Joshua TorreyPsalms

King David's Poor Theology

Joshua TorreyPsalms
King David's Poor Theology

So this title is mildly misleading. This is more just a laughing moment for myself while I was listening to the Psalms in the car. So let me give you the back-story.

I have a long history of leading praise music. Sometime around age 14 or 15 I started in leading for highschool and middleschool groups at the church we were attending. Get enough practice under your belt and you can survive just about anything. Survive just about anything and you tend to get opportunities thrown at you. The last time I led a praise time was last year as a fill-in. 

As part of leading the praise time I was very picky about music. I've always been more traditional. And I've always preferred faster, less moody, songs for corporate time. I stole a couple lines from King David and even wrote a few tunes myself. But I always wanted the theology to be precise and sound. Which come to think of it was kinda silly because music is poetry. Poetry is often less than literal and less than literal speech really gets to bend around the whole "proper theology" argument to some degree. My case in point,

23 Arouse Yourself, why do You sleep, O Lord?
Awake, do not reject us forever. - Psalm 44:23

Now, come on David. We know God doesn't really sleep. We all know Elijah mocks false gods with being asleep (1 Kings 18:27). Can you imagine the uproar of a conservative congregation if you asked them to sing this without explaining the context?

"God doesn't sleep!"

I laughed. I laughed at myself. I laughed at my religiosity. I laughed at how "theological" I thought I was being when addressing song lyrics.

Don't misunderstand me. I think theological accuracy is important in corporate praise. I am not concluding that the church can sing anything it wants. But perhaps us armchair theologians need to take a couple step backs and re-evaluate the theology of the psalms. Though our King does not slumber or sleep (Psa 121:4) there is a time and place for the psalmist to ask why He sleeps (Psa 44:23). This isn't a contradiction. This isn't poor theology. This is music. This is music of God's people.

Joshua Torrey is the sole proprietor of Torrey Gazette (don't tell Alaina) and the fullness of its editorial process. That means everything wrong with TG can legitimately be blamed on him.