Do you prefer hymns over psalms?

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Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
I should have prefaced my statements that I dearly love the Psalms. They are a source of personal comfort to me in all seasons of life. It is such a blessing to sing Psalms with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My wife and I also sing from the Trinitarian Bible Society Psalms of David in Metre in our family worship. With all that being said, I am not convinced of EP. Like many, I am still studying this topic. One day, I may be convinced of EP.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
I should have prefaced my statements that I dearly love the Psalms. They are a source of personal comfort to me in all seasons of life. I dearly love singing Psalms with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My wife and I also sing from the Trinitarian Bible Society Psalms of David in Metre in our family worship. With all that being said, I am not 100% convinced of EP. Like many, I am still studying this topic. One day and possibly soon, I may be utterly convinced of EP.
A helpful and clarifying preface indeed, Brother. Good night and have a blessed Lord’s Day all:detective:
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
Yeah, I was going to say I recently read of first century public worship where each person would sing a hymn they wrote. It can either prove men are going against God's will or they are continuing the practice of the church.
I think you may be thinking of Tertullian who was writing around the end of the second century and the beginning of the third. Tertullian's words are often referred to as evidence of relatively early (non-inspired) hymn-singing in the church.

Tertullian writes of Christian meetings, "love-feasts", in which, sometimes, individuals bring hymns that they have composed. His account, which is found in thr 39th chapter of his Apology, includes details that suggest (to me, at least) that this was not an ordinary worship service.

Also, it may also be helpful to note that Tertullian was associated with the Montanist movement.

"When supper is ended, and we have washed our hands, and the candles are lighted up, every one is invited forth to sing praises to God, either such as he collects from the Holy Scriptures, or such as are of his own composing."

http://www.tertullian.org/articles/reeve_apology.htm
 
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Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
“Paul quotes a hymn that provides the theology he needs to combat the false teachers...” Hehe, that struck me as funny.

Yes, it’s a popular speculation.
Right. Even if it is a song, we have no reason at all to think that it was sung in worship. I think it could well have been a mnemonic.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
Here is a handy chart showing how the Greek Psalter uses those various titles Paul uses in Ephesians and Colossians. http://spindleworks.com/septuagint/lxx_psalm_titles.htm

Is the septuagint an inspired translation? Bearing in mind there is no one tomb called the septuagint that was translated at one time, the reality seems to be a variety of translations of different books at different times. Correct me if I am wrong.

I was also under the impression that most of what is called the Septuagint was translated before Paul? So wouldn't it be fairer to say that Paul uses the Greek Psalter titles rather than the other way round?

I am also of the opinion that Paul would have read the original text in Hebrew, paraphrasing it as needed in Greek. Somehow I think Paul would have agreed with our confessional stance that it is the original that is inspired and authorative (Hebrew) and not a loose translation by scholars (Greek).
 
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Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
Is the septuagint an inspired translation? Bearing in mind there is no one tomb called the septuagint that was translated at one time, the reality seems to be a variety of translations of different books at different times. Correct me if I am wrong.
Why are you asking? I am not clear on how this is relevant.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
Why are you asking?
I am aware that the Septuagint is used by some Bible translators to "correct" the Hebrew text. This seems odd to me and it doesn't sit well with me. To me, and probably nobody else, it is using 'The Message' to correct the 'NASV (1977)'.

When I come across the Septuagint trumping the Masoretic the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (metaphorically). Then again the Westminster Confession adds deductive reasoning to the authority of Scripture where the London Confession does not. So perhaps it is my Baptist roots that cause me to bridle at a reliance on deductive reasoning which does not have the same place in my theological tradition.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
I am aware that the Septuagint is used by some Bible translators to "correct" the Hebrew text. This seems odd to me and it doesn't sit well with me. To me, and probably nobody else, it is using 'The Message' to correct the 'NASV (1977)'.

