Argument against exclusive Psalmody

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etexas

Puritan Board Doctor
Why is that? I ask just because the pro-EP folk would say that the burden is on you for similar reasons.
Good question. The burden is not on me because I am not making a dogmatic claim(in this case EP), nor am I a making a dogmatic case for classic hymns as a sole expression. In classical debate burden is always on the one making an exclusive claim. :2cents:
 
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Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Censorship.........commrade David? If I happen to be a Christian who disagrees (strongly) on the subject of EP I should be out on my ear? Shame.
It doesn't have anything to do with EP, so drop the name-calling and sarcasm. If you had actually read my post instead of looking for a reason to vilify me, you would see that I was referring to the Regulative Principle, not Exclusive Psalmody. I understand that there are some different interpretations of the Regulative Principle on this board, but the LBCF and WCF do teach the principle, and if you're going to reject it altogether then you don't belong on the board, in my opinion, because this board is for people who want to learn. If you don't like the Regulative Principle, then you don't like the historic Reformed faith and this isn't the place for you. :2cents:

Mr. Pell, I was not even educated on the RPW and was questioning all of the Messianic teachings I had had...actually struggling with it to out and out debate. It wasn't that I wasn't willing to reform...but without understanding, I literally had to be convinced, ie., convince me or I will continue to stand where I do.

I'm EP, btw ;) After having been raised a hymn-singing baptist.
The problem is that "convince me or I will continue to stand where I do" is not the attitude that people who come to the PuritanBoard are supposed to have, at least if they want to contribute to the board. The mission statement is to return American evangelicalism to its confessional roots. I came here because I wanted to learn what it meant to be a confessional Presbyterian, not so I could argue with everyone about simple, basic confessional principles. If people, after hearing the arguments, don't want to embrace Reformed distinctives, it isn't fair for those of who do to have to respond to the same tired arguments over and over and suffer being called legalists. Those who join the board should join because they realize that confessionalism has something to offer, not because they're happy with their non-Reformed standpoints and want to argue with people who hold to the LBCF and WCF.
 

etexas

Puritan Board Doctor
It doesn't have anything to do with EP, so drop the name-calling and sarcasm. If you had actually read my post instead of looking for a reason to vilify me, you would see that I was referring to the Regulative Principle, not Exclusive Psalmody. I understand that there are some different interpretations of the Regulative Principle on this board, but the LBCF and WCF do teach the principle, and if you're going to reject it altogether then you don't belong on the board, in my opinion, because this board is for people who want to learn. If you don't like the Regulative Principle, then you don't like the historic Reformed faith and this isn't the place for you. :2cents:



The problem is that "convince me or I will continue to stand where I do" is not the attitude that people who come to the PuritanBoard are supposed to have, at least if they want to contribute to the board. The mission statement is to return American evangelicalism to its confessional roots. I came here because I wanted to learn what it meant to be a confessional Presbyterian, not so I could argue with everyone about simple, basic confessional principles. If people, after hearing the arguments, don't want to embrace Reformed distinctives, it isn't fair for those of who do to have to respond to the same tired arguments over and over and suffer being called legalists. Those who join the board should join because they realize that confessionalism has something to offer, not because they're happy with their non-Reformed standpoints and want to argue with people who hold to the LBCF and WCF.
Why Dave Lad! You are going to give yourself a "spell" have a valium an seltzer and a good night sleep......you are getting cranky!
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
David, I did not come here to argue. I came here to learn. I really didn't realise what I was getting into when I came. My husband had become reformed and we were starting to attend a PCA church, then landed in a "reformed baptist" congregation (I put that in quotes as it doesn't even live up to Reformed in the minor sense...they are heading to FV, paedocommunion, and no membership or proper ordinations). I found the PB and he advised that I join it to learn more. But I ran into things that were new to me and that I did not have the understanding that I thought I had. Please note, I thought I knew more about what I was talking about than I did.

I've now gone from a new Reformed Baptist to an RPW Presbyterian.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
David, I did not come here to argue. I came here to learn. I really didn't realise what I was getting into when I came. My husband had become reformed and we were starting to attend a PCA church, then landed in a "reformed baptist" congregation (I put that in quotes as it doesn't even live up to Reformed in the minor sense...they are heading to FV, paedocommunion, and no membership or proper ordinations). I found the PB and he advised that I join it to learn more. But I ran into things that were new to me and that I did not have the understanding that I thought I had. Please note, I thought I knew more about what I was talking about than I did.

I've now gone from a new Reformed Baptist to an RPW Presbyterian.
I understand, Colleen. I went through a similar transition. You know that nothing I said was directed at you, right? It had more to do with Don's rejection of the RPW and Max's statement that EPers are legalists. I don't understand why these things even have to be issues here.

