A critique of the New Calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by JonathanHunt, Jun 9, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Ricky, come on. He made a good point. You said that "strict RPW" people do not reach out to urban areas, and he pointed to his own church as a counterexample. He was not saying that his is the only example.

    Besides, this is not at all about whether "strict RPW" people or Christian rappers are more effective by our own systems of counting effectiveness, but whether the RPW allows for Christian rap in the first place. And to repeat my stance on the issue, I do believe there is a distinction between Christian music (e.g. Christian metal, Christian rap) and worship music (i.e. that is under the RPW), but I can't put my finger on it.
  2. Jie-Huli

    Jie-Huli Puritan Board Freshman

    With due respect, to say that the RPW applies only to stated times of corporate worship is an extremely deficient understanding of it. Of course the phrase "Regulative Principle of Worship" is a theological term and does not appear directly in the Scriptures, but the principles we are talking about certainly apply to ALL worship. It is the "Regulative Principle of Worship", not the "Regulative Principle of Corporate Worship", and the Biblical principles apply to the essence of worshipping God - it is about worship itself, it is not merely some useful tool for keeping order in churches.

    I would again ask, what exactly are the spiritual principles behind the RPW? We must not view this as just some formalistic rule to be followed in certain settings, we must truly grasp the spiritual implications and depths of it - and once we do, it is clear that these implications cannot by any means be limited to certain settings. If we truly take these great, soaring principles seriously, how can we think that they suddenly cease to be of any relevance the moment we walk out the doors of our church's sanctuary?

    If something is not appropriate for worship, then it is not appropriate for worship, full stop. The God being sung to in private or at unofficial gatherings is the same God that is being sung to in the corporate worship of the church, and the same reverence is due to Him no matter what the setting.
  3. historyb

    historyb Puritan Board Junior

    So what musical stuff is allowed under this RPW? (Note I am not RPW, just wondering)
  4. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior


    How would you answer Ricky's example above? He said that the view that anything involved with Jesus is worship would logically conclude that one cannot use board games to learn about the Bible, because board games are not prescribed in Scripture as elements of worship.
  5. Jie-Huli

    Jie-Huli Puritan Board Freshman

    As to the question of what properly falls within the definition of "worship" as referred to in the Regulative Principle of Worship, it would seem clear to me that this refers to any sort of praise directed towards God, no matter the setting. This may indeed be distinguished from having normal conversations between individual people about the things of God, which would not, strictly speaking, come within the definition of "worship" as it is not directed specifically towards God --- though of course the principle of reverence towards His name will always apply.
  6. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation


    Well, debate about what the RPW entails strictly with respect to music (whether it be A Capella Exclusive Psalmody, or whether non-inspired hymns are also allowed) is currently restricted to the moderated EP sub-forums.

    But, since this board is governed by the confessions which we all agree at least teach the RPW, there are two main positions on the board:

    1.) Those who believe that only the Psalms may be sung, and that without instrumentation; and,

    2.) Those who believe that non-canonical hymns may be sung as well, and this is frequently accompanied by the belief that these songs may be accompanied by the use of a musical instrument strictly as a circumstance, not an actual part of worship, in order to assist the singing.

    This being said, believing in regulated worship, another things which (I think) we all agree upon is that the use of singing is regulated based upon its purpose as well: that is, we see that singing of psalms (and hymns, if you fall into category #2) is instituted for some of the following reasons: 1.) To sing praise back to God in response to his word spoken to us; 2.) To recount to one another the works of God, speaking the word of God to one another, whereby the Spirit works to put us in remembrance, the convict, sanctify and assure our hearts. This would be opposed to the basically mystical immediate "encounter of God" that is targeted in much of contemporary evangelical worship, whereby in singing many powerful, emotional songs in a row, the worshiper is basically brought into a trance, which is referred to as "drawing into the presence of God."

    I hope this is helpful.
  7. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    I remember before in a RPW thread, I asked someone (Rev. Winzer, "armourbearer," I believe) if this would make it wrong to sing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" as I'm taking a walk -- assuming that EP is implied by the RPW. He responded that it would be permissible, but I can't remember his reasoning.
  8. historyb

    historyb Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you :)
  9. Jie-Huli

    Jie-Huli Puritan Board Freshman

    Apologies, Ben, I made my above post before I saw yours. I think I have already answered this in essence in my post just above, but just to be more specific - I do not think everything involved with Jesus is worship, strictly speaking - only acts which are specifically offered in praise towards God directly. So, no, a board game to learn about the Bible would not fall under the regulative principle of worship.

