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

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Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
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.

Well, isn't that what the entire thread is about ... some don't agree that it is a prescribed element.
 

uberkermit

Puritan Board Freshman
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?

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?

Well, I suppose if Christ has not called you to be a teacher in his church, then maybe you should do no more than that. But given that you are a teaching elder, you are to do what you have been equipped to do, which is to preach the word - to rightly divide the word of truth. Now you have examples from Christ himself as to how to do this, as well as his apostles, so in that sense there is no question as to how you ought to conduct yourself. What we don't have is any mention of Christ appointing any sort of musical spiritual gift, and since there is no example of Christ or the apostles writing new music for the early church, then how can we go there?

-----Added 4/7/2009 at 11:44:08 EST-----

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.

Fred, I was not trying to be contentious - if it seems so to you, I apologise. I usually try to just sit these ones out. I do appreciate your vigorous additions to these discussions.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
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.

You can't have it both ways.


They don't command or allow composing for or singing of non-spiritual songs in worship.

If they allowed composing or singing of uninspired it would be for other occasions than the called worship
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
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.

The answer made on previous occasions to this "implication" is the result that it does not provide any authorisation for congregational singing, but rather authorises every individual to teach the congregation. So rather than provide justification for singing as a distinct element of public worship, this "implicit" understanding of the text only serves to create a teaching function in the church which belongs to every worshipper.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
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?

The analogy does not hold because the psalms, hymns and songs, which are prescribed to be sung, existed at the time the apostle prescribed them, and did not need composition in order to complete the prescription. We all agree, at the very least, that the 150 Psalms can be called psalms, hymns and songs. The state of the question is whether or not there is authorisation in the NT for the creation of further psalms, hymns, and songs, other than those already provided. Eph. 5:19, and Col. 3:16 contribute nothing to the question of composition.
 

OPC'n

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.

Ok, I've read up until here. Can we find something biblical and not just "how we feel" which regards singing more important and worth unedited script than the preaching of the Gospel? God has entrusted men to interpret His holy word and to deliver it to His people and yet has not entrusted these same said men to sing hymns based on sound doctrine? Is there something more holy, more precious about singing to God than preaching His Word? Can we find this evidence in Scripture? The whole service is worship not just the singing of songs (Psalms or hymns). Does one part become less important than the other part? If Luther (for example) wrote a song based on the truths of doctrine and not one part of the song shows any untruths how would that not be inspired by the Holy Spirit? Now, before anyone pulls a gun on me....remember I am saying that Luther got his doctrine from the Scriptures and not from an audible voice telling him something new. Preachers teach us all the time and not everything they say is correct. God has allowed this. He knows we are limited in our knowledge. So if a preacher preaches on justification by using certain words and a Psalm is sung straight from the Scriptures, how is it that we have offered an acceptable form of worship? The singing is inspired and the words themselves are entirely holy, but the preacher comes in and gives his sermon which is based on much truths but some untruths due to the fact that humans are limited in the knowledge of God, and therefore, he has just corrupted the acceptable form of worship. I know that I sound like my chasing a bunny trail but I'm not so bear with me. If we are so concerned about bring in uninspired material into our singing, why are we not concerned about bringing uninspired preaching into our worship? Here's why. We have direct direction from God to go preach the Gospel. We understand that to be interpretation of Scripture. 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. :think:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Ok, I've read up until here. Can we find something biblical and not just "how we feel" which regards singing more important and worth unedited script than the preaching of the Gospel? God has entrusted men to interpret His holy word and to deliver it to His people and yet has not entrusted these same said men to sing hymns based on sound doctrine? Is there something more holy, more precious about singing to God than preaching His Word? Can we find this evidence in Scripture?

