Attaching to God: Neuroscience-informed Spiritual Formation

The Psalms as a Guide to Joy, Sadness, and Anger (Thanksgiving Double Feature)

November 22, 2023 Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw
The Psalms as a Guide to Joy, Sadness, and Anger (Thanksgiving Double Feature)
Attaching to God: Neuroscience-informed Spiritual Formation
More Info
Attaching to God: Neuroscience-informed Spiritual Formation
The Psalms as a Guide to Joy, Sadness, and Anger (Thanksgiving Double Feature)
Nov 22, 2023
Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw

(This and the next episode are part of a special Thanksgiving Double Feature Rewind of past episodes that are good to revisit in the ups and downs of a holiday)

What if the Psalms aren't just old religious poetry, but guideposts for our everyday struggles and wounds? What if the Psalms are a pathway into the presence of God through the all too human emotions of joy, sadness, and even anger?

Join Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw for a conversation with David Taylor, associate professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, as we explore the relevance of the Psalms and his book, Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life.

Together, we unpack the Psalms of Praise and the counterintuitive nature of joy, as well as how to find solace in the presence of those who are glad to be with us amidst life's challenges. Then, we venture into the world of Psalms of Lament, learning how they teach us to name our pain and grant us permission to be honest with God in our prayers and laments. Then we end by talking about the angry Psalms, the imprecatory Psalm.  

As we delve deeper into the life of faith and the Psalms, we discuss their ability to move us beyond our attachment histories and emotions, fostering a more profound connection with God.

Stay Connected:

  • NEED spiritual direction or coaching that aligns with this podcast? Connect with Cyd Holsclaw here.
  • Join the Embodied Faith community to stay connected and get posts, episodes, & resources.
  • Support the podcast with a one-time or regular gift (to keep this ad-free without breaking the Holsclaw's bank).
Show Notes Transcript

(This and the next episode are part of a special Thanksgiving Double Feature Rewind of past episodes that are good to revisit in the ups and downs of a holiday)

What if the Psalms aren't just old religious poetry, but guideposts for our everyday struggles and wounds? What if the Psalms are a pathway into the presence of God through the all too human emotions of joy, sadness, and even anger?

Join Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw for a conversation with David Taylor, associate professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, as we explore the relevance of the Psalms and his book, Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life.

Together, we unpack the Psalms of Praise and the counterintuitive nature of joy, as well as how to find solace in the presence of those who are glad to be with us amidst life's challenges. Then, we venture into the world of Psalms of Lament, learning how they teach us to name our pain and grant us permission to be honest with God in our prayers and laments. Then we end by talking about the angry Psalms, the imprecatory Psalm.  

As we delve deeper into the life of faith and the Psalms, we discuss their ability to move us beyond our attachment histories and emotions, fostering a more profound connection with God.

Stay Connected:

  • NEED spiritual direction or coaching that aligns with this podcast? Connect with Cyd Holsclaw here.
  • Join the Embodied Faith community to stay connected and get posts, episodes, & resources.
  • Support the podcast with a one-time or regular gift (to keep this ad-free without breaking the Holsclaw's bank).

Geoff: What if the Psalms aren't just some old religious poetry but actually guideposts for everyday struggles and wounds that we face in our lives? What if the Psalms are a pathway into God's presence, even in the midst of our all-to-human emotions like joy, sadness and anger? This is the Embodied Faith podcast, with Cyd and Geoff Holsclaw, helping you get unstuck spiritually through a neuroscience or a science-informed spiritual formation produced by grassroots Christianity which seeks to grow faith for everyday people. 

Alright, i'm bringing everybody back on. So this is David Taylor, a Fuller Seminary. He was with us in a previous episode. He's joining us to talk about the life of faith as presented in the Psalms the joys, the sorrows, anger, doubt and fear. He is an associate professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, and the book that we previously talked to him about was called A Body of Praise, but now we're talking about a different book that I just came across, which I'm really excited about, although I didn't write down the title. David, what is the title of the book? It's like Open and Unafraid. 

David Taylor: Open and Unafraid the Psalms is a Guide to Life. 

Cyd: What a great title. that is Yes. 

Geoff: So, to start off, i was in seminary, as we're known to do as people like me.

