SUMMARY: College Park Church (Indianapolis, IN) pastor Mark Vroegop takes a broad look at lament through the Psalms with a focus on this “minor-key prayer” being the bridge that can lead to racial reconciliation.
“Lamenting together breaks down barriers, unites hearts, and creates new bonds,” Vroegop writes.
Vroegop splits the book into three parts with the first third, lament in the Bible and history, focusing on the absence of lament in the white church and providing a five point framework towards racial reconciliation. The second third, lament and majority Christians, focuses on the majority body of the church and what its posture (weep, speak, repent) towards lament should be. The last third addresses minority Christians and what their posture (protest, triumph, believe) towards lament should be.
At times the book can be repetitive as lament is defined dozens of different times in slightly different ways, but the writing is extremely approachable. The excellent learning to lament worksheet (appendix 2) where Vroegop has a template and instructions on how to write a lament is highly recommended.
KEY QUOTE: “Lament vocalizes concern when life is hard and uncertain. This minor-key prayer keeps us talking to God and one another when pain and fear invade our lives. Instead of allowing silence to deepen divisions, we can join together in lament.”
BONUS: Don’t have time to read the book? Listen to Vroegop talk about his book on the Crossway Podcast.
MORE GOOD READS: Sunday to Saturday has a Good Reads page where we post all of the books we have read – even the ones that didn’t make the cut.
More curated resources on lament:
Associate professor at North Park Theological Seminary (Chicago, IL) Soong-Chan Rah meticulously goes through the five chapters of Lamentations providing a theological framework for lament while simultaneously critiquing the American church . He argues that American exceptionalism and its theology of praise has pushed out the important practice of lament in the American church.Read more