The actions are by nature distinct. He who preaches expresses himself in his own words; but congregational singing is bound to a set form of words which only a single individual has composed. He who preaches is judged by others according to the content of his message; but congregational singing requires each and every individual to confess to God and the world the composition which is sung. True congregational singing is corporate testimony. It does not involve taking the experiences of one man and reconstructing the words to suit one's own feelings. Rather, it consists in a representative man appointed by God giving expression to that which is true of the whole community of God's people. This is what David has done as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Within the history of revelation itself it is clear that the action of singing is intricately tied to the prophetic function. Further discussion might give opportunity to bring this to light, but a good example is to be found in the dying words of David, where it is specifically as "the sweet Psalmist of Israel" that he claims the prerogative of inspiration, or, to adopt his expression, that "the Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue," 2 Sam. 23:1, 2.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
The actions are by nature distinct. He who preaches expresses himself in his own words; but congregational singing is bound to a set form of words which only a single individual has composed. He who preaches is judged by others according to the content of his message; but congregational singing requires each and every individual to confess to God and the world the composition which is sung. True congregational singing is corporate testimony. It does not involve taking the experiences of one man and reconstructing the words to suit one's own feelings. Rather, it consists in a representative man appointed by God giving expression to that which is true of the whole community of God's people. This is what David has done as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But are we not doing the same thing when the whole congregation recites the creeds? The creeds are not unedited script from Scripture but are interpretations of Scripture and yet we are doing with those what we do with singing minus the music.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
But are we not doing the same thing when the whole congregation recites the creeds? The creeds are not unedited script from Scripture but are interpretations of Scripture and yet we are doing with those what we do with singing minus the music.

We should be reading the word.

The creeds we can read at other times to help us understand the word.

The creed could be used as part of the preaching.

These are what we are told to do in church

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. NKJV

1 Tim 4:13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
NKJV

Acts 13:15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, "Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on." NKJV

2 Cor 3:14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament,NKJV

Neh 8:8 So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading. NKJV

Jer 36:8 And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading from the book the words of the LORD in the LORD's house. NKJV

1 Cor 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. NKJV
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
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?

No.

Nehemiah 8:4-8 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. (5) And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people; ) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: (6) And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. (7) Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. (8) So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
But are we not doing the same thing when the whole congregation recites the creeds? The creeds are not unedited script from Scripture but are interpretations of Scripture and yet we are doing with those what we do with singing minus the music.

We should be reading the word.

The creeds we can read at other times to help us understand the word.

The creed could be used as part of the preaching.

These are what we are told to do in church

Peacemaker, every reformed church that I have been to has the whole congregation recite the creeds. What reformed church doesn't?
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
Oops. Just noticed that Don just posted verse 8 in the message above :eek:

-----Added 4/8/2009 at 03:58:39 EST-----

Peacemaker, every reformed church that I have been to has the whole congregation recite the creeds. What reformed church doesn't?

Sarah,

I've been going to Reformed Churches for 30 years now and have never once recited a creed.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Oops. Just noticed that Don just posted verse 8 in the message above :eek:

-----Added 4/8/2009 at 03:58:39 EST-----

Peacemaker, every reformed church that I have been to has the whole congregation recite the creeds. What reformed church doesn't?

Sarah,

I've been going to Reformed Churches for 30 years now and have never once recited a creed.

That's really sad!
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Peacemaker, every reformed church that I have been to has the whole congregation recite the creeds. What reformed church doesn't?

Have you been to an exclusive psalmody church?

If they are consistent they would not have the congregation read them aloud together affirming the words of men.

Some may see this as part of the preaching, reading other men's preaching or teaching after the reading of the word. So that may be acceptable.

But then some RP would fault the RPCNA because their Psalter has some loosely translated Psalms.

So we will never find a perfect church. Most people are not 100% consistent in all areas.

This does not negate that we should be seeking to be as pure and obedient as possible.

Look to what the word teaches, then examine men's practices.

Do not look to Men's practices and then try to interpret scripture to fit.

We agree on this right?

-----Added 4/8/2009 at 04:08:28 EST-----

That's really sad!

Why is that sad?

The church ought to require him to know the creed and agree to the doctrines it contains. They only require it for elders in most churches but some do for members.

But we ought to know much of it and agree to it as part of a credible profession of faith.

