Westminster Speaks

Westminster Speaks


What Can Miserable Christians Sing?
Posted May 25, 2010 By Carl R. Trueman

"Some years ago I wrote a little article, `What Can Miserable Christians Sing?'  I dashed it off in about 30 minutes one afternoon, and yet I have received more positive letters and emails about that one little piece than anything else I have ever written.  It seemed to strike a chord.

"My thesis was very simple: there is nothing in the typical book of hymns or praise songs that a woman who has miscarried a baby, or a parent who has just lost a child to cancer, can sing with honesty and integrity on a Sunday.

"The desperation and heartache of such moments are things which we instinctively feel have no place in a religion where we are called on to rejoice in the Lord always.  Yet there is a praise book which taps such emotions and gives the broken-hearted honest words with which to express their deepest sorrows to God.

"It's called the book of Psalms; and its recovery as a source of public praise in the Christian church can only help the church overcome its innate triumphalism and make room for the poor and the weak; that is the very people that Paul alludes to in 1 Corinthians which are the normal kind of church member.

"And today I find the article has once again returned to my inbox; this time cited by my friend, the well-known British journalist, John Macleod.  Who would have thought that a 30 minute editorial would have such an apparently long life?" - Rev. Dr. Carl. R. Trueman

Read the London Times article.