When I come across the Septuagint trumping the Masoretic the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (metaphorically). Then again the Westminster Confession adds deductive reasoning to the authority of Scripture where the London Confession does not. So perhaps it is my Baptist roots that cause me to bridle at a reliance on deductive reasoning which does not have the same place in my theological tradition.
Could you explain what exactly this has to do with singing psalms and man-made hymns?
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
I don’t find the command for the verbatim “exclusive” use of Psalms in corporate worship. However, It would seem that the Psalms are commanded to be sung from scripture and the westminster and we also have NT examples of their use. By default, this leads one to be exclusive if he/she doesn't see a command to write new corporate worship songs and use them in the corporate gathering. So that is where I and likely where other EPers feel the need to go no further with the added opinion that the Psalter is fully sufficient for the song element of worship. The matter is not “find thou shalt use Psalms Exclusively”, but rather are their commands to go beyond it in corporate worship while here on earth. And that is where I am the least confident. Just trying to explain how my brain is working.

We know also that Prophets seemed to be the ones who wrote the Corporate Songs? Where is that Prophet today?

The Who can write should not be overlooked. Even if the song seems “orthodox”, God cares about The Who it would seem.

Did God care about who made OT sacrifices?

Did he care who could enter the holy of holies?

Does he care who carries out the ministry of the word and sacraments?

Does he care what roles the a man can do vs. a women?


Writing songs for corporate worship Does not seem likely to be omitted from the peculiarity of the “who should do it”.

The other thing, that seems related is the use of instruments. That is where I started. Proof text for instruments being ceremonial abound and yes even Revelation further solidifies their use as being ceremonial. But we keep them, and keep them well beyond a simple circumstance. And if you say “we have them as a circumstance”, then do a trial or congregational poll on removing them for ones Lord’s Day and test to see if they may have become elements and/or idols for some. Those ceremonial instrumental melodies signified the refreshed and clearer melodious joy and strumming of our hearts. Which we were promised elsewhere and in John 4.
 
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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
One of the most compelling arguments for hymns ( I mean good ones with sound D) is that the Psalms hint at Christ. Now that Christ has come and we fully understand the Atonement, I think we can give expression to that in a hymn. What was implicit in the Psalms is explicit in a good hymn. In morning worship I want to rejoice explicitly in Christ my Redeemer, not just hint at it.

Apologies in advance if my sentiments are expressed too strongly.

That said I would always want a Psalm in a service. As Christians we are the natural successors of the Old Testament saints and it is part of our heritage as believers.
 
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Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
We know also that Prophets seemed to be the ones who wrote the Corporate Songs? Where is that Prophet today?

The Who can write should not be overlooked. Even if the song seems “orthodox”, God cares about The Who it would seem.
Did God care about who made OT sacrifices?
Did he care who could enter the holy of holies?
Does he care who carries out the ministry of the word and sacraments?
Does he care what roles the a man can do vs. a women?
Writing songs for corporate worship seems to not be omitted from the peculiarity of the “who should do it”.
Greetings,

I uploaded a PDF of the whole chapter for you to download, but below are two excerpts from this important document. The introductory matter to Concerning a Calling to the Ministry, and a page of two from Concerning Writing

This line of thinking should be new to many of you, but do not, therefore, disregard the doctrine.

Durham's position is that all who preach need to be called by God and the Church. But not all who preach are called to write. Writing is of deeper concern even than preaching because of the permanent nature of it. Here's the application: Writing hymns of praise to God, therefore, require at least a call to the ministry. For what is more important than the proper worship on the Three-One God?


Concerning a Calling to the Ministry,
and Clearness Therein

from
A Commentary Upon the Book of the Revelation

by: James Durham
Revelation 1:19-20
Lecture IX (part.)

