EP: Can you actually prove it from SCRIPTURE???

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biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
I cannot define the term conclusively, hence, singing Hymms may be a break in the RPW and sinful; until that time I do have a clear understanding of the definition, I will sing the Psalms only. In this way, I am being prudent.

Scott,

It is a fallacy to be EP just to "err on the side of caution", as if the EP position were logically "safer" than any other position.

Eph. 5 and Col. 3 both tell us to sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. This fact leaves us with 2 mutually exclusive options:

1) The EP position: The "Hymns" and "Spiritual Songs" ARE completely included in the 150 Psalms.

-or-

2) A non-EP position: The "Hymns" and "Spiritual Songs" are NOT included in the 150 Psalms.


If #1 is true, then EP is correct.

But if #2 is true, then EP is a SIN, because then Col. 3 and Eph. 5 is *commanding* us to sing something in *addition* to the Psalms.


So, you see, there is no "safe" position for the fence-straddler. Either EP is correct, or EP is a sin. If we are commanded to sing Psalms only, then we sin by singing anything else. But if we are commanded to sing songs in addition to the Psalms, then EP is a sin.

Thus, neither side is logically "safer" than the other side. Each person should study the issue as he is able, and should worship according to his convictions. But it is nonsense to say that one position is inherently more "prudent" or "cautious" than the other. To the contrary, the two positions are mutually exclusive.
 

biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
However, I just want to add a very important note to what I said above. Notice that I did *not* give option #3:

3) Sing ONLY uninspired hymns/songs, and do not sing ANY Psalms.


I did not give option 3, even though many churches follow that option, because we should all at least be able to agree that #3 is a sinful position. Col. 3 and Eph. 5 *commands* us to sing Psalms, regardless of what we think about other songs.

So whether we sing uninspired hymns or not (I personally do), we should remember that we MUST sing Psalms at least part of the time. I think it is a bad thing for any church to have a worship service that is totally devoid of any Psalms. That is contrary to Scripture. And I am not even EP!
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
A Scriptural argument?

1. Scripture commands us to sing Psalms. (1 Chron. 16:7, 9; Ps. 81:2; 95:2; 98:5; 105:2; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Jas. 5:13)

2. Scripture does not command us to sing anything else.

3. Scripture declares that what is not commanded in worship is forbidden. (Lev. 10:1-3; Deut. 12:32; Matt. 15:9; Col. 3:23)

4. Ergo, we are to sing only Psalms.

I think that everyone on this Board would agree that the Scripture commands the singing of Psalms -- which means that churches that do not sing Psalms are, by everyone's admission, sinning in refusing to observe this command of God.

The questions that should be asked are (1) Is the RPW scriptural? and (2) Does the Scripture command the singing of songs other than Psalms (especially songs not inspired by the Holy Ghost)? The "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" passages (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16) seem to occupy a central place in this debate; I recommend reading Dr. McNaugher on those texts.

Just a few observations on the debate...

(1.) Scriptural proof for uninspired creeds, confessions, catechisms, prayers, and sermons, is not scriptural proof for uninspired songs.

(2.) Non-EP argumentation that resolves the question in "I'll submit to the judgment of the leadership of my church," besides being an unscriptural and even anti-scriptural argument, wouldn't work in my case (since I am a member of the RPCNA).

(3.) It is rare for me to see non-EP proponents bringing the issue to the RPW, more often than not questioning the validity of the RPW, or simply ignoring it. Not trying to attack anybody, just making an observation.
 

crhoades

Puritan Board Graduate
Following up on Peter's and Patrick's posts...from what you guys are saying you are alluding to the portion in the confession that Scripture is sufficient but also good and necessary consequences that may be deduced from Scripture. After studying that lately, A.A. Hodge had a good synopsis of it.

Good consequence = consistent with Scripture
Necessary consequence = required by Scripture

I think everyone agrees that singing Psalms in worship is both consistent and required by Scripture.

