Thursday, October 29, 2020

Soul Anatomy by George Robertson

The Psalms have been a part of worship and human expression for centuries. They help us understand ourselves in the light of God's truth, Robertson says. He takes us through twenty-five psalms with a running commentary on their content. He includes questions for thought and a prayer at the end of each study. The text is more in the style of a commentary than a devotional reading.

This is a book where readers might look to chapter headings and read about a psalm addressing a particular concern. When one is feeling abandoned, turn to Psalm five. Robertson reminds us God delights in paying attention to us. That is something we might not naturally believe so need to be reminded often. When being accused, Psalm 26 will help us experience God's peace. When we are waiting for God to move while we are facing difficulties, go to Psalm 27. And in Psalm 37 we find encouragement to change our focus to delighting in the Lord when life gets us down.

This is a book for Christians who are dealing with emotions during troubled times, such as depression. Robertson shares his own struggles with it and how the Psalms helped him. Reading about these Psalms will help readers learn how to give voice to their deepest emotions.

One word of caution, however. The Psalms are poetic expressions. The writers used many literary techniques such as hyperbole. I think we can get into trouble when we take poetic expression as doctrine. An example is Robertson on Psalm 5:11,12. “These are truths we can live by: God's protection and provision of grace is certain.” (Loc 469/3899) What does that truth of protection mean practically? How does that certainty of protection work for Christians being martyred today? We must remember, I think, that the Psalms are poetry and are to be treated as such.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

George Robertson has a MDiv and MTh from Covenant Theological Seminary and a PhD in historical and theological studies from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is the senior pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a council member of The Gospel Coalition. He and his wife have four children.

New Growth Press, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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