pages 66-83 (of 60-83)​

Verse. 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

This command of writing, was particularly set down, vers. 11. Here again, it's renewed; and afterward, Chap. 2. and Chap. 3. is seven times repeated, with respect to every Church he writes unto: which certainly is to show, of what concernment clearness of a Call is, and that both in general, and particular; and is done amongst other reasons for this end, to clear John in his Call, and to warrant the People in their receiving of his Message. From which we may gather this, That a Minister that taketh on him to edify a Church in the name of the Lord, had need to be clear of his Call thereunto from the Lord: it's not the general that we now insist on, to wit, that there is such a peculiar Calling, or, that none but the Lord can authorize for it; but it's especially concerning that clearness which every Minister ought to have in his Call, that with holy boldness he may go about the work, having peace in himself (what ever he may meet with in it) as one who hath not run, whereas the Lord did not send him, Jer. 23.21. That this is exceedingly requisite to a Minister, we suppose will be out of question to all who know that Ministers are but Ambassadors; and so for them to want [lack] clearness of the Lord's Call, is to be uncertain whether they have a Commission or not: and therefore they who look not to it, can neither have that confidence of the Lord's owning them, or accepting of them in their duty, except there be some satisfaction herein, to wit, that the Lord hath sent them, or doth send them. It will be a puzzling question to many one day. Man, who made thee a Minister? Who gave thee Commission to treat for Christ? and although others may have peace in the use-making of such a man's Ministry; yet himself can have none, he being ever liable to this question, Friend, how enteredst thou hither? and how obtained thou this honor? Doubtless from the defect of this trial, it is, in part, that many thrust themselves into the work at first, whose after-carriage and way proves them never to have been sent: which they durst not have done, had they walked by this rule of waiting for a Commission thereto. And on the other hand, some really called to the Ministry, are yet kept in a kind of bondage, both as to their duty and their peace; because it's not clear to them that it is so: for, although the being of a Minister and his Calling, simply depends not on his clearness of his Call: as the being of a Believer doth not necessarily infer that he must know himself to be a Believer; yet, no question, as a Believer's particular comfort depends on the clearness of his interest, for which cause he should study it; so a Minister's confidence and quietness in his particular Ministry, doth much depend on this, that he be clear in his Call to be a Minister: for which cause, they who look there-away, or are entered therein, would humbly enquire for nothing more than this, that they be clear that they have Christ's Commission for their engaging. And although it be impossible to be particular, or fully satisfying in this, so as to meet with all the difficulties that may occur; but Christian prudence and tenderness will still find matter of exercise in the deciding thereof; Yet, having this occasion here, (which is also frequent in this Book) we may, once for all, say a word in the general to what may give a Minister clearness in his Calling: which we may take up in a five-fold consideration.

1. Of a Minister's Call to that work, in general.
2. To a particular People.
3. In carrying a particular Message to that People.
4. What is required of him as to writing for the benefit of the Church.
5. And what respect People ought to have to God's calling of a man, in their hearing and reading.

=======

Concerning Writing

In reference to this, we say,

1. That men may by writing, communicate what light God gives them, for the good of the Church. It's true, the Gospel was at first spread and planted by Preaching, that is more properly the mean of conversion. It's true also that all the Apostles Preached; but all did not write: yet we will find, that the Apostles made great use of writing, for the informing, reproving, strengthening, and every way edifying of Churches and Persons brought to the faith; for, they wrote these Epistles, not only as Scripture, for the Church in general, but also for the edifying of such persons, in particular, and for clearing of such and such particular Doubts, or Truths, which the state of such times, or Churches did most call for. There is reason also for this, if we consider:

1. The relation that is amongst all the members of the Catholic Church, whereby all are tied, to be edifying one to another, etc.

2. The end wherefore God hath given men Gifts, which is to profit withal: and yet,

3. That a man cannot by word make his Gift forthcoming in the extent that he is obliged; there is therefore a necessity of using writing for that end, it being a singular gift of God for promoting edification. It's upon this ground, as we said, that many Epistles are written, to be useful, where the Writers could not be, and when they were to be gone. It's upon this ground also, we conceive, that many Psalms, and Songs (as that of Hezekiah's, Isa. 38.) are committed to writing by the Authors: that by it their Case or Gift might be made useful to others, for their instruction, as the Titles of sundry Psalms bear.

This way, for many Ages, hath been blessed, for the good of the Church of Christ, who have reason to bless God, that put it in the hearts of many Ancients and others, thus to be profitable in the Church. And it may be, some able men have been but too sparing to make their talent forth-coming that way to others. And as we may conclude, that Ministers may Preach the Gospel who are called, because the Apostles did it, even though Ministers are not gifted with infallibility of Preaching, as they were, because that was for edifying the Body; so may we conclude, that men called to it, may write for the edification of the Church, although they be not gifted with infallibility in their writing.

