Prophetic Lament By Rah


Here is the latest volume in the Resonate series of unique commentaries published by IVP. Song-Chang Rah brings different perspective to the Book of Lamentations than you would get in other volumes. He highlights the Biblical genre of lament that is clearly a dynamic part of Lamentations. He attempts modern application as well as the subtitle “A Call for Justice in Troubled Times” suggests.

The volume succeeds when he discusses lament in the Bible. He reminds us that lament is much more prevalent in the Bible than in our theological understanding today. His chapter on the historical context of Lamentations is well done. He explains how the funeral dirge is classic lament. When he exegetes the text, he does well. His writing skills are engaging and good enough to make commentary reading pleasant. 

The volumes stumbles in some of his modern application and even a few historical theological conclusions. His comparison of a theology of suffering versus a theology of celebration will really make you think. His modern example of slavery in the earlier days of our country as he made you feel their plight and heartfelt lament was superb. But when he credited (?) dispensational theology for giving us “an individualistic soul-saving soteriology”, which was actually akin to revival, and discusses it as a bad thing–that is hard to swallow.

His focus on race problems in our country today as an application of his theme is marred by his unquestioned acceptance of the most liberal recounting of events. Had he been more balanced there, he would have been easier to follow. He seems so obsessed on race that I wondered as I read if he had been the victim of some particularly ugly racism in his own life. I found no value in his epilogue on Ferguson.

If you look past racial politics and focus on his commentary, you will find value here. For me, it is not a first-line resource, but a fine secondary resource to gain additional, helpful insights.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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