Now lets sing and read the original once we agree on what it says.
Why go back to the tutor? Only if the Sunday school class doesn't teach it or the pastor doesn't preach it
Now that would be sad to me
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Peacemaker, every reformed church that I have been to has the whole congregation recite the creeds. What reformed church doesn't?

Have you been to an exclusive psalmody church?

If they are consistent they would not have the congregation read them aloud together affirming the words of men.

Some may see this as part of the preaching, reading other men's preaching or teaching after the reading of the word. So that may be acceptable.

But then some RP would fault the RPCNA because their Psalter has some loosely translated Psalms.

So we will never find a perfect church. Most people are not 100% consistent in all areas.

This does not negate that we should be seeking to be as pure and obedient as possible.

Look to what the word teaches, then examine men's practices.

Do not look to Men's practices and then try to interpret scripture to fit.

We agree on this right?

I'm really starting to see the holes in EP. The preacher can preach things that are not inspired and may have some untruths in them but the congregation cannot AT ALL! :think: That is not at all biblical. The preacher is doing the most important job....preaching the Gospel which is the center piece of all we are and do! How can that be held to a lesser standard than singing? Did you read all of my post #67? I do believe EP have miss defined what Psalms means.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
I'm really starting to see the holes in EP. The preacher can preach things that are not inspired and may have some untruths in them but the congregation cannot AT ALL! :think: That is not at all biblical. The preacher is doing the most important job....preaching the Gospel which is the center piece of all we are and do! How can that be held to a lesser standard than singing? Did you read all of my post #67? I do believe EP have miss defined what Psalms means.

Keep studying when its not so late and your mind is fresh and clear. It took me a while to make sense of it too.

Back to the simple
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?

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

But scripture specifically tells us

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

So the difference is if we had been given 150 sermins and told told to

Preach the Sermons

Then that is all we would preach

We are not told to preach certain prescribed closed canon sermons. We have liberty here where we don't on what to read or sing, those are prescribed elements.

If this doesn't make sense then ... just give it time and pray.

Ask yourself. Why were all the reformers so foolish to miss this and think:

The psalms hymns and Pneumatikos Songs were the 3 parts of the book of Psalms.

That we should only sing psalms.

It was one thing the Continental, Dutch and Presbyterians in England and Scots all agreed on.

When and why did the modern churches begin to change? Which churches changed 1st? And who followed later?
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
The psalms hymns and Pneumatikos Songs were the 3 parts of the book of Psalms.

For the third time in two threads: this is a assertion without proof. Where is the evidence that "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" is a reference to just the 150 Psalms and does not include something like Exodus 15:1-18?
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
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.

The answer made on previous occasions to this "implication" is the result that it does not provide any authorisation for congregational singing, but rather authorises every individual to teach the congregation. So rather than provide justification for singing as a distinct element of public worship, this "implicit" understanding of the text only serves to create a teaching function in the church which belongs to every worshipper.

Yet in 1 Cor 14, we find that very thing taking place, "if one has a psalm..." The individual is allowed to communicate it to the church under the oversight of the elders, in good order.

-----Added 4/8/2009 at 08:08:36 EST-----

The psalms hymns and Pneumatikos Songs were the 3 parts of the book of Psalms.

For the third time in two threads: this is a assertion without proof. Where is the evidence that "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" is a reference to just the 150 Psalms and does not include something like Exodus 15:1-18?

Hopefully you've figured it out by now, as you will in every EP thread, that there is no proof. It's just that, an assertion, an argument from silence. But it's an argument from silence either way. One asserts it's only the Psalms, which is an exegetical possibility. The other asserts it's broader than that because the semantic range could mean that. Which is why this shouldn't be such a divisive issue in the church. Both sides are holding to the RPW, and agree we must sing, they just disagree on what songs to sing. :2cents:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Yet in 1 Cor 14, we find that very thing taking place, "if one has a psalm..." The individual is allowed to communicate it to the church under the oversight of the elders, in good order.

