Is Preaching the Same Element as Singing?

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PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
Every reply to the question lacks an understanding of the regulative principle of worship. The preaching of the word and the singing of psalms are two different elements of worship that are regulated differently. Most of the answers boil down to, "because that is what I like or what I want to do". We are to offer to God what He has prescribed and what He accepts, not what is pleasing to us. The question can just as easily be posed as, "Why would someone follow Cain's example instead of Abel's?" To argue that preaching is not confined to the inspired words of scripture, therefore I can sing uninspired hymnody would be equivalent to arguing that because women can participate in singing the psalms therefore women can also preach. Apples and oranges.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
I think the way they apply to the RPW is essentially the same. We are to have both the reading of God's Word and preaching; likewise we are to have both the singing of God's word (Psalms) as well as hymns and spiritual songs.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
So is reading the word of God and preaching the same element? Or are singing the psalms and singing hymns two elements?
I think the way they apply to the RPW is essentially the same. We are to have both the reading of God's Word and preaching; likewise we are to have both the singing of God's word (Psalms) as well as hymns and spiritual songs.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Question:

Is there a positive command in the New Testament for writing Hymns as there is for Preaching?

As an aside take a look at how the Second Helvetic Confession defines Preaching:
THE PREACHING OF THE WORD OF GOD IS THE WORD OF GOD. Wherefore when this Word of God is now preached in the church by preachers lawfully called, we believe that the very Word of God is proclaimed, and received by the faithful; and that neither any other Word of God is to be invented nor is to be expected from heaven: and that now the Word itself which is preached is to be regarded, not the minister that preaches; for even if he be evil and a sinner, nevertheless the Word of God remains still true and good.

Neither do we think that therefore the outward preaching is to be thought as fruitless because the instruction in true religion depends on the inward illumination of the Spirit, or because it is written "And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor..., for they shall all know me" (Jer. 31:34), And "Neither he who plants nor he that waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth" (I Cor. 3:7). For although "No one can come to Christ unless he be drawn by the Father" (John 6:44), And unless the Holy Spirit inwardly illumines him, yet we know that it is surely the will of God that his Word should be preached outwardly also. God could indeed, by his Holy Spirit, or by the ministry of an angel, without the ministry of St. Peter, have taught Cornelius in the Acts; but, nevertheless, he refers him to Peter, of whom the angel speaking says, "He shall tell you what you ought to do."

INWARD ILLUMINATION DOES NOT ELIMINATE EXTERNAL PREACHING. For he that illuminates inwardly by giving men the Holy Spirit, the same one, by way of commandment, said unto his disciples, "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15). And so in Phillippi, Paul preached the word outwardly to Lydia, a seller of purple goods; but the Lord inwardly opened the woman's heart (Acts 16:14). And the same Paul, after a beautiful development of his thought, in Romans 10:17 at length comes to the conclusion, "So faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God by the preaching of Christ."

At the same time we recognize that God can illuminate whom and when he will, Even without the external ministry, for that is in his power; but we speak of the usual way of instructing men, delivered unto us from God, both by commandment and examples.
 
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E Nomine

Puritan Board Freshman
Does every prior reply really display a lack of understanding, or are some of the replies legitimate, thoughful challenges to the most rigid interpretation of the RPW?

Is preaching the same element as singing? No.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
To argue that preaching is not confined to the inspired words of scripture, therefore I can sing uninspired hymnody would be equivalent to arguing that because women can participate in singing the psalms therefore women can also preach. Apples and oranges.
No sir, what you describe to draw the distinction is apples and oranges, not the preaching/hymn analogy.

The substance of the dispute revolves around the substance of the content of the songs. Your hypothetical seeking to draw a distinction misses the point entirely and focuses the dispute on who is singing and, drawing a conclusion from there, who is therefore able to preach. The issue is not who is singing or who is preaching, but one where the substance comes from.

It's not even close.

The substance of preaching is based on Scripture and espoused by an uninspired minister. The substance of hymns is based on Scripture and is espoused by uninspired hymn writers.
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
To argue that preaching is not confined to the inspired words of scripture, therefore I can sing uninspired hymnody would be equivalent to arguing that because women can participate in singing the psalms therefore women can also preach. Apples and oranges.
No sir, what you describe to draw the distinction is apples and oranges, not the preaching/hymn analogy.

The substance of the dispute revolves around the substance of the content of the songs. Your hypothetical seeking to draw a distinction misses the point entirely and focuses the dispute on who is singing and, drawing a conclusion from there, who is therefore able to preach. The issue is not who is singing or who is preaching, but one where the substance comes from.

It's not even close.

