Lamentations

71 posts

A collection of all my articles relating to lament and the Book of Lamentations.

Inhabiting our Exile

As usual, it is probably better heard than read. The audio is here. Proper 23 (28) (October 9, 2016) First reading and Psalm Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 Psalm 66:1-12Second reading 2 Timothy 2:8-15Gospel Luke 17:11-19 “The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him” It is tempting to preach from the Epistle for today, but as a textual scholar, Paul’s injunction “warn them before God that they are to […]

Targum Lamentations Thesis in eBook

I have finally finished editing my doctoral thesis (from 20 years ago!) to make it accessible in ePub format! I have made no substantive edits to the text, so any errors present in the earlier version remain (the PDF is still available here). There are some quirks. The fonts seem to have come through ok, but where Hebrew/Aramaic/Syriac text is followed by a footnote the footnote sometimes(?) ends up at the end of the word, […]

John Piper’s Warped & Harmful Teaching on Suffering

A few caveats to begin. Although I have known of John Piper for years, I am just now coming to read his teachings on suffering and the sovereignty of God. The book by that name is graciously made available for free download on his “Desiring God” site and is worth reading; there are multiple authors with thought-provoking comments. It was published in 2006. Finally, I know that he and the other contributors are motivated by […]

New Intro to Lamentations & Menu Organization

I have reorganized the menus (drop down menus at the top of the site) to try and make them more useful and accessible. You will find “Ruth and Its Targum” and “Lamentations and Its Targum” with submenus. Clicking on any of the titles will take you a page of material or posts. For example, clicking on “Lamentations and Its Targum” will take you to the landing page with general information about the Book of Lamentations […]

Permission to Lament

Shortly after Mack died our good friend and colleague Gary Knoppers gave me Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Lament for a Son. Gary included a brief note, offering his condolences and sharing that NW had been one of his “main profs” at Calvin and that Eric, the son who had died in a tragic accident, had been his friend and housemate. Gary died shortly before Christmas, taken far too early by cancer, but leaving an incredible legacy of […]

Lest we return…

History does provide distance, but it does not erase the reality of what happened. Nor can changes in ideology or a desire for it to have been different. Yes, it is the nature of humans to harm one another, to be self-centered, and this leads to everything from petty grasping to the wars and atrocities that have never ended. It is human nature, but it is not human destiny. We must not forget and that […]

Why did the Son of God Suffer?

“The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His.” George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons. First Series. As cited in CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, (New York: Macmillan, 1947), p. vi. Cited by CS Lewis in the frontispiece of The Problem of Pain. I am not sure what I make of the statement. Humanity had already been suffering for millennia by the time Jesus came, so is GM saying that by coming Jesus took […]

Talking About Death

Specifically, how do we talk about it when someone has died? This article was posted on Facebook by my friend Fr. Jody Howard. “People don’t pass away” by Peter W. Marty on Christian Century. The site has apparently been recycling this story periodically since it was published in 2017. It is well meaning. I passed on the chocolate dessert tray in the restaurant last night, tempting as it was. I dread passing through the TSA screening lines at […]

Remembering the Unknown

“It makes me a bit worried about what the next year will bring,” I said. “What does?” asked Elizabeth. “The fact that things are going so well.” It was Christmas Eve 2012 and we were finishing wrapping presents and a glass of port. I was reflecting on the fact that there had been three major areas of concern in the last few months that had been weighing on my mind and now, just before Christmas, […]

Holiday Grieving

I do not remember when Grandad was first showing signs of illness, I was only a kid, after all. In fact, I hardly remember any of the dates from that time. Looking back, I realize how hard it all was on the family, the anxiety and tension that was palpable in relationships yet the source of which was a mystery to a boy just emerging into his teen years. I do remember that it was […]