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Endorsements for “Forgotten Songs”

I previously posted the chapter titles for the forthcoming Forgotten Songs: Reclaiming the Psalms for Christian Worship, which is due out this

fall from B&H. As the book makes its way through the publication process, some people have been kind enough to give the book an early reading and share their thoughts. I have been very encouraged by the endorsements that have come in so far and have included them below.

“Saint Augustine once called the Psalter ‘the Old Testament in microcosm.’ All of the riches of the Scriptures filled in the mine of praise, prophecy and poetry that is the Psalter. These riches, however, need to be brought to the light of day so they might adorn the life of the Christian. This powerful edited volume by Ray Van Neste and Richard Wells does just that. It brings the wealth of the Psalms to the life of the church: to be sung, read, and practiced. No doubt this is a volume that will be used in colleges and seminaries in courses on the Psalter.”

Heath A. Thomas, Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“At a time when the Psalms and most of the great hymns of the 18th and 19th centuries are largely neglected in modern congregational worship, this book is a much needed wake-up call. Wells and Van Neste have edited a collection of excellent essays which remind us of the prominent place the Psalms have had for Christians from New Testament times onward. The authors urge us to consider once again the spiritual benefits of focusing on the Psalms, and give practical guidance for their recovery in church life.”

– Graeme Goldsworthy, Visiting lecturer in Hermeneutics, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia

“A generation ago James Smart wrote a book about the mainline churches entitled, The Strange Silence of the Bible in the Church. A generation later for different reasons the same has become true in evangelical worship services. This book is a precious resource to help the church recover the invaluable prayers and songs that God has given his people to address Him. To an often superficial church that hides its pain, struggle and doubt on the one hand, and fails to see the majesty and greatness of God on the other, Forgotten Songs can help churches and individual believers reclaim a strong dose of Biblical Reality. For future courses on the Psalms that I teach this book will be required reading!”

– Stephen G. Dempster, Professor of Religious Studies, Crandall University

“This book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the Psalms. Its authors bring together many perspectives, but are united in their conviction that the rediscovery of the Psalter encourages the ancient practice of living in the Psalms, the reclamation of canonical associations, the enrichment of coming into the presence of God with prayer and praise, and the renewal of congregational life. The essays lead the readers in a pilgrimage that takes them from the Old Testament to the New Testament, to the usage and interpretation of the Psalms in the Early Church and the era of the Reformation, and to our modern/post-modern context. The book includes various approaches to the use of the Psalms. I expect that this volume will encourage many to reassess their own theological, liturgical, and devotional practices.”

– Willem A. VanGemeren, Professor of Old Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Forgotten Songs of God: Reclaiming the Psalms for Christian Worship is a timely expression of timeless truths. Some readers will discover truths they did not know; other readers will remember truths they had almost forgotten; and still others will rejoice that notice has been taken again of how important the Psalms are in Christian worship, both public and private. All readers will be revived by this refreshing word about the Psalms of the faith. Here is an important book to help us recover the ancient words, still ever new.”

– Michael Travers, Professor of English and Senior Fellow of the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“While liturgical churches use the psalms regularly, many Baptist, Pentecostal, and other free church traditions do not. The impressive team of experts in this volume make the case that the Psalms enrich preaching, prayers, singing, and Christian living for every branch of Christianity. This volume is biblically sound and theologically rich, so it is practical to the core. Wells and Van Neste are to be commended for showing new audiences the great value of the Bible’s model songs and prayers.”

-Paul House, Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University

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