Baptists and Regulative Principle

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Ray

Puritan Board Freshman
Would any of you know where I can find good resources like articles, podcasts, books by Classic Baptists who practice the regulative principle as in Exclusive Psalmody Acapella and no holy days"holidays"? I have a baptist friend that I'm trying to share Sola Scriptura with.
 

Ray

Puritan Board Freshman

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
The Refomed Baptists have traditionally not held to Exclusive Psalmody. There is a reason for this. Ch 7 in the 1689 Baptist Confession places its Covenant Theology in a distinct Historic Redemptive thrust. Obviously this is a big debate but if you believe that this thrust leads a greater emphasis on New Testament data, this leads to the view you can sing hymns based on NT data.

In this regard it is interesting comparing the WCF ch 21 to the 1689 ch 22. Both are very similar here, but the 1689 adds the words "Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs' etc.
 

Ray

Puritan Board Freshman
The Refomed Baptists have traditionally not held to Exclusive Psalmody. There is a reason for this. Ch 7 in the 1689 Baptist Confession places its Covenant Theology in a distinct Historic Redemptive thrust. Obviously this is a big debate but if you believe that this thrust leads a greater emphasis on New Testament data, this leads to the view you can sing hymns based on NT data.

In this regard it is interesting comparing the WCF ch 21 to the 1689 ch 22. Both are very similar here, but the 1689 adds the words "Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs' etc.
We all know that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs int the NT is referring to the book of Praise which is now called the book of Psalms, whether you like it or not. I'm not here for debate. Just here for resources.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
We all know that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs int the NT is referring to the book of Praise which is now called the book of Psalms, whether you like it or not.
Made me chuckle a little bit. Not everyone "knows" this. And you are right, this is your thread and you are not looking for debate, so that should stay out.

But Stephen's point about RBs is still appropriate. Confessional Baptists do hold to the regulative principle, but it may not be implemented to include EP.

So, there may not be a lot of literature on that particular issue.
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
We all know that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs int the NT is referring to the book of Praise
There are a good number of Reformed comentators that do not know this ;) But seriously I remain unconvinced because the work of the Spirit in the context of the passage and throughout Ephesians clearly refers to New Testament revelation.

However I appreciate you don't want a debate. Personally I think you are best to look for Reformed Paedobaptist sources.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
We all know that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs int the NT is referring to the book of Praise
There are a good number of Reformed comentators that do not know this ;) But seriously I remain unconvinced because the work of the Spirit in the context of the passage and throughout Ephesians clearly refers to New Testament revelation.

However I appreciate you don't want a debate. Personally I think you are best to look for Reformed Paedobaptist sources.
OK Stephen, how did Ray's quote end up getting attributed to me? I was saying the same thing you did.

(Of course, I'm a Ray too, but I go by Vic--and I know the quote function gets quirky--just clarifying) ;)
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
The Refomed Baptists have traditionally not held to Exclusive Psalmody. There is a reason for this. Ch 7 in the 1689 Baptist Confession places its Covenant Theology in a distinct Historic Redemptive thrust. Obviously this is a big debate but if you believe that this thrust leads a greater emphasis on New Testament data, this leads to the view you can sing hymns based on NT data.

In this regard it is interesting comparing the WCF ch 21 to the 1689 ch 22. Both are very similar here, but the 1689 adds the words "Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs' etc.
Interesting point. Stephen. I'd sometimes wondered why Baptists allowed for hymns (and organs) in public worship.

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Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
Yes. Trust it clarified. The debate really is over our historic redemptive understanding of covenant theology, Psalms/hymns etc. There is a helpful discussion on a Reformed Baptist historic redemptive approach in Recovering a Covenantal heritage http://www.rbap.net/our-books/recov...-theology-edited-by-richard-c-barcellos-ph-d/

I am on the conservative end of the hymnbook perspective. Eg, I love the Welsh Hymnnbook Christian worship which includes the 1650 Scottish Psalter and a full but conservative selection of hymns (including a fine collection from the Calvinistic Methodist Welsh tradition). http://www.christian-worship.org.uk/our-vision/
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Yes. Trust it clarified. The debate really is over our historic redemptive understanding of covenant theology, Psalms/hymns etc. There is a helpful discussion on a Reformed Baptist historic redemptive approach in Recovering a Covenantal heritage http://www.rbap.net/our-books/recov...-theology-edited-by-richard-c-barcellos-ph-d/

I am on the conservative end of the hymnbook perspective. Eg, I love the Welsh Hymnnbook Christian worship which includes the 1650 Scottish Psalter and a full but conservative selection of hymns (including a fine collection from the Calvinistic Methodist Welsh tradition). http://www.christian-worship.org.uk/our-vision/
It seems the Baptists are saying, then, that the New Testament is so new that the familial application of the inaugural sign and seal is over, to be replaced by the individual application, and the New Testament is so new that the Psalms of David are not suitable to be used, at least alone, in worship services.

Why do you have organs in the light of redemptive history?

