Many Christians think that the imprecatory psalms provide models for how to curse one’s enemies. The hermeneutical assumption seems to be that the imprecatory psalmist’s declarations of hatred for his enemies and his desire that they be destroyed are sanctified and wholly correct statements and wishes. However, ask a person who takes that view when […]
Tired of the same old Christmas cards? According to the satirical Babylon Bee “news” site, this family unwittingly stumbled upon a brilliant alternative: imprecatory psalm cards. (Thanks to Samuel Choy for forwarding the Babylon Bee article to me.) After some reflection I’ve decided that this is not such a bad idea. At least your greeting […]
I’ve preached and spoken on the imprecatory psalms on several occasions. This past Sunday I preached my latest sermon on the topic, and it represents a further development in my thinking on the curses in the psalms and how best to appropriate them. The recording misses the first couple minutes of the sermon.
This past weekend I spoke on divine violence at Mountainside Baptist Church in Fernie, BC. My first talk was a sermon on the imprecatory (or cursing) psalms. These psalms express hatred of one’s personal enemies (which the psalmist assumes are God’s enemies as well), they describe God as hating the evil doers as well and as […]
Those who defend the voice of the imprecatory psalmist insist that there are times when it is appropriate to curse one’s enemy. And when is that time? Presumably when you are facing grave injustice at the hands of your enemies just like the psalmist faced. I can think of no greater injustice than an innocent […]
Over the past year I’ve been under attack by a handful of Calvinists who have attempted (among other things) to ensure that I lose my job. Their attacks have been characterized by quote-mining, misrepresentation, and outright deception. For example, I’ve been accused of denying inerrancy even though I have explicitly endorsed inerrancy (properly defined) as […]
A few days ago I commended Psalm 137 as an ideal text for family devotions. This is admittedly quite a change from the silent treatment that most Christians give the psalm. That silent treatment arises from Christians being (rightly) shocked by the content and unsure what to do with it. In the article my daughter described […]
Today Jerry Shepherd offered a comprehensive reply to a number of his interlocutors (moi included). It is of sufficient conceptual weight and length to warrant being in a blog post. I am grateful to Jerry for the time he invests in the blog, and given the amount of material here I thought I would take […]
In an earlier thread (“Singing the Praises of the Imprecatory Psalms”) I said to David Houston: “by your logic the unimaginable torment of those in hell is a cause for delight. And many Christians from Tertullian to John Piper have agreed with you.” David was happy to find himself in this venerable tradition. And so […]
I have been having a very interesting conversation with David Houston (https://randalrauser.com/2011/12/does-love-of-ones-spouse-require-hatred-of-all-others/) which is very illuminating as it touches on some deep issues. The matter of discussion concerns the cursing psalms. I have decided to include some of that conversation here and then offer some further reflections. It opens with David commending the singing of […]
Let’s begin with the question we ended off with last time: “why did God include the voice of the imprecatory psalmist along with that of Jesus?” To answer that question (or at least provide one possible, and to my mind very plausible, answer), we should look first at another text: 2 Samuel 12. Here’s the […]
Does God really hate the wicked? Does he ask us to? The Psalms would seem to suggest this but C.S. Lewis offers us another approach.
We all tend to look at life through rose-colored glasses, at least rose colored where our own assumptions are concerned. As I noted last time round, this is certainly evident in the way that Christians tend to read the psalms, meditating on the praises, thanksgiving and wisdom while screening out all the imprecations. And I […]
I just got back from a conference I spoke at in Vancouver, my topics being genocide, doubt, and the imprecatory (cursing) psalms. I offer here some initial thoughts on the imprecatory psalms. A friend of mine says, “I know what you mean by what you do.” Evangelicals say that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is […]