntly, crazy."
Not only can psalms put us in a world in which theology makes more sense, but when we read the psalms we are reading what Wright calls "the great epic poem of the creator."
That's reason enough for me.
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CASTING A BAD SPELL
Vatican-issued commemorative medals had to be recalled when it was discovered that the name Jesus was misspelled as Lesus. One more way infallibility doesn't apply.
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P.S.: I have just today confirmed the dates for my 2014 Ghost Ranch class, "Turning Our Pain Toward Hope Through Writing." It will be the week of Aug. 11 and we'll be meeting in the retreat atmosphere of Casa del Sol on the grounds of the ranch in northern New Mexico. More information is here, and as soon as an online catalog is available for registration, I'll post a note on the blog.