Soul Anatomy: Finding Peace, Hope, and Joy in the Psalms

George Robertson
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How do you worship when you're depressed? Where do you find words to express inexpressible joy? What do you pray when you need hope?

Soul Anatomy is a biblical guide for working through emotional turmoil in a gospel-centered way. It shows how the Psalms serve as a God-authored script by which to express every category of the human experience.

The Bible's inspired hymnbook guides believers through the highest summits and lowest troughs of life and invites the not-yet believer to a Redeemer who ultimately experienced all of the emotions of these prayers in his incarnation.

Author George Robertson enables readers to find a sympathetic Savior in the Psalms who experienced every human emotion, and he helps men and women use the God-inspired vocabulary for expressing every feeling to the Father. Soul Anatomy helps men and women respond to the love of God in all the ways the psalmists do: spiritually, vocationally, physically, and volitionally. Readers will discover the heart of Jesus through the prayers of Jesus, the high priest who can sympathize with us and learn to pray their troubles using God’s own words.


George Robertson, PhD, is the senior pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN, and a council member for The Gospel Coalition. He previously served as a lecturer and adjunct professor at Covenant Theological Seminary. He is the author of Soul Anatomy: Finding Peace, Hope, and Joy in the Psalms. He is married to Jackie and they have four children: Taylor, Anna, Abbey, and Caroline.

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“The Psalms are unique in the Bible as the book in which every possible human condition is depicted, along with the right way to pray oneself through the circumstance. How do you deal with betrayal, disappointment, personal failure, prosperity, adversity? In every case the Psalms instruct us on how to process the situation before God. George Robertson’s work on the Psalms brings out this life–relatedness. Evangelical Protestants, to their great loss, are not as familiar with the Psalms as are other branches of the Christian church. This will help remedy that. I recommend it!”
Tim Keller, Chairman, Redeemer City to City

“In this wonderful book, George Robertson has provided a veritable gold mine of insights for anyone looking to grow in their knowledge of and relationship to God. If you are looking for a devotional book on the Psalms that carefully balances faithful interpretation and pastoral application, look no further. I know I will be using this book to help me not only grow as a Christian, but also minister as a pastor and professor.”
Julius J. Kim, President, The Gospel Coalition

“Dr. George Robertson has made a career of loving, reading, preaching and writing about the Psalms. He has preached through the entire book multiple times, and this collection from his messages well reflects the wisdom of a psalmist, the understanding of a scholar, and the heart of an experienced pastor. What a privilege to read this distillation of decades of pastoral experience and pulpit excellence used to share the poetic insights and gospel spirit of the Hebrews’ hymnal.”
Bryan Chapell, Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, IL

“Robertson’s work displays every strength the godly reader will seek in pastoral expositions of the Psalms. They are clear and substantial, theologically sound and attentive to the text, brimming with helpful illustrations and applications, and devoted to the person and word of the Triune God. In these pages you will hear the voice of a shepherd, offering God’s peace and nourishment for the soul.”
Daniel Doriani, Vice President and Professor of Theology, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO

“The Psalms are for every mood of the Christian life—every joy, every sorrow, every anxiety, and every hope. In this devotional commentary, a wise and loving pastor illustrates and applies the biblical psalms in ways that help everyday Christians connect the gospel to the ups and downs of everyday life.”
Philip G. Ryken, President, Wheaton College; council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals; author of more than thirty books.

Soul Anatomy by my friend Pastor George Robertson is both personally honest and pastorally helpful. His honesty and vulnerability make me think, ‘Oh, I’m not alone.’ His help and wisdom make me think, ‘Oh, Jesus is real—right where I need him.’ This book gently puts the hand of the reader into the hand of Christ our Healer. Who doesn’t need that?”
Ray Ortlund, Renewal Ministries, Nashville, TN

“Dr. George Robertson is a rarity among today’ s theologians; a scholar with a common touch. In these psalms, Dr. Robertson combines scholarly precision with everyday living. You will come away from reading these words feeling that you have been to a banquet of grace—you have—and will look forward to coming back for more. Your life will be uplifted and your soul renewed by the spiritual feast found on these pages. I cannot recommend them too highly.”
Leslie Holmes, Former Provost, Erskine Theological Seminary

“In Soul Anatomy, George Robertson has combined insightful and engaging exegesis of God’s songbook (The Psalms) with practical, helpful, and personal applications of these eternal truths. This book will be treasured by anyone who desires a more intimate relationship with their Creator and Redeemer.”
Paul Kooistra, Former President, Erskine College