Cyd: And I was working full time to pay your bills. 

Geoff:  And I'm in one of the chapels and a very famous pastor. He said You can never be angry at God. Being angry with God is a sin. Now, i was raised fundamentalist and so that meant two things. One, i was never taught to engage with my emotions at all. Two, i was told that I had to read the scripture, and I had and I had read the Psalms And my immediate thought was haven't you ever read the Psalms? Those people seem kind of angry at God. So that was my first, my Psalms and emotions. And your book kind of talks about this a little bit. So we're going to get to anger, i think last. We're going to try to like build up that kind of intense emotion. Yeah, so we'll kind of get to that. But you wrote this book kind of about how the Psalms are a guide to life. Could you kind of just lay out a little bit How does it You came to that? 

Cyd: Yeah, what made you write the book? Because writing a book is It takes intentionality, it does. 

David Taylor: Yes. So what happened after the short film with Bono and Eugene Peterson came out in 2016? I found myself with various opportunities to talk to folks about the Psalms And invariably, at the end of these conversations, people would ask me for a recommendation, like if they could start anywhere with a book that would help them to understand the Psalms. Where would, or could they start? And I found myself struggling to find one book. I had a shelf full of scholarly resources on the Psalms, for which I was very grateful, and I borrowed a great deal, and then I had a shelf full of, like, more devotional type books on the Psalms. 

David Taylor: Eugene Peterson has like a 365 devotional, tim and Kathy Keller have one, but I had a hard time finding something in the middle. And then eventually I thought well, you know, maybe I could write this, but because I have Old Testament scholar friends, i was rather intimidated about that project. So what I did was, instead of putting a scholarly hat on, i put my pastor hat on. I thought, well, what if I wrote a book as a pastor for lay people that would introduce them to the riches of the Psalms, to the very good landscape of the Psalms, taking advantage of all the good gifts of scholarly research, but also keeping in mind ways that it could become an accessible on ramp into a world that is. 

David Taylor: It's a strange world once you start poking around. 

Geoff: Well, that is true, and, like I said, i was raised fundamentalist, which means I was. I read the Psalms because I was supposed to be, like we value scripture, but that doesn't mean I understood them at all, which I did not. And there was only like two or three that like clearly in my mind, you know like prefigured Christ or something like that, so then I could kind of latch on to those, but then the rest of them are just like I don't know. This is God's work. First, why do you think it's That's just my like fundamentalist upbringing. 

Cyd: Well, and I just want to add too, there's always the. You know there's so many Psalms that are just wonderful, but then we always kind of leave out a couple verses Like. Psalm 139 is a great example. Right Like the whole thing is just this wonderful Psalm that we want to read. And then there's those like two, three verses near the end, where we just kind of skip over and then go to the very end And we're like, okay, that's good. 

David Taylor: Yeah, so in my Anglican tradition there is sort of a program for reading scripture, you know, throughout the course of a year or three years, and the Psalms are always included in every Sunday reading. And the tragic fact is, when we get to Psalm 139, those four verses, those verses that contain cursing, which are excluded. And I'm teaching a course this term on spiritual formation through the Psalms And I have my students actually working on Psalm 149 for a very similar reason to the kind of encounter that Christians didn't have with Psalm 139. Psalm 149 is part of, like the last five Psalms that are nicknamed the Hallel Psalms, since they begin and end with praise the Lord or hallelujah. But unlike the other Psalms in that last quintet, psalm 149 also includes some precatory language And quite a number of my students have wondered like, why did I do that one? 

David Taylor: And mainly because I need them to jump into the deep end of the pool and figure out why it is that the Psalter brings things into close proximity that for many of us tend to remain in a relationship, and mainly it's on the conviction and drawing from a lot of what the Patristic era had to say about the Psalms And then all the way up to Bonhoeffer. So I quote Bonhoeffer to my students when he says that it's not our prayers that determine how we read the Psalms, it's the Psalms that have to interpret and retrain us how to pray, which is to say that the Psalms are training and retraining us how to properly listen to God and talk to God, because we don't know how to talk to God naturally. But if we want to talk to God consistently, faithfully, you know, truthfully, rightly, fully, then we have to be trained to talk to God, which is, i think, jeff, you and I come from a similar tradition that told us there are certain ways. Well, there are certain things, you certain ways. You don't talk to your daddy. 