The substance of preaching is based on Scripture and espoused by an uninspired minister. The substance of hymns is based on Scripture and is espoused by uninspired hymn writers.
I agree the logic is flawed, but it is identical. Preaching and singing are distinct elements. The logic states that since preaching makes use of human composition of a sermon, therefore you can compose hymns as well. Horrible logic and definitely apples and oranges. The analogy just as easily follows that since in singing males and females can both sing, therefore males and females can both preach. In both analogies the the distinction between the elements is blurred by applying the practice of one to another.

Since there is no command or example in all of scripture to compose or sing uninspired hymns, therefore they are forbidden. We have clear instruction in how to perform both elements spoken of, but no warrant to apply them to each other.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
No, you don't agree the logic is flawed. I pointed out how my logic is sound, and how your analogy breaks down and doesn't apply.

Your analogy doesn't exhibit a logical inconsistency inherent to what you're analogizing, it fails to analogize because it's logically inconsistent.
 

uberkermit

Puritan Board Freshman
The substance of preaching is based on Scripture and espoused by an uninspired minister. The substance of hymns is based on Scripture and is espoused by uninspired hymn writers.
However, the point that some seem to be missing is that there is no promise of hymn writers for the church. God promised pastors and shepherds to his people, to feed them with knowledge and understanding (Jer. 3:15). The fulfillment of this is described in Ephesians 4 which, quite notably, does not even mention a word about hymn writing. God equips men to preach. Many keep saying how men who are uninspired preach the word; they use this as an argument for being able to sing uninspired Psalms. But they make no mention that a man ought to rely on the aid of the Holy Spirit to do the work that he was sent to do! Is it really so that a man who is called to teach God's word has no help at all, above what he has in his natural faculties, to understand that word? Of course not, and may God keep us from having pulpits full of men who turn their back on the promised Spirit, without whose help they cannot do their work! The man who teaches the word has a gift of the Holy Spirit to be able to do that. It was promised, and delivered. It is the only means by which a man is enabled to do the work God has sent him to do. Not all are teachers in the church, but the ones whom Christ has appointed to be so, and subsequently gives gifts for the purpose of teaching. Now then, where did he appoint hymn writers?
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
No, you don't agree the logic is flawed. I pointed out how my logic is sound, and how your analogy breaks down and doesn't apply.

Your analogy doesn't exhibit a logical inconsistency inherent to what you're analogizing, it fails to analogize because it's logically inconsistent.
The logic is sound if your position is. The reason that you don't see it is because you don't see the flaw in your argument. You are missing a premise, namely that there is no warrant for the composition and use of uninspired hymns. That is why you have to borrow that premise from preaching the word.

Maybe you can see it this way.

If A (human composition) in B (preaching), therefore C (human composition) in D (singing).

If A (men and women) in B (singing), therefore C (men and women) in D ( preaching).

If A&B (apples), therefore C&D (oranges)
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
Every reply to the question lacks an understanding of the regulative principle of worship.
Somehow I doubt that. It's entirely possible to disagree with a position while understanding it, at least to some extent. And no one can claim they understand any position comprehensively.

Anyway...

The preaching of the word and the singing of psalms are two different elements of worship that are regulated differently.
Agreed.

Most of the answers boil down to, "because that is what I like or what I want to do". We are to offer to God what He has prescribed and what He accepts, not what is pleasing to us.
Agreed with the second part, not with the first. I saw few or no replies to that effect in the thread being discussed--mine included.

The question can just as easily be posed as, "Why would someone follow Cain's example instead of Abel's?"
Only if you already hold to exclusive psalmody.

No, you don't agree the logic is flawed. I pointed out how my logic is sound, and how your analogy breaks down and doesn't apply.

Your analogy doesn't exhibit a logical inconsistency inherent to what you're analogizing, it fails to analogize because it's logically inconsistent.
The logic is sound if your position is. The reason that you don't see it is because you don't see the flaw in your argument. You are missing a premise, namely that there is no warrant for the composition and use of uninspired hymns. That is why you have to borrow that premise from preaching the word.

Maybe you can see it this way.

If A (human composition) in B (preaching), therefore C (human composition) in D (singing).

If A (men and women) in B (singing), therefore C (men and women) in D ( preaching).

If A&B (apples), therefore C&D (oranges)
Let me see here.

