Do you prefer hymns over psalms?

Discussion in 'A capella Exclusive Psalmody' started by earl40, Jul 9, 2019.

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  1. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    Since I have been exposed to the beauty of Psalm singing, I am not sure why anyone would want to sing anything else. I just can't get enough of them. Is there any modern hymn which is more suitable to be sung to the praise of God than the Psalms?

    How about "rejoice the Lord is King"? Would you choose that over any number of Psalms?

    How about "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"? Would you choose that over any number of Psalms?

    Let's say you wanted to sing a hymn about forgiveness. You could sing "Amazing Grace"...or you could sing Psalm 32. Or 51. Or 130.

    Let's say you wanted to sing a hymn about the expansion of the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth. You could sing "Across the Lands"...or you could sing Psalm 22, 72, etc.

    Let's say you wanted to sing a hymn about God's covenant faithfulness. You could sing "Great is thy Faithfulness"...or you could sing Psalm 105-108, or any number of other Psalms about God's covenant mercies.

    Let's say you wanted to sing a song about the Final judgment. You could sing "His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form"...or you could sing Psalm 2...or 73.

    Let's say you wanted to sing a song about hope in the midst of Spiritual Depression. You could sing "He will hold me fast" (Great song BTW)....or you could sing Psalm 77, 88, etc.

    Come to think of it, is there any subject that is not covered by the Psalms? Maybe then we would have a good reason to pick a song other than something from the book of Psalms. Until then, the Psalter is sufficient.
  2. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    References, please.
  3. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    Agreed, it is not definitive proof. Even John Murray et al. in the 1947 report to the OPC GA admitted that it wasn't (even though they came to the conclusion that the Psalms only should be sung in the public worship of God). However, we must give the fact that the vast majority of the instances of the words occur in the Psalms its due weight. I mean, just because the words are sometimes used to refer to songs outside the Psalms does not therefore mean that we can sing things other than Psalms in the context of the NT church.

    What it comes down to for me is that we know we may sing Psalms. At best, I believe (and I don't speak for everyone obviously) it is uncertain as to whether we may sing uninspired compositions. Therefore, I don't think we should sing things that "might" be OK. Anything that is not of faith is sin.

    This gets tricky for me as I attend a church which sings Psalms and modern hymns. I am feeling convicted as I read this thread because in my head I wish we only sang Psalms, but I don't pick the songs, and when the hymns come up, I sing them anyways. I suppose I shouldn't. I should pray about this.
  4. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Or we could sing all of them! :)
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  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Is it possible, in the slightest, that singing uninspired song may be error? if there is any remote chance, they should not be sung. My point is, for prudence sake alone, the Psalms should be the only thing sung during corporate worship as they are patently, solid and approved by God Himself.

    ~Sola Scriptura much, brother?:rofl:
  6. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    I think it may be a greater error to limit all sung praise to the Psalms, binding men's consciences thereby. Could I be wrong? Yes! Knowing you can say the same about yourself, that leaves both of us right where we are with our convictions. :)

    "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  7. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    This comment is deeply saddening.
  8. iainduguid

    iainduguid Puritan Board Sophomore

    Psallo/Psalmos for non-canonical psalms:
    1 Sam. 16:18; Job 21:12; 30:21; Lam 3:13; 5:14

    Humno/Humnos for non-canonical hymns:
    Judges 16:24; Prov 1:20; 8:3

    Odos for non-canonical song: Exod 15:1; Deut 31:19; Judg. 5:12; 1 ki 5:12

    My point is not that this disproves EP; just that the evidenced adduced in the quote is insufficient (even though it is presented as if it were conclusive).
    One reason these discussions tend to be one sided is that EP'ers are passionate about proselytizing for their position (as they should be if they are convinced of it!), while non-Ep'ers are less excited about using scarce time to try to convince EP'ers that they are wrong. I'm happy for you to sing lots of psalms until we get to heaven. We'll all join in singing from the same song sheet when we get there... So please don't expect a lot of interaction on this subject right now. I simply needed to correct the inaccurate impression given by the quote.
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  9. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Consider song in worship, in general. Is there ever a time when the line is crossed? For example, u do understand that following your line of thought, how do u tell the charismatics that they are in error? Or Hillsong, etc.? Is anyone in error? Where is your plum line? Does God have one? Singing of the Psalms completely exclude this issue.
  10. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Did I say that the citation was 'conclusive'? If I were to say anything were conclusive, I would have built the case on scripture alone.

