Does your church sing Psalms?

Does your church sing the Psalms in public worship?


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Croghanite

Puritan Board Sophomore
I didn't think you were ignoring me, I just didnt want you to forget about my question.
Thanks for answering them.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I agree with Don and with Pastor Joe Morecraft III on this one. With the NT we have the fullness of truth without the shadows and types. To prohibit the lifting up of words like 'Jesus' and 'Christ' and 'atonement' in worship goes beyond the RPW.

And I cannot believe that those who disagree would dare to use the 'heresy' card. That's rich! :lol:
 
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elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
So then what is the difference between Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs?
The most prevalent school of thought is that all three words mean the same thing, and that is a common feature of NT Greek writing. Both the EP and the non-EP position allow for this. In fact, the EP position requires this! So the answer non-EP could be: "None. They all mean songs" in the same manner that the EP answer would be "None. They all mean the 150 Psalms."

I think that they could be three genres of songs (not meant to be comprehensive). For example, in the 150 Psalms themselves you find titles such as "Psalm of David," "Song of Ascents," "Maskil of Asaph," etc. I think the songwriters in David's time and Paul's time distinguished types of songs in the same way we do today -- Jazz, Rock, Rap, etc.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The argument is quite unfounded which suggests the Psalms are types and we should be singing from the full revelation of the NT.

First, the Psalms are noted by biblical theologians as providing the "spiritual" impetus for the prophetic interpretation of Israel's ritual. The apostle Paul appeals to the literal wording of Ps. 32 to prove the OT teaches forgiveness of sins by grace. Hence the Psalter speaks of spiritual blessings from the NT perspective of their being a present reality in the life of the worshipper.

Secondly, in the Psalms the true worshipper pours out his heart to God without going through the ceremonies required under the Mosaic law. This is precisely what our Saviour said would be indicative of that worship which was to be established in the coming hour. Hence the Psalms speak from the NT perspective of nearness to God.

Thirdly, the Psalms provide a universal perspective on the salvation of God, which the NT takes up and applies to the Gentile mission. There is nothing distinctively Jewish about the Psalter, because from beginning to end it calls upon the nations to worship the Lord. Hence the Psalter speaks from the NT perspective that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

It is clear that everything that is distinctive about NT worship is to be found as characteristic of the worship of the Psalter. If it be objected that there are still types and shadows scattered throughout the Psalter which require interpretation, it may be safely answered -- the NT itself abounds in the use of figurative phrases borrowed from the OT types and ceremonies to explain deep theological ideas. "The lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
The argument is quite unfounded which suggests the Psalms are types and we should be singing from the full revelation of the NT.

First, the Psalms are noted by biblical theologians as providing the "spiritual" impetus for the prophetic interpretation of Israel's ritual. The apostle Paul appeals to the literal wording of Ps. 32 to prove the OT teaches forgiveness of sins by grace. Hence the Psalter speaks of spiritual blessings from the NT perspective of their being a present reality in the life of the worshipper.

Secondly, in the Psalms the true worshipper pours out his heart to God without going through the ceremonies required under the Mosaic law. This is precisely what our Saviour said would be indicative of that worship which was to be established in the coming hour. Hence the Psalms speak from the NT perspective of nearness to God.

Thirdly, the Psalms provide a universal perspective on the salvation of God, which the NT takes up and applies to the Gentile mission. There is nothing distinctively Jewish about the Psalter, because from beginning to end it calls upon the nations to worship the Lord. Hence the Psalter speaks from the NT perspective that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

It is clear that everything that is distinctive about NT worship is to be found as characteristic of the worship of the Psalter. If it be objected that there are still types and shadows scattered throughout the Psalter which require interpretation, it may be safely answered -- the NT itself abounds in the use of figurative phrases borrowed from the OT types and ceremonies to explain deep theological ideas. "The lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
Rev. Winzer, would you say that it is *heresy* to sing "Jesus Christ is my shepherd!" in worship?
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
I agree with Don and with Pastor Joe Morecraft III on this one. With the NT we have the fullness of truth without the shadows and types. To prohibit the lifting up of words like 'Jesus' and 'Christ' and 'atonement' in worship goes beyond the RPW.

