Non-EP'ers...what faults can you find in this?

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Idelette

Puritan Board Graduate
The new covenant is superior to the old because we have Christ revealed to us. We worship him by name and know him as he was revealed to us through the incarnation. Are we not going back to the types and shadows of the old covenant if we are restricted to the psalms in worship?

It seems to me that the EP position fails to account for the redemptive historical nature of the psalms.

But, thats the beauty of the Psalms...Christ is everywhere! Does Psalm 22 simply speak of a "type" of Christ or is it pointing to Christ Himself? I personally, don't see that we are restricted in any way....the Psalms are rich in the knowledge of Christ the Messiah even though they don't refer to Him by name! Martin Luther once said something along the lines of... "we should be diligent to read the old testament because on every page of the Bible we see a shadow of Christ." He is the fulfillment of what the Psalms speak of- Luke 24:44 So why would we see this as a returning to the old covenant?? The Psalms speak so richly of Christ, I don't see it as a burden or a restriction...but glorifying praise to God for what He has done in His Son!!
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
I see no difference in biblical hymns and the pastor preaching. His words are certainly not inspired. So my feeling is, if you are EP, then wouldn't you only allow scripture to be read in the service instead of a sermon?

I didn't either until it was explained to me.

This is dealt with in-depth on other threads.

In worship we are to preach, read the Scriptures, sing the psalms,

It does not say we are to preach these sermons as it says sing these psalms and read these books.

So their is liberty, and man is fallible so we are told to check it with the scriptures, etc. have elders to guard the preaching etc.

We are not told which version of the bible to use, whether to use leather or paperback, what kind of chairs or pews, in a building or outside. So all of these are called circumstances of how we worship, whereas the prescribed elements are called the elements of worship and we only do what is prescribed.

This is simplistic, look over the other thread on canon and worship and psalmody
 

CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
At our church we have it both ways. Psalms are sandwiched between the invocation and the benediction. We sing an uninspired hymn before the invocation, sing two songs from the Psalter, have the sermon and communion and other items such as Scripture reading, confession, prayer, recitation of one of two creeds, recitation of the Ten Commandments, then have the benediction and then sing a parting uninspired hymn.

An elder e-mails us the two uninspired hymns from the Trinity Song Book the two Psalter songs, and the Scripture reading. This way we can prepare our worship. I realize this procedure accommodates EP people, but I don't give it a second thought. I love preparing for worship, which folks, is the most important aspect.

Some might ask what is biblical about invocations and benedictions!
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
At our church we have it both ways. Psalms are sandwiched between the invocation and the benediction. We sing an uninspired hymn before the invocation, sing two songs from the Psalter, have the sermon and communion and other items such as Scripture reading, confession, prayer, recitation of one of two creeds, recitation of the Ten Commandments, then have the benediction and then sing a parting uninspired hymn.

The may meet the letter but not the spirit of what I'm coming to understand EP to be about.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
However one understands psalms, hymns and songs, Paul's statements in Eph. 5:19 and Col 3:16 cannot be construed as authorising the composing of material to be sung in congregational praise, but only requires the singing of psalms, hymns, and songs. Those who would introduce uninspired materials into congregational praise under the auspices of the regulative principle of worship bear the burden of proving that the New Testament authorises the composing of new materials for the specific purpose of congregational singing in the public worship of God.
 

CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
While I have always been aware of reformed theology, I have been in a reformed congregation since I married my husband soon to be nine years ago. The first time I sang a Psalm to the tune of "Amazing Grace" I was put off by it because I remembered the lyrics to the famous "Amazing Grace" song. Now I am used to the Psalter and worship with its hymns and don't think back to the other uninspired hymn that goes with the tune of the Psalm we are singing. EP is acquired by some of us and confusing to some of us.

:think:
PB is making me think a lot. Whitefiield above says our congregation might meet the "letter" or the law, but not the "spirit" of it. :butbutbut: It has never risen to an issue in our church. Worship is what is important. I love the specialness of all the service and the sense of being there setting the time apart with the congregation to honor God and to listen to Him. Our music is in huge contrast to the "praise" music that goes on in so many non-reformed churches, and my preparation for the service is special in my whole week.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
While I have always been aware of reformed theology, I have been in a reformed congregation since I married my husband soon to be nine years ago. The first time I sang a Psalm to the tune of "Amazing Grace" I was put off by it because I remembered the lyrics to the famous "Amazing Grace" song.