    Someone may then say that Christian rap is not being offered as praise towards God, but is being used purely as a means of communicating teaching to other people. But in the Bible, singing in the Christian life is always related to worship - I do not think singing about Biblical truth can ever be segregated from the act of worship, as the act of singing itself contemplates a sweet and joyful proclamation of love towards God. There is no warrant in the Scriptures for using song as purely a means of teaching others.

    And overriding everything, there is always the great principle, which is not limited to what is strictly speaking "worship", that God's name is to be given great reverence at all times.

    Kind regards,

  10. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Thank you for responding. How would you reply to the "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" example above? If EP is correct, then would it be wrong to sing that at any time whatsoever? If not, why not?

    Just to let you know, I'm not trying to single you out here. :)
  11. Jie-Huli

    Jie-Huli Puritan Board Freshman

    Well, I would recognise that there is something of a difference between stated worship (whether corporate, family or secret) and other kinds of singing. What I have meant to say above (and I am not certain whether I have expressed it entirely clearly) is that even if the RPW is strictly speaking regulative only during times of stated worship (corporate, family and secret), it is normative at any time we are singing about the things of the Lord. Thus, I suppose, an EP adherent might believe he could sings hymns for personal reflection outside of stated worship, but would still be bound by the normative principles (such as reverence, holiness, separation, etc.) which would always place bounds around the kinds of music he would connect with the things of God.


  12. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Ahhh, I understand you now. Your previous statements about not "putting the RPW in a box" after leaving worship makes more sense. The regulations still are in effect, but only in a normative sense, maintaing the principles of worship.

    So then, would you deem Christian rap/metal to be off-limits because it is not done with reverence, holiness, etc.? I'm trying to work with you here to discover the difference between stated worship and other types of singing, as you noted exists.
  13. Jie-Huli

    Jie-Huli Puritan Board Freshman

    Essentially, yes. The Regulative Principle states that "Whatever is not Commanded is Forbidden". This is the basic rule, and a right one it is.

    But what are the principles and spiritual reasons behind the rule? Why is it exactly that God has forbidden human innovation in His worship? I am not saying that we can understand all the reasons behind God's commands exhaustively (and certainly we must just obey no matter what our level of understanding), but we can certainly know a great deal from what has been revealed in Scripture. And the principles behind the RPW include the fact that God is holy and separate, that His name is to be treated with great reverence and godly fear, that the things of God are sacred and serious and not to be blended with lesser things or worship made an occassion for showing off human ingenuity. And these principles surely apply whenever the things of God are being sung about.

    And although it may not be a popular view, and I do not have the time to expand upon it now, (and I do not wish to hurt the feelings of anyone who is caught up in these things), I do believe that to mix rap, pop and other such genres with the things of Christ does violate these principles.

    At any rate, I never meant to turn this into a discussion mainly about the RPW, as, again, Dr Masters' article that is the subject of this thread is about more than that and well worthy of being read and letting it speak for itself.

    Kind regards,

  14. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Thank you for explaining yourself. :)
  15. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    :think: I don't think we could consider this a wee bit of unwarranted and self-serving triumphalism, could we? :think:
  16. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior

    Feelings certainly run high on this subject.

    I'm sorry to have read one or two presumptious comments about Dr Masters - i.e. - he wouldn't go and talk to people in a ghetto, etc, etc. He wouldn't talk to rappers... what a load of ... sheer presumption. There, I'm being polite.

    At least nobody on the PB has called him a 'retard'. I found that on a blog yesterday. Nice, huh?
  17. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    He's a retard.
    Didn't see your post there, Jonathan. :lol:
  18. awretchsavedbygrace

    awretchsavedbygrace Puritan Board Sophomore

    Regardless of this presumption. What is a valid argument, and no one can sincerly argue... Is that God has worked through Christian rap. Everyone has their own place to reach. One in the jungles of peru, the other in a suburban area, and some have been reached through Christian rap.
  19. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior

    You are young, you will learn.

    Hey, if Dr Masters read your post, he would laugh. He's a good sport.

    -----Added 6/11/2009 at 07:17:13 EST-----

    I know. I hated rap - until I heard some reformed rap. It is very powerful stuff. But his beef is not with rap specifically, but with every music style he views as associated with an anti-God culture. Anyway, I'm not his apologist. I had my reasons for wanting this article to get 'out there' which I can't go into on a public board, but I am glad for all the responses and for those who have written to him. I don't know if he will be able to reply, he is fairly unwell. I am 32, and I have known him all my life. My dad is one of the deacons at the Tabernacle. I have sent him emails several times, and never had a response. But he has read them all and knows about them. I hope that some response goes out to those who do contact in a more 'external' sense. I'd be interested to know.

