Does your church sing Psalms?

Does your church sing the Psalms in public worship?


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elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
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:

Hi Vaughan,

Keen observations. What you said is true because I'm not trying to form a biblical argument to deny EP in worship. If I were, I would have spent more time debunking the Regulative Principle, discussing the meaning of "songs, hymns and spiritual songs," and using historical evidence.

No, the original post was "does your church sing Psalms?", and the argument was them asking my why I personally don't use a Psalter in worship, and so that's why I responded in kind. I am responding as a person who already has presuppositions of denying EP and the RPW. Thus my answer to this pragmatic question is going to consist of a subjective "I choose these types of songs over these types" in the same way a preacher pragmatically decides, "I am going to preach these types of sermons in these books of the Bible." There is confusion because I am arguing based on different presuppositions than the ones who are arguing against me. Does that make sense?

Thus, my reply is going to be something along the lines of "I believe we should choose songs that reflect the whole of Scripture" in the same way a preacher would say, "I think I should use the whole of Scripture to preach the sermon" instead of just preaching from one book of the Bible, or even only using words found in one book of the Bible.

This is a pragmatic question. There are other threads addressing EP, some of which I have posted in. But that wasn't the original question.
 

VaughanRSmith

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hi Vaughan,

Keen observations. What you said is true because I'm not trying to form a biblical argument to deny EP in worship. If I were, I would have spent more time debunking the Regulative Principle, discussing the meaning of "songs, hymns and spiritual songs," and using historical evidence.

No, the original post was "does your church sing Psalms?", and the argument was them asking my why I personally don't use a Psalter in worship, and so that's why I responded in kind. I am responding as a person who already has presuppositions of denying EP and the RPW. Thus my answer to this pragmatic question is going to consist of a subjective "I choose these types of songs over these types" in the same way a preacher pragmatically decides, "I am going to preach these types of sermons in these books of the Bible." There is confusion because I am arguing based on different presuppositions than the ones who are arguing against me. Does that make sense?

Thus, my reply is going to be something along the lines of "I believe we should choose songs that reflect the whole of Scripture" in the same way a preacher would say, "I think I should use the whole of Scripture to preach the sermon" instead of just preaching from one book of the Bible, or even only using words found in one book of the Bible.

This is a pragmatic question. There are other threads addressing EP, some of which I have posted in. But that wasn't the original question.
Roger that, Don.

Thanks.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
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.
If the NT ought to inform what we read in the OT, then we should accept the NT teaching that the Gospel was preached in the OT prior to the resurrection of Christ; Gal. 3:8, "The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." Hence your position relating to typology and fulfilment is contrary to the NT Scriptures. That being the case, it is little wonder if your view is exposed for its denigration of the sufficiency of Scripture.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
If the NT ought to inform what we read in the OT, then we should accept the NT teaching that the Gospel was preached in the OT prior to the resurrection of Christ; Gal. 3:8, "The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." Hence your position relating to typology and fulfilment is contrary to the NT Scriptures. That being the case, it is little wonder if your view is exposed for its denigration of the sufficiency of Scripture.
:agree: Indeed, as Martin Luther said, the Psalter is a "little Bible" comprehending "the whole estate and system of Christianity," "the very paragon of books." Those who sing the Psalter often find, by the grace of God, that their eyes were opened by Christ to Christ who is fully revealed therein (Luke 24.44-45), in a manner that reveals the very inward soul of Christ Incarnate more fully indeed than the New Testament (see Ps. 22 for instance). The Psalter is more than sufficient to show forth Christ fully and was sufficient enough for Christ who himself sang the psalms (Matt. 26.30, the Hallel), and closed its canon (Rev. 22.18).

