I guess my question about the Psalms is with regard to the key theological concepts of the New Testament. Grace, justification, the fruits of the Spirit, love. These all seem to be missing in the Psalms and thus we can't really embrace them as representative of our New Covenant experience. Second, the ideas of community and family seem lacking while nation seems to be overly prominent in ways that I don't know how to appropriate.There are 7 positives in this question and 1 negative.
- Grace, justification, the fruits of the Spirit, love.
- New Covenant experience
- community and family
I think David has raised a set of very important issues related to Covenant, the Chosen People, Anointing, Experience, and Universality. That he has raised them is also important - for he represents North American New Testament Evangelism in Africa as a translator. More particularly, he represents his own uniqueness in this field as wit and poet, and a graduate in Creative Literature rather than Theology.
I think there is sufficient depth to the Psalms that addresses every one of his feelings of what is lacking in the positives and also what is positive in his negative concern.
As a brief introduction in reverse order:
- Nation - raises the scandal of particularity and the danger of parochialism, both issues must be faced by the nation and by those who are not of the nation.
- Community and family - the Psalms embrace all peoples (e.g. 149) as do the prophets yet their story is of a particular 'family' (104-106).
- New Covenant experience - raises the question of jealousy. Has Abel killed Cain? (139 for experience).
- Grace, justification, the fruits of the Spirit, love. God initiates - this is grace (6,38,143), God is justified (51), the Spirit is manifest in the Anointed (2,16,18,69), and love of instruction (1,19,119) breathes the oil that flows down on the beard and collar of the clothing (133).
I would welcome other author's posts on this subject and the incompleteness of Christian formation that the questions raise. Equally I would welcome posts that challenge completeness in TNK as if love of God were exclusive to the NT. (Note the chiasm T-N-K-N-T - the Psalms are encircled!)