The hang-up comes in with "exclusively". Can it be proven that it is necessary.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
(2.) Non-EP argumentation that resolves the question in "I'll submit to the judgment of the leadership of my church," besides being an unscriptural and even anti-scriptural argument, wouldn't work in my case (since I am a member of the RPCNA).
It is not just a non-EP argument but an EP argument as well. It doesn't resolve the argument, but it does resolve the problem of submission, conscience, and unity until the church comes to a decision on the issue. The arguments are not clear cut in this case since there are so many unproven assumptions on either side of the argument, therefore you should not feel guilty if you must attend a church that sings hymns. They are God's people seeking to worship Him as best they can, just as you are. It is a minor issue, and should be discussed in that manner among brethren.
 

jfschultz

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by NaphtaliPress
Colleen,
Why not suggested singing one once in a while to the pastor? BTW, who is the pastor at Berks OPC? I couldn't find one mentioned anywhere on the church's website.
:ditto:
I have to agree. Even a broad reading of Paul telling us to sing Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs cannot be used to exclude Psalms, as is so common today. This singing of praises drawn from Scirpture, from the Psalms or other passages, should be a regular and routine part of worship.

BTW: In reference to my previous post quoting Jeremiah Burroughs, I am not settled on how this should impact the argument for or against EP. The paragraph above expresses by current, uninspired, opinion.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by puritansailor
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
(2.) Non-EP argumentation that resolves the question in "I'll submit to the judgment of the leadership of my church," besides being an unscriptural and even anti-scriptural argument, wouldn't work in my case (since I am a member of the RPCNA).
It is not just a non-EP argument but an EP argument as well. It doesn't resolve the argument, but it does resolve the problem of submission, conscience, and unity until the church comes to a decision on the issue. The arguments are not clear cut in this case since there are so many unproven assumptions on either side of the argument, therefore you should not feel guilty if you must attend a church that sings hymns. They are God's people seeking to worship Him as best they can, just as you are. It is a minor issue, and should be discussed in that manner among brethren.
I don't believe it is a minor issue, nor an unclear one. But I understand the issues of submission, conscience, and church unity. I attended an Evangelical Free church for two years while holding to exclusive psalmody (and also attended Protestant chapel services in Iraq for one year). I believe that one should not participate in worship practices that are unscriptural ("we must obey God rather than men"), which is why I didn't sing in church for those three years; but I do not believe that a rejection of exclusive psalmody makes a body of believers a false church, or warrants an unscriptural and schismatic separation from their assembled worship.

I haven't seen a whole lot of that argument used by EP proponents; whereas I've seen two non-EP proponents use that argument on this Board so far. Most EP proponents that have attended non-EP churches would, I think, agree with my above statement, and have probably done the exact same thing (continued attending the non-EP church while not singing).
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
For me, singing the psalms is just safer. Based upon that premise, it is a no brainer for me.

Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
Rev 5:10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."
Rev 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,
Rev 5:12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"
Rev 5:13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"
Rev 5:14 And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.

I prefer to mimic the safety of heavenly worship, which we have now entered by the blood of the new covenant, than withdraw to the shadows of the old covenant and sing only of future promises in the psalms God gave to an exiled nation, under an incomplete revelation.

The Psalms are good, and right to sing, but they are simply not the full measure or glory of the new covenant.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Scriptural command to sing the psalter.... a specific office in the temple that has not been abrogated. We are now the royal priesthood that should continue this practice of singing the praises of God with the words of David and Asaph.

2 Chronicles 29:
25 And he stationed the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king´s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of the LORD by His prophets.
26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
27 Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 So all the assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.
29 And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped.
30 Moreover King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped.

1 Chronicles 25
1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:
2 Of the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king.

3 Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD.


2 Chronicles 35:15
15 And the singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their places, according to the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king´s seer.

Ezra 3:10-11
10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood[d] in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel.
11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD:

"œFor He is good,
For His mercy endures forever toward Israel."[e]


Nehemiah 12:
8 Moreover the Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah who led the thanksgiving psalms, he and his brethren.
9 Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, stood across from them in their duties.....