Geoff: Yeah, yeah, don't talk to your dad. 

David Taylor: The same way with God? right, you don't, you would never do that, and then they'll quote You know things from, like the book of Exodus, or you know Isaiah will get quoted to us. But the fact is that God has given us an entire prayer book to teach us how we can address him, and it's the Psalms. And when we go there, we discover a whole world of ways That we can talk to God and talk to one another, because of the dialogical nature of it as well. 

Geoff: Right and it's. I was, you know, always kind of taught that the Psalms are the Systematic theology of the Old Testament, and by systematic it's non systematic, but it is. It's teaching us how do we talk and then how does God talk to us, and I think that's So important, to have that real robust kind of sense. I think the reason I avoided or didn't and I've I both avoided and I didn't understand the Psalms, it's partly just because my own emotional life was pretty thin, you know, and so I didn't know it, like I didn't know how Processed these things right. 

Geoff: So, when it comes to What you said, like how are the, the Psalms, training us to think and speak about God? one of the things you mentioned is that it it guides us into some understanding of God as Kind of the author, the preserver and the protector of life, but then also Which is great but then also it gives us language to understand that life is fleeting, fragile, there's a lot going on. So can you connect, like the Psalms, and how, or can you just fill that out, like the Psalms, and how it connects to life and how God's at the center of that? 

David Taylor: Yeah, i think one of the things that we discover when we go into the world of the Psalms is simultaneously how fragile our lives are, but also how Far more beautiful and magnificent and mysterious and all encompassing and comprehensive they are. And I think those, those realities function as cultural antidotes to all kinds of other cultures and human history. Ours, which is the modern Western world, tends to have this idea that I am The maker, i am the determiner, i am the autonomous generator of my own life. I can do all things. If you can dream it, you can be it. And the Psalms are saying no, you can't. There is one who holds your very breath, and if he removes his breath, you cease to exist. 

David Taylor: So it's kind of an exercise in humility, but also in wonder at the same time, that it is Far more fragile than we would ever want to allow, but it is also far more magnificent than we maybe have ever allowed ourselves to imagine. 

David Taylor: At the center of it, obviously, is the one who sustains us, even right now, in our very, very being. And what I think is so fascinating about this, the so much the Psalms around this language of life, life and death, is how it does draw on a lot of the language from Genesis one and two, and how embeds the human creature Within this larger matrix, this larger ecology of all of God's creation. So human beings subsist within this, this astounding galaxy of beings. And again, i think that's an important counter cultural sort of idea for those of us, maybe again in modern, you know, western American settings, where we think of human beings as hermetically sealed entities. And then there's the rest of reality, the rest of the world. But in the world of the Psalms we're sort of in this mutually informing, mutually dependent relationship upon the smallest things of the earth as well as sort of the most magnificent beings of creation. 

David Taylor: So I think, that's fascinating, but also important for us to immerse ourselves into that way of thinking, but also a way of being in the world. 

Cyd: Yeah, i think it's just prompting my thoughts as I'm thinking. I was just reading this morning the book Interior Freedom by Jacques Philippe. I don't know if you've read it, but he talks about how God is realistic. 

Cyd: And so he talks about how God meets. You know God like he talks about, like our role as humans, is like to embrace our limitations, to understand our limitations, our finiteness, and that you know, along with that, God's infinite-ness and God's expansiveness embraces the reality. When we but he talks about like when we can't embrace reality or allow reality to be real then, we're actually living in a state of rebellion, of saying this I refuse to let this be the world that I'm living in, and so, as you speak about this, it makes me think. 

Cyd: you know, the Psalms are a place where reality is really grappled with the finiteness of our limits and the infinite-ness of God, and how those things overlap. Yeah. 

David Taylor: That's so good. 

Geoff: Yeah, well, so let's start. let's jump on the emotion strength, because I have developed emotions since my early 20s but I was gonna say this is the easier one, but this sometimes for people is the more difficult one. But if we could talk about joy and rejoicing or the Psalms, so the Psalms and the Psalter is called the Book of Praises, as you mentioned. So could you talk a little bit about like what is this kind of impulse toward joy and how does it kind of swirl around God in a sense? 