And I cannot believe that those who disagree would dare to use the 'heresy' card. That's rich! :lol:
Who is using the heresy card?

It is consistent with the RPW it doesn't go beyond. You'd be more consistent in throwing out the RPW altogether as I suspect some do here.

The whole can't say the magic word 'Jesus' line of thought has been so thoroughly routed on this board it doesn't need reposting unless you missed the OP's.

The most prevalent school of thought is that all three words mean the same thing, and that is a common feature of NT Greek writing. Both the EP and the non-EP position allow for this. In fact, the EP position requires this! So the answer non-EP could be: "None. They all mean songs" in the same manner that the EP answer would be "None. They all mean the 150 Psalms."

I think that they could be three genres of songs (not meant to be comprehensive). For example, in the 150 Psalms themselves you find titles such as "Psalm of David," "Song of Ascents," "Maskil of Asaph," etc. I think the songwriters in David's time and Paul's time distinguished types of songs in the same way we do today -- Jazz, Rock, Rap, etc.
So what are the genres then of "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs"? Do we not know? Is scriptures insufficient to tell us? Or is our personal intuition sufficient?

I've never heard of one actually holding the position that we are not commanded to sing (at least some of) the 150 Psalms of David. So when hymn lovers rail on EPers about their "strained" interpretation of "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" what are we to think about the the interpretation Don is advocating that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs DO NOT include the Psalms of David?

Amazing.

God requires perfection. We are not perfect nor is our praise of him. Although, we should at the very least strive for perfection. Step #1: sing the Psalms.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
If Don stated that we should not ever sing psalms in worship, then I do not agree with him. I seemed to have missed that post.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Rev. Winzer, would you say that it is *heresy* to sing "Jesus Christ is my shepherd!" in worship?
Not at all. To sing "Jesus Christ is my shepherd" with a believing heart is an act of true worship. But that is an altogether different matter from the one we are discussing because this thread is enquiring about what is done in the "church." To sing in the church is a congregational activity which requires consensus on a set form. In this particular case God only wise has not only commanded an activity which requires a set form, but has also provided the form of words to be used, from which it is our folly to depart. Blessings!
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
If Don stated that we should not ever sing psalms in worship, then I do not agree with him. I seemed to have missed that post.
That's because I never said that. It's another gross misrepresentation. In fact, I explicitly said that the phrase "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" is inclusive of the 150 Psalms.

However, that doesn't mean that if you don't sing the 150 Psalms, you are disobeying the commandment to sing those types of songs.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
It is clear that everything that is distinctive about NT worship is to be found as characteristic of the worship of the Psalter. If it be objected that there are still types and shadows scattered throughout the Psalter which require interpretation, it may be safely answered -- the NT itself abounds in the use of figurative phrases borrowed from the OT types and ceremonies to explain deep theological ideas. "The lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
"It is clear that everything that is distinctive about NT worship is to be found as characteristic of the worship of the Psalter." Everything?

I've said it before, and it still hasn't been answered: Where does the Psalms speak of the resurrection of Christ, and his victory over the grave? Paul says that if Christ is not raised, we are still in our sins! The resurrection is a basis for our hope of salvation! The resurrection is an essential part of the gospel message! Where is this in the Psalms?
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
I've never heard of one actually holding the position that we are not commanded to sing (at least some of) the 150 Psalms of David. So when hymn lovers rail on EPers about their "strained" interpretation of "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" what are we to think about the the interpretation Don is advocating that psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs DO NOT include the Psalms of David?
As I said above, this is a gross misrepresentation. I specifically said the opposite, that psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are inclusive of the Psalms of David.

As I wrote:
In Col. 3:16 and Eph. 5:19, I don't think it means specifically those 150 psalms, although it is inclusive of them. When it means those 150 psalms, the Scripture is very specific, i.e. "the Book of Psalms" (Luke 20:42, Acts 1:20), "the Psalms" (Luke 24:44), "the second Psalm," (Act 13:13), etc.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
"It is clear that everything that is distinctive about NT worship is to be found as characteristic of the worship of the Psalter." Everything?