First of all, I think it's a misrepresentation of the position we(or at least I) was/were trying to present. What I think I was trying to say is, what warrant do we(or you, as the case may be) have for imposing a distinction of "inspired only" on singing, while "uninspired" is allowed for preaching?
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Every reply to the question lacks an understanding of the regulative principle of worship. The preaching of the word and the singing of psalms are two different elements of worship that are regulated differently. Most of the answers boil down to, "because that is what I like or what I want to do". We are to offer to God what He has prescribed and what He accepts, not what is pleasing to us. The question can just as easily be posed as, "Why would someone follow Cain's example instead of Abel's?" To argue that preaching is not confined to the inspired words of scripture, therefore I can sing uninspired hymnody would be equivalent to arguing that because women can participate in singing the psalms therefore women can also preach. Apples and oranges.
The preaching of the word and the singing of psalms are two different elements of worship that are regulated differently.
Actual Scriptural verses please.
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
First of all, I think it's a misrepresentation of the position we(or at least I) was/were trying to present. What I think I was trying to say is, what warrant do we(or you, as the case may be) have for imposing a distinction of "inspired only" on singing, while "uninspired" is allowed for preaching?
Seeing that you agree that singing and preaching are different elements of worship then it is quite simple to apply the RP to each element separately.

What does scripture teach about preaching?

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Neh 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

These verses clearly teach (with many others) that the preacher composes a sermon in his own words and expounds upon the text.

What does scripture teach about singing?

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

These verses clearly teach (with many others) that we are to sing the inspired psalms of scripture. There is no warrant in all of scripture to compose or sing anything other than the psalms. The burden of proof lies in the uninspired hymn singing camp to show from scripture where such is commanded.

-----Added 4/8/2009 at 04:11:35 EST-----

Actual Scriptural verses please.
See above
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
First of all, I think it's a misrepresentation of the position we(or at least I) was/were trying to present. What I think I was trying to say is, what warrant do we(or you, as the case may be) have for imposing a distinction of "inspired only" on singing, while "uninspired" is allowed for preaching?
Seeing that you agree that singing and preaching are different elements of worship then it is quite simple to apply the RP to each element separately.

What does scripture teach about preaching?

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Neh 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

These verses clearly teach (with many others) that the preacher composes a sermon in his own words and expounds upon the text.

What does scripture teach about singing?

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

These verses clearly teach (with many others) that we are to sing the inspired psalms of scripture. There is no warrant in all of scripture to compose or sing anything other than the psalms. The burden of proof lies in the uninspired hymn singing camp to show from scripture where such is commanded.

-----Added 4/8/2009 at 04:11:35 EST-----

Actual Scriptural verses please.
See above
Col 3:16" teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," actually supports what I said in another thread and notice the teaching part of this verse...that's an important part:

"How do we not know that the Psalms of which is spoken in the NT is not the same type of interpretation of Scripture just put in a different form...music? In order to differentiate between preaching and singing of Scripture, we are told to teach/preach the Scripture which would only consist of spoken words and then we are told to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of Scripture which would be the singing part of the worship service. The NT telling us to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs doesn't necessarily point to the Book of Psalms, but instead possibly points to a differing of two types of worship...spoken words and sung words....both of which is interpreted by man. Surely it can't be ok that we use unedited scripts of Scripture in order to sing and yet use man interpreted sermons to convey the Gospel which is the center piece of any worship. God isn't a God of confusion."
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
Col 3:16" teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," actually supports what I said in another thread and notice the teaching part of this verse...that's an important part:

"How do we not know that the Psalms of which is spoken in the NT is not the same type of interpretation of Scripture just put in a different form...music? In order to differentiate between preaching and singing of Scripture, we are told to teach/preach the Scripture which would only consist of spoken words and then we are told to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of Scripture which would be the singing part of the worship service. The NT telling us to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs doesn't necessarily point to the Book of Psalms, but instead possibly points to a differing of two types of worship...spoken words and sung words....both of which is interpreted by man. Surely it can't be ok that we use unedited scripts of Scripture in order to sing and yet use man interpreted sermons to convey the Gospel which is the center piece of any worship. God isn't a God of confusion."
Paul calls the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs the word of Christ, not the words of uninspired hymn writers. He instructs us to teach and admonish one another by singing the word of Christ (psalms,hymns and spiritual songs). This is the clear teaching of the passage. You have to impose your own interpretation on this passage to make it read.

Compose songs out of the word of Christ to teach and admonish one another by singing these songs, hymns, and spiritual songs with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Come on. The Colossians knew exactly what Paul was instructing them to do. They sang only the 150 psalms of the bible every Lord's Day. Church history shows this to be true for centuries.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Col 3:16" teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," actually supports what I said in another thread and notice the teaching part of this verse...that's an important part:

"How do we not know that the Psalms of which is spoken in the NT is not the same type of interpretation of Scripture just put in a different form...music? In order to differentiate between preaching and singing of Scripture, we are told to teach/preach the Scripture which would only consist of spoken words and then we are told to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of Scripture which would be the singing part of the worship service. The NT telling us to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs doesn't necessarily point to the Book of Psalms, but instead possibly points to a differing of two types of worship...spoken words and sung words....both of which is interpreted by man. Surely it can't be ok that we use unedited scripts of Scripture in order to sing and yet use man interpreted sermons to convey the Gospel which is the center piece of any worship. God isn't a God of confusion."
Paul calls the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs the word of Christ, not the words of uninspired hymn writers. He instructs us to teach and admonish one another by singing the word of Christ (psalms,hymns and spiritual songs). This is the clear teaching of the passage. You have to impose your own interpretation on this passage to make it read.

