N. T. Wright wants to see today’s media-saturated church shaped anew by a form of worship and prayer that has shaped the people of God for centuries. In The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential (HarperOne) the churchman and biblical scholar calls our casual neglect of the Psalter a crisis in contemporary Christianity. Andrew Byers, a chaplain at St. Mary’s College at Durham University, spoke with Wright about aligning our values, theology, and perception of reality with the songs, poems, and prayers that saturated the hearts and minds of both Jesus and Paul.
Why would anyone need to make a “case for the Psalms”?
Over my lifetime, I have watched churches that used to sing the Psalms in their weekly worship cease to do so and often substitute modern worship songs. There is nothing wrong with modern worship songs. But I have seen the Psalms get a little neglected, then ignored altogether. At the same time, many churches that retain the Psalms use them in a way that fails to do justice to their richness and depth.