Why Dave Lad! You are going to give yourself a "spell" have a valium an seltzer and a good night sleep......you are getting cranky!
What are you talking about? All I did was explain what I thought was the mission statement of the board.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator hate ON. It is for the owner and moderators of this board to determine who doesn't belong here. Discuss nicely, with grace, or don't discuss.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Moderator hate ON. It is for the owner and moderators of this board to determine who doesn't belong here. Discuss nicely, with grace, or don't discuss.
Perhaps you can address Max's declaration of EPers as legalists.

Concerning who belongs here and who doesn't, could you, as a mod, just tell me if my understanding is incorrect? If this isn't a place for the Reforming to learn but is a venue for those who reject Reformed distinctives to argue and refuse to allow their understanding to develop, then just tell me and I'll change my expectations.
 

etexas

Puritan Board Doctor
What are you talking about? All I did was explain what I thought was the mission statement of the board.
I am totally in line with the mission of this board, I hold the Heidelberg and the 39 articles and the three great creeds. I just happen to disagree with you on this thread....which is about EP, you I disagree and since I am not EP you want me thrown out. That is what I am talking about.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I am totally in line with the mission of this board, I hold the Heidelberg and the 39 articles and the three great creeds. I just happen to disagree with you on this thread....which is about EP, you I disagree and since I am not EP you want me thrown out. That is what I am talking about.
Please drop the false accusations. I never said that I wanted you thrown out because you aren't EP. Many on this board aren't. You called EPers legalists. Exclusive Psalmody is a historically acceptable position for a Reformed Christian and you have no right to throw out such insults. Are you aware that many on this board hold the position? It was an offensive thing to do and you need to own up to it.

My other complaint was concerning Don's continued argumentation on this board against the RPW. That post was the one which caused me to bring up the question about board membership, not anything you said. I'm just trying to get straight in my mind what is acceptable on the board.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If I may, I would like for us to go back to the question in the OP. This is supposed to be about the argument given by a deacon, what's good or bad with it, and not a debate about EP.

I said that it wasn't stated very well, and some said other things about it. What I'd like to ask about it is what is wrong, or what could have been said better. Let's make this about the argument, not about EP.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If I may, I would like for us to go back to the question in the OP. This is supposed to be about the argument given by a deacon, what's good or bad with it, and not a debate about EP.

I said that it wasn't stated very well, and some said other things about it. What I'd like to ask about it is what is wrong, or what could have been said better. Let's make this about the argument, not about EP.
Okay, sounds good. I apologize for my contributions to the derailment of the thread. I won't post again in this thread unless it has to do specifically with the OP.
 

etexas

Puritan Board Doctor
I think EP taken to an extreme can be legalism, I do NOT feel those who wish to practice the same are legalist themseves. Dude, it is just my opinion. NOTHING to get upset about.:2cents:
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Good. Carry on, with grace and humility, and let the PB mods worry about who needs to be here and who doesn't.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I think EP taken to an extreme can be legalism, I do NOT feel those who wish to practice the same are legalist themseves. Dude, it is just my opinion. NOTHING to get upset about.:2cents:
Sigh. Dude, drop the legalism usage NOW. The explaining really does not help.
 
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NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I leave you gents, and ladies to discuss this, with grace, to your hearts content tonight, without hate, or hats, if indoors .... :lol:
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I believe the deacon has a point - we certainly should sing the OT Psalms in the light of the Gospel, but we are also to sing, pray, confess, preach, etc... of our explicit faith in and adoration of Jesus Christ as the revealed Messiah and Lord thus, along with the Psalms we should sing and make melody in our hearts with hymns and spiritual songs to Jesus.

Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jesus Christ is not proclaimed in the Psalms.
 
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Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I believe the deacon has a point - we certainly should sing the OT Psalms in the light of the Gospel, but we are also to sing, pray, confess, preach, etc... of our explicit faith in and adoration of Jesus Christ as the revealed Messiah and Lord thus, along with the Psalms we should sing and make melody in our hearts with hymns and spiritual songs to Jesus.

Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jesus Christ is not proclaimed in the Psalms.
JD,

Here it seems that you are assuming one of the very points in debate. If the "principle" that we ought to sing the explicit name of Jesus must be obeyed, I ask: where is that commanded us? Where is it commanded in Scripture that we sing the bare word "Jesus" (or Joshua, Jeshua, Yeshua, etc.)? Romans 10 makes no mention of singing. Neither does Philippians 2.

If we are commanded, in our songs, to use the word "Jesus," then Psalm-singers are indeed sinning. But does that mean that every song sung in church must include the name "Jesus"? Does this requirement (which I still can't find in my Bible) mean that we can't sing any of the Psalms, since none of them contain the name "Jesus"? Does it exclude all non-canonical hymns which do not include the name "Jesus"? What about the Doxology? It mentions "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" -- but the Psalms themselves speak of "the Son" (Ps. 2:12), so that probably won't satisfy you.

