Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Taylor, W. David O. The Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life. Thomas Nelson, 2020.

What the plsams offer us is a powerful aid to un-hide: to stand honestly before God without fear, to face one another vulnerably without shame, and to encouter life in the world without any of the secrets that would mean and distort our humanity (3).

A congregation is a specific kind of community. We may share certain theological convictions; we may be drawn by particular cultural preferences; we may be unified by language or ethnicity. But if it's a healthy congregation, it will include people who don't like what we like, who don't think like we do, and who talk about God in ways that we find weird, dull, or off-putting (19).

In the Psalms we find words from God, we find words about God, and we find words to God. And all these words are the very words you and I need to pray well. All such words teach us how to talk to God and are, as such, a grammar for talking with God (39).

The imprecatory psalm leads to the cross of Jesus and to the love of God which forgives enemies. I cannot forgive the eneies of God out of my own resources. Only the crucified Christ can do that, and I through him. Thus the carrying out of vengence becomes grace for all men in Jesus Christ (89).

What the psalms of praise offered us, then, was "a vehicle for realistic but jubilant joy in God, taking up the good and the bad into a faith that always (even if it takes a struggle) results in praise of God (104).

Loving our enemies requires an extraordinary amount of humility (117).

Jesus invites us to discouver a deep communion with God and a rich communion with others. He invites us to discover how treating our neighbor justly is precisely the way to love our neighbour (129).