Martin Luther's Prefaces to the Psalter:

Martin Luther, German Reformer (1483-1546):

(1) Preface to the Revised Edition of the German Psalter (1531):

“The Psalter has been lauded and loved by many holy fathers above the other books of the Scripture; and, indeed, the work itself doth sufficiently praise its Author. Nevertheless, we also must utter our praise and thanks for it …

Yea, the Psalter ought to be precious and dear, were it for nothing else but the clear promise it holds forth respecting Christ’s death and resurrection, and its prefiguration of His kingdom and of the whole estate and system of Christianity, insomuch that it might well be entitled a Little Bible, wherein everything contained in the entire Bible is beautifully and briefly comprehended, and compacted into an enchiridion or Manual. It seems to me as if the Holy Ghost had been please to take on himself the trouble of putting together a short Bible, or book of exemplars, touching the whole of Christianity or all the saints, in order that they who are unable to read the whole Bible may nevertheless find almost the whole sum comprehended in one little book … the Psalter is the very paragon of books …

Moreover, it is not the poor every-day words of the saints that the Psalter expresses, but their very best words, spoken by them, in deepest earnestness, to God Himself, in matters of utmost moment. Thus it lays open to us not only what they say about their works, but their very heart and the inmost treasure of their souls; so that we can spy the bottom and spring of their words and works—that is to say, their heart—in what manner of thoughts they had, how their heart did bear itself, in every sort of business, peril, and extremity …

What is the Psalter, for the most part, but such earnest discourse in all manner of such winds? Where are finer words of gladness than in the Psalms of Praise and Thanksgiving? There thou lookest into the hearts of all the saints as into fair and pleasant gardens, yea, as into the heavens, and seest what fine, hearty, pleasant flowers spring up therein, in all manner of fair gladsome thoughts of God and His benefits. And again, where wilt thou find deeper, more plaintive, more sorrowful words of grief than in the Psalms of complaint? There thou lookest again into the hearts of all the saints, as into death, yea, as into hell. How they are filled with darkness and gloom by reason of the wrath of God! So also, when they discourse of fear and hope, they use such words, that no painter could so portray, nor any Cicero or orator could so express, the fear or hope.

And (as I said) the best of all is, that these words of theirs are spoken before God and unto God, which puts double earnestness and life into the words. For words that are spoken only before men in such matters do not come so mightily form the heart, are not such burning, living, piercing words. Hence also it comes to pass that the Psalter is the Book of all the Saints; and every one, whatsoever his case may be, find therein Psalms and words which suit his case so perfectly, that they might seem to have been set down solely for his sake, in such sort that anything better he can neither make for himself, nor discover, nor desire. One good effect of which, moreover, is that if a man take pleasure in the words here set forth and find them suit his case, he is assured he is in the communion of the saints, and that all the saints fared just as he fares, for they and he sing all one song together, particularly if he can utter them before God even as they did, which must be done in faith, for an ungodly man relishes them not …

To sum up; wouldest thou see the Holy Catholic Church portrayed to the life in form and colour, as it were in miniature? Open the Psalter. Thus thou shalt therein find thine own self, and the right [knowledge of self], God Himself also and all the creatures.

Let us, therefore, take heed also to thank God for such unspeakable benefits, and to accept and make use of them to the praise and honour of God, that we bring not upon ourselves wrath by our unthankfulness. For, formerly, in the time of darkness, what a treasure it had been esteemed if men had been able rightly to understand one psalm, and to read or hear it in plain German! and yet they were not able. Blessed now are the eyes which see the things that we see, and the ears which hear the things that we hear! And yet take heed—alas, we already see, that we are like the Jews in the wilderness, who said of the manna, ‘Our soul loatheth this light bread.’ It behoves us to mark what is written in the same place, how they were plagued and died, that it may not befall us also after the same sort.

To this end, may the Father of all grace and mercy help us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be blessing and thanks, honour and praise, for this German Psalter, and for all His innumerable gifts, for evermore; Amen and Amen!”

(2) Preface to the Edition of the Psalter in 1545:

“Every Christian who would abound in prayer and piety ought, in all reason, to make the Psalter his manual; and, moreover, it were well if every Christian so used it and were so expert in it as to have it word for word by heart, and could have it even in his heart as often as he chanced to be called to speak or act, that he might be able to draw forth or employ some sentence out of it, by way of a proverb. For indeed the truth is, that everything that a pious heart can desire to ask in prayer, it here finds Psalms and words to match, so aptly and sweetly, that no man—no, nor all the men in the world—shall be able to devise forms of words so good and devout. Moreover, the Psalter doth minister such instruction and comfort in the act of supplication; and the Lord’s Prayer doth so run through it, and it through the Lord’s Prayer, that the one helpeth us finely to understand the other, and the two together make a pleasant harmony …

In my opinion, any man who will but make a trial in earnest of the Psalter and the Lord’s Prayer will very soon bid the other pious prayers adieu, and say, Ah, they have not the sap, the strength, the heart, the fire, that I find in the Psalter; they are too cold, too hard, for my taste!”
 
