Miserable Christians Revisited

Some time ago, I wrote a short article entitled 'What Can Miserable Christians Sing?'   Over subsequent years, I have had a lot of friendly correspondence as a result of that piece and it has been reprinted in numerous church newsletters and posted on various websites.  Then, earlier this year Jonathan Leeman, of 9Marks Ministry, kindly asked if I would write a further piece, reflecting on the original article.  This has now been published in the 9Marks Journal.  Here is a taster:

The article was intended to highlight what I saw as a major deficiency in Christian worship, a deficiency that is evident in both traditional and contemporary approaches: the absence of the language of lament. The Psalms, the Bible's own hymnbook, contains many notes of lamentation, reflecting the nature of the believer's life in a fallen world. And yet these cries of pain are on the whole absent from hymns and praise songs. The question that formed the article's title was thus a genuine one: what is it in the hymnody of your church that can be sung honestly by the woman who has just lost her baby, the husband who has just lost his wife, the child who has just lost a parent, when they come to church on Sunday? The answer, I suggested, was the Psalms, for in them one finds divinely inspired words which allow the believer to express their deepest pains and sorrows to God.

You can read the whole piece here.