2. We gather from this, that none should take on them to write anything, as the Lord's mind; for the edification of the Church, without a Call to it: I mean not an extraordinary Call, as John had; but this I mean, that as there is an ordinary Call needful, to the Preaching of the Gospel, (and we may conclude from God's extraordinary way of calling the Apostles to Preach, the necessity of an ordinary Call); So, in the general, that same consequence will hold in respect of writing, for such an end. And if we look through the Scripture, we will find a Call for Writing, as well as for Preaching; and readily he who was called to the first, was also called to the second, as being a Prophet of the Lord. Though this particular we do not absolutely and simply press, seeing men may be called to write, and not be fitted to Preach; yet I conceive, Solomon is called the Preacher from his writing. And to warrant writing, we would conceive so much to be necessary as may,
 

Attachments

G

Puritan Board Senior
In morning worship I want to rejoice explicitly in Christ my Redeemer, not just hint at it.
This is the danger. Notice the argument comes with no express command. Nor do we find NT evidence that the Psalter lacked express mentioning of Christ As redeemer. In fact we find the opposite.

Be careful with deciding a principle based even remotely on the “I want” phrase. It has been easy for that to slip into my thoughts as well and it doesn’t always end well in the biblical narratives.
 
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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
There are many doctrinal truths that are arrived at by good and necessary inference, not an explicit command or statement by God- the Trinity is one, psalmody is another. We find out many truths including God’s will by the use of necessary inference. He designed it that way for a reason.
That's not quite the issue. A command is an imperative statement. A series of good and necessary propositions is not.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
I don’t find the command for the verbatim “exclusive” use of Psalms in corporate worship. However, It would seem that the Psalms are commanded to be sung from scripture and the westminster and we also have NT examples of their use. By default, this leads one to be exclusive if he/she doesn't see a command to write new corporate worship songs and use them in the corporate gathering. So that is where I and likely where other EPers feel the need to go no further with the added opinion that the Psalter is fully sufficient for the song element of worship. The matter is not “find thou shalt use Psalms Exclusively”, but rather are their commands to go beyond it in corporate worship while here on earth. And that is where I am the least confident. Just trying to explain how my brain is working.

We know also that Prophets seemed to be the ones who wrote the Corporate Songs? Where is that Prophet today?

The Who can write should not be overlooked. Even if the song seems “orthodox”, God cares about The Who it would seem.

Did God care about who made OT sacrifices?

Did he care who could enter the holy of holies?

Does he care who carries out the ministry of the word and sacraments?

Does he care what roles the a man can do vs. a women?


Writing songs for corporate worship Does not seem likely to be omitted from the peculiarity of the “who should do it”.
Beyond that, no instruments used in temple worship were built or played apart from divine command.

David, in reference to the design of the temple and accompanying worship, shows that everything which went into temple worship had its source in divine inspiration. He follows in the footsteps of Moses who needed divine command and Spirit inspiration even for the selection of who should perform the craftwork of the tabernacle, and how they would do it. Not even the bases, rings, colors were chosen by personal preference.

Then we get to the Temple, David speaking of the design of the Temple, the instruments, everything that goes into it:
  • 1 Chronicles 28:19 (KJV 1900): All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
How it is carried out:
  • 2 Chronicles 29:25–30 (KJV 1900): And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. 26 And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel. 28 And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped. 30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
  • 2 Chronicles 35:15 (KJV 1900): And the singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the porters waited at every gate; they might not depart from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared for them.
Absolutely everything in here is by a divine command, everything sourced in Spirit inspiration from the instruments to the songs chosen. Interesting too that prophets were the overseers of the management of musical accompaniment and not just the words sung. Even who performed what function was by divine command. The songs chosen too are those authored prophetically. The psalms of David and Asaph the seer, both men having prophetic gifting.

If the instruments for temple worship were not designed or played apart from divine command and prophetic anointing, and not performed apart from the commands/oversight of prophets and inspired men, much less will be the words authored and sung.