David Taylor: Right, right, one of the things that I actually led a men's retreat for our church recently and one of the things that I mentioned to them was an experience I had in teaching on the Psalms of Praise to my students in the summer of 2019. And it just so happened that the very week that we were well, i had my students to write a like a prayer of praise, drawing on the Psalms of Praise the mass shooting at El Paso took place And I got notes from my students saying I don't think I can do this assignment. Like. I feel very deeply upset, i feel disoriented, i feel angry. I am not in a space to be able to do this assignment. Can we postpone it? Can we rain, check it somehow? So I thought about it for a little while And then I wrote back to the entire class and I said, hey, i realized this has happened. I live in Austin. I live not that far from El Paso. 

David Taylor: It is deeply disturbing all of this history of mass shooting in our countries. Here's, i think, the good news that the Psalms of Praise offer to us, which is that they always make space for lament, for sorrow, even for implication or curse, or anger, in a way that our society does not make space. It's either happiness on the one side, it's a one or zero happiness or something else, and that something else often is perceived as just being negative. The Psalms of Praise allow us to articulate our love for God, our delight in God, our affections for God, while at the same time and in the same breath saying things like how long and why and when you know, will you fulfill your promises? And so I think that helped my students mentally or psychologically get into a space to be able to do the assignment. And I found that to be the case, you know, ever since, that students over the years, but also other folks, to understand that there's a logic to joy within the Psalter. That I think is counterintuitive to how it is that many of us think of joy and happiness and that kind of range of emotions. 

David Taylor: And I think it's important maybe for some of our church traditions where you know we do praise and worship, or when we praise God, it's unmitigated, unadulterated joy. Don't let any negativity come in, don't be such a downer. You know all these kind of you know, dark emotions. And yet again, i think we have to let this book retrain how we think about what joy is, so that we can enter into it, rightly, within the middle of life. And joy happens in the middle, it's not an excursion in our life, it's not excusing us out of our lives and then coming back in, but in the middle of it. I mean CS Lewis talks about this at length, right, that pain of joy, the poignancy of joy in a broken world. So that's one of the things that, you know, i've shared with students. I think it ends up being pretty helpful to them. 

Cyd: Yeah, i mean on the podcast we've talked a lot. We borrowed Jim Wilder's definition of joy, and he talks about joy being the experience of being with someone who's glad to be with you, and so you know that can include significantly difficult situations or painful situations. Suffering takes on a different quality when you're not alone in it. 

Cyd: And so just that sense of joy is the sustaining presence and the gladness of someone else to be with you, no matter what you're experiencing, you know, and so as you talk about that, like the Psalm of praise includes, you are also with me as I am lamenting and angry and confused and overwhelmed, and just that. The joy is the presence of God, glad to be with us in whatever we're experiencing. 

Cyd: And I mean what an incredible moment that must have been for your students to have to hold those tensions of the incredible lament over another mass shooting, while also having this assignment of how do I praise God in the midst of this and allow that God to be present to me in this place and still find joy in his presence. 

David Taylor: Yeah, you know, one of the things that came out of that for me as a teacher was that I rewrote a handout that I'd created on how to write a psalm of praise and I realized I wanted to make the structure clear, because I just sort of had these big blocks of, you know, here's praise, and here's praise, and here's praise, and we're out, and so I ended up I rewrote it to be able to do sort of two sort of movements, and each movement, you know, sort of mirrored each other, but in each movement you had a stanza of praise, a stanza of praise and a stanza of lament, and the lament always began with and yet, and yet, and yet, and yet and yet And I have to say, reading my students Psalms of Praise that they produced a few weeks ago, it's just deeply moving, You know. 

David Taylor: It's like you can be happy about anything You have, about fruit and sports and chocolate and you know stuff, anything, And they were happy about all kinds of stuff, which was really, really fun. But then they had the end yet And there's just so pointed, So deeply moving. I'm like that's the heart of the Psalter. 

