Prescriptive Psalmody and Exclusive Psalmody

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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Ok - I'll bite for a bit - although this really seems to be a complete sidetrack to the overall point and nonsensical in its approach to the argument.

That is to say - you have not proven that the argument is illogical, only that it may not conform to the formal rules of logic or that I am somehow conflating teaching and singing (which I have not) or being deliberately ambiguous or deceitful in my use of language (which I am not).

I am perfectly comfortable changing "teaches" in the second premise to command, since I contend that what the Scripture teaches, God commands us to obey.

P1 New covenant believers are commanded to be taught by as well as sing the Psalms to the Lord

P2 The Psalms command new songs be sung to the Lord

C1 New covenant believers are commanded to sing new songs as well as sing the Psalms to the Lord

Now, please interact with the premises - if one can be conclusively proven false, the conclusion is false. If not, you must reevaluate your dogmatic adherence to an erroneous doctrine.

And with that I say, good night and God bless you!
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
P2 is faulty because it assumes that "Sing to the Lord a new song" is teaching to sing new songs when it is much more likely similar to "Praise the Lord" -- an exclamation rather than an exhortation. Reading straight through the passages and their surrounding contexts makes this fairly self-evident.

It's not as if we're supposed to read the Psalms in an entirely different setting. We can learn from the Psalms without assuming that someone is lecturing us the Psalms verbatim, speaking them entirely differently. The psalmist is still saying "Sing to the Lord a new song" in the context of a song, which does not imply an actual command to do so, but rather an exclamation of doing so.

JD, what I fear from this is that you are far too emotionally invested in your position. You have a blog created for it and you are an ordained deacon in a church that does not generally adhere to EP (do some PCA churches do that? I'm not sure). I'm not trying to tell you you're in some self-blinded sinful rebellion, but please be willing to sacrifice the entire blog and your pride for the sake of the EP position if you find that it is correct. I'm not saying you view it as correct and deny it, but if it were to happen, I want to encourage absolute intellectual honesty. I know I have failed in that arena several times myself, and I would truly hate to see another brother struggle with it.

I say this, because, honestly, I find that we must read the Psalms in an entirely different way -- in a way that they are no longer worship songs -- in order to think that they are commanding new songs be sung.

All the best. I have been struggling a lot recently with pride and anger and other such sins, and I apologize if I come across in any way like that. I truly wish you the best. I love you, brother.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
That is to say - you have not proven that the argument is illogical, only that it may not conform to the formal rules of logic
You are making a formal argument; therefore you are bound to make it conform to the formal rules of logic. There are no informal rules for formal arguments.

P1 New covenant believers are commanded to be taught by as well as sing the Psalms to the Lord

P2 The Psalms command new songs be sung to the Lord

C1 New covenant believers are commanded to sing new songs as well as sing the Psalms to the Lord
A little better. Now you have to alter premise 1 so as to say that believers are commanded to be commanded by the Psalms. When you have done that, it will be easily seen that premise 2 in fact overrules premise 1; it does not provide a particularisation of premise 1. It will also be seen that your use of the passive -- are commanded -- only serves to hide the subject, which is the ultimate source of authority; when the subject is made clear in the argument it will result in two sources of authority -- NT and Psalms -- which are at variance with one another.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
JD, what I fear from this is that you are far too emotionally invested in your position. You have a blog created for it and you are an ordained deacon in a church that does not generally adhere to EP (do some PCA churches do that? I'm not sure). I'm not trying to tell you you're in some self-blinded sinful rebellion, but please be willing to sacrifice the entire blog and your pride for the sake of the EP position if you find that it is correct. I'm not saying you view it as correct and deny it, but if it were to happen, I want to encourage absolute intellectual honesty. I know I have failed in that arena several times myself, and I would truly hate to see another brother struggle with it.
I'll address this, then return to deal with your non ad hominem arguments. ;)

You are correct - I am very passionate about this particular subject, since it deals with nothing less than the corporate practice of singing praise to God in worship. Some folk are passionate about peado vs credo - baptism. They are passionate for a good reason. I feel my passion is no less warranted concerning EP, since one of us is in grave error regarding something the Father takes very passionately. Namely, the glory of His Son.

BTW - I may be very, very direct and straightforward in my responses. I may even call someone's defenses nonsense and the rhetoric may heat up, but I never stop loving the folks I am debating. I also sleep well at night in that assurance :)

I have pushed the limits before when I was going through some personal turmoil - basically itching for a fight - I have apologized and been forgiven, but that is irrelevant to the validity or perspicuity of the overall argument.

As far as intellectual honesty is concerned, I'd ask no less from the folks I dialogue with and if my premises can be proven conclusively false, I will abandon them, but thus far, all I have seen is an approach based on the form of the argument (a tactic that I consider weak, in general) not the actual truth of the premises and how valid they are.

We're getting closer to actually debating the premises...and I will concede and be instructed on the rules of form, if that means we can get closer and closer to the truth, because ultimately, the truth is there - I contend that we all agree on that :).

BTW - in the end, this and baptism are the only 2 areas of substantial disagreement I imagine we 3 participating on this thread have with one another, and there are PLENTY of folks willing to debate both sides of the baptism argument!

Anyway - don't assume I am unreasonably over-emotionally vested in this simply because I don't back down. I sincerely believe that EP is not a safe doctrine and I'd like to make sure that those whom may be contra-reacting to the hokey-pokey, 7-11, shallow effluvia that passes as worship song out there don't throw away the baby with the bath water.

