Prayer, Praise and Prophecy: The Theology of the PsalmsPrayer, Praise and Prophecy: The Theology of the Psalms
Geoffrey Grogan
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Are the Psalms included in the Bible just a collection of varied poems, or do they have an overriding theological concern which guided both their selection and placement? And if there is a theological concern behind the Psalms, what is it? These are two of the important questions that Geoffrey Grogan set out to answer in his book, Prayer, Praise and Prophecy: A Theology of the Psalms.

Grogan has written a clear and understandable introduction to the entire Book of Psalms. He examines the history of its study, the diversity of its authors, the variety of its forms, and the characteristics of its poetry, tying them all together within a theological framework focusing on God's relationship with His people. Looking at the major themes of the Psalms, one is struck by the awesome and incredible God that appears there. Grogan presents us with a beautiful overview of the God of the Psalms and His interaction with His people, ranging from His creation of them and His rule over them to His speaking with and meeting them to His protection and blessing of them.

Grogan also looks at the structure of the Psalms, attempting to illuminate the purposeful design of whoever compiled the individual psalms into a cohesive whole. Each of the five books tell a certain part of the story of God's interaction with His people, and their order and placement is actually quite significant, according to Grogan. And though the Psalms can't be read together as a whole because of the incredible amount of information, they should, nevertheless, be viewed as a cohesive unit.

Finally, Grogan looks at the fulfillment of the Psalms in the person of Christ. He examines how Christ interpreted the psalms, and how the life and ministry of Christ is the archetype that the psalms pointed to. He then offers information on how we should read and use the psalms today.

Though not as detailed and descriptive as a traditional commentary, Prayer, Praise and Prophecy is a remarkably substantial book, combining Grogan's obvious devotion to God with his impeccable scholarship. This is not just theology, not just literary scholarship, not just history, but a wonderful combination of all three. Written with a light and enjoyable tone, but filled with illuminating information, this book will broaden your awareness of the beauty, cohesiveness and worship inherent in the Book of Psalms.

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Praise for Prayer, Praise and Prophecy: A Theology of the Pslams, by Geoffrey Grogan.

Geoffrey Grogan's introduction provides an enlightening study of the rich theological heritage found in the Book of Psalms. Building upon the best of modern academic research, the author never loses sight of his desire to enable Christians to discover afresh how the Psalter serves as a witness to Christ. Written with both clarity and conviction, this study offers many fresh insights, while throughout affirming passionately the great central truths of the Christian faith.

T. Desmond Alexander,
Director of Christian Training,
Union Theological College, Belfast

Geoffrey Grogan has given us a marvellous handbook to the Psalms. He does not tack on theological themes at the end but places them front and centre, at the heart of the book, forcing us to face the God of the psalms. He has digested a mass of Psalms research and yet releases it in the most palatable and useful doses. I profited immensely from his treatment of the literary design of the Psalter; he helps us see in the Psalms a consciously coherent work (in five books) rather than random bits of poetry. If I were teaching a course on the Psalms, this would be my textbook.

Ralph Davis
Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson

Geoffrey Grogan brings out wonderfully the dynamic character of God's gracious engagement with his people, as represented in the Psalms, and his integration of the Psalter theologically with the rest of Scripture is profoundly helpful. He combines sound scholarship, illuminating insight, thoughtful reflection, and unashamed devotion with a faithful concern for highlighting the pastoral relevance of the Book of Psalms to the Christian's life in the real world. I commend this book warmly.

Eryl Rowlands,
International Christian College, Glasgow

Throughout the history of the Church, the Book of Psalms has provided an inexhaustible spiritual treasury for praise and prayer. Until recently most commentators and expositors have tended to explore the richness of individual psalms. However, the Book is more than a random collection of poetry, but one that has been skillfully and purposefully compiled. In this volume Dr. Grogan provides a knowledgeable introduction to the book as a whole, and by adeptly drawing on material from modern studies he brings out the interconnection between the psalms in two main ways. First he examines themes that recur throughout the Book and provide it with a unity that derives from the various aspects of God's relationship with his people. Then he charts the process by which individual psalms wer brought together to form the collections that eventually grew into the Book that we now have. Much light is thrown into its total canonical context by examining how the New Testament interprets the psalms and how we may appropriate them today. This is a volume that is written with reverence, care and clarity, and is a significant addition to evangelical literature on the Psalms. It is to be commended to those who wish to have new vistas on a well-known and well-loved part of Scripture, and also to studens who are looking for an entry point into modern literature on Psalms.

John L. Mackay
Free Church of Scotland College, Edinburgh

Geoffrey Grogan's name is sufficient to guarantee a quality work, a high doctrine of scripture and impeccable scholarship. The latter is carried lightly, but with sharp discernment of what is biblically sound, what is practically useful, and what outruns available evidence. The twenty pages of references are a small gold mine in their own right. If Grogan writes with one eeye on the specialist 'state of play,' the other eye is firmly fixed on being biblically illuminating to any and every Bible lover. This very full introduction to the Book of Psalms makes one hope that the author has in mind a full scale commentary to follow.

Alec Motyer