You are not the first sheep to follow the Shepherd; and you will not be the last.
For 3,000 years, people of faith have found meaning and comfort in the 23rd Psalm. This widely known song has had an impact across time and culture. But in the twenty-first century, this psalm appears idle. For many, it only serves as a short reading at the end of funerals. How did this happen?
Most books about Psalm 23 focus only on the author's interpretation. Many are wonderful, yet they offer only perspectives of modern Christians. Lost Shepherd seeks to enrich the meaning of a passage many Christians believe is almost “too familiar” to appreciate. This book is the perfect cure to break Psalm 23 out of the category of nostalgia and return it to relevance in our daily lives by looking far into the past.
Lost Shepherd allows you to stand with the sheep who have gone before, revealing a better look into the face of our Shepherd. Each chapter examines a line from the psalm and discusses how it has encouraged devotion over the centuries and continues to feed our souls today. Rediscover lost interpretations and consider how Psalm 23 can form your spirit, serving as a source of wisdom for a new generation of Christians.
Mark Fugitt has been a pastor for eighteen years and an adjunct professor for a decade. He has a bachelor’s in history; master’s degrees in history, theological studies, and theology; and his PhD in biblical studies and historical theology. He lives with his wife Laura and four children on a farm in the hills of Missouri. Find out more about Mark’s current and upcoming work at MarkFugitt.com.
“There’s a reason so many people grow up memorizing Psalm 23. It is certainly one of the great works of poetic literature and one of the great statements of God’s faithfulness, but with that familiarity can come a loss of its real power. We forget what we assume we know. With his emphasis on history and careful interpretation, Mark reminds of what is too often overlooked, and helps us again receive the good news of the shepherd before us.”
—Chase Replogle, pastor, host of The Pastor Writer podcast, and author of The Five Masculine Instincts
“We skim over Psalm 23 or recite it while thinking of anything else. To correct this, Lost Shepherd arrives to inform us of this Psalm’s rich heritage throughout church history. Through seeing how past believers in Jesus Christ read, understood, and relied on Psalm 23, the contemporary believer can only benefit and find edification, blessing, and joy. May this book serve all who will read it.”
—Jason G. Duesing, Provost and Professor of Historical Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Fugitt’s Lost Shepherd makes a compelling case for familiarity not leading to contempt. Rather, by working through each line of Psalm 23 and engaging with numerous different interpreters and interpretative approaches, Lost Shepherd renders in accessible form the true depth of a familiar passage. As a work of historical theology, Lost Shepherd draws upon leading Christian voices from diverse traditions to reveal how meaning shifts over time. As a work of devotion, it is a pleasing reminder that the Good Shepherd still roams the hills looking for those who stray, and that he continues to restore our souls. This is a scholarly yet pastoral meditation I anticipate many will be enriched by reading, and I look forward to directing many toward it.”
—Mark P. Ryan, Director of the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute, and Adjunct Professor of Religion and Culture, Covenant Theological Seminary, Saint Louis
“We do not study the Bible alone but with the whole people of God. Mark Fugitt invites us to read Psalm 23 with the church. This wonderful book helps us to rediscover Psalm 23 by showing us what it has meant to Christians throughout history. Readers will be introduced to the interpretative tradition of the church as an aid to help us hear afresh God speaking in this psalm. I am thankful for how Fugitt helps us read this psalm alongside the theologians of ages past.”
—Christopher R. Hanna, Department Chair and Professor of Theological Studies, Highlands College, and an associate pastor at Church of the Highlands
“Psalm 23 is among the best-known chapters of the Bible, even among nonbelievers. Therefore, it might surprise modern readers to know Christians in other times and places have interpreted these familiar words in a variety of ways. In this fascinating book, Mark Fugitt works through Psalm 23 line by line, engaging with pastors and theologians from across the Christian tradition, mining the riches of the church’s past for the sake of the church’s present flourishing. Lost Shepherd is a work of ‘historical pastoral theology’ that will be helpful to preachers and teachers of God’s Word and bless devotional readers of Psalm 23.”
—Nathan A. Finn, Provost and Dean of the University Faculty, North Greenville University
“Lest we live by the adage ‘familiarity breeds contempt,’ I invite you to read this intriguing book that connects the most well-known psalm in Scripture with the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. As a phrase-by-phrase exposition of this beloved poem, Lost Shepherd will push you to hear and sense Psalm 23 in a fresh and surprising way.”
—Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Secretary, Evangelical Theological Society; author, Historical Theology, Sojourners and Strangers, The Holy Spirit (with Andreas Köstenberger), Roman Catholic Theology and Practice, and Embodiment
“Mark Fugitt’s Lost Shepherd is a rare delight. I was hooked after the first paragraph and wanted to know what I didn’t know. Fugitt leads his readers through this majestic psalm by engaging with historical translations of the text, such as those found in the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, and luminaries, such as Francis of Assisi and Augustine. He shows how these authors interpreted the text, and his own extensive pastoral experience and academic acumen are evident throughout. This book is not only educational; it deeply connects the reader to the Good Shepherd. What more can one ask from a book?”
—Phil Halstead, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Carey Graduate School, Auckland, New Zealand
Dimensions (inches) 5.5 x 8.25
Weight (pounds) .5