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edb19

Puritan Board Freshman
We sing Psalms, but not from the Psalter.

The gentleman who leads our music has put multiple Psalms (and other Scripture passages) to music - we sing those. Each week we sing congregationally 4 songs - one will be a Psalm.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
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?
I would deny the claims. How, you ask? It's quite simple. The Exclusive Psalmodist is not regulating anything - God is. God has not erred in allowing preachers with the gift of teaching (there is a gift of teaching) to expound the Word while not allowing people to run around writing songs willy-nilly (there isn't a gift of song-writing. God inspired David et al. in the Old Testament and hasn't done so since. Perhaps we should take that as a sign that our hymnal is complete). In His wisdom, God gave us teachers and they have not only been publicly reading but also expounding the Bible since the conception of the Church. God has not given us any psalmists since the Sons of Korah and has not given us instructions for appointing psalmists; he has, however, given us instructions for the appointing of elders. These things are God's prerogative.
 

Bondman

Puritan Board Freshman
Within a span of four hours, almost as many people as have responded to this poll, which has existed for more than three days, have cast a vote for the "what is your favorite sport" poll.

:barfy:
 

Bondman

Puritan Board Freshman
Mr. Lowe,

First of all, I should say that I think I understand your position. While I cannot myself at this time say that I subscribe to exclusive psalmody, I would just like to respectfully commend the psalter to you as one who has only recently discovered them and has been greatly blessed by them. I wonder how many brothers in your church would come to love psalm singing even as I have if they just knew about it. The psalms are an extraordinary blessing.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I would deny the claims. How, you ask? It's quite simple. The Exclusive Psalmodist is not regulating anything - God is. God has not erred in allowing preachers with the gift of teaching (there is a gift of teaching) to expound the Word while not allowing people to run around writing songs willy-nilly (there isn't a gift of song-writing. God inspired David et al. in the Old Testament and hasn't done so since. Perhaps we should take that as a sign that our hymnal is complete). In His wisdom, God gave us teachers and they have not only been publicly reading but also expounding the Bible since the conception of the Church. God has not given us any psalmists since the Sons of Korah and has not given us instructions for appointing psalmists; he has, however, given us instructions for the appointing of elders. These things are God's prerogative.
Thank you for your answer, David. I assume that you were arguing against the first claim that I quoted? Or the whole thing?
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thank you for your answer, David. I assume that you were arguing against the first claim that I quoted? Or the whole thing?
You're welcome! :handshake: I was actually arguing more against Mr. Coppes' statement.

By the way, thanks for your contributions to the discussion. You know you've always been one of my favorites with which to interact. :cheers2:
 

Bodigean

Puritan Board Freshman
We sing the Psalter only. We use the 1650 Scottish Psalter and the Bay Psalm Book of 1640. We are working to get the Bay Psalm Book in a format that would make it easier to sing.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
We sing the Psalter only. We use the 1650 Scottish Psalter and the Bay Psalm Book of 1640. We are working to get the Bay Psalm Book in a format that would make it easier to sing.
That's great! I have a facsimile of the Bay Psalm Book, but would love to see it available in modern typeset/binding for use by Christians today (same with the Ainsworth Psalter - I have parts of it and recordings of two psalms from the Plimoth Plantation, but would love to see that made available today as well). :pilgrim::sing:
 

Bodigean

Puritan Board Freshman
That's great! I have a facsimile of the Bay Psalm Book, but would love to see it available in modern typeset/binding for use by Christians today (same with the Ainsworth Psalter - I have parts of it and recordings of two psalms from the Plimoth Plantation, but would love to see that made available today as well). :pilgrim::sing:
That is our plan. I am working on Ainsworth as well. I will give you a heads up when it is finished, D.v.
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
The Scriptures afford the preacher liberty to expound the Word. This is spoken to men according to their spiritual condition, and others may judge what is said, 1 Cor. 14:29. Praise is declarative, congregational, and of necessity requires a set form.

Well, said. I would add that with preaching and prayer you can withhold your amen but with singing you are immediately declaring your "amen". :amen:
 
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