44 And at the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered.
45 Both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification, according to the command of David and Solomon his son.
46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
47 In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, a portion for each day. They also consecrated holy things for the Levites, and the Levites consecrated them for the children of Aaron.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
Originally posted by puritansailor
Originally posted by Kaalvenist
(2.) Non-EP argumentation that resolves the question in "I'll submit to the judgment of the leadership of my church," besides being an unscriptural and even anti-scriptural argument, wouldn't work in my case (since I am a member of the RPCNA).
It is not just a non-EP argument but an EP argument as well. It doesn't resolve the argument, but it does resolve the problem of submission, conscience, and unity until the church comes to a decision on the issue. The arguments are not clear cut in this case since there are so many unproven assumptions on either side of the argument, therefore you should not feel guilty if you must attend a church that sings hymns. They are God's people seeking to worship Him as best they can, just as you are. It is a minor issue, and should be discussed in that manner among brethren.
I haven't seen a whole lot of that argument used by EP proponents; whereas I've seen two non-EP proponents use that argument on this Board so far. Most EP proponents that have attended non-EP churches would, I think, agree with my above statement, and have probably done the exact same thing (continued attending the non-EP church while not singing).
To me, (I won't bind your conscience with mine), to sing in praise in corporate worship is a clear command. The content of the song (though I hold to EP) is not clear, at least not clear enough to bind anothers conscience with. So I can sing hymns in my non-EP church in good conscience knowing that God has it all figured out, and will guide His church into greater clarity on the issue. The worship of God is bigger than my conscience, so I have no problem deferring to the elders on this issue and worshipping with my brethren, just as I would for the other issues regarding required elements of worship are carried out (i.e. what kind of bread or wine to use, preaching style, fixed or extemporaneous prayer, time and place of worship, etc.).

But I will no longer side-track the thread. Kevin wanted scriptural arguments for EP.

As Peter noted, the Psalms were divinely inspired and provided for the purpose of worship. They certainly perform other roles too, but that was their cheif intent. This much we know. Of course now we have to get to the nitty gritty of congregational worship before the NT, and we have little to go on. We know there was synagogue worship. But when was that instituted by God along with it's elements? We know the psalms were sung in the temple and feasts for ceremonial worship, but that ceremonial worship has been abolished. We also know that several psalms (like the psalms of ascent) were sung, not in public worship, but enroute to worship.
So what remains for the NT? The psalms remained. The RPW remained. And we have some clear commands in the NT as to required elements of worship. What did the early church draw on? The narratives in Acts don't help much. Corinth helps some, but it only gives us a picture of a Church struggling the abuse of some elements of worship. The early church knew how to worship God in the OT. To me it seems clear that the psalms provided not only an immediate hymn book for the Jewish christians, now knowing their full Christological meaning, but also they could identify more fully with the experiences of the psalms as they wrestled through persecution, betrayal, and sanctification, and sing them from the heart. In order to understand Paul to be commanding further composition, you would first have to somehow show where Paul (or the NT) shows a defficiency or incompleteness in the psalms for worship, or to provide more specific directions about songs in corporate worship to accomadate the new covenant worship. Othewise, the practice must continue as before. But again, these are all arguments by implication. We don't know for certain that the Jews didn't use other hymns in synagogue worship (i.e. what were the hymns of Hezekiah, the song of Miriam, Deborah, etc. ?). We don't know what parts of synagogue worship are divinely ordained or culturally bound "traditions of men" which Jesus so often rebuked them for. Perhaps the Jews refered to these other hymns as well when they said "psalms" in their everyday talk. The OT has very little to go on. And the early church began diverging in their liturgical traditions rather early on as I understand it. We have references to some early church fathers using teh term "psalms" but do we really know whether that term referred to just the book of Psalsm, or as a generic word for worship music? Again, it's based upon implication.....
:2cents:



[Edited on 1-3-2006 by puritansailor]
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Saiph
I prefer to mimic the safety of heavenly worship, which we have now entered by the blood of the new covenant, than withdraw to the shadows of the old covenant and sing only of future promises in the psalms God gave to an exiled nation, under an incomplete revelation.

The Psalms are good, and right to sing, but they are simply not the full measure or glory of the new covenant.
Unless you can show that the songs sung in Revelation are uninspired, this argument holds no weight against EP.

Many believe them to be inspired songs, and therefore would require one to be directly inspired of the Holy Spirit to sing such in public worship.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by Saiph
I prefer to mimic the safety of heavenly worship, which we have now entered by the blood of the new covenant, than withdraw to the shadows of the old covenant and sing only of future promises in the psalms God gave to an exiled nation, under an incomplete revelation.

The Psalms are good, and right to sing, but they are simply not the full measure or glory of the new covenant.


We are in the same position escatologically as the OT saints in terms of our justification. We are simultaneously just and sinner as they were. None of us will see total fulfillment until the end. We are still only promised eternal rest. We are not in it yet.

