*** DEBUG END ***

Misapprehensions about the praise of God

06 February 2015


From the Very Revd Christopher Campling
Sir, - Simon Parke (Comment, 30 January) does not seem to understand the nature of "praising God". Christians do not praise God to flatter, but to affirm and, therefore, respond to and enjoy God's glory, goodness, and creative and redemptive love.

C. S. Lewis put this better than I can in his book Reflections on the Psalms (which are full of the injunction to "praise the Lord"). "We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment. . . It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed."

And again: "The Scottish catechism says that man's chief end is 'to glorify God and enjoy him for ever'. . . . Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him."

Pebble Ridge, Aglaia Road
West Sussex BN11 5SW

From the Revd Michael Champneys
Sir, - In his column "Exhausting affirmation", Simon Parke asks whether God wants to be praised. "Generally," he writes, "I do not wish to be praised, and, if I do I am having a weaker moment, when my ego needs bolstering a little. But I struggle to link this need to God."

So did Augustus Hare - a far less modest man than Mr Parke. When asked by Somerset Maugham why he had inked out many lines in the Prayer Book that he used for family prayers, he replied: "I've crossed out all the passages in glorification of God. God is certainly a gentleman and no gentleman cares to be praised to his face. It is tactless, impertinent and vulgar. I think all that fulsome adulation must be highly offensive to him."

If not actually a gentleman, God cannot be less than a gentleman.

1 New Road, Holymoorside
Derbyshire S42 7EW

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

Train-a-Priest Fund 2022 Appeal

Please consider a donation to TAP Africa this year. Every penny you can give goes to ordinands in Africa who face financial difficulty, to support them as they complete their training. 

Donate online

Read more about this year's appeal

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

4-8 July 2022
HeartEdge Mission Summer School
From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)