Compose songs out of the word of Christ to teach and admonish one another by singing these songs, hymns, and spiritual songs with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Come on. The Colossians knew exactly what Paul was instructing them to do. They sang only the 150 psalms of the bible every Lord's Day. Church history shows this to be true for centuries.
You're not getting it. All of Scripture is Christ's words that's a moot point. This verse tells us to teach which is interpretation of psalms, hymns, and spirituals....meaning taking Christ's words (all of Scripture) interpreting it and making doctrinally sound songs.
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
You're not getting it. All of Scripture is Christ's words that's a moot point. This verse tells us to teach which is interpretation of psalms, hymns, and spirituals....meaning taking Christ's words (all of Scripture) interpreting it and making doctrinally sound songs.
This type of scripture twisting is dangerous and dishonest at best. There is no way that you can honestly draw this meaning out of this passage.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
From the other thread...

me said:
Okay, Okay, I got it...

The verse says "Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs" but it doesn't say compose them, and God hasn't promised a spiritual gift of composing, so we must sing the Psalms. In the same way, God says "Preach the Word," but HE DOESN'T TELL US TO WRITE SERMONS!!! And there's NO GIFT OF SERMON WRITING PROMISED!!! So preaching CAN'T MEAN WRITING YOUR OWN SERMONS!!!
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
You're not getting it. All of Scripture is Christ's words that's a moot point. This verse tells us to teach which is interpretation of psalms, hymns, and spirituals....meaning taking Christ's words (all of Scripture) interpreting it and making doctrinally sound songs.
This type of scripture twisting is dangerous and dishonest at best. There is no way that you can honestly draw this meaning out of this passage.
I'm not twisting anything...it says teach. What do you think it means by teach if all you are going to do is sing the exact words of the Book of Psalms? That's not teaching that's just reciting word for word.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
From the other thread...

me said:
Okay, Okay, I got it...

The verse says "Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs" but it doesn't say compose them, and God hasn't promised a spiritual gift of composing, so we must sing the Psalms. In the same way, God says "Preach the Word," but HE DOESN'T TELL US TO WRITE SERMONS!!! And there's NO GIFT OF SERMON WRITING PROMISED!!! So preaching CAN'T MEAN WRITING YOUR OWN SERMONS!!!
How would you deal with this passage?

1 Tim 4:6 - If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

Instruction in good doctrine is required to be a good minister of Christ. Would you say this does not include preparation and study for Preaching (as the 2nd Helvetic says) the Word of God?
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
From the other thread...

me said:
Okay, Okay, I got it...

The verse says "Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs" but it doesn't say compose them, and God hasn't promised a spiritual gift of composing, so we must sing the Psalms. In the same way, God says "Preach the Word," but HE DOESN'T TELL US TO WRITE SERMONS!!! And there's NO GIFT OF SERMON WRITING PROMISED!!! So preaching CAN'T MEAN WRITING YOUR OWN SERMONS!!!
How would you deal with this passage?

1 Tim 4:6 - If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

Instruction in good doctrine is required to be a good minister of Christ. Would you say this does not include preparation and study for Preaching (as the 2nd Helvetic says) the Word of God?
A minister can instruct the flock by reading the epistles out loud. I'm looking for the verb "write" followed by the direct object "sermon," or the gift of "sermon writing" in Paul's discussions.

I'm just using the exact same methodology required by the EP interpretation of Ephesians 5 and Colossiand 3...
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
From the other thread...
How would you deal with this passage?

1 Tim 4:6 - If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

Instruction in good doctrine is required to be a good minister of Christ. Would you say this does not include preparation and study for Preaching (as the 2nd Helvetic says) the Word of God?
A minister can instruct the flock by reading the epistles out loud. I'm looking for the verb "write" followed by the direct object "sermon," or the gift of "sermon writing" in Paul's discussions.

I'm just using the exact same methodology required by the EP interpretation of Ephesians 5 and Colossiand 3...
No you are not. You are being disingenuous on purpose.

But to play along it is not a necessary thing to write a Sermon in manuscript form or even to have written notes to preach a Sermon. Many Ministers of the Gospel preach without anything but the Written Word of God with them in the pulpit. Are all of Paul's Sermons recorded for us in Holy Scripture that he spoke in his travels?
 
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