Book #35. The Case for the Psalms, by N.T. Wright. Unabridged audio.
Most of N.T. Wright’s long bibliography is made up mostly of academic and semi-academic works, focusing on life in first-century Israel. He has made great strides in explaining the world that Jesus and Paul came from.
But in this small book, Wright is more reflective. He turns his attention to the Psalms, the Hebrew book of prayer and worship, the great hymnbook of the Bible. He calls for modern Christians, whether they worship in a liturgical manner or not, to include regular reading of the Psalms in their daily lives. He takes a broad swipe at modern worship music, calling musical leaders in church to write more songs that incorporate or reflect content from Psalms.
The subtitle of the book is “Why They Are Essential.” In answering that question, Wright talks about his own devotional practices, giving many examples of how Psalms have been meaningful in his life. This is perhaps the most time that Wright has spent in any of his books talking about himself and his life.
The walks through the Psalms, section by section. This structure enables Wright to bring his academic expertise to the material. He provides historical, literary, and spiritual contexts for reading these hymns, but is able to do that in a highly readable manner.