  20. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    This made me smile. :D
  21. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Actually I NEVER said that and you guys have misinterpreted what I said...I never said that there is NO strict RPW people who do not reach out to urban areas, but I GUARANTEE you guys that is not the norm.....especially in my experience. This problem is nothing new guys lets not act like I'm the first to complain about this, articles upon articles have been written about these problems, but as you said thats neither here nor there.

    -----Added 6/11/2009 at 07:46:11 EST-----

    Man, you guys read so much into everything.....:confused:

    I stand by my above assertion......its my opinion and I have a right to it...

    -----Added 6/11/2009 at 07:47:40 EST-----

    Yup your exactly right pure assumptions because noone said no such things...

    -----Added 6/11/2009 at 07:54:20 EST-----

    Glad to hear that sir...

    Thats just the problem, that every culture that is not subjected to Christ is anti-God no matter what part of the world we live in...but the problem also is that Master's singled out Hip Hop and its evils and lumped everyone associated with the culture with it, and thats our complaint.
  22. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior


    If you want I can point out in the thread where people have said precisely what I have mentioned about Dr Masters.

    And a general point of order folks. It is Masters. Not Master's. And if you want to use an apostophe as in 'Dr Masters' teapot' it goes after the s.

    Thank you, normal service is now resumed.

  23. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    What did Paul Washer say to the Christian rappers he gave a sermon to?

    (paraphrase) "There are Christians who will seek your downfall simply because of your style and culture." Seems about right. I am of his opinion: "I was expecting to hear typical hip-hop music...but what I heard was gospel."
  24. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior


    Actually, singular nouns in English should always have an apostrophe+s. For example, "James's" is correct, "James' " is not; "Jesus'" rather than "Jesus' "; "Dr. Masters's" rather than "Dr. Masters' "; etc.

    If I am not mistaken the permissibility of dropping the last "s" for names ending in "s" was due to some unintentional laziness. It's easier to say "Praise Jesus' name" than "Praise Jesus' name." But the former simply makes no sense at all.

    Grammar Nazi out.:judge:
  25. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    And? lol...and along with Masters very wrong....

    Well debate over.....:rolleyes:

    -----Added 6/11/2009 at 09:25:26 EST-----

  26. Gloria

    Gloria Puritan Board Sophomore

    From the article:

    It that right? Presumptuous.

    So those he mentions in his article don't "truly" proclaim the sovereignty of God? Examples please. Until then...Presumptuous

    Define "worldly" (using the Bible). While I'm on that, I'm reading through the posts. Is anyone going to address how I was "unfair" by saying the author's definition of "worldliness" is unbiblical. I did my best in the time I had to define "worldliness" using the Bible. Much is being assumed here but again, definition of "worldly" needs to be fleshed out.

    So these 'new' calvinist's have the market cornered on hypocrisy? I'm sure there are and were some 'old' calvinists who have orthodoxy/orthopraxy issues as well. We ALL do. Thank Jesus for the cross! Oh yeah...Presumptuous...

    I could go on...so, regarding assumptions, I think the author has made some himself. This does not excuse the assumptions made in this thread by anyone, myself included, however I think it should be pointed out that both sides are guilty. Why assume the worst of a brother in the Lord? Is a different gospel being preached?
  27. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Gloria, Jonathan said the comments regarding Dr. Masters's unwillingness to evangelize were presumptuous. It is not as if he just said, "Every possible objection to Dr. Masters is presumptuous."
  28. Gloria

    Gloria Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thank you.

    -----Added 6/11/2009 at 09:50:32 EST-----

    Thanks. I don't think anyone was talking about Dr. Masters's unwillingness to evangelize. I know when I mentioned it, I was talking about the likelihood of him randomly witnessing to someone who would typically listen to rap...grew up listening to rap, watches BET everyday, someone growing up in this particular culture...and yes, I think the likelihood is slim...and THAT'S okay. The Lord is raising up people within this culture to bring the truth with boldness!

    Here's what I said in context:

  29. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Well, if you think it's unlikely that he would evangelize, then I'm not sure how that's substantively different from saying he is unwilling to evangelize.

    Besides, as Jie-Huli pointed out, Dr. Masters's church is in a downtrodden part of London, and they evangelize there. It's fine to disagree with his points (I do), but please don't extend it to personal remarks about his character, even if they are only probabilistic.
  30. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    She didn't attack anyone, but actually pointing out the obvious.....but again off topic
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page