The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship

The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship

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  • Author(s):
  • Published: January 22, 2007
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
  • Page count: 189
  • ISBN: 978-0-8028-0767-0
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The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship

In this concise yet comprehensive guide to using and praying the psalms in worship services, John Witvliet first offers summary of key biblical-theological themes related to the practice of worship, and he continues with reflections on every step in the process of preparing to use the psalms in worship, drawing on insights from writings in the history, theology, and pastoral practice of worship, liturgy, and preaching. Including patristic testimonies as "prelude" and both Reformation-era and modern testimonies as two "interludes," the volume also offers a comprehensive list of currently available liturgical and musical resources.

Witvliet offers a first—a book designed to speak at once to both "traditional " and "contemporary " worship practices. The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship will appeal to a wide range of readers, including college and seminary students, scholars and teachers, church educators, worship leaders, musicians, and librarians.


Theology Today
"In a climate of theological specialization and isolation, Witvliet offers an excellent integrative resource that invites joint learning and prayer."
Parish Liturgy
"I would recommend this book highly to parish personnel, from priest to musicians to lectors to liturgy planners. It's clear, well written, and well informed. This book is a true service to the whole Church, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant."
Bryan D. Spinks
—Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School
"The Psalms are the canonical hymnbook of both synagogue and church, but in much contemporary worship they find little place. John Witvliet gives a robust defense of their spirituality and theological inspiration, and provides sound pastoral advice and useful resources to enable ministers and worship planners to place them at the center of authentic biblical worship."
Dorothy C. Bass
—Valparaiso University
"Worshiping communities that accept John Witvliet's invitation to read, sing, pray, study, and share the Psalms more deliberately will find themselves on a path to deep formation in biblical faith. . . The rich array of helpful resources gathered here will equip worshiping communities to walk that path with attentiveness, creativity, and gratitude. An inspiring and informative book, especially for those who are called to lead congregations into the treasures of the Psalter as pastors, worship leaders, musicians, and educators."
Walter Brueggemann
—Columbia Theological Seminary
"Practical theology of the highest order. Witvliet's work is deeply grounded in good critical study and in the teaching of the church tradition. But his eye is on the congregation where the Psalms take on new life in each fresh rendering, and he stands alongside other practitioners of prayer and praise who move back and forth between text and context. His book is an immensely rich resource for such practice."
J. Michael McMahon
—National Association of Pastoral Musicians
"This book has something for everyone ? pastors and musicians, scholars and practitioners, worship specialists and ordinary worshipers. John Witvliet has skillfully synthesized and presented contemporary biblical scholarship on the Psalms, historical material on the liturgical use of the Psalms in various Christian traditions, practical suggestions on using the Psalms in worship in various churches, and a wealth of resources for studying and singing the Psalms."

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