I agree with you. Thought it is not wrong I think it would be best to not use extremely famous tunes from hymns if seeking to reform people to EP

Another example is a friend of mine who hated to sing a psalm to the tune of Just As I Am since he was an Arminian before and we detest the altar call and this song was often used with it way back in our era.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
However one understands psalms, hymns and songs, Paul's statements in Eph. 5:19 and Col 3:16 cannot be construed as authorising the composing of material to be sung in congregational praise, but only requires the singing of psalms, hymns, and songs. Those who would introduce uninspired materials into congregational praise under the auspices of the regulative principle of worship bear the burden of proving that the New Testament authorises the composing of new materials for the specific purpose of congregational singing in the public worship of God.

I know we've engaged over this issue in another thread before, but for the sake of the others who didn't read it...

Composition is implied by the words Paul uses to describe the singing; "teaching" "admonishing" and "speaking," all which clearly require more than mere reciting but instead exposition. At least, that is how we understand those words when they accompany descriptions of preaching and teaching in Scripture. It's clear that there is an objective body of doctrine which we are commanded explain and proclaim, and likewise the same body of doctrine which provokes praise and adoration for who God is and what he has done in Christ. The boundary is not reciting the Scripture text in either case, but remaining faithful to the truth of Scripture as you explain or sing about it.

:2cents:

-----Added 4/7/2009 at 10:27:45 EST-----

I didn't say none of the Psalms would have been sung. That is an extension of what I said. I said it is unlikely that ONLY Psalms were sung.

If other songs were sung in called worship then they would have been psalms, they just never got recorded or canonized.

Wouldn't his be as valid a hypothesis as yours?

So what basis to pick yours against the weight of scripture?


I would emphasize also the matter of inspiration.

Where does Scripture command we sing "inspired" songs?
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Re: the presence of the word "sing" and exclusion of "compose," I have to say that I'm reminded of the recent car insurance commercials with "strictly literal advertising." Do you know the ones I'm talking about? the hot dog vendor who is selling "hot dogs" and so wonders why the people get surprised when no bun is included, the ice cream salesman who has "popsicles" but no stick, or the "car wash" that includes a wash but not a rinse? Is this the way we're supposed to approach this text as readers?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Re: the present of the word "sing" and exclusion of "composed," I have to say that I'm reminded of the recent car insurance commercials with "strictly literal advertising." Do you know the ones I'm talking about? the hot dog vendor who is selling "hot dogs" and so wonders why the people get surprised when no bun is included, the ice cream salesman who has "popsicles" but no stick, or the "car wash" that includes a wash but not a rinse? Is this the way we're supposed to approach this text as readers?

Exactly. How does one sing a song that everyone is forbidden to make?
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
Re: the present of the word "sing" and exclusion of "composed," I have to say that I'm reminded of the recent car insurance commercials with "strictly literal advertising." Do you know the ones I'm talking about? the hot dog vendor who is selling "hot dogs" and so wonders why the people get surprised when no bun is included, the ice cream salesman who has "popsicles" but no stick, or the "car wash" that includes a wash but not a rinse? Is this the way we're supposed to approach this text as readers?

Exactly. How does one sing a song that everyone is forbidden to make?

This is not a problem for EP but only those who think we need to compose "new" songs. We have 150 songs to sing given by the Holy Spirit. They come with everything you need... :) No sleight of hand there.

-----Added 4/7/2009 at 10:56:36 EST-----

Exactly. How does one sing a song that everyone is forbidden to make?

Check this quote from John Brown
No one is forbidden and many who write poetry never intended it to be used in worship. Some may have been set to hymn tunes but not for Called or stated worship. It was use on other occasions.

http://www.puritanboard.com/f124/preface-psalms-david-metre-john-brown-haddington-46614/


Right, I would be the first to advocate creativity but that falls to the work of dominion and General Revelation, not the day of rest.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
I'm referring to Matthew's post, where he states:

However one understands psalms, hymns and songs, Paul's statements in Eph. 5:19 and Col 3:16 cannot be construed as authorising the composing of material to be sung in congregational praise, but only requires the singing of psalms, hymns, and songs. Those who would introduce uninspired materials into congregational praise under the auspices of the regulative principle of worship bear the burden of proving that the New Testament authorises the composing of new materials for the specific purpose of congregational singing in the public worship of God.

Again, how one could possibly be commanded to sing a song that is prohibited from being composed is beyond me.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Again, how one could possibly be commanded to sing a song that is prohibited from being composed is beyond me.

I guess we are not tracking with you.
You are not authorized to compose for the called stated worship of the church worship, you are free to compose songs for use at other times.

Am I missing you?
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Re: the present of the word "sing" and exclusion of "composed," I have to say that I'm reminded of the recent car insurance commercials with "strictly literal advertising." Do you know the ones I'm talking about? the hot dog vendor who is selling "hot dogs" and so wonders why the people get surprised when no bun is included, the ice cream salesman who has "popsicles" but no stick, or the "car wash" that includes a wash but not a rinse? Is this the way we're supposed to approach this text as readers?