This is also why I do not think the commands to sing a new song give any authority to author new songs in public worship without divine inspiration. These commands are found in the psalms themselves, putting them in the context of the time of temple worship, and anyone wanting to introduce a new song into temple worship would need to have prophetic warrant for it.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
Greetings,

I uploaded a PDF of the whole chapter for you to download, but below are two excerpts from this important document. The introductory matter to Concerning a Calling to the Ministry, and a page of two from Concerning Writing

This line of thinking should be new to many of you, but do not, therefore, disregard the doctrine.

Durham's position is that all who preach need to be called by God and the Church. But not all who preach are called to write. Writing is of deeper concern even than preaching because of the permanent nature of it. Here's the application: Writing hymns of praise to God, therefore, require at least a call to the ministry. For what is more important than the proper worship on the Three-One God?


Concerning a Calling to the Ministry,
and Clearness Therein

from
A Commentary Upon the Book of the Revelation

by: James Durham
Revelation 1:19-20
Lecture IX (part.)

pages 66-83 (of 60-83)​

Verse. 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

This command of writing, was particularly set down, vers. 11. Here again, it's renewed; and afterward, Chap. 2. and Chap. 3. is seven times repeated, with respect to every Church he writes unto: which certainly is to show, of what concernment clearness of a Call is, and that both in general, and particular; and is done amongst other reasons for this end, to clear John in his Call, and to warrant the People in their receiving of his Message. From which we may gather this, That a Minister that taketh on him to edify a Church in the name of the Lord, had need to be clear of his Call thereunto from the Lord: it's not the general that we now insist on, to wit, that there is such a peculiar Calling, or, that none but the Lord can authorize for it; but it's especially concerning that clearness which every Minister ought to have in his Call, that with holy boldness he may go about the work, having peace in himself (what ever he may meet with in it) as one who hath not run, whereas the Lord did not send him, Jer. 23.21. That this is exceedingly requisite to a Minister, we suppose will be out of question to all who know that Ministers are but Ambassadors; and so for them to want [lack] clearness of the Lord's Call, is to be uncertain whether they have a Commission or not: and therefore they who look not to it, can neither have that confidence of the Lord's owning them, or accepting of them in their duty, except there be some satisfaction herein, to wit, that the Lord hath sent them, or doth send them. It will be a puzzling question to many one day. Man, who made thee a Minister? Who gave thee Commission to treat for Christ? and although others may have peace in the use-making of such a man's Ministry; yet himself can have none, he being ever liable to this question, Friend, how enteredst thou hither? and how obtained thou this honor? Doubtless from the defect of this trial, it is, in part, that many thrust themselves into the work at first, whose after-carriage and way proves them never to have been sent: which they durst not have done, had they walked by this rule of waiting for a Commission thereto. And on the other hand, some really called to the Ministry, are yet kept in a kind of bondage, both as to their duty and their peace; because it's not clear to them that it is so: for, although the being of a Minister and his Calling, simply depends not on his clearness of his Call: as the being of a Believer doth not necessarily infer that he must know himself to be a Believer; yet, no question, as a Believer's particular comfort depends on the clearness of his interest, for which cause he should study it; so a Minister's confidence and quietness in his particular Ministry, doth much depend on this, that he be clear in his Call to be a Minister: for which cause, they who look there-away, or are entered therein, would humbly enquire for nothing more than this, that they be clear that they have Christ's Commission for their engaging. And although it be impossible to be particular, or fully satisfying in this, so as to meet with all the difficulties that may occur; but Christian prudence and tenderness will still find matter of exercise in the deciding thereof; Yet, having this occasion here, (which is also frequent in this Book) we may, once for all, say a word in the general to what may give a Minister clearness in his Calling: which we may take up in a five-fold consideration.

1. Of a Minister's Call to that work, in general.
2. To a particular People.
3. In carrying a particular Message to that People.
4. What is required of him as to writing for the benefit of the Church.
5. And what respect People ought to have to God's calling of a man, in their hearing and reading.