Cyd: Yeah, yeah, That's so well and that's the heart of life with God, really right. That, you know, in the midst of, makes me think of Habakkuk too, where he's talking about the fig tree, doesn't you know all these things that are terribly wrong and not okay, and yet I will praise the Lord. So it goes the other direction too, right, where, when you're you're talking about in the midst of praise, and yet the world is not yet as it should be. But then also, the world is not yet as it should be, and yet I can praise. 

Geoff: So that little goes both directions. 

David Taylor: Yeah, i'll just say real quick Alan Davis, who teaches Old Testament at Duke, has written a lot on the Psalms. One of the things I love that she says is how the first two thirds ish, or the majority of the Psalter is lament, but you have praise, sort of as this little motif. That's just sort of cycling in and out, in and out And it's kind of growing And sort of this sense that our life are yearning towards praise. But we don't leave behind lament, at least not in this. You know, lifetime Lament is always sort of somehow, yeah, just introducing a poignancy. But it is all of creation is yearning right. The Romans say it's the work running towards the fulfillment, the expansive. you know praise of all of creation, but you know still these other things that Bob Dylan talks about, how he says you have to be vulnerable In the world in order to be sensitized to reality. I think that's such a great way to describe the Psalms. 

David Taylor: To be vulnerable to God, to each other, to ourselves. In order to be sensitized with Leo. 

Geoff: I think it's wonderful. Well, if you want to pair David's book, which is all about the Psalms and the movement toward joys, you know, our book, which is does God really like me, is all about the Genesis to Revelation. It's all about joy and how God is bringing us joy by offering us his presence. But joy not but. And yet there are times in which we do walk in sadness. And, as I said, the first, you know, two thirds of the Psalter has many of these. There's individual as well as communal laments And there's kind of a structure that you mentioned, referring to Psalm 13, about the complaint, the petition and the resolution. I think could you just walk us through that step maybe, maybe with reference to Psalm 13 or not, just to help people like Well, what do I do with my sadness? How do I bring that before God? Like, what are these models? If you could go through that kind of an ad I'm not saying it's a three step model, but, as you mentioned, like you know, there's movements within the kind of sadness or the lament Psalms. 

David Taylor: Well, i mean you could sort of reword it as the three stages of grief, right, that there is that, that sort of primal stage of pain where you're a mess, you're all visceral cry and grunting and shouting and grieving and crying This sense that you have been deeply wounded by something, or maybe you feel wounded by God, and and this is this cry And I was reading something recently about how the Psalms can be a resource for pastoral care, and one of the things that the author writes about is how those of us who are in positions of pastoral care as you are as well is how important it is to listen long enough and to be patient, deep enough in that initial place of complaint, however long it may take it may not be one session, because what a person needs when they're in that place of acute pain is to know that they're safe, no matter what comes out of their mouth, no matter how much of a fit they throw. Can you handle it, can I handle it? Can God handle it? And once they feel safe and they feel they can trust, then this next stage, which is what is it that you would want Like, if you could name it? and I think a lot of the benefit of the Psalms, just giving us names, nameless things in our lives, like what, what do you want? And, curiously enough, i think that's one of the hardest things to figure out Like, what do I want of the 100 things that I might want? 

David Taylor: And then the third stage is, once you've moved through this place, of saying I am in utter pain, this is what I want, and because I trust you, i'm going to seed myself to you, i'm going to entrust myself to you. Now what's really interesting or fascinating and I did this with the minute the retreat was I had them write their own Psalms, lament, but then one of the things that I did with him was take the Psalm that you've written with this complaint, petition, resolution, but now pray it backwards, start with your resolution, move to your petition and end with your complaint and see how that feels or sounds. And it was so interesting to see how like it was, just such a different, a different space that was created and then a different sort of place of encounter with God. Because I think the danger of you know doing it to sort of tidy you know I have a complaint, a petition, and then it's all gonna be okay, which I don't have to explain to you guys. 

David Taylor: Usually not, yeah right resulting in life giving outcomes. But again, a lot of the practices of our churches and prayers and songs and sermons tend to want to tidy it up, but to pray it backwards is then it's like you end with your heart in this very, very tender, vulnerable place before God, which is really what we all are wondering. Do you see me, do you hear me, do you feel me? Do you, do you care? And I think that is the the greatest gift of the Psalms of lament is that they're able to take our very, very vulnerable, fragile hearts, put them before God and say do you care? but in the company of others who will say, will carry This care with you? 

