Can songs written by men out-edify the Psalms?

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by WrittenFromUtopia, Jul 27, 2005.

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  1. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    This is a serious question. I'm having real doubts about some viewpoints on this board. The Book of Psalms is the Word of God, part of Scripture, written by God's Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. They are infallible, inerrant, and perfect in every way. They can regenerate hearts through the power of God's Spirit. Only God's Word can convert souls and, without fail, edify us as we need to be edified.

    So then, to the poll question: Are there songs OTHER THAN THE 150 PSALMS that are AS GOOD or BETTER than Scripture?
     
  2. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    Of course there are none BETTER but this surely doesn't mean we can't sing anything else does it?

    I am sure the question will be "Why should we" for which at this time I have no sound answer to, but I am not prepared to call the singing of hymns sin.
     
  3. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    Can the words of men convert the soul?

    If the purpose of worship, according to Paul, is to "teach, admonish, and edify" one another while we commune with the Lord, then to use something other than Scripture is to FAIL at this command, in my opinion.

    Hymns are not a Sacrament, they are not a means of grace. God's Word IS a means of grace, however. Hopefully, you see my point.
     
  4. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    I see your point, no doubt. So you would call the singing of hymns sin? What if there are Psalms and hymns sung?
     
  5. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Well, remember, when you pick a song you are picking that song to the exclusion of all others. If the psalms are admittedly better than all human hymns and you pick a hymn you are choosing something inferior over something superior. Every time you sing a hymn you could be singing what is admittedly better.

    [Edited on 7-27-2005 by Peter]
     
  6. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    Disobedience to God's Word is sin. From my viewpoint, I see the singing of anything but God's Word as a sin. Therefore, yes, I believe to sing man-written songs is worship "in vain", to borrow Christ's language.
     
  7. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    Hmmmm I shall discuss this with my pastor.
     
  8. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    Quickly, outside of worship do you feel the same?
     
  9. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    I'm not sure I follow.
     
  10. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    I am wondering if the worship service is the only place where you are saying that Psalms must be the only music one sings or listens to. I assume that's what you are limitting it to but I want to be certain.

    For instance, I can play hymns in my car stereo?
     
  11. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    In the context of worship, Psalms only.
    For the purpose of worship, Psalms only.
    At home, for family worship, Psalms only.
    In private, for private worship, Psalms only.
    At Church, for corporate worship, Psalms only.

    What you listen to for entertainment, pleasure, etc. is open to whatever you wish, so far as it is appropriate for a Christian. I listen to Johnny Cash singing the hymns in my truck all the time ... I just don't call it worship. ;)
     
  12. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    Ok, whoever voted the other way needs to get in here as it's going to appear as if it was me:p
     
  13. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    Based on this logic, we should stop preaching sermons that explain the Scriptures since they are the un-inspired words of men.
     
  14. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    I already dealt with this objection in an earlier thread.

    Worship by the singing of praise has different stipulations and regulations set upon it from Scripture than the preaching of the Word.

    As I said before, you don't bake a cake using the instructions for fixing a lawnmower.
     
  15. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    :ditto:
     
  16. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    "Are there songs OTHER THAN THE 150 PSALMS that are AS GOOD or BETTER than Scripture?"

    What about the songs used in heaven, which are not included in the psalter but are included in the Bible? What about sung portions of the New Testament? They are scripture.
     
  17. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    Do you sing them in your church? Are you singing from Scripture alone?
     
  18. sastark

    sastark Puritan Board Graduate

    Other portions of Scripture are just as good as the Psalms. No part of the Bible is "more equal" than any other part.
     
  19. WrittenFromUtopia

    WrittenFromUtopia Puritan Board Graduate

    That isn't the question. Are there man-written songs equal to or better than Scripture. Amazing Grace, for example.
     
  20. sastark

    sastark Puritan Board Graduate

    Gab- Sorry, the question made it sound like a Psalms vs. Everything else (which I took to include the rest of Scripture) dichetomy.
     
  21. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    Gabe, you are inconsistent.