=======

Concerning Writing

In reference to this, we say,

1. That men may by writing, communicate what light God gives them, for the good of the Church. It's true, the Gospel was at first spread and planted by Preaching, that is more properly the mean of conversion. It's true also that all the Apostles Preached; but all did not write: yet we will find, that the Apostles made great use of writing, for the informing, reproving, strengthening, and every way edifying of Churches and Persons brought to the faith; for, they wrote these Epistles, not only as Scripture, for the Church in general, but also for the edifying of such persons, in particular, and for clearing of such and such particular Doubts, or Truths, which the state of such times, or Churches did most call for. There is reason also for this, if we consider:

1. The relation that is amongst all the members of the Catholic Church, whereby all are tied, to be edifying one to another, etc.

2. The end wherefore God hath given men Gifts, which is to profit withal: and yet,

3. That a man cannot by word make his Gift forthcoming in the extent that he is obliged; there is therefore a necessity of using writing for that end, it being a singular gift of God for promoting edification. It's upon this ground, as we said, that many Epistles are written, to be useful, where the Writers could not be, and when they were to be gone. It's upon this ground also, we conceive, that many Psalms, and Songs (as that of Hezekiah's, Isa. 38.) are committed to writing by the Authors: that by it their Case or Gift might be made useful to others, for their instruction, as the Titles of sundry Psalms bear.

This way, for many Ages, hath been blessed, for the good of the Church of Christ, who have reason to bless God, that put it in the hearts of many Ancients and others, thus to be profitable in the Church. And it may be, some able men have been but too sparing to make their talent forth-coming that way to others. And as we may conclude, that Ministers may Preach the Gospel who are called, because the Apostles did it, even though Ministers are not gifted with infallibility of Preaching, as they were, because that was for edifying the Body; so may we conclude, that men called to it, may write for the edification of the Church, although they be not gifted with infallibility in their writing.

2. We gather from this, that none should take on them to write anything, as the Lord's mind; for the edification of the Church, without a Call to it: I mean not an extraordinary Call, as John had; but this I mean, that as there is an ordinary Call needful, to the Preaching of the Gospel, (and we may conclude from God's extraordinary way of calling the Apostles to Preach, the necessity of an ordinary Call); So, in the general, that same consequence will hold in respect of writing, for such an end. And if we look through the Scripture, we will find a Call for Writing, as well as for Preaching; and readily he who was called to the first, was also called to the second, as being a Prophet of the Lord. Though this particular we do not absolutely and simply press, seeing men may be called to write, and not be fitted to Preach; yet I conceive, Solomon is called the Preacher from his writing. And to warrant writing, we would conceive so much to be necessary as may,
Thanks for sharing Ed. Do you know if James Durham supported singing outside the Psalms in corporate worship?
 
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RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
One of the most compelling arguments for hymns ( I mean good ones with sound D) is that the Psalms hint at Christ. Now that Christ has come and we fully understand the Atonement, I think we can give expression to that in a hymn. What was implicit in the Psalms is explicit in a good hymn. In morning worship I want to rejoice explicitly in Christ my Redeemer, not just hint at it.

Apologies in advance if my sentiments are expressed too strongly.

That said I would always want a Psalm in a service. As Christians we are the natural successors of the Old Testament saints and it is part of our heritage as believers.
I can testify from personal experience that if you learn and study the Psalms well enough--I have in mind personally Psalm 2, 16, 22, 23, 24, 45! 110--you find yourself looking Christ in the face and crying like Thomas (without using His name), "My Lord and my God!" :)
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
One of the most compelling arguments for hymns ( I mean good ones with sound D) is that the Psalms hint at Christ. Now that Christ has come and we fully understand the Atonement, I think we can give expression to that in a hymn. What was implicit in the Psalms is explicit in a good hymn. In morning worship I want to rejoice explicitly in Christ my Redeemer, not just hint at it.

Apologies in advance if my sentiments are expressed too strongly.

That said I would always want a Psalm in a service. As Christians we are the natural successors of the Old Testament saints and it is part of our heritage as believers.
Yeah, this is where I am as well. For example, singing "Alas and Did My Saviour Bleed" right before communion.