David could sing just as we do that the Lord is his salvation and he did. We sing it with him.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by Saiph
I prefer to mimic the safety of heavenly worship, which we have now entered by the blood of the new covenant, than withdraw to the shadows of the old covenant and sing only of future promises in the psalms God gave to an exiled nation, under an incomplete revelation.

The Psalms are good, and right to sing, but they are simply not the full measure or glory of the new covenant.
Unless you can show that the songs sung in Revelation are uninspired, this argument holds no weight against EP.

Many believe them to be inspired songs, and therefore would require one to be directly inspired of the Holy Spirit to sing such in public worship.

That argument is cheesy.

Of course the apocalypse is inspired. And, I am asserting that we may in total freedom under the gospel administration of the covenant of grace sing ALL of scripture. Not only that, we may sing songs of private composition that are scriptural in content.

Therefore I can sing "Amazing Grace" in corporate worship because every concept from each line of the hymn can be found in the Psalms and other scriptures.

The EP advocate does the same thing by singing rhymed paraphrases of Psalms, AND they do NOT sing in the original Hebrew that David no doubt sang in. Paraphrasing a Psalm in english to rhyme and fit a melody is the same as singing "Mighty Fortress".

End of argument.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Augusta
We are in the same position escatologically as the OT saints in terms of our justification. We are simultaneously just and sinner as they were. None of us will see total fulfillment until the end. We are still only promised eternal rest. We are not in it yet.

David could sing just as we do that the Lord is his salvation and he did. We sing it with him.
We may be waiting for the pleroma, but we are waiting from within the kingdom, not some pathetic "left behind" outer darkness.

Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
Rev 1:6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Saiph
I prefer to mimic the safety of heavenly worship, which we have now entered by the blood of the new covenant, than withdraw to the shadows of the old covenant and sing only of future promises in the psalms God gave to an exiled nation, under an incomplete revelation.

The Psalms are good, and right to sing, but they are simply not the full measure or glory of the new covenant.
From Brian Schwertley's A Brief Examination of Exclusive Psalmody:

The Book of Revelation contains a number of examples of worship song (e.g., 4:8, 11; 5:9-13; 7:10-12; 11:17-18; 14:2-3; 15:3-4; 19:1, 2, 5, 8). A question that needs to be answered regarding these songs is: "œDo these allusions to worship in heaven teach us anything regarding what we are to sing in public worship and how we are to conduct public worship at the present time?" No, they clearly do not.

The Book of Revelation is apocalyptic literature, and therefore was not meant to be a literal guide or pattern for public worship. If it was, we would all be Romanists, for Revelation describes an "œaltar" (6:9; 8:3, 5; 9:13; 11:1; 14:18; 16:7); "œincense" (8:4); "œtrumpets" (1:10; 4:1; 8:13; 9:14); "œharps" (5:8; 14:2; 15:2) and even the "œark of the covenant" (11:19). We also would have to be mystics, for Revelation has every creature, including birds, insects, jellyfish, and worms, etc., praising God (5:13). Apocalyptic literature uses figurative language and dramatic imagery to teach spiritual lessons. "œThe important thing in watching a drama is not the props, but the message they help to portray." [William E. Cox, Studies in Final Things (Philipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1966), p. 159.] "œThe Book of Revelation is filled to overflowing with obscure rites, with thrones and temples, and with a whole host of liturgical acts that cannot possibly relate to our own circumstances of worship. The attempt to derive elements of worship from such apocalyptic literature can only lead to liturgical chaos." [Michael Bushell, The Songs of Zion, p. 94-95.] Furthermore, even if one wanted to take the apocalyptic scenes of worship in heaven as normative for the church today, they still would not authorize the use of uninspired hymns, for the songs sung by the angels, four living creatures, and sinless heavenly saints "œare in the nature of the case inspired compositions, proceeding as they do from heaven itself and the very throne and presence of God." [Ibid., p. 94.] But (as noted) the apocalyptic worship scenes with their altar, incense, harps, and other ceremonial images clearly cannot be applied to the new covenant church without Scripture contradicting itself, which is impossible.
 

Kaalvenist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Not only that, we may sing songs of private composition that are scriptural in content.
Even if the Apocalyptic songs were to be sung in public worship (and they shouldn't), this assertion of yours is without any warrant from that argument. You jump from "other inspired songs are allowed" to "uninspired compositions are allowed" without any logical connection between the two.

