Monday, February 24, 2014
Psalms for Learning to Trust Again
By Glenn Pemberton
OVERVIEW: Nearly half of the psalms are "laments"―expressions of grief, trouble, and suffering combined with calls for God's help. Glenn Pemberton's previous book on Psalms, Hurting with God, describes how the lament psalms helped him express his heart honestly before God. In this rich book, he masterfully explores how the Psalter also provides the guidance and language we need for learning to trust God after lament. How do we live with a God who said "no" in our time of greatest need? Focusing on the psalms of trust, this books lays out the Bible's answer to this question. (From the back of the book.)
AUTHOR: Glenn Pemberton teaches Old testament at Abilene Christian University, including a popular undergraduate course on Israel's wisdom and devotional literature. Glenn has been a preacher among churches for over twenty years. He earned his PhD from the University of Denver and the lliff School of Theology, and is author of Hurting with God (ACU Press, 2012) and When God Calls: Will You Trust Me Now?
MY REVIEW: This is the best book I have read this year. Yes, I know the year is young. But for now, and I have a strong feeling my passion for this book will not change anytime soon. This book is a winner. I learned things from this book that I had never heard anybody discuss before. I preached for forty-seven years, and oh how I wish I had read this book before those years of preaching were over. I studied the Old Testament at Abilene Christian University where Dr. Pemberton now teaches but I never was taught anything about the Psalms like what is in this book.
I agree with the statement of Walter Bruggemann printed on the cover of the book: "In this book, readers will find a faithful, strong companion in the move into and out of lament, all in act of profound faith."
There is an excellent discussion guide in the back of the book. Is this a good book for a Bible class or a small group to use? If it is in the hands of the right teacher. Many classes and small groups do not have the kind of teacher I think is needed. I find no pleasure in saying this but I say it because I feel strongly it is true. Therefore, my recommendation is going to be that this is a book for serious students of God's Word. I read, re-read and prayed over large sections of this splendid book. I agree with Walter Brueggemann who said, "It is not easy in our culture of denial, to move into honest lament, complaint, and protest." Glenn Pemberton knows the pain of life and he knows how to express his heart honestly before God. I recommend this well-written, wise book to those who struggle with life. It will strengthen the faith of every student of God's Word.
( I received this book from Leafwood Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)