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Singing Psalms When Miserable – Carl Trueman

March 29, 2007
Carl Trueman writes an excellent article in the new edition of Reformation21, entitled Where (or How) is Authenticity to Be Found. The basic question the article attempts to answer is “what does the miserable Christian sing?’ Here is a portion of it:

Some years ago I wrote a short editorial for the journal Themelios entitled `What do miserable Christians sing?’ It took me about thirty minutes to write, edit and email to head office; yet of all the things I have ever written, I have received more – and more positive – correspondence on that short piece than on anything else I have ever done. What was my basic thesis? That the typical Christian church offered the broken-hearted nothing whatsoever to sing in praise to God on a Sunday; and in so doing, the church was failing in her duty to care for the hurting, the downtrodden, the depressed. The answer I proposed was a recovery of psalm singing, not on the grounds that psalm singing is the only pure form of worship but because it offers a truly deep and authentic idiom for expressing the full range of human emotion and experience to God in the very act of praising him. No hymn book or collection of choruses of which I am aware even comes close to offering what the psalms offer in this regard.

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