Given the context of 1 Cor. 14 and its treatment of specific verbal manifestations of the Spirit, there is no doubt that "a psalm" was related to the claim to be able to "sing in the spirit" and was therefore part and parcel of the extraordinary activity of the Spirit which marked the apostolic church. This individual and spontaneous example of inspired speech provides no precedent for congregational singing of a set form of uninspired composition.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
But are we not doing the same thing when the whole congregation recites the creeds?

Yes, those who engage in such a practice are raising the words of men to a status which belongs to the oracles of God alone, just as when uninspired compositions are sung in the place of the songs of Zion.
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
Oops. Just noticed that Don just posted verse 8 in the message above :eek:

-----Added 4/8/2009 at 03:58:39 EST-----

Peacemaker, every reformed church that I have been to has the whole congregation recite the creeds. What reformed church doesn't?

Sarah,

I've been going to Reformed Churches for 30 years now and have never once recited a creed.

That's really sad!


Appeal to emotion. :judge:
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Yet in 1 Cor 14, we find that very thing taking place, "if one has a psalm..." The individual is allowed to communicate it to the church under the oversight of the elders, in good order.

Given the context of 1 Cor. 14 and its treatment of specific verbal manifestations of the Spirit, there is no doubt that "a psalm" was related to the claim to be able to "sing in the spirit" and was therefore part and parcel of the extraordinary activity of the Spirit which marked the apostolic church. This individual and spontaneous example of inspired speech provides no precedent for congregational singing a set form of uninspired composition.

But it does mean that the Church was singing more than the book of Psalms in their worship, by the command of the same apostle who commanded "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs."
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
But it does mean that the Church was singing more than the book of Psalms in their worship, by the command of the same apostle who commanded "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs."

The same church was listening to more than the holy Scriptures as the word of God; that does not justify adding to the holy Scriptures.

And again, it was not the church singing, but individuals, and the church tested what was taught.
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
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.

Ok, I've read up until here. Can we find something biblical and not just "how we feel" which regards singing more important and worth unedited script than the preaching of the Gospel? God has entrusted men to interpret His holy word and to deliver it to His people and yet has not entrusted these same said men to sing hymns based on sound doctrine? Is there something more holy, more precious about singing to God than preaching His Word? Can we find this evidence in Scripture? The whole service is worship not just the singing of songs (Psalms or hymns). Does one part become less important than the other part? If Luther (for example) wrote a song based on the truths of doctrine and not one part of the song shows any untruths how would that not be inspired by the Holy Spirit? Now, before anyone pulls a gun on me....remember I am saying that Luther got his doctrine from the Scriptures and not from an audible voice telling him something new. Preachers teach us all the time and not everything they say is correct. God has allowed this. He knows we are limited in our knowledge. So if a preacher preaches on justification by using certain words and a Psalm is sung straight from the Scriptures, how is it that we have offered an acceptable form of worship? The singing is inspired and the words themselves are entirely holy, but the preacher comes in and gives his sermon which is based on much truths but some untruths due to the fact that humans are limited in the knowledge of God, and therefore, he has just corrupted the acceptable form of worship. I know that I sound like my chasing a bunny trail but I'm not so bear with me. If we are so concerned about bring in uninspired material into our singing, why are we not concerned about bringing uninspired preaching into our worship? Here's why. We have direct direction from God to go preach the Gospel. We understand that to be interpretation of Scripture. 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. :think:

Sarah, we know that the Psalms spoken of in the NT are the Psalms of the OT because writing new songs that are not "prophetically" inspired simply does not have Scriptural and historical precedence. You are taking leaps here simply not warranted. You would have to say that changed but you won't be able to show how it has changed.

The difference between singing and preaching is that singing is immediately confessed by all. You can withhold your amen to preaching and other things done in a worship service. With singing it is corporate and immediate. You want to say this is impossible by shifting to an example of reciting creeds but you are assuming that such has warrant in worship. It won't work as a rebuttal.

In preaching you can discern and withhold your consent. With singing the confession of content is immediate and consent cannot be withheld unless you simply do not sing. When you sing, you confess wholeheartedly.
 