The EP advocate does the same thing by singing rhymed paraphrases of Psalms, AND they do NOT sing in the original Hebrew that David no doubt sang in. Paraphrasing a Psalm in english to rhyme and fit a melody is the same as singing "Mighty Fortress".
We've covered this before, Mark.

1. If you protest against the "rhymed paraphrases of Psalms," write better metrical translations than we already have.

2. If you protest against our not singing in Hebrew with enough violence to capitalize letters and everything, stop using English translations of the Bible. Use only the Hebrew and the Greek.

3. Psalm 46 (A, B, and C) in my church's Psalter is much closer to Psalm 46 as it appears in your Bible than is "A Mighty Fortress." We sing Psalm 46; singers of "A Mighty Fortress" do not.

4. Your arguments would tend to argue against the very practice of singing Psalms. May I ask you, Mark, how we are to obey the command of Scripture that we sing Psalms, if we can't sing in our language, can't sing metrical versions, etc. etc. etc.; or, if we do, we are not actually singing Psalms?

End of argument.
Indeed.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Kevin,

You can count on being roundly beaten for resurrecting this well dead horse. :deadhorse: ;)

Does it surprise anyone that in less than 9 hours we have 54 posts in this thread?!?

Having said that, I will keep my previous word and not waste a second of my time on EP threads.

[Edited on 1/3/2006 by fredtgreco]
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Sean,

1. If you protest against the "rhymed paraphrases of Psalms," write better metrical translations than we already have.

Wrong. I protest to the inconsistency of the EP psalm singer. A paraphrase of ANY psalm is NOT in ANY way the inspired, infallible, and inerrant word of God.


2. If you protest against our not singing in Hebrew with enough violence to capitalize letters and everything, stop using English translations of the Bible. Use only the Hebrew and the Greek.

I would If I followed the RPW and EP. Which I do not.

3. Psalm 46 (A, B, and C) in my church's Psalter is much closer to Psalm 46 as it appears in your Bible than is "A Mighty Fortress." We sing Psalm 46; singers of "A Mighty Fortress" do not.

Post it then. I will gladly show you where the paraphrase departs from accurate hebrew translation, and probably misses the ideas of hebrew poetry, ie. alliteration, parrallelism, chiasms, etc . . .

4. Your arguments would tend to argue against the very practice of singing Psalms. May I ask you, Mark, how we are to obey the command of Scripture that we sing Psalms, if we can't sing in our language, can't sing metrical versions, etc. etc. etc.; or, if we do, we are not actually singing Psalms?

Now you are seeing it. If we can make a paraphrase and/or a translation. (which is an arbitrary liberty to the EP advocate) then we can sing any song that echoes scriptural doctrines and themes and sing that as well. We can even sing the decalogue.



Scott's idea was to stay safe. So how safe ? ? If Psalms only, then why not be extra safe and sing hebrew ? And if we sing hebrew how safe should we be ? ? Should we be carefull not to sing the ineffable name YHWH, since no one knows absolutely how to pronounce it anyway, and sing Adonai instead ? ? Does that change of scripture fit the RPW ? ?

[Edited on 1-4-2006 by Saiph]
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
From Brian Schwertley's A Brief Examination of Exclusive Psalmody:

The Book of Revelation contains a number of examples of worship song (e.g., 4:8, 11; 5:9-13; 7:10-12; 11:17-18; 14:2-3; 15:3-4; 19:1, 2, 5, 8). A question that needs to be answered regarding these songs is: "œDo these allusions to worship in heaven teach us anything regarding what we are to sing in public worship and how we are to conduct public worship at the present time?" No, they clearly do not.

Mat 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.


Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
Heb 12:23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven,
and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
Heb 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Without getting embroiled into the debate, and w/o being disrespectful, let me say, Mark, that your view of the inspiration of the scriptures is distorted. Verbal inspiration does not mean that the symbols themselves are the Word of God but that their intention is the Word. To the extent that another letter or sound can express the same intention as an iota of scripture it too is the word of God. It is really a Mohammedan perversion of the doctrine of inspiration that God's Word is and can only be in one language and that a translation can only be " the sense of the word of God." Christ and the Apostles quoted the LXX as the Word of God and often even deviated from that slightly.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Peter
Without getting embroiled into the debate, and w/o being disrespectful, let me say, Mark, that your view of the inspiration of the scriptures is distorted. Verbal inspiration does not mean that the symbols themselves are the Word of God but that their intention is the Word. To the extent that another letter or sound can express the same intention as an iota of scripture it too is the word of God. It is really a Mohammedan perversion of the doctrine of inspiration that God's Word is and can only be in one language and that a translation can only be " the sense of the word of God." Christ and the Apostles quoted the LXX as the Word of God and often even deviated from that slightly.
I said paraphrase. And if you think a paraphrase is the word of God, you are the one with the distorted view of scripture. Is "The Message" the word of God ? ??
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Oh sorry. I read "paraphrase/or translation". But you know EPs dont believe metrical Psalms are paraphrases. They are translations. Infact, this was the criticism levied against Watts' version of the Psalms.