Now - I must head to work, then rejoin the debate in a bit.

Pax, my brother! :)
 
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timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
It is clear that the new covenant believer is commanded to sing the Psalms as well as new songs.
Then you have two prescriptions which cancel each other out. The contradiction is evident.
The only time two prescriptions necessarily contradict each other is when they are stated as "either/or". They do not contradict each other when they are stated as "both/and".

When the psalms command the singing of "new songs" they do so in a particular context. Ps. 98 gives us a clear statement of that context. The reason new songs were to be composed and sung in that period was that the Lord had "made known his salvation ... and his righteousness in the sight of the nations". A number of Psalms record such revelations of God's righteousness and judgements and the events mentioned are not merely pre-Sinai but cover the eras of the Exodus, Judges, Samuel to David (Ps. 78), David before becoming king (Ps. 34), various victories of Davidic period (Ps. 18), and even a pslam describing the Babylonian judgment (Ps. 137). Since the events covered include those contemporary with the writings of some of the psalms that describe them, it is clear that through the years from David to Babylon, the term "new song" could describe a newly composed psalm celebrating the Lord's ongoing deeds of salvation.

Yet the command to sing new songs is balanced by another command within Psalms, i.e., to "remember the wondrous works that he [the Lord] has done" (Ps. 105:5) and if older deliverances were already recorded in older psalms that meant those older psalms must be sung alongside and not instead of newer songs recording contemporary deliverances.

It is clear from the survival of the book of psalms to the era of the second temple that the pre-captivity Jews did not understand the exhortation to sing new songs to be an exhortation to sing new songs only, for they kept the older songs in their songbook. They understood that the instruction to sing new songs was a both/and instruction combined with a recognition that older songs that recorded God's earlier acts of deliverance remained valid expressions of praise and that singing them obeyed the instruction of Ps. 105:5.

Now the question we face today is not "Must we sing new songs only?" but "should we not sing new songs in addition to the biblical psalms? Why or why not?" Whatever the full intent of Paul's twice repeated instruction to sing "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" (Eph. 5 19, Col. 3:16), the biblical psalms are certainly included within that which Paul wants sung, since they are specifically identified by the term "psalms". What is at issue, and the point upon which the whole debate turns, is Paul's intended meanings for the other two terms "hymns" and "spiritual songs".

The term "spiritual songs" cannot be simply presumed to be another meaning for the psalms. During the years before the close of the canon, the Holy Spirit was operating in "charismatic" mode (prophecy, tongues etc.) and it seems that "hymns" (1 Cor. 14:26 ESV) were included within the exercise of these gifts Since that Paul's overarching theme in these verses is the regulation of charismatic gifts within orderly worship (1 Cor. 14:1-40). , it is not going to far to read the "hymn" here as equivalent to "spiritual song" in Eph 5 and Col 3. (If hymn is not held equivalent we have the phenomenon that Paul discusses a purely human presentation in the assembly when the rest of the phenomena discussed are almost certainly "charismatic"). Given this evidence we cannot exclude the possibility that Paul was referring to similar charismatic songs when he mentioned "spritual songs" in the Eph. and Col. verses. (I have pointed out elsewhere on the board that God giving new songs [whether charismatic or human composed makes no difference] to an allegedly EP only commanded church is enough on its own to disprove the EP thesis - although God has the right to temporarily allow something he has previously forbidden and will later forbid again, to be faithful to his nature, he must do so in a way that avoids contradicting himself. Unless he goes on record specifically allowing the forbidden practice for a temporary period and explicitly ends the period in which the temporary freedom is allowed, he necessarily creates confusion, contrary to his nature.)

Now if psalms means the biblical book of Psalms, and spiritual songs can mean Holy Spirit prompted songs in the undeniably "charismatic" era of the church, "hymns" can no longer necessarily be held to be another term for the biblical psalms over against its other known meaning, that of human composed texts. And if we cannot derive the conclusion that we are commanded to sing biblical Psalms only by necessary consequence from this text - (and against the evidence provided in this and the previous paragraph, we cannot do so) - then we must conclude that God has not required biblical Pslam only worship of the NT churches.
 
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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
P1 New covenant believers are commanded to be taught by as well as sing the Psalms to the Lord

P2 The Psalms command new songs be sung to the Lord

C1 New covenant believers are commanded to sing new songs as well as sing the Psalms to the Lord
A little better. Now you have to alter premise 1 so as to say that believers are commanded to be commanded by the Psalms. When you have done that, it will be easily seen that premise 2 in fact overrules premise 1; it does not provide a particularisation of premise 1. It will also be seen that your use of the passive -- are commanded -- only serves to hide the subject, which is the ultimate source of authority; when the subject is made clear in the argument it will result in two sources of authority -- NT and Psalms -- which are at variance with one another.

I agree, the syllogism is improved. I still have an objection to it that is a bit different from Matthew's.

Your conclusion has two parts: NC believers are commanded to sing new songs and NC believers are commanded to sing the old Psalms. I leave the second conclusion aside because it doesn't seem to be the focus of controversy.

Looking at the conclusion "NC believers are commanded to sing new songs," we see several elements. I grant your implied assumptions regarding NC believers, and I grant the use of "sing". So that leaves two elements: "command" and "new songs." In order for a syllogism to reach the conclusion you are asserting, it has to include those two elements in the premises and they have to mean the same thing when moving from one premise to another.

Here is a syllogism that would support your conclusion:

P