    First, you said that the "words of men" (uninspired) cannot convert anyone:


    But then later, you contradict yourself by admitting that spoken sermons (also uninspired) CAN convert people:



    So, what if I put music to one of Jonathan Edward's sermons? Would it suddenly lose its power to convince the listener of sin and his/her need of salvation?

    I fail to understand how the mere *addition* of music to words somehow *erases* the power of those words to be used to convert a person. I thought the power was in the TRUTH contained in the words themselves. I never thought the power was contained in the sermon's *absence* of music.

    But somehow, Gabe, I don't think you really believe that the addition of music somehow makes the Gospel lose its power. I think you are just being inconsistent.
     
  22. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    Why is it that when someone points out an obvious inconsistancy in your logic, you merely brush it off saying, "I already dealt with this objection in an earlier thread." Why can't you deal with it here? Can't you at least copy and paste? Pointing out that singing "has different stipulations" than preaching does not relieve you of the inconsistancy of the argument at hand.

    Quoting from your last post, inserting "sermons" in the place of "songs":

    Are there man-written sermons equal to or better than Scripture?

    [Edited on 7-27-2005 by Dan....]
     
  23. Dan....

    Dan.... Puritan Board Sophomore

    :ditto: to what Joseph wrote.
     
  24. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Further, Psalms do not convert the soul either. The singing of psalms is not the preaching of the gospel. Preaching and singing are separate so far as the gospel is concerned. Otherwise, all the nuts who say they are in music ministry are right. There is no music ministry. The gospel comes by preaching, thus conversion can only come by the preached Word of God.

    Once again, I'll protest. The Psalter is not inerrant nor is it inspired. The psalms themselves are, but the metrical psalter is not.

    In Christ,

    KC
     
  25. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    You need to clarify here. It is the preaching of the Gospel, according to the apostle Paul, not the singing of psalms that converts the soul unto Christ (regardless of pleading Ps.19:7). He does not admonish Timothy to sing the Psalms from the pulpit unto conversion and sanctification, but the preaching of the Gospel. The Psalms can be sung all day to my children, but without my explaining Christ and his work in them to my children, most of it will not be understood.

    You are trying to place a different function upon the Psalms than can be claimed. They are primarily for worship, not evangelism. In the same way, hymns are primarily for the worshipping saints, not for the purpose of evangelism.

    Regardless, you still have to deal with the commands of Paul to sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs, written to gentiles in a gentile context where they would have made a distinction between these due to their own hymnody (which was also used for worship of deity). The septuagintal arguments for this are unconvincing.
     
  26. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    I was going to ask about that..
     
  27. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    Sorry for the duplication above in argumentation, KC. I think by the time I finished typing my post there were another dozen on here that weren't before, and I'm not that slow of a typist!
     
  28. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    :ditto: to what kceaster said.


    I just bought a couple CDs of Psalms being sung accapella, according to the 1650 metrical psalter. I love them! I was just listening to one of the CDs this morning. Excellent stuff!

    But it is paraphrased (and the word order is shifted around like crazy) in order to make it "work" for singing in English. The result is a NON-INSPIRED paraphrase much like the Bible paraphrase (I refuse to call it a translation) known as the "Living Bible". Now, don't get me wrong . . . I think it is a better paraphrase than the Living Bible. But it is still not a good "translation".

    Nevertheless, having said all that, I LOVE the Psalms sung accapella in 1650 metrical style. I enjoy hearing a paraphrase of God's Word beautifully sung.

    I am pro-Psalmody.

    But I am NOT pro-exclusive-Psalmody. I seriously doubt that any of the apostles were, either.
     
  29. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Let none say that the gospel is not found in the Psalms or Psalter.

     
  30. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    Well, that's not really the question, either, is it, Gabe? Whether one song is "better" than another isn't on point. What the discussion should be is whether hymns or other songs are permissible in worship or not. The criterion for choosing isn't the quality of the song, but what Scripture teaches about worship.

    You know this, of course, but your comment points at another (I believe unintended) criterion.

    Todd
     
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