I've said it before, and it still hasn't been answered: Where does the Psalms speak of the resurrection of Christ, and his victory over the grave? Paul says that if Christ is not raised, we are still in our sins! The resurrection is a basis for our hope of salvation! The resurrection is an essential part of the gospel message! Where is this in the Psalms?
On this point, consider what Peter said at Pentecost (Acts 2):

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Peter is quoting Psalm 16 to preach the Resurrection:

10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
And other passages from the Psalter as well.

(HT to E.S. McKitrick)
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
[bible] Psalm 16:8-10 [/bible]

Oops, Andrew beat me to it.

It was clear enough for Peter.
 

Croghanite

Puritan Board Sophomore
As I said above, this is a gross misrepresentation. I specifically said the opposite, that psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are inclusive of the Psalms of David.
Then why don't you sing a Psalm every once in awhile?
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
By the way, since when does it matter what we think ought to be sung about in worship? When did the content of worship ever depend on what the worshipers considered to be a worthwhile contribution? Sure, Don doesn't realize how sufficient the Psalms are for instruction about Christ, but that is not the crux of the issue. Behind all of that is Don's desire to decide for himself what God would or would not want to hear. This whole issue is a red herring from those who want to offer "strange fire which they were not commanded." The real issue here is what God has authorized to be done. I've yet to see some authorization for composing and singing our own songs in worship.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
"It is clear that everything that is distinctive about NT worship is to be found as characteristic of the worship of the Psalter." Everything?
Yes, everything.

I've said it before, and it still hasn't been answered: Where does the Psalms speak of the resurrection of Christ, and his victory over the grave? Paul says that if Christ is not raised, we are still in our sins! The resurrection is a basis for our hope of salvation! The resurrection is an essential part of the gospel message! Where is this in the Psalms?
It would be more appropriate to ask where the Psalms do not speak of the resurrection of Christ.

We commence with the link provided for us in the first sermon delivered in the post-Pentecostal church, that David was a type of Christ, and that when he spoke of being raised up from the grave he was referring to Christ Himself. Acts 2:25-32. Verse 31 says David, being a prophet "spake of the resurrection of Christ." In Acts 13:33-37 the apostle Paul makes the same observation. Moreover, in Eph. 4:7-10, the apostle illustrates the ascension of Christ and the gifts He gives to the church by expounding Ps. 68:18, which was itself penned at the bringing up of the ark of the covenant.

In the Psalms David speaks with the Spirit of Christ Himself. Not only do we sing of the resurrection of Christ when we sing the Psalms of David, we enter into the personal experience of the resurrection of Christ as His mystical body; and therefore when we sing with David of being raised up again, we are confessing that we have been raised to heavenly places in Christ.
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
If Don stated that we should not ever sing psalms in worship, then I do not agree with him. I seemed to have missed that post.
Actually, he said other songs are to be preferred. What does that mean? To me it sounds he believes contemporary unispired songs are superior to the Psalms of David:

Worship leader here, no Psalter singing. I don't hold strictly to the Regulative Principle of Worship. I'm not opposed to Psalm singing, but I feel good hymns and contemporary songs reflect a more developed theology of who Christ is and what he has done, and thus ought to be preferred.
As I said above, this is a gross misrepresentation. I specifically said the opposite, that psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are inclusive of the Psalms of David.
Yet, you say you DO NOT sing any of the Psalms of David! So, please tell me how we reconcile your admission that "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" INCLUDE the Psalms of David AND you DO NOT sing them and in fact think they are of lesser value than the uninspired songs you hold up as the pinnacle of praise?

What am I missing?
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Then why don't you sing a Psalm every once in awhile?
By the way, Joe, thanks a bunch for asking questions nicely and not referring to me in third person.

I'm not opposed to it. We sing songs like "Create in Me a Clean Heart," that use the Psalms, but we don't have a Psalter book. We also don't have anyone at our church who can sight-read for piano, so even if we did get a Psalter book, we wouldn't be able to do it unless we did no-instruments as well. And I know for a fact that almost nobody in our congregation can sight-sing.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
By the way, Joe, thanks a bunch for asking questions nicely and not referring to me in third person.
Hey Don,

What's wrong with referring to you in the third person when not addressing you directly? That's what the third person is for. ;) If I had written directly to you instead of to the entire thread I would've used the second person.

