The wicked, God, and me (Psalm 5, day 1)

Psalm 5 sounds perennial themes. These themes recur throughout the Psalter, throughout the Bible, and throughout the life of the person who would follow God and live righteously: wicked people, God, and oneself. What happens if we try to take this psalm as a paradigm, a model, of how to relate these three constants? TheContinue reading “The wicked, God, and me (Psalm 5, day 1)”

The tragic irony (possibly?) of white American evangelical Christianity

Everything that Jesus ever said was true, but not everyone who heard was able to grasp his meaning. Those in his environment who were most certain that they and not others possessed religious and spiritual truth—faithful disciples though they might believe themselves to be, and might to all appearances have been, of the same greatContinue reading “The tragic irony (possibly?) of white American evangelical Christianity”

Scriptures for the day

There have been people who have memorized vast swathes of scripture.  I wish I were one of them! I would love to be able to rehearse the entire Psalter from memory, as did some ancient monks. I would love to be able to answer yes, as did at least one well-known (among peers, not amongContinue reading “Scriptures for the day”

At the lowest point: hope

This year 2020 is a low year in the life of American Christians in so many ways. I will not enumerate them here, because we all know it, but we have different perspectives on how bad things are, and on what exactly is making them bad, and by enumerating them I would necessarily convey myContinue reading “At the lowest point: hope”

How to think and pray about wicked rulers (Psalm 58)

Psalm 58, like so many psalms, complains about human injustice but has a slightly different way of presenting the problem. Here the issue is cast as a drama in which the human actors are adam, the people, and elim or elohim, the “gods.” The narrator and suppliant—the psalmist—speaks on behalf of the people to elohim,Continue reading “How to think and pray about wicked rulers (Psalm 58)”

Striking a pose: Psalm 18 and positional righteousness

Picking up from yesterday: what has gone wrong with us—members and heirs of certain American Christian traditions—that what we believe and do diverges so starkly from the ways of the one we claim to follow? I said yesterday it’s all about truth. It’s also all about righteousness. The two are closely related. With regard toContinue reading “Striking a pose: Psalm 18 and positional righteousness”

Psalm 1 again: verses 1 through 3

Blessed is the man ESV retains the traditional masculine singular because unlike pluralized rewordings it preserves the possibility of figural reading as referring to Jesus Christ as the ideal human who fits the description given. And I guess somehow “Blessed is the human” or “the person” doesn’t quite have the same poetic resonance. Some ofContinue reading “Psalm 1 again: verses 1 through 3”

What the Lord does

Christians who do not think that their mission as Christians entails social and political work have not read the Bible, or have read it strangely. Psalm 146, one of the great psalms of praise that conclude the Psalter begins with “Praise Yah!” It ends with “Praise Yah!” (“Yah” being a shorter form of the divineContinue reading “What the Lord does”