    Sola Scriptura much, brother?
  11. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Here's a question for you who approve singing man-made hymns: Ought we to sing "Great is Thy Faithfulness"? What about "Be Thou My Vision"? How about "Silent Night"? And "Blessed Assurance"? Finally, "And Can It Be"?
  12. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    One of the problems I see, that is rampant in the church today, is loosey-goosey, when in fact, we all should be fearful that God may strike us dead for our worship, i.e. the brothers, etc. Touching things we should not touch and burnin stuff we shouldn't burn. This alone, is enough for me to practice EP. Safer.
  13. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

  14. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior


    I appreciate and respect you. Short answer, then I think it best for me to give it a rest. We have so much more in common than differences.

    I treat song the same way I treat prayer and preaching in this way: they all should be weighed according to scripture. Are lines crossed at times in prayer and preaching? Of course! This doesn't mean they should cease, only that we need to constantly be going back to sola scriptural, brother! ;)


  15. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    Can’t we all just get along or can’t we agree to disagree, those are the mantras of liberals just before they kill you
  16. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    Christians should never set aside biblical truth just because someone’s feelings might be hurt.
  17. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    Has anyone here even used such an argument?
  18. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    It is a great sin to hate the words of Christ but it is no sin at all to hate the words of sinful men.
  19. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    Apparently you have never been to church in America?
  20. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    My goodness. Brother, tone it down, please. Nobody here is saying things worthy of these accusations.
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  21. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    I think this thread is beginning to become a ninth commandment issue, regardless of which side of the debate one falls on.
  22. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    Try fighting back with scriptural evidence rather than feelings
  23. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior


    Perhaps we should give it a rest for tonight? One liners don't normally help a conversation, and the mods would probably appreciate a breather, too. ;)

  24. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    I cited the ninth commandment to address your needlessly aggressive rhetoric. I have deliberately refrained from posting my position regarding the OP, so my words here have nothing to do with EP, so I am not sure where you get the idea that I am engaging in argumentum ad passiones; my comments aren't even addressing the topic of the thread. Rather, I am at this moment addressing a very serious ethical issue, and that is libelous claims concerning the beliefs of brothers and sisters in the same Body to which you belong.

    I really do believe the moderators should step in here. This is getting out of control when a long-standing member of this board feels the need to accuse brothers and sisters with whom he differs of "hating the words of Christ."
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  25. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I have asked a number of people whether they would sing a hymn or song penned by a heretic. (There are plenty of examples of popular songs, both old and new.) Most reply that, as long as the lyrics appear sound, then the song can be sung.

    Never mind the fact that in a song like "Nearer, My God, to Thee" even the writer's idea of the meaning of the word "God" is far off base. In modern thinking, what matters is what a thing means to me, regardless of the intent of the writer.

    That's never a problem with the psalms. Even if we don't understand the words completely, because of who spoke them, we know they're true.
  26. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    What does this have to do with anything?
    I'm not sure where feelings entered the discussion. I know that some have convictions, which they believe are biblically founded.
    You're not doing the EP side any favours with these comments.
  27. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Junior

    Tim has ended this on a good note. If the spirit of Psalm 1333 most ironically wont be demonstratd here...
  28. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    Brother, you need to slow your words and meditate on this verse.

    "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another" Ephesians 4:29-32
  29. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I don't think my Bible has that many Psalms in it. Maybe you're using the message :scratch:

    But sincerely, I do appreciate and respect many of you on this board who are EPs, as you have great understanding and you want to honor the Lord. As Dr. Ian pointed out, EPs tend to be really passionate about the topic, almost to the degree of how the reformed in general can be when dealing with non reformed. All of us here want to honor God and do what is right, but some of us just see things differently. When I see a command to sing a new song, I think it's then good to sing a new song. When I see Paul telling the church to sings hymns, I then embrace singing hymns. When I see the Psalmist tell us to praise God with instruments, then I find it good to use instruments in worship. It's simple for me, and I don't feel a need to defend the position. On top of that, my leaders and many other godly people have already come to those conclusions as well.

    It's obvious to me that we all want to be reverent and apply the regulative principle, but we just come to different conclusions on what that looks like. To me this is not an issue to get worked up over or cause uneasy feelings over. I believe you EP guys have a great position; I'm just not there. By God alone we will stand or fall. Love you guys and thanks for the wisdom. Keep serving the King!
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  30. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    I would prefer the Psalms but right now I’m not convinced on EP. If the Psalms were/are the only thing God’s people were/are allowed to sing, what did they sing before the Psalms were written? If they sang “hymns” before the Psalms were written, then I believe that is proof that the “hymns” and “spiritual songs” spoken of in the NT are songs written by uninspired writers of both the OT and NT people of God.
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