(I'm using the second person now because I'm speaking to you.)
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Actually, he said other songs are to be preferred. What does that mean? To me it sounds he believes contemporary unispired songs are superior to the Psalms of David:

Yet, you say you DO NOT sing any of the Psalms of David! So, please tell me how we reconcile your admission that "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" INCLUDE the Psalms of David AND you DO NOT sing them and in fact think they are of lesser value than the uninspired songs you hold up as the pinnacle of praise?

What am I missing?
Chris, I already explained this in detail in this thread. I'm not going to rehash this. If you still don't understand, send me a PM.
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Yes, everything.

It would be more appropriate to ask where the Psalms do not speak of the resurrection of Christ.

We commence with the link provided for us in the first sermon delivered in the post-Pentecostal church, that David was a type of Christ, and that when he spoke of being raised up from the grave he was referring to Christ Himself. Acts 2:25-32. Verse 31 says David, being a prophet "spake of the resurrection of Christ." In Acts 13:33-37 the apostle Paul makes the same observation. Moreover, in Eph. 4:7-10, the apostle illustrates the ascension of Christ and the gifts He gives to the church by expounding Ps. 68:18, which was itself penned at the bringing up of the ark of the covenant.

In the Psalms David speaks with the Spirit of Christ Himself. Not only do we sing of the resurrection of Christ when we sing the Psalms of David, we enter into the personal experience of the resurrection of Christ as His mystical body; and therefore when we sing with David of being raised up again, we are confessing that we have been raised to heavenly places in Christ.
:up: To Rev. Winzer and the resident Huguenot's post. :up:
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Chris, I already explained this in detail in this thread. I'm not going to rehash this. If you still don't understand, send me a PM.
Ok. Put up a link to the post(s) that cover this and I'll review. If I still cannot understand I'll PM.

Thanks,
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Don,

I think I understand your point but it appears you are equivocating still. It seems you think the Col.. verse "psalms, hymns, spiritual songs" is like saying "sing whatever song (be it Psalms of David, hymns, contemporary, your own ode) that is spiritual". This way, it is not commanded to sing the Psalms of David it is simply an option to sing this [type] of song.

This is how you can hold the position that the verse in question does in fact include the Psalms of David, among other things, but it is simply left as an option on the worshipers table.

Am I tracking yet?
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Yes, everything.

It would be more appropriate to ask where the Psalms do not speak of the resurrection of Christ.

We commence with the link provided for us in the first sermon delivered in the post-Pentecostal church, that David was a type of Christ, and that when he spoke of being raised up from the grave he was referring to Christ Himself. Acts 2:25-32. Verse 31 says David, being a prophet "spake of the resurrection of Christ." In Acts 13:33-37 the apostle Paul makes the same observation. Moreover, in Eph. 4:7-10, the apostle illustrates the ascension of Christ and the gifts He gives to the church by expounding Ps. 68:18, which was itself penned at the bringing up of the ark of the covenant.

In the Psalms David speaks with the Spirit of Christ Himself. Not only do we sing of the resurrection of Christ when we sing the Psalms of David, we enter into the personal experience of the resurrection of Christ as His mystical body; and therefore when we sing with David of being raised up again, we are confessing that we have been raised to heavenly places in Christ.
In my mind, This pretty much proves my point. The Apostles are able to see types and shadows of the resurrection of Christ in the raising of the Ark of the Covenant, and the rescuing of David. In the Psalms, you see the types, and in the NT, you see them revealed.

Covenant theologians bristle at the dispensational idea of a restored temple with animal sacrifices, and rightly so, because they are only types and shadows that the book of Hebrews say should be done away with. In the same way, to only sing the Psalms is to only sing of the types and shadows, and this should not constitute NT worship.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
Don,

I think I understand your point but it appears you are equivocating still. It seems you think the Col.. verse "psalms, hymns, spiritual songs" is like saying "sing whatever song (be it Psalms of David, hymns, contemporary, your own ode) that is spiritual". This way, it is not commanded to sing the Psalms of David it is simply an option to sing this [type] of song.

This is how you can hold the position that the verse in question does in fact include the Psalms of David, among other things, but it is simply left as an option on the worshipers table.