Geoff: Hmm, Yeah, that's beautiful. Throughout this whole conversation I was like I maybe we should do a whole another episode, so didn't I talk about that's like that. Attaching to God through the Psalms is like. The theme that I'm getting is just how the this conversation, you know, like from children to a parents, which is like You know, i'm mad that I that this is happening. Why aren't you fixing it? Where are you? Are you even here? you promise to be here. You know you get these complaints and then like that, once you kind of get all that passion, emotion out, then then like, you can be like, but I trust that you know what's best. I guess, yeah, and I get. If I need to wait a little bit longer, right, then I'll figure out a way to do that because I believe you love me you know It's like I like. 

Cyd: What you're saying, though, too, is that hey doesn't always go one direction. 

Geoff: Yeah. 

Cyd: I like there can be like that Okay, and I'll choose to trust you, even though I don't really get it. But then a couple minutes later or an hour later, or the next day, I'm mad again. Right, i like that you're saying like it, it doesn't Resolve, and get me and tell you never to come up again, but that, when it does come up again, god is still tender toward us in our weakness. 

David Taylor: Yeah. 

Cyd: Still take it Yeah. 

David Taylor: Yeah, one of the things I've tried to help my students sort of really appreciate is how important it is that the The greatest benefit of the entire Psalter is when we read it And sort of a consistent and thorough going way, rather than piecemeal and occasionalists. Because, yeah, in a piecemeal, occasionalist and what happens is we end up creating a cannon within a cannon And we miss, we miss out on the entire logic of the Psalms, which is we're we're moving through this As comprehensive of a space as can be imagined by human beings. 

David Taylor: Yeah in our life before God. So we're in and out of all these different rhythms of of life, context of life, pete, the kind of people that we would be with when we prayed. The contents of our life, and it's all of that that's laundering our lives. That eventually, as the monks have figured out over the centuries, is what Creates dispositions in us that then enables us to be attuned to one another. But if we only read it in sort of these you know how to kind of ways, then it It just ended up being a minute. We turn it to a mirror of our own personal culture, family culture or church or national culture. 

Cyd: Yeah, that's such a good point. I think there's many of us that have created our own little cannon of the Psalms. I mean, you know, we have our favorites that we return to time after time, and the ones that we avoid We're rarely read. So I love that you're saying that that, like it's the, it's the experience of the whole range of the Psalms that then Equips us to be better companions to one another. Right. 

Geoff: Just then to conclude our time. What about those things that you know a lot of churches and traditions do avoid? or when you stumble upon them You kind of just skip over. You're like, oh, i don't know how that Would slay my enemies. Yeah, they're called the imprecatory Psalms. They they're cursing, they're hoping for the death of enemies or right their pain and suffering, or they at least want God to step in and do something. So how, how can we pray or understand these angry prayers, especially when Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies and I love them and you know, it seems like the very unchristianly thing to do to Pray these Psalms. 

David Taylor: Yes. So probably the advice that every Christian who has ever thought about this matter throughout the last 2000 years would give to us is handle with care. But the advice that I don't think we should we should take is get rid of them, partly because I think the fundamental conviction of the Psalter is that God takes us More seriously than we maybe take ourselves And, as a companion, that God can handle our humanity far more than perhaps we believe he can handle our humanity. 

Cyd: Or that we can handle our own humanity. 

David Taylor: Yeah, and so I think two things need to be distinguished at the outset, just in terms of clarity A is it okay to be angry? That's one answer, or one exploration. And B Can I be angry at God, or maybe angry before God, with God near God? right, those are similar. But then the angry at God is probably the most challenging to do. 

David Taylor: Now, saint Paul does tell us be angry, and there are certain things that Jesus himself is angry at, and he in fact does use some of this imprecatory language in his life, in ministry. 