"Alas, and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Was it for sins that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown
And love beyond degree
My God, why would You shed Your blood
So pure and undefiled
To make a sinful one like me
Your chosen, precious child?
Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut His glories in
When Christ, the mighty Maker, died
For man, the creature's, sin
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness
And melt my eyes to tears"

But then for example, we sing Psalm 117 every Lord's Day as a song of praise: "Praise the Lord , all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!"
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
I can testify from personal experience that if you learn and study the Psalms well enough--I have in mind personally Psalm 2, 16, 22, 23, 24, 45! 110--you find yourself looking Christ in the face and crying like Thomas (without using His name), "My Lord and my God!" :)
In other words, when you sing Psalm 72, what you are really singing in your heart is "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun, doth his successive journeys run..." You can't have it both ways. Either you are stuck in the types and shadows (glorious as they are) or you are really singing in your heart a New Covenant exposition of the psalms (your "man made" application of the psalm to Christ - note "man-made" does not mean wrong, or sermons would be ruled out). Which is what we do when we sing a hymn....
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
That's not quite the issue. A command is an imperative statement. A series of good and necessary propositions is not.
There is an explicit command- sing to the Lord. What to sing is arrived at by good and necessary inference. I see your point and it may be more helpful use language of finding God’s will in what we are to sing.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
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Thanks for sharing Ed. Do you know if James Durham supported singing outside the Psalms in corporate worship
I was making an application to his teaching on writing by applying it to hymns. I don't think he specifically wrote about hymn-writing. My guess is that the need never entered his mind because of the day he lived in.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
In other words, when you sing Psalm 72, what you are really singing in your heart is "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun, doth his successive journeys run..." You can't have it both ways. Either you are stuck in the types and shadows (glorious as they are) or you are really singing in your heart a New Covenant exposition of the psalms (your "man made" application of the psalm to Christ - note "man-made" does not mean wrong, or sermons would be ruled out). Which is what we do when we sing a hymn....
Reverend Duguid, you’ve touched on a real crux of the matter in the Psalms. I am glad for the growing realization among Psalm singers that the Psalms are not about types and shadows- that they transcend types and shadows and are as new covenant as the new covenant. They reveal the innermost thoughts, sufferings, prayers, and designs of Christ in his active and passive obedience for his church, and therefore light the path for us, comfort us exceedingly, teach us to see a vision for Zion! and her walls and bulwarks and palaces, shed light on many things Christ said and did. I just can’t wax eleoquent enough to do this justice. I urge everyone to explore this... it’s life changing, for sure.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
To attempt to wax just a little more, I think that the church not using the Psalms exclusively in her singing unto God has terribly weakened and dimmed her light and strength. They are the war songs of the Prince of Peace. We need them quite desperately.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
In other words, when you sing Psalm 72, what you are really singing in your heart is "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun, doth his successive journeys run..." You can't have it both ways. Either you are stuck in the types and shadows (glorious as they are) or you are really singing in your heart a New Covenant exposition of the psalms (your "man made" application of the psalm to Christ - note "man-made" does not mean wrong, or sermons would be ruled out). Which is what we do when we sing a hymn....
Au contraire, I sing with the meaning that was always intended, both in OT and NT times. I'll write more later.

Let me way too you are on my prayer list for your cancer. God bless you richly today with every spiritual blessing in such a time.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
On the Septuagint’s use of the three descriptors psalm, hymn, and song in the Psalm titles: EP doesn’t use this fact to correct the Hebrew, but just to show how those descriptors would have been understood by Greek-speaking people to apply to the Psalms. The fact that Christ sings a “hymn” at the Passover shows how common the usage was in referring to a Psalm, as we know Christ and his disciples would have been singing the Halal Psalms.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
This is the danger. Notice the argument comes with no express command. Nor do we find NT evidence that the Psalter lacked express mentioning of Christ As redeemer. In fact we find the opposite.
The authors of the NT, based on how often they quoted the psalms, clearly did not agree that the psalter lacked mention of Christ.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
There is an explicit command- sing to the Lord. What to sing is arrived at by good and necessary inference. I see your point and it may be more helpful use language of finding God’s will in what we are to sing.
Right. Which brings us back to square 1. What the EP position doesn't have is an explicit command to sing psalms. You can make a case that we should sing psalms, but what you cannot say is that we have a specific command to sing psalms to the exclusion of even other divine non-psalms.
 
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