Exactly. How does one sing a song that everyone is forbidden to make?

This is not a problem for EP but only those who think we need to compose "new" songs. We have 150 songs to sing given by the Holy Spirit. They come with everything you need... :) No sleight of hand there.

We're not assuming the need to compose new songs; we're just reading the text, and we're saying that the "problem" may be for those who don't treat the language of the epistles as actual human language.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Again, how one could possibly be commanded to sing a song that is prohibited from being composed is beyond me.

I guess we are not tracking with you.
You are not authorized to compose for the called stated worship of the church worship, you are free to compose songs for use at other times.

Am I missing you?

Yes, you are, because Eph. 5:19 and Col 3:16 pertain to singing in worship. Even EPers claim so (as the OP's article states), hence the strained LXX logic.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Yes, you are, because Eph. 5:19 and Col 3:16 pertain to singing in worship. Even EPers claim so (as the OP's article states), hence the strained LXX logic.

This is a point of a little controversy.

But if it is speaking of the 3 category of collected Psalms then there is no concern for it being used as for worship not private.

But notice that the songs are to be pneumatikos. Which assumes the others are also.

See the post By Brian Schwertly quoting Murray's proof of this.
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
Exactly. How does one sing a song that everyone is forbidden to make?

This is not a problem for EP but only those who think we need to compose "new" songs. We have 150 songs to sing given by the Holy Spirit. They come with everything you need... :) No sleight of hand there.

We're not assuming the need to compose new songs; we're just reading the text, and we're saying that the "problem" may be for those who don't treat the language of the epistles as actual human language.


I honestly cannot make sense of what your point is. :think:
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Yes, you are, because Eph. 5:19 and Col 3:16 pertain to singing in worship. Even EPers claim so (as the OP's article states), hence the strained LXX logic.

This is a point of a little controversy.

But if it is speaking of the 3 category of collected Psalms then there is no concern for it being used as for worship not private.

But notice that the songs are to be pneumatikos. Which assumes the others are also.

See the post By Brian Schwertly quoting Murray's proof of this.

Murray's "proof"? Do you mean his assertion that an adjective preceded by three nouns applies to all of the nouns? I don't remember him supplying a Smyth's number for that...and then there's the already mentioned fact that you are constricting the semantic range of pneumatikos to fit your view.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Why would you suppose they are careful to make sure it would be Spiritual ?

Seems to me it would be to avoid what has happened today with weak or false doctrinal songs in worship. Why do you think it was used?

John Murray writes,

Why does the word pneumatikos [spiritual] qualify odais and not psalmois and hymnois? A reasonable answer to this question is that pneumatikais qualifies all three datives and that its gender (fem.) is due to attraction to the gender of the noun that is closest to it. Another distinct possibility, made particularly plausible by the omission of the copulative in Colossians 3:16, is that ‘Spiritual songs’ are the genus of which ‘psalms’ and ‘hymns’ are the species. This is the view of Meyer, for example. On either of these assumptions the psalms, hymns, and songs are all ‘Spiritual’ and therefore all inspired by the Holy Spirit. The bearing of this upon the question at issue is perfectly apparent. Uninspired hymns are immediately excluded.

If one wants to argue that spiritual does not apply to psalms and hymns, then one must answer two pertinent questions. First, why would Paul insist on divine inspiration for songs, yet permit uninspired hymns? We can safely assume that Paul was not irrational. Second, given the fact that psalms refers to divinely inspired songs, it would be unscriptural not to apply spiritual to that term. Furthermore, since we have already established that the phrase “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” refers to the divinely inspired book of Psalms, it is only natural to apply spiritual to all three terms. Since the book of Psalms is composed of divinely inspired (or spiritual) psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, we obey God only when we praise Him using the biblical Psalter. Uninspired hymns do not meet the scriptural criteria for authorized praise.

Another question that needs to be considered regarding these passages is: “Do these passages refer to formal public worship services or to informal Christian gatherings?” Since Paul is discussing the mutual edification of believers by singing inspired songs in private worship situations, it would be inconsistent on his part to allow uninspired songs in the more formal public worship settings. “What is proper or improper to be sung in one instance must be seen as proper or improper to be sung in the other. Worship is still worship, whatever its circumstances and regardless of the number of people involved. ” “If psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are the limits of the material of songs in praise of God in less formal acts of worship, how much more are they the limits in more formal acts of worship?”
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
This is not a problem for EP but only those who think we need to compose "new" songs. We have 150 songs to sing given by the Holy Spirit. They come with everything you need... :) No sleight of hand there.

We're not assuming the need to compose new songs; we're just reading the text, and we're saying that the "problem" may be for those who don't treat the language of the epistles as actual human language.