[Edited on 1-4-2006 by Peter]
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
I really do not care if some christians WANT to sing only Psalms, that is good and honorable, but to say I am offering strange fire is wrong. If EP is correct, then 99% of every church out there is false and full of idolatry. So why don't you come out and say it. Those of us that sing extra-biblical psalms and hymns are heretics.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Peter
Oh sorry. I read "paraphrase/or translation". But you know EPs dont believe metrical Psalms are paraphrases. They are translations. Infact, this was the criticism levied against Watts' version of the Psalms.

[Edited on 1-4-2006 by Peter]
That was pointing out an inconsistency of EP.

If I can sing a translation, or a paraphrase that "might" deviate from what God intended as the "meaning" behind the words, or construe something other than what the original languages meant, then why do we not have the freedom to sing "Mighty Fortress" which is doctrinally sound, even though the words are not literal paraphrases or translations of scripture ?

All I want is for them to admit that it is inconsistent.

[Edited on 1-4-2006 by Saiph]
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Saiph

That was pointing out an inconsistency of EP.

If I can sing a translation, or a paraphrase that "might" deviate from what God intended as the "meaning" behind the words, or construe something other than what the original languages meant, then why do we not have the freedom to sing "Mighty Fortress" which is doctrinally sound, even though the words are not literal paraphrases or translations of scripture ?

All I want is for them to admit that it is inconsistent.

[Edited on 1-4-2006 by Saiph]
I dont see how this is inconsistent.

Because I might sing something other than the meaning of the original languages by singing metrical psalms it does not follow that I can sing something I know that the original languages did not mean.

There is the possibility a prose translation might err in some places too. Further there is the possibility that one MSS might deviate from the inspired autographs. This does not make the translation or the mss any less than the word of God, nor does it give us the "freedom" to subsitute or add to the word of God with uninspired writings that may be consistent with the word of God.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
There is the possibility a prose translation might err in some places too. Further there is the possibility that one MSS might deviate from the inspired autographs. This does not make the translation or the mss any less than the word of God, nor does it give us the "freedom" to subsitute or add to the word of God with uninspired writings that may be consistent with the word of God.
Peter, I am not saying their inconsistency gives anyone the right to sing non-inspired hymns. But a paraphrase is more an uninspired deviation from the word than a literal translation. I know that there cannot be a perfect translation from one language to the next, but a paraphrase of a sonnet by Shakespeare in german, leaving out iambic pentameter, would not even be considered Shakespeare by some. Paraphrases of the Psalms in english, using C.M. and others miss the intended elements of hebrew Psalmody.

And, I have to laugh at the idea that God would find any other part of His word being sung to Him in praise as offering strange fire.

If I sing the Decalogue, are you telling me, that it is gross idolatry ? ?



Psa 119:172 My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by joshua
Chris, we have clear examples of Paul preaching sermons other than verbatim scripture and Peter praying prayers other than verbatim scripture. However, we do not see people singing something other than divine words in the worship of God. There is no book of sermons commanded to be preached...no book of prayers commanded to be prayed. But there is a songbook in the middle of our Bibles commanded to be sung.
And we have clear examples of songs sung that are not verbatim from Psalms as Mark is clearly showing.

We may read scripture aloud, be it one verse or and entire chapter or an entire book. Then we may confess what we believe the scripture says because of such scripture passages be it through sermon or witness or defense. But do not sing God's word unless it is a verbatim Psalm? Heaven forbid we sing from Song of Solomon or Revelation? God's word is complete as our confession shows. We consider the scriptures as a whole and sing the truth they proclaim. A Hymn, just like an uninspired confession or an uninspired epistle that quotes many verses from different books, is sung with the entire scope of holy scripture be it truth from Psalms or the gospel accounts that may expound the Psalms.
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Kevin,

You can count on being roundly beaten for resurrecting this well dead horse. :deadhorse: ;)

Does it surprise anyone that in less than 9 hours we have 54 posts in this thread?!?