Contrary to your assertion, Jesus Christ is proclaimed throughout the Psalms (although the name "Jesus" never appears there); much more than the book of Esther is a book full of God's providence, without ever explicitly mentioning God by any of His titles.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
I am glad that we are all in agreement here. I could ask you both where do you find the command to sing "uninspired songs" in the New Testament? Or, is this another re-interpretation of Reformed doctrine by so-called Baptists and Anglicans?

The proof that Paul is speaking only about the 150 Psalms in Colossians 3:16 has been done by far more competant hands than myself. I will leave it with them:

http://www.covenanter.org/Worship/Psalmody/psalmody.htm

It is my experience that one needs to be "converted" to Psalmody by a work of the Spirit of God. The natural human, or fleshly, desires concerning worship music are far too strong to be overcome otherwise.

So, I will ask again: Where do you find New Testament evidence of "uninspired songs" such as "O For a Thousand Tongues," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "In the Garden," etc. in the Worship of God?

Grace and Peace,

-CH
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thank you very much for your replies. If any of you could recommend a website or book which might go further into this issue in general and my earlier question specefically; that would be great.

Thanks.
Josiah,

The best modern work on the subject is The Songs of Zion: A Contemporary Case for Exclusive Psalmody, published by Crown and Covenant Publications. Michael Bushell (the man behind BibleWorks software) wrote it as a thesis paper at Westminster Theological Seminary. In its second edition (1993), your objection is principally treated on pages 16-29. It is out of print at the moment; Crown and Covenant has been working with Mr. Bushell for a while on a third edition.

Additionally, several smaller works treat of this matter in a more abbreviated way: Brian Schwertley's Exclusive Psalmody: A Biblical Defense, pp. 33-36 (click here); John Keddie's Sing the Lord's Song: Biblical Psalms in Worship, pp. 59-61, etc. Most works that try to present a "full" defense of EP, mentioning the various issues involved in this subject, make mention of that objection and give satisfactory answers to it.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
JD,

Here it seems that you are assuming one of the very points in debate. If the "principle" that we ought to sing the explicit name of Jesus must be obeyed, I ask: where is that commanded us? Where is it commanded in Scripture that we sing the bare word "Jesus" (or Joshua, Jeshua, Yeshua, etc.)? Romans 10 makes no mention of singing. Neither does Philippians 2.

If we are commanded, in our songs, to use the word "Jesus," then Psalm-singers are indeed sinning. But does that mean that every song sung in church must include the name "Jesus"? Does this requirement (which I still can't find in my Bible) mean that we can't sing any of the Psalms, since none of them contain the name "Jesus"? Does it exclude all non-canonical hymns which do not include the name "Jesus"? What about the Doxology? It mentions "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" -- but the Psalms themselves speak of "the Son" (Ps. 2:12), so that probably won't satisfy you.

Contrary to your assertion, Jesus Christ is proclaimed throughout the Psalms (although the name "Jesus" never appears there); much more than the book of Esther is a book full of God's providence, without ever explicitly mentioning God by any of His titles.
Ephesians 5:19-21

19speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

20giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the God and Father;

Colossians 3:16-18

16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing each other, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, in grace singing in your hearts to the Lord;

17and all, whatever ye may do in word or in work, [do] all things in the name of the Lord Jesus -- giving thanks to the God and Father, through him.

Again - we are certainly to not disregard the Psalms, no more than we are to ignore the OT, but we are commanded to acknowledge the name of Jesus in our worship - that is to include singing - and since the Psalms do not explicitly acknowledge the name of Jesus, we must. In prayer, in praise, in preaching - even in the administration of the sacraments.

Acts 19:5
and they, having heard, were baptized -- to the name of the Lord Jesus

And if you don't think the name of Jesus is important...do a word study on the phrase name of Jesus.

It is not scriptural to disregard the explicit name of the Lord Jesus the Christ in worship. EP is not scriptural.
 
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knight4christ8

Puritan Board Freshman
Good point. It is like a courtroom David, if you could convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt that EP is a NT COMMAND I will embrace it, otherwise it is fair game in tearms of debate.:2cents:
I believe herein lies the reason for a failure to see what is truly required of us in worship. You are dispensational - your demand is the same demand that is given within the debate on baptism. The baptist, anti-sabbatarian, and now I guess the hymn-singer would require that their opposition prove that something be restated or outrightly commanded within the NT. This is an absolutely improper and unorthodox way of viewing Scripture. The OT and NT are to be seen as a comprehensive whole that together reveals the same Holy God of redemption. You are requiring that a new command be given int the NT when the OT clearly shows that the holiness of God can never accept or allow uninspired worship, OT or NT. For it is "strange fire" as Nadab and Abihu offered to the Lord.