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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Why do you have organs in the light of redemptive history?
Who has organs? ;)

I know lots of independent baptists have organs. Probably a lot of SBC congregations do too. But I don't think it has anything particularly to do with theology.

BTW, a few years ago I saw a video from Joel Beeke's church. I was surprised at the big organ leading the singing.

Spurgeon's church was a cappella. Most of the RBC congregations I know of are either a cappella or get by with a piano (grudgingly in many cases).

My unstudied observation regarding organs (having, in a distant life ago, been a church organist before I was a Christian): churches adopted organs because it was the thing to do. There was sort of a "keeping up with the Jones" mentality. Coupled with that was the proto-evangelical (using the modern American sense of the term "evangelical") desire to put on big shows. Big shows require big organs. There's nothing like an organist glorifying himself in guise of glorifying God by improvising on the closing hymn, powering up the 32 foot diapasons and closing with some wonderful crashing cadence undergirded by huge Bombardes belting out "For all the Saints." It's a show that sends people out swooning, and maybe even desiring to come back.

Oops, got carried away there.... I've really not seen any confessional Baptist justify organ playing from theology.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
We all know that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs int the NT is referring to the book of Praise which is now called the book of Psalms, whether you like it or not. I'm not here for debate. Just here for resources.
Don't chum the water unless you want to play with sharks.
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
It seems the Baptists are saying, then, that the New Testament is so new that the familial application of the inaugural sign and seal is over, to be replaced by the individual application, and the New Testament is so new that the Psalms of David are not suitable to be used, at least alone, in worship services.
Rather than a debate I'll leave you to look at the Covenant theology book I mentioned above

As a Scotsman in a Dutch Reformed church, I love to tell my Dutch brethren that Scotland, not the Netherlands, is known as the land of the Covenant :lol: :lol:

Why do you have organs in the light of redemptive history?
I am happy to be without an organ. I am particularly concerned with those modern "Reformed" Baptists who have a rock style band in their worship. This certainly is anti Reformed. As others have mentioned Spurgeon did not use musical instruments in his church.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
I can't recall ever seeing an organ in a Reformed Baptist church. It seems that most use a piano or sing a cappella. But I haven't seen organs in most Presbyterian churches either. Most of the ones in this part of the country are relatively small. So some of that may simply have to do with the size of the congregation. Nice organs aren't cheap, and accomplished organists usually aren't either. An organ, especially a pipe organ, is something that I associate with "big steeple" churches, which are usually liberal in these parts. Likewise, it may be that some smaller congregations (Presbyterian, Baptist or whatever) don't have a choir simply because they don't have enough people to form one and not because they oppose choirs out of conviction. (I'm speaking of congregations that don't have a "praise" team or band.)

In the 19th Century, at least in the USA, pianos were often associated with saloons. There are tales of members of Baptist churches taking the piano out of the church and throwing it into a lake or somewhere similar when attempts were made to introduce them into the churches. But organs apparently were OK in many of those churches, if not all of them.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the hymn singing controvrersy among early Baptists. The Particular Baptist leader Benjamin Keach was instrumental in gaining widespread acceptance for hymn singing in Baptist churches. I don't know much about it, but apparently the idea that some had was that congregational singing was no more appropriate than using a prayer book. But in that case, it seems that Keach's main opponent(s) opposed congregational singing entirely.

Here are a few resources quickly turned up in a search:

Samuel Renihan message on the controversy

Passage from James Leo Garrett's Baptist theology

https://feileadhmor.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/baptists-initiate-congregational-hymn-singing/

Passage from Pure Worship: The Early English Baptist Distinctive, a book with an interesting title with which I'm not familiar.
 
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Ray

Puritan Board Freshman
I can't recall ever seeing an organ in a Reformed Baptist church. It seems that most use a piano or sing a cappella. But I haven't seen organs in most Presbyterian churches either. Most of the ones in this part of the country are relatively small. So some of that may simply have to do with the size of the congregation. Nice organs aren't cheap, and accomplished organists usually aren't either. Likewise, it may be that some smaller congregations (Presbyterian, Baptist or whatever) don't have a choir simply because they don't have enough people to form one and not because they oppose choirs out of conviction.

In the 19th Century, at least in the USA, pianos were often associated with saloons. There are tales of members of Baptist churches taking the piano out of the church and throwing it into a lake or somewhere similar when attempts were made to introduce them into the churches. But organs apparently were OK in many of those churches, if not all of them.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the hymn singing controvrersy among early Baptists. The Particular Baptist leader Benjamin Keach was instrumental in gaining widespread acceptance for hymn singing in Baptist churches. I don't know much about it, but apparently the idea that some had was that congregational singing was no more appropriate than using a prayer book. But in that case, it seems that Keach's main opponent(s) opposed congregational singing entirely.

Here are a few resources quickly turned up in a search:

Samuel Renihan message on the controversy

Passage from James Leo Garrett's Baptist theology

https://feileadhmor.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/baptists-initiate-congregational-hymn-singing/

Passage from Pure Worship: The Early English Baptist Distinctive, a book with an interesting title with which I'm not familiar.
Gracias Brother, appreciate the resources.
 
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