Having said that, I will keep my previous word and not waste a second of my time on EP threads.

[Edited on 1/3/2006 by fredtgreco]
This being the first EP thread I have had the time to follow from start to present, I appreciate the new discussion.
 

kevin.carroll

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Jeff_BartelI think it is most likely that they would have understood it this way, but I grant it is POSSIBLE that they would not. Either way, I think using scripture (i.e. LXX) to interpret scripture is a better method than trying to define "hymn" and "song" using secular sources.
Ok...I'll concede the point. :)

I can't say that I am familiar with associating this passage with a hymn. Can you enlighten me?
Every commentary I've ever read on Philippians (a lot of them!) agrees that the kenosis passage is probably an early hymn. It certainly is poetic and highly structured. If it is Pauline poetry, it is certainly unsual for him.

The passage in Revelation should be taken in light of eschetelogical language. If we want to include everything that is revealed in Revelation in the worship service, we should have no problem with inscence or sacrifices!
That is a good dodge but it doesn't work, really. If we dismiss Rev. 6 by calling it apocalyptic (which of course it is) we are still left with the unsettling vision of God permitting songs that are not Psalms to be sung to Him in worship. Why would He give John a vision of something he would take as unlawful, if such a thing were unlawful?

I guess it boils down to several problems for me (and, let me hasten to add I'm not arguing, just seeking to understand):

1. EP is nowhere commanded in Scripture. I realize in itself this is not the strongest argument. For instance, infant baptism is not explicitly commanded, yet it is my earnest belief that it is the teaching of the Bible. Nevertheless, the Reformed approach to RPW is "what is not commanded is forbidden..." So...where's the commandment?

2. Some might respond that the Psalms were used in Old Covenant worship. We only have (very) limited proof for that. We do know that the singers at the temple sang some phrases that are, at least, found in the Psalms. And we do know that some somes say in the titles that they were part of temple worship. Others are obviosuly liturgical and meant for responsive reading (like Ps. 136, for instance). But to say that something WAS used in worship and something MUST be used in worship seems like an unwarranted conclusion.

3. Finally, owing to the progressive nature of revelation, the doctrines of Christ and the Holy Spirit are not fully revealed in the Psalms. It seems ironic that strict EP'ers would call a hymn of praise to Christ idolatry, since it is not a psalm.

4. Finally, to use a reductio ad absurdum how far would an EP'er want to take it? Most of the Psalms were not put to music (we can infer that from the titles). That means they were meant to be spoken, not sung. And shouldn't we be using the Bible and not making them metrical? And, for that matter, should't we be singing them in Hebrew?

Thanks for letting me muddle through this aloud. Look forward to your reply.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by biblelighthouse
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
I cannot define the term conclusively, hence, singing Hymms may be a break in the RPW and sinful; until that time I do have a clear understanding of the definition, I will sing the Psalms only. In this way, I am being prudent.

Scott,

It is a fallacy to be EP just to "err on the side of caution", as if the EP position were logically "safer" than any other position.

Eph. 5 and Col. 3 both tell us to sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. This fact leaves us with 2 mutually exclusive options:

1) The EP position: The "Hymns" and "Spiritual Songs" ARE completely included in the 150 Psalms.

-or-

2) A non-EP position: The "Hymns" and "Spiritual Songs" are NOT included in the 150 Psalms.


If #1 is true, then EP is correct.

But if #2 is true, then EP is a SIN, because then Col. 3 and Eph. 5 is *commanding* us to sing something in *addition* to the Psalms.


So, you see, there is no "safe" position for the fence-straddler. Either EP is correct, or EP is a sin. If we are commanded to sing Psalms only, then we sin by singing anything else. But if we are commanded to sing songs in addition to the Psalms, then EP is a sin.

Thus, neither side is logically "safer" than the other side. Each person should study the issue as he is able, and should worship according to his convictions. But it is nonsense to say that one position is inherently more "prudent" or "cautious" than the other. To the contrary, the two positions are mutually exclusive.
Touche! :D This is inescapable! :chained:



[Edited on 1-4-2006 by Scott Bushey]
 
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