Hutchinson: The Psalms and Praise

10 great propositions from James Hely Hutchinson.

1) The psalter is supremely ascribed to Yahweh and He is worthy to receive it.
2) The activity of praising in the Psalter is essentially vocal.
3) The most appropriate locus of praise is a congregational setting, praise being typically conducted simultaneously on both the horizontal and vertical axes.
4) Praise in the Psalter is both descriptive of Yahweh’s character and deeds, and declarative of his particular acts of deliverance.
5) Praise has an emotional dimension.
6) Praise is frequently the fruit of a transformation in outlook, whic the psalmist embraces in the midst of crisis or difficulty.
7) Praise is considered to be a corollary of the believer’s very existence.
8) Praise in the Psalter arises particularly from a circumstance-defying belief that Yahweh’s covenant promises will come to realization — through the arrival of the David king.
9) The polemic of praise consists in the overthrow of Yahweh’s rivals.
10) The Psalter insists on marrying exuberant praise not only with obedience but also with fearful trembling.

James Hely Hutchinson, “The Psalms and Praise,” in Interpreting the Psalms: Issues and Approaches (ed. by David Firth and Philip S. Johnston; Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2005), 85-100.

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