I honestly cannot make sense of what your point is. :think:

When we use language, we don't say everything with the same specificity that you're requiring of the text. In the same way that a hot dog vendor is selling more than hot dogs (i.e. he is including the bun and condiments that everyone expects because of normal linguistic usage), it is completely legitimate to assume that "compose" is subsumed under "sing."
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
John Murray writes,

Why does the word pneumatikos [spiritual] qualify odais and not psalmois and hymnois? A reasonable answer to this question is that pneumatikais qualifies all three datives and that its gender (fem.) is due to attraction to the gender of the noun that is closest to it. Another distinct possibility, made particularly plausible by the omission of the copulative in Colossians 3:16, is that ‘Spiritual songs’ are the genus of which ‘psalms’ and ‘hymns’ are the species. This is the view of Meyer, for example. On either of these assumptions the psalms, hymns, and songs are all ‘Spiritual’ and therefore all inspired by the Holy Spirit. The bearing of this upon the question at issue is perfectly apparent. Uninspired hymns are immediately excluded.

If one wants to argue that spiritual does not apply to psalms and hymns, then one must answer two pertinent questions. First, why would Paul insist on divine inspiration for songs, yet permit uninspired hymns? We can safely assume that Paul was not irrational. Second, given the fact that psalms refers to divinely inspired songs, it would be unscriptural not to apply spiritual to that term. Furthermore, since we have already established that the phrase “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” refers to the divinely inspired book of Psalms, it is only natural to apply spiritual to all three terms. Since the book of Psalms is composed of divinely inspired (or spiritual) psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, we obey God only when we praise Him using the biblical Psalter. Uninspired hymns do not meet the scriptural criteria for authorized praise.

Another question that needs to be considered regarding these passages is: “Do these passages refer to formal public worship services or to informal Christian gatherings?” Since Paul is discussing the mutual edification of believers by singing inspired songs in private worship situations, it would be inconsistent on his part to allow uninspired songs in the more formal public worship settings. “What is proper or improper to be sung in one instance must be seen as proper or improper to be sung in the other. Worship is still worship, whatever its circumstances and regardless of the number of people involved. ” “If psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are the limits of the material of songs in praise of God in less formal acts of worship, how much more are they the limits in more formal acts of worship?”

As much as I like Murray's writings, this appears to be a classic case of manipulating the evidence to fit the desired conclusion. The opening sentences seem to be his attempt to create the John Murray Rule (cf. Granville Sharp rule). The flow of the argument seems to assume the truth of a premise based on the truth of the previous premise, but his initial premise makes the entire argument collapse.
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
We're not assuming the need to compose new songs; we're just reading the text, and we're saying that the "problem" may be for those who don't treat the language of the epistles as actual human language.


I honestly cannot make sense of what your point is. :think:

When we use language, we don't say everything with the same specificity that you're requiring of the text. In the same way that a hot dog vendor is selling more than hot dogs (i.e. he is including the bun and condiments that everyone expects because of normal linguistic usage), it is completely legitimate to assume that "compose" is subsumed under "sing."

Not if they already know that songs in worship are prophetically "inspired". You seem to assume that Paul and the readers at that time don't bring any understanding to the text at all.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
In the same way you are to preach the word which everyone is forbidden to add to, now that the canon is closed, perhaps?

Does this mean that when I preach I can only use the words present on the page of Scripture, i.e., just read the passage and sit down?[/QUOTE]

It is always addressed as a circumstance not an element. Same as the kind of pews or building or cover on the psalter or Bible.

We are to sing the psalms
We are to read the scriptures
We are to preach

So we are not to preach certain prescribed closed canon sermons. YOu have liberty here where you don't on what to read or sing it is a prescribed element.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Exactly. How does one sing a song that everyone is forbidden to make?

In the same way you are to preach the word which everyone is forbidden to add to, now that the canon is closed, perhaps?

Sigh. Please read the quote again from Matthew:

However one understands psalms, hymns and songs, Paul's statements in Eph. 5:19 and Col 3:16 cannot be construed as authorising the composing of material to be sung in congregational praise, but only requires the singing of psalms, hymns, and songs. Those who would introduce uninspired materials into congregational praise under the auspices of the regulative principle of worship bear the burden of proving that the New Testament authorises the composing of new materials for the specific purpose of congregational singing in the public worship of God.

I have bolded the applicable words. (Please note, I am not saying that Matthew would agree that the passages permit the singing of uninspired songs).

How can one argue that Eph 5:19 and Col. 3:16 permit (command, actually) the singing of
uninspired songs, but that the composition of such songs is forbidden (by not being commanded)? There is no logical sense in that to me.

And at that, I am now bowing out of all EP threads. They all end up the same, and there is no way to discuss them. They always break down to assertions.
 
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