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Tag: psalms

A Politics of Producing American History and Ancient Sacred Memory

Who produces American history textbooks? Beyond historians’ work, this question demands a reckoning with political partisanship that creeps into the publication process of history textbooks. A comparable phenomenon can be traceable in ancient textualization of sacred memory. Acknowledging political forces in knowledge production helps renegotiate one’s perspectives on sanctioned discourses of historical memory in modern and ancient worlds.

Is God’s Kingship a Progressive Idea?

Kingship is an irredeemably hierarchical, patriarchal form of rule, right? Maybe not, says Psalm 146—if the king is God.

The Power You Have

Our problem is neither that we have power nor that we lack power. Many factors outside our control determine how much power we actually have. Our problem is that we fail to recognize the power we do have so that we can steward it well.

From Servitude to Service

The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob cried out for deliverance, and Yahweh heard them (Exodus 2:23). Notice carefully: Yahweh did not offer to comfort the Hebrews. Yahweh did not tell them to endure their situation because things would all work out in the end, or because after death they would be “in a better place.” Instead, Yahweh acted on covenant promises made with their ancestors by entering history.

Passing through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

We need to recognize that whether we like it or not, the global community is in this crisis together. Our survival depends on learning to share the abundance we have—our natural and financial resources, as well as scientific expertise and creativity—in the fight to combat climate change.

God’s Clean Water Act

Humans have grown exponentially in our propensity and power to conquer the earth itself. Despite being newcomers relative to neighboring species, humans usually behave as if we owned the place. But Psalm 95 speaks clearly: When we come into God’s presence—and there is no place God is more vividly present to us than in creation’s midst—the psalm says to come with thanksgiving, the polar opposite of greed.

The Ethics of Vengeful Prayer—Psalm 137

If we read carefully, we discover that no psalm is off limits for the early church. They needed them. And so do we.

Gods, Evil, and the Decision—Psalm 82

Liberal ethical tropes around “fairness” and “inequality” are not wrong. But they are not enough. Political theology needs the possibility of an absolute “No” in the face of injustice. It needs the decision.

The Politics of Praise—Psalm 148

Praise psalms may fail to raise our political antennae, but when we stop to consider what praise entails, we discover that praise makes the most daring political claims of all.

The Politics of Foolishness—Psalm 14 (D. Mark Davis)

Psalm 14:1, though popularly employed to dismiss non-theists as foolish, is principally targeted against practical atheism, against those who believe that justice is without force in the universe and that all that matters is power.