Reflections on the Psalms by CS Lewis

Reflections on the Psalms by CS LewisSummary: Lewis reads the Psalms as an insightful outsider.

I am continuing my quest to read more CS Lewis after reading McGrath’s new biography a few weeks ago.  (And to justify the fact that I have purchased so many of Lewis’ books recently.  Many of his non-fiction books are less than $3, this one is currently $2.24 on kindle).

This was the first of Lewis’ non-fiction books I read after reading McGrath’s biography.  Psalms and I have had a difficult relationship.  I am not extraordinarily fond of poetry and for too long I have viewed Psalms as a book of poetry, not a book of prayers.

Part of this is that I grew up in a church background that values extemporaneous prayers, not written prayers.  So it has only been recently that I have started regularly using prayer books like Phillis Tickle’s Prayers for Summertime or the Book of Common Prayer.

As much as I value spontaneous prayer, I think I am temperamentally designed for prayer books, although I struggle to regularly use them.

After reading Bonhoeffer’s very good introduction to Psalms, this is a natural next step.  Both Lewis and Bonhoeffer were part of traditions that used the Psalms to actually pray.  So Lewis approaches the Psalms from two directions, as a person that prays the Psalms and as a literature professor.

As much as I am not a fan of poetry, I appreciated Lewis’ exploration of the themes of the Psalms.  Lewis was not a bible scholar and did not think of himself as a theologian, so he approached the Psalms as an outsider.  But he has a sophisticated understanding of scripture, in part because he was well aware of the issues of translation and reading historical literature.  I was a bit surprised, although I should not have been.

This was not a commentary on the Psalms, but similar to Bonhoeffer this is an introduction to reading and praying with the Psalms.  This is probably not one of Lewis’ top tier books, but still one well worth reading.

Reflections on the Psalms by CS Lewis Purchase Links: Paperback, Audible.com Audiobook, Kindle Edition (Audiobook is discounted to $3.99 with purchase of Kindle Book)

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