I think that the ball is in your court (i.e. the anti-EPer). The OT has already stated a doctrinal standpoint on God's absolute holiness and its requirements of the worshiper. To think that this changed would be the viewpoint with the burden. God's holiness and its unapproachability by the sinner stands. Because this is so clearly set forth in the OT, you are the one who must show a command in the NT that would justify any change.

Also, to the charge of "legalism" . . . Was it legalistic for one to believe that no man was to touch the ark and desecrate that which God instituted as a holy means by which Israel was to understand him (1 Chr. 13:9; 2 Sam. 6:6-7)? I don't think it was. But it seems that in today's overly-individualistic society people believe that any belief that emphasizes God's holiness in lawful form, is legalistic. The biblical idea of legalism is concerned with bondage to the law, while at the same time it disregards God himself whom the law is to point us to and bring us to know. Exclusive Psalmody elevates God, recognizing his true overwhelming holiness that would undo us if we ever were to witness it as Isaiah did. EP is concerned with presenting to God ONLY the worship which he himself has prescribed, and thereby to recognize that it is when we come to understand the worldview encompassed in the Psalms we come to recognize the fullness of God's plan in redemption. Doing a study on man's attempts to avert God's holiness helps one come to respect the regulative principle for what it is.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ephesians 5:19-21

19speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

20giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the God and Father;

Colossians 3:16-18

16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing each other, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, in grace singing in your hearts to the Lord;

17and all, whatever ye may do in word or in work, [do] all things in the name of the Lord Jesus -- giving thanks to the God and Father, through him.

Again - we are certainly to not disregard the Psalms, no more than we are to ignore the OT, but we are commanded to acknowledge the name of Jesus in our worship - that is to include singing - and since the Psalms do not explicitly acknowledge the name of Jesus, we must. In prayer, in praise, in preaching - even in the administration of the sacraments.

Acts 19:5
and they, having heard, were baptized -- to the name of the Lord Jesus
JD,

Both of those passages principally speak of doing ALL THINGS "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph), "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col). Does this mean that when you do ANYTHING, you have to say the name "Jesus"? Does this likewise mean that in our prayers, we are bound and required to say the name "Jesus"? What about the Lord's Prayer? Why would Christ teach us, in NT times, to pray a prayer that doesn't mention His name, if that is the really, really, really important thing?
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 180. What is it to pray in the name of Christ?
A. To pray in the name of Christ is, in obedience to his command, and in confidence on his promises, to ask mercy for his sake; not by bare mentioning of his name, but by drawing our encouragement to pray, and our boldness, strength, and hope of acceptance in prayer, from Christ and his mediation.
Again, I argue that "singing the name of Jesus" and "singing IN the name of Jesus" are two very different things. Singing in Jesus' name is commanded us in Scripture, and is accomplished by singing His Psalms; singing Jesus' name is nowhere commanded in Scripture.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Again - Scripture is clear - by good and necessary consequence - the explicit name of Jesus is an essential element in our worship of God. That means incorporating it into all our elements of worship. Not in some robotic, babbling, legalistic fashion as the pagans do, with the name of their "gods", nor creating some frequency and duration rule as the Pharisees would, but with reverence, fear and love.

EP is incomplete worship.

EP does not acknowledge the Scriptural importance of the explicit name of Jesus as the revealed Christ.

Matthew 1:21
and she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.'

Acts 8:12
And when they believed Philip, proclaiming good news, the things concerning the reign of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women;

Philippians 3:3
for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,

1 Corinthians 1:2
to the assembly of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all those calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place -- both theirs and ours:

I will call upon the name of my Lord Jesus in every element of worship even as I proclaim the name of Jesus to the world!
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
:wow::wow:

That was one of the most serious and dangerous accusation I have ever heard!!! Last person I have heard say that was Isaac Watts who in my eyes was nothing better then a heretic.....

I believe you should purchase a copy of Charles Spurgeons "Treasury of David"

So I suppose that Psalm 22 is not the words of our Lord during his stay on the cross... "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me" and the Words at the end "It is FINISHED" The Psalmist reference to our ATONEMENT with Christ Death...

Again I suppose that Psalm 110 is not about Christ seating at the right hand of the Father.

Jesus Christ IS EVERYWHERE IN THE PSALMS.

The New Testament Testifies they ARE ABOUT HIM...

Your statement saddens me greatly and vexs my soul......

I will pray for you and that your eyes will be open to Christ throughout the Old Testament and especially in the Book of Psalms.

Jesus Christ is not proclaimed in the Psalms.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I will pray for you and that your eyes will be open to Christ throughout the Old Testament and especially in the Book of Psalms.
And I pray you will be convicted as to the truth of the revealed name of the Christ - our Lord Jesus - and the scriptural warrant to incorporate His glorious name in all elements of worship.
 
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