19 NECESSARY CONDITIONS OF A GOOD LOUD LAMENT WALTER BRUEGGEMANN Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA 30030 I. The Staged Recovery of Lament It is a truism that the Church in the modern world has been unfamiliar with and uninterested in the laments of the book of Psalms. Of that unfamiliarity and lack of interest, Claus Westermann, in his wave- making article, writes: It would be a worthwhile task to ascertain how it happened that in Western Christendom the lament has been totally excluded from . man's relationship with God, with the result that it has completely disappeared above all from prayer and worship. We must ask whether this exclusion is actually based on the message of the New Testament ' '. or whether it is in part attributable to the influence of Greek thought, since it is so thoroughly consistent with the ethic of Stoicism 1 In the context of the "theology of the cross" of Luther, the lament psalms (including Psalm 88) were important theological data. The new self-confidence of the Enlightenment, rooted in the reasonable capacity of the autonomous self, however, needed no such voice and, indeed, ' rendered such a voice nonsensical. Consequently, the lament
Horizons in Biblical Theology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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