David Taylor: And so I think again, sort of the danger is we, we copy and paste some of these verses all throughout the Bible And then we put them together and we say, see, you can't be angry, right, all I have to say is the third person in the Holy Spirit of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit offered, verified, was the final capital E editor of this book, right to show us how we can be before God. Yeah, now, when it comes to, like the curse stuff, anger and enemies, i think There are two things that are interesting to me. One is Miroslav Volff, the Croatian theologian, writes at length about how one of the benefits of these curse Psalms is that in praying them. They are rescuing us from giving in to our own revenge fantasies. They're like the most psychologically intelligent tool to help us say out loud the things that need to be said out, so that it rescues us from giving in to these impulses to act out on our own, Places it before God instead of others. 

David Taylor: Exactly And says I am this mad And God can say yes, i see that you are this mad, tell me more Now. The other thing that's interesting that I write about in the was it the chapter? I guess? yeah, the chapter on anger, psalms of anger is, i think, and we don't have time to talk about this today, but I make the, i propose the idea that curse language overlaps with what we think of as profane language, and the point that I make is that when we experience things in the world that are destructive and dehumanizing and distort God's good creation, distort communities, distort relationships, distort our own bodies, we need language to be able to express all of this stuff that lies outside of God's good, holy, life-giving world, and that's where anthropologists and sociologists and linguists come in and say that's the function that profane language has always played in every human society. 

David Taylor: Is this naming this outside world that is a destructive, chaotic world. And the point I make to the reader is I actually think God and his infinite wisdom and mercy has given us I know this sounds like a crazy idea, but he's given us profane language so that we can name those things in a way that is truthful, rather than giving into very distorted work ways of being in the world that suppress all this evil or chaos in our own lives and that stuff turns toxic and then it sort of shows up in our relationships. So it's a way to liberate us From worlds of chaos by naming the chaos. 

Geoff: I like it. So I'm gonna create a youth study, a two, three week youth group study, and it's gonna be called How to Swear According to the Psalms. 

Cyd: That's right, please do. 

Geoff: Yeah, i can just see it. Now all of our youth are gonna be like, ooh, we're in the Bible And then we can walk through it. 

Cyd: I'd be wanting to invite their friends too, for sure. Yeah, yeah, we can make this evangelistic. 

Geoff: I'm only half joking, actually. No, you should. 

David Taylor: Eugene Peterson talked about it as how to cuss without cussing, and the way that I told the men's retreat a couple weeks ago was how to have a potty mouth like the Psalmist, which was like wait, what are you doing there? I feel, like just hang in there. I have a point. 

Geoff: I like it Well. 

David Taylor: Thank you so much It was really wonderful to talk about. 

Geoff: yeah, Yeah, thank you so much for taking the time to talk about it, kind of to skim on the top, about joy, sadness and anger. I'm really excited actually to dip more into the book. It'll probably be the inspiration for our own little attachment through Sid and I talk about attachment for the listeners that they all know this attachment theory. How do we attach more closely to God? How do we understand that as the security that you were talking about? How do we kind of have that secure attachment that can believe that God can bear all of our emotions, that he's attuned, that we can attune to God? So just thank you so much for your work on that. And then just one quick announcement is Sid is regularly running her cohort on Anchored. For those who just you know, are rooted, I always call it the wrong thing. It changes names sometimes And that is just how to get into our bodies and our emotions and kind of our attachment histories. And maybe we need to make the Psalms more of a process of that. 

Geoff: So, but thank you, and for those who didn't see, the previous episode which we had with David, which was on the forgotten place of the body in worship, could you just repeat again where people can find you and how they could connect? with you and any of the other books or projects that you're working on Sure. 

David Taylor: I mean, if you just Google David Taylor Fuller Seminary, I show up there. I have a website, wdavidotaylorcom, And I'm on Twitter at that same sort of handle. 

Geoff: But yeah, i'm around, excellent. 

Cyd: Well, thank you, so much It was great to be with you again, david. Thanks for coming back. 

Geoff: It was really good to have another conversation, thanks for all of you listeners and watchers on YouTube, please like and subscribe and share. You know we don't have any publicists except for you listeners, so please share this around with people. And, david, thank you again for all of your work And I'm gonna come up with new and other fun reasons to have you on in the future, if you'll have us All right. Well, thank you, thank you.