“All too often, Christians aren’t sure how to deal with the ebb and flow of their emotions, with the challenge of their circumstances, or with the painful reality of opposition. And so, we wander around looking for counsel and help from popular culture or our own counterfeit gods. And yet, God has given us an entire book of the Bible that serves as ‘an anatomy of the soul’—the Psalms. I can’t think of a better guide through this God-given book of counsel and help than Dr. George Robertson. With a pastor’s touch, a disciple’s heart, and an exegete’s skill, God used him to lead me beside still waters and green pastures to be refreshed and restored. I’m sure that if you let him, God will use him to do the same for you.”
Sean Michael Lucas, Senior Minister, Independent Presbyterian Church, Memphis, TN

“The Psalms, with a Holy Spirit inspired touch, speak to the souls and hearts of men and women living in a sin-cursed world both surrounded and impacted by the brokenness produced in a world of rebellion against God. George Robertson has not only mined the Psalms for the theological truths that apply the gospel “oil upon the troubled waters” of both heart and soul but has done so with a pastor’s touch. Enjoy the gospel melody from Christ, the Singer of the Psalms, as he refreshes your heart and soul on every page of this faithful and insightful volume.”
Harry L. Reeder, III, Senior Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL

“George Robertson’s work in Soul Anatomy is latent with the effects of years served in faithful and fruitful pastoral ministry. The human heart is expressed so emotively in the psalms, and this exposition is enlightened by the experience of a pastor who has cared for many through all ranges of the lived experience.”
Stephen Um, Senior Minister, Citylife Presbyterian Church, Boston, MA

“This work is not just another staid exposition of the Psalms. Robertson’s work brings out the full intention of the Psalms to meet head-on the emotional states of the heart common to us all. Anyone who has used his previous works will again sense this pastor’s passion for using the Word of God to meet needs. There is nary a human feeling that the Psalms do not address, and the author’s work is arranged to point the reader immediately to how the Psalm addresses various emotions. One will particularly appreciate this pastor/scholar’s good use of illustrations, both personal and historical, that center on feelings of apprehension, rest, despair, and elation. This author’s writing, though not unsophisticated, is comprehensive and reads well for pastors, counselors, and laymen alike.”
Robert Vasholz, Professor Emeritus, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO

“Only now am I appreciating the riches and depth of the Psalms for our spiritual nurture and growth, and Pastor Robertson’s book is a welcome aid in this exploration. His mediations on these divine, yet very human words help to heal my wounds and lift my soul. I recommend this volume to all who want to be nourished by our Lord’s prayer book.”
Bill Kynes, Pastor, Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church, Annandale, VA

“To be honest, I’m not the emotive type, and the soul-stirring beauty of the Psalms has often eluded me. Thus, it was a great day to discover that George Robertson—a scholar, devoted shepherd of his flock, and prince among preachers—was publishing his work on the Psalms. For strugglers like me, Soul Anatomy is medicine my parched heart craves.”
Ray Cortese, Senior Pastor, Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, Lecanto, FL

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1 Review

  • 3
    Good - Not As Expected

    Posted by Danielle on 10 19 2020

    Any reading throughout the Psalms will always provide a blessing and growth in our knowledge of God's character. Robertson did not structure the book as I had expected. I was thinking the book would take the format of a devotional or study. But it seemed to be more of a blend between a devotional and a commentary. He covers only a fraction of the Psalms: chapters 1, 5, 6, 7, 17, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 35, 37, 49, 51, 56, 64, 65, 66, 68, 70, 73, 129, 137, 140, and 139. He is clear that the reason for choosing these particular Psalms are because he refers to them most often when needing peace, hope and joy. Each chapter is structured with an introduction, commentary style description, and devotional style reflection questions and prayer. The introduction provides insight on the context of the Psalm which is extremely helpful in fully understanding its meaning and purpose. Robertson then moves into sharing his insights verse by verse of that particular Psalm. He also incorporates his own experiences into this section from family to preaching to failures to blessings. The conclusion provides reflection questions and discussion along with a prayer that directly incorporates that particular Psalm. I had a difficult time reading through this book. I have commentaries that I use for reference, not a nightly reading. Because of Robertson's chosen writing style that mirrors a commentary, I struggled with being able to stay focused for a long period of time. There just wasn't a good flow throughout the writing to capture my attention. The chapters are also fairly long. I would definitely use this as more of a reference when studying the Psalms rather than a full read through book. I did enjoy the reflection questions and discussion along with the prayer. These were very beneficial even outside of the actual Roberston's commentary descriptions. I received an e-copy of this book from New Growth Press in exchange for an honest review.

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