Covenant Theology, RPW, and Musical Instruments

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by Backwoods Presbyterian, Jul 26, 2008.

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

    Bygracealone Puritan Board Sophomore

    No shame here Doogie, it was my first night back home after a week of being in hotel rooms and guest beds and driving some 1500 miles... There truly is no place like home and your own bed. So yeah, I definitely slept in this morning :)
     
  2. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    :offtopic: Inquiring minds want to know...did you get some good books in Grand Rapids?? :book2:
     
  3. Bygracealone

    Bygracealone Puritan Board Sophomore

    JD, not at all. If you go back and re-read the full post in context, you'll see that I qualified which synagogue worship I was referring to; I was referring to Orthodox synagogue worship. The Orthodox are more conservative and strive to be truer to the ancient practices. They are the ones that don't allow musical instruments.
     
  4. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Your both/and category creates "prescribed circumstances," contrary to the regulative principle of worship. As Owen writes, any circumstance made obliging by authority is an element of worship: "such additionals, that are called circumstantial, are made parts of worship as are made necessary by virtue of command to be observed." (Works 15:36.)
     
  5. Bygracealone

    Bygracealone Puritan Board Sophomore

    I know it's off topic, but you have to respond to a question like this, right?:lol:

    Hi Andrew, ohhhhh yeah!!! I visited Beeke's shop as well as Baker Books. I got the three volume work by John Brown on the "Sayings and Discourses of Our Lord." Also got "The Covenant of Life Opened" by Rutherford (Rev. Winzer, Casey, etc., I'm still studying the subject about Mosaic Covenant :) :book2:)

    Also got "Psalmody Through the Ages" by Ted Postma and "The Messiah and the Psalms" by Richard Belcher. I got a few other used books as well (some Hodge, Boettner, and Berkouwer). Overall, it was a productive book shopping trip. :cheers2:
     
  6. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    That some synagogue practices were adopted as the NT church was "testing everything and keeping the good" is without dispute, but that synagogue worship in toto was normative and prescribed for the NT church in terms of orthodoxy or orthopraxy is not supported by Scripture or the history of the church.
     
  7. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    so...you observe communion and baptism at every worship service?
     
  8. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    I can't see the relevance of the question seeing as the circumstance is determined by prudence not by scriptural prescription; but the sacraments are administered as need requires, not every worship service.
     
  9. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I would, but they're very expensive! :D
     
  10. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    And you're going to sneak musical instruments into this verse how, exactly?
     
  11. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    That's because there were no guitars in Old Testament times (the lyre comes close, though). Besides, I believe musical instruments are part of the circumstances of worship rather than the specific contents covered by the RPW and, therefore, are a matter of liberty.
     
  12. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Again, yes, you have successfully demonstrated your position. But you have not demonstrated that musical instruments are banned in New Testament worship.
     
  13. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    To which I would say that the Church, in this instance, was wrong for 1200 years. Besides, we are to build our arguments on Scripture, not church history.
     
  14. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    Sir, I am not trying to "sneak" anything anywhere, for such an action would be underhanded, dishonest, and disrespectful of the Holy Scriptures. Did you intend to accuse me of such motives?
     
  15. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    To illustrate the larger point: Instruments are a prescribed part of worship, per the Psalms, but not necessitated by prescription in every instance, as clearly demonstrated by the examples of worship sans instruments in the NT.
     
  16. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    No, I just want to know how you see that musical instruments are included in what Paul is talking about here. I probably should have used some kind of smiley after "sneak" to indicate that I was being colloquial, not snide, in my usage of same.
     
  17. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    The point that I have been trying to demonstrate (obviously, not very persuasively) is that musical instruments were an integral part of the ceremonial worship of the OT - and thus have been abrogated along with all of the other external ceremonial rites of that dispensation.

    Matthew Henry comments on Gal 4:9
    John Calvin would certainly have categorized the use of musical instruments among the "weak and beggarly elements" - that little Genevan sneak! :wink:
     
  18. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Again, this is nothing more than a "prescribed circumstance," which is a sui generis, and outside the boundaries of the regulative principle; for which see Owen's statement above. The sacraments are by definition prescribed parts of worship, but such parts as are added as signs to the Word; their nature requires certain qualifications to be met before administration. Your "prescribed circumstance" of musical instruments, however, is nothing more than a human addition to be used or not used as you deem fit. It is this human arbitrariness which is guarded against by the regulative principle.
     
  19. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    It should be no more arbitrary than choosing the particular Scripture for worship or words for the prayers.

    I reject your usage of arbitrary as it regards the Lord's worship. Each element should be dutifully considered and accomplished with all gravity and purpose.
     
  20. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Here you revert back to calling it an "element." Elements are such as God has commanded and man is obliged to offer at His will. They are not left to man's discretion. Only the ordering of circumstances is left to human prudence.
     
  21. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Music is an element. Singing is required, utilizing instruments as appropriate.

    Just as preaching is an element. Proclamation is required, having the Scriptures to hand as appropriate.

    Psalm 96:2
    Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
     
  22. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor


    Scriptures are not just "appropriate" what else should a preacher preach from?
     
  23. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Must one have the Scriptures on-hand every time one preaches? Is it required?
     
  24. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Yes it is. What else can one preach on?
     
  25. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Do you have to have a set of Scriptures to hand in order to preach?

    I certainly believe it is a matter of appropriateness - if you can have them there, you probably ought. But I don't think Christ or the Apostles modeled that as a requirement.
     
  26. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    2 Tim 3:16-17 requires that you use the Scriptures for teaching and training.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  27. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Ok, I am not going to get into infinite regression on this point, my brother. :)

    I have laid out the rationale and am convinced that Prescriptive Psalmody is defendable within the RPW. I am sure we'll have another go at some point, but I think this thread is about done, from my perspective, anyway.

    On a side note: I don't know if ya'll knew that I have had the opportunity to spend a good bit more time on the PB than I normally do. I have been recuperating from MRSA staff on my neck. This discussion has been a welcome distraction, but I am back into the grind again, starting today, so I won't be able to follow the discussion as closely as I have been.

    Thanks to Backwoods for offering a platform to discuss the matter and thanks to all the learned brethren that so passionately, yet graciously, defend their well-grounded positions. I have learned a lot. :)

    Expect another thread on Prescriptive Psalmody. :D
     
  28. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Thank you as well Panta and :amen: for your recovery.
     
  29. dcomin

    dcomin Psalm Singa

    Had no idea, but praise God for His healing grace! Always appreciate the "iron-sharpening" sparring with you, JD. Thanks for your graciousness as well. Grace and peace!
     
  30. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    As the post to which you are replying had noted: the OT contains prescriptive commands for BOTH unaccompanied sung praise and accompanied sung praise. It is not one command or the other that is normative but rather both are. The OT is explicit. Although there are a number of places where we cannot determine whether praise is accompaied or not, God clearly commands and commends His praises being sung both ways: unaccompanied (Ps. 57:9 appears to be set outside the sanctuary and may have been unacompanied as does 42:8, 77:6) and with instrumental accompaniment (Ps. 33:2, 71:22, 98:5). Outside the sanctuary, (unless you want to advocate that the Jews ONLY sang the psalms in the sanctuary), it is GNC reasoning from the data to conclude that the choice of unaccompanied worship or accompanied worship was left to the worshipper in the OT and remains left to the worshipper in the NT.

    Given that reality, Paul and Silas exercised what was likely the only option available to them under the circumstances. I don't see a competent jailor letting people keep musical instruments in prison, even if either was a musician, not if he expected to sleep.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page