Am I tracking yet?
Chris, will PM a response as I do not wish to clutter up this thread and I think I responded to this adequately already.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
In my mind, This pretty much proves my point. The Apostles are able to see types and shadows of the resurrection of Christ in the raising of the Ark of the Covenant, and the rescuing of David. In the Psalms, you see the types, and in the NT, you see them revealed.

Covenant theologians bristle at the dispensational idea of a restored temple with animal sacrifices, and rightly so, because they are only types and shadows that the book of Hebrews say should be done away with. In the same way, to only sing the Psalms is to only sing of the types and shadows, and this should not constitute NT worship.
I find myself in a dilemma -- whether I should dignify this kind of nonsense with an answer or not. On the basis of this reasoning all that the Bible records prior to the resurrection of Christ is mere history and practically irrelevant to the church. I hope you realise that you are subscribed to a board which maintains the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the rule of faith and life.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
I find myself in a dilemma -- whether I should dignify this kind of nonsense with an answer or not. On the basis of this reasoning all that the Bible records prior to the resurrection of Christ is mere history and practically irrelevant to the church. I hope you realise that you are subscribed to a board which maintains the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the rule of faith and life.
Once again, I am accused of not holding to the sufficiency of Scripture. We've been through this before, and you are accusing me of not holding to a fundamental of Christian orthodoxy, which if true, would be reasons for dismissal from the board. I find that deeply offensive.

I am saying that the NT ought to inform what we read in the OT. The OT is not irrelevant, but today you ought to use the NT as well. What would you say to a preacher who never preached using the NT? How about if he never preached out of anything but one book? This is exactly how I feel about singing songs out of only one book of Scripture.

You say that your view maintains the sufficiency of Scripture, and yet you don't use all of the revelation of Scripture to inform your practice of singing in worship. That is a tragedy.

I am glad, though, that you are not completely consistent: that you do not practice what you sing and do the temple sacrifices that are described in the Psalms.
 

VaughanRSmith

Puritan Board Sophomore
The problem is, Don, that you are not using a Biblical argument to deny the exclusive use of Psalms in church worship. Your main argument sounds like it stems from a pragmatic "It feels right to sing more than the Psalms, because we get to sing about Jesus and the resurrection". Now, I'm probably misreading you, but I think that you need to be more clear.

I am not an EP'er, but because of these reasons I feel your argument falls a little flat.

You need to remember, if I am reading you correctly:

1) Sola Scriptura: the Scriptures, not pragmatic experience, should be our guide in faith and practice.
2) The apostles had no Apostolic example in a New Testament upon which to base their Apostolic example.
3) The Hebrew Scriptures in the Old Testament were all they had upon which to preach and teach. So, in some way, it must be possible for a church to preach Christ's crucifixion, resurrection and ascencion from those very scriptures.

Just my :2cents:
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I am saying that the NT ought to inform what we read in the OT. The OT is not irrelevant, but today you ought to use the NT as well. What would you say to a preacher who never preached using the NT? How about if he never preached out of anything but one book? This is exactly how I feel about singing songs out of only one book of Scripture.

You say that your view maintains the sufficiency of Scripture, and yet you don't use all of the revelation of Scripture to inform your practice of singing in worship. That is a tragedy.

I am glad, though, that you are not completely consistent: that you do not practice what you sing and do the temple sacrifices that are described in the Psalms.
Leonard Coppes, as quoted by Joseph Morecraft III in "How God Wants Us To Worship Him":

The theological method and conclusions expressed in exclusive psalmody reverse the order of the importance of preaching and singing. It does this by its conclusion that God regulates singing more closely than He regulates preaching. Biblically speaking, however, God teaches us that preaching occupies a more central and more important place in Christian worship.

The theological method and conclusions expressed in exclusive psalmody ignore the progress of biblical revelation.

The theological method and conclusions expressed in exclusive psalmody teach: God is pleased...when the Son is not honored in worship on par with the Father.

The theological method and conclusions expressed in exclusive psalmody posit a difference between worship fulfilled in Christ and worship as practiced in heaven.
I do not want to put words in Don's mouth, but I think this is what he is getting at. Does an EPer deny these claims? And if so, how?
 
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