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LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Hopefully you've figured it out by now, as you will in every EP thread, that there is no proof. It's just that, an assertion, an argument from silence. But it's an argument from silence either way. One asserts it's only the Psalms, which is an exegetical possibility. The other asserts it's broader than that because the semantic range could mean that. Which is why this shouldn't be such a divisive issue in the church. Both sides are holding to the RPW, and agree we must sing, they just disagree on what songs to sing.

Patrick, that may be the most cogent paragraph in the thread. Perhaps in the entire EP debate that I have witnessed on the PB.
 

Beth Ellen Nagle

Puritan Board Senior
Hopefully you've figured it out by now, as you will in every EP thread, that there is no proof. It's just that, an assertion, an argument from silence. But it's an argument from silence either way. One asserts it's only the Psalms, which is an exegetical possibility. The other asserts it's broader than that because the semantic range could mean that. Which is why this shouldn't be such a divisive issue in the church. Both sides are holding to the RPW, and agree we must sing, they just disagree on what songs to sing.

Patrick, that may be the most cogent paragraph in the thread. Perhaps in the entire EP debate that I have witnessed on the PB.



:doh: :rolleyes: (This will be my non-argument for the day)
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
For the third time in two threads: this is a assertion without proof. Where is the evidence that "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" is a reference to just the 150 Psalms and does not include something like Exodus 15:1-18?

Exodus 15 is an historical narrative which reports the words of a song which was sung on a specific occasion; it does not purport to itself be a psalm, hymn, or song.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I appreciate Patrick's granting the EP interpretation of Eph. 5:19 and Col 3:16 is within the realm of possibility and isn't some nutty idea. On that score, I'm posting the 1673 preface to an English edition of the 1650 Scottish Psalter, signed by 26 Puritans, among whom are such notables as Owen, Manton, Poole, Watson and Vincent.

This has been posted and referenced many times here on PB but I repeat it for those who have not seen it. See this thread. The source for the below is here. I put the key sentence in bold face.

A Puritan Preface to the Scottish Metrical Psalter

Below is the text (with some modernisation of spelling and punctuation etc.) of a letter to the reader affixed to an edition of the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter printed for the Company of Stationers at London in 1673. The title page bears the words: “The Psalms of David In Meeter. Newly Translated and diligently compared with the Original Text, and former Translations: More plain, smooth and agreeable to the Text, than any heretofore.”
Good Reader,
’Tis evident by the common experience of mankind, that love cannot lie idle in the soul. For every one hath his oblectation [way of enjoyment] and delight, his tastes and relishes are suitable to his constitution, and a man’s temper is more discovered by his solaces than by any thing else: carnal men delight in what is suited to the gust [i.e., taste] of the flesh, and spiritual men in the things of the Spirit. The promises of God's holy covenant, which are to others as stale news or withered flowers, feed the pleasure of their minds; and the mysteries of our redemption by Christ are their hearts’ delight and comfort. But as joy must have a proper object so also a vent: for this is an affection that cannot be penned up: the usual issue and out-going of it is by singing. Profane spirits must have songs suitable to their mirth; as their mirth is carnal so their songs are vain and frothy, if not filthy and obscene; but they that rejoice in the Lord, their mirth runneth in a spiritual channel: “Is any merry? let him sing psalms,” saith the apostle (James 5:13). And, “Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage,” saith holy David (Ps. 119:54).
Surely singing, ’tis a delectable way of instruction, as common prudence will teach us. Aelian (Natural History, book 2, chapter 39) telleth us that the Cretans enjoined their children to learn their laws by singing them in verse. And surely singing of Psalms is a duty of such comfort and profit, that it needeth not our recommendation: The new nature is instead of all arguments, which cannot be without thy spiritual solace. Now though spiritual songs of mere human composure may have their use, yet our devotion is best secured, where the matter and words are of immediately divine inspiration; and to us David's Psalms seem plainly intended by those terms of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” which the apostle useth (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). But then ’tis meet that these divine composures should be represented to us in a fit translation, lest we want David, in David; while his holy ecstasies are delivered in a flat and bald expression. The translation which is now put into thy hands cometh nearest to the original of any that we have seen, and runneth with such a fluent sweetness, that we thought fit to recommend it to thy Christian acceptance; some of us having used it already, with great comfort and satisfaction.

Thomas Manton D.D., Henry Langley D.D., John Owen D.D., William Jenkyn, James Innes, Thomas Watson, Thomas Lye, Matthew Poole, John Milward, John Chester, George Cokayn, Matthew Meade, Robert Francklin, Thomas Dooelittle, Thomas Vincent, Nathanael Vincent, John Ryther, William Tomson, Nicolas Blaikie, Charles Morton, Edmund Calamy, William Carslake, James Janeway, John Hickes, John Baker

(The letter to the reader affixed to an edition of the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter printed for the Company of Stationers at London in 1673 was published in The Presbyterian Standard.)

Several points ought to be noted.
(1) The twenty-six signatories make up a small galaxy of English Puritan divines, including John Owen (Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, author of a 7-volume commentary on Hebrews and The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, and possibly Britain’s greatest theologian), Thomas Manton (author of some 20 volumes and “Mr. Thomas Manton’s Epistle to the Reader” prefixed to many editions of the Westminster Standards), Matthew Poole (famous Bible commentator), Thomas Watson (noted especially for his oft republished sermons on the Westminster Shorter Catechism), Thomas Vincent (author of The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture), William Jenkyn (author of a fine commentary on Jude) and Charles Morton (head of a Puritan academy and teacher of Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe).
(2) The names indicate that Psalm-singing is by no means an exclusively Presbyterian heritage, for Episcopalians (Calamy) and Congregationalists (Owen and Meade) are represented here.
(3) The Scottish Metrical Psalter is not a mere paraphrase of the Word of God. It is a translation from the Hebrew, as the 1673 edition declares on its title page: “Newly Translated and diligently compared with the Original Text, and former Translations.” The title page also declares its faithfulness to the inspired Hebrew, for it is “More plain, smooth and agreeable to the Text, than any heretofore.” To this the signatories agree: “these divine composures [are] represented to us in a fit translation … The translation which is now put into thy hands cometh nearest to the original of any that we have seen ... that we thought fit to recommend it to thy Christian acceptance.”
(4) Owen, Poole, Vincent etc. have no truck with the notion that the Psalms speak insufficiently of Christ and so are deficient for the church’s sung praise. “The promises of God's holy covenant, which are to others as stale news or withered flowers, feed the pleasure of [godly] minds; and the mysteries of our redemption by Christ are their hearts’ delight and comfort,” they write. “Joy,” they continue, “must have a proper object so also a vent: for this is an affection that cannot be penned up: the usual issue and out-going of it is by singing.” Singing what? “They that rejoice in the Lord, their mirth runneth in a spiritual channel: 'Is any merry? let him sing psalms,' saith the apostle (James 5:13).” Clearly singing the Psalms is the vent for the Christian’s joy in Christ’s redemption, which it could not be if it spoke insufficiently of Him.
(5) The Puritan signatories make a striking argument for Psalm-singing from the new nature of the elect, regenerate child of God. The new nature delights in Psalm-singing as a means of comfort, profit and spiritual solace. As the Puritans declare, “surely singing of Psalms is a duty of such comfort and profit, that it needeth not our recommendation: The new nature is instead of all arguments, which cannot be without thy spiritual solace.”
(6) A common criticism of Psalm-singing—that it is boring—is plain contrary to our Puritan forefathers. Note the words they associate with singing the Scottish Metrical Psalms: love, relishes, pleasure, hearts’ delight, joy, affection, merry, profit, spiritual solace, devotion, fluent sweetness, great comfort and satisfaction. As they say, "spiritual men [delight] in the things of the Spirit."
(7) The decided opinion of these Puritan worthies is that the “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” which we are commanded to sing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16) refer to the scriptural Psalter.
(8) Since, as Owen, Manton, Watson, etc., argue, “our devotion is best secured, where the matter and words are of immediately divine inspiration,” they “recommend [the Psalter] to [our] Christian acceptance,” quoting James 5:13: “Is any merry? let him sing psalms.”
 
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