Monthly Archives: March 2011

A review of Michael Lefebvre’s book “Singing the Songs of Jesus”

Rev. Malcolm Maclean of Greyfriars Free Church provides a review of Singing the Songs of Jesus. Here is a sample:

“This easily-read book by the best publisher provides an interesting approach to using the psalms. It is not a defence of exclusive psalmody (although the author wisely agrees with that view). Instead the book is about spiritual benefits that individuals and congregations will receive through using the Psalms in their worship services. Even at a basic level, the Psalms, because they are divinely inspired, inform us of the features that God wants us to sing about when we are worshipping him…

…Since Jesus sings the psalms with us, it means that in a sense the psalms are conversations with Jesus about various aspects of his person and work. The author explores this reality in chapters 3 and 4. When using the Psalms, sometimes we sing with the King about God and his ways, sometimes we sing to the King, and sometimes we sing to one another in the presence of the King. In the Psalms, we sing about his deity, his humanity, his birth, his life, his love of God’s law, his atoning death, his resurrection, his ascension, his exaltation, his kingdom, his return, his role as Judge, his role as Priest, his role as Prophet, his role as Shepherd, and many other facets of his person and work. The author here helped me understand further how Paul could in Colossians 3 equate the communal singing of ‘psalms, hymns and spiritual songs’ with the ‘word of Christ’…
  
…In this short book of 160 pages, we have a good summary of the theology (purpose) of the Psalms. The author provides clear principles for interpreting the Psalms in a Christ-centred way and shows us how we can develop a precious intimacy with the King through ongoing usage of the Psalms. Using them in public worship is a God-given way of exalting King Jesus as we see him fulfil his role as Leader of the praise of God’s people.”
  
The full review can be found here  
  
The book can be purchased here  
  
Thanks to Scott Maciver for bringing the book and review to our attention.  
  
Further reviews from the publisher…

“This book powerfully reminds us that the church has for too long ignored a vibrant source of devotion-the song book of Jesus…we can’t afford to neglect this divinely inspired song book that God has given us.” Donald W. Sweeting ~ President Professor of Church History, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

“This book should admirably fulfil the author’s purpose by forcing those who have rejected or neglected the psalms in their praise to think again. Its central theory (that the psalms consist of praise conversations between God, his Messiah and his people) should help to illuminate the status of the psalter as the New Covenant song book it was meant to be and sheds much needed light on such dark areas as the imprecatory (cursing) psalms. If you have never sung the psalms and would like good biblical rather than historical reasons for doing so, and, crucially, if you want the key to understanding what you sing, you should really read this book .” Kenneth Stewart ~ Minister of Dowanvale Free Church of Scotland, Glasgow

“It has been wisely said that the Psalter is a spiritual cardiograph. The Psalms accurately reflect our spiritual health. The more I am ‘at home’ in singing the Psalms, the spiritually fitter I am. Uniquely in the Bible, the Psalms both speak to us – Luther derived much of his theology from the Psalter, – and also speak for us. They are the God-given words with which we can address both our Heavenly Father and each other. Michael LeFebvre’s book is both scholarly and readable, and provides a wonderful incentive to ‘Sing the Psalms, again’.” Jonathan Fletcher ~ Vicar of Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon, London

“Speaking to God in words that He has chosen, with the breadth and depth of topics He has revealed, instead of singing about Him, would enrich our worship. Yes, it will prove a learning experience for our congregations, but the dimensional richness the Psalms afford would be well worth the effort.” John D. Hannah ~ Distinguished Professor of Historical Theology, Research Professor of Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas

“In this volume Michael LeFebvre enriches the church with wisdom regarding the vital role that singing the Psalms has in the worship of the church and the life of the believer. Michael avoids the hard edged heated opinions which often cloud this subject and instead casts refreshing pastoral light on a much neglected topic. All readers of this volume will be edified, educated and blessed!” Anthony T. Selvaggio ~ preacher, author and Visiting professor of Biblical Studies at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Question #16: How can Psalm singers do a better job of passing on their beliefs to the next generation?

Question #16: How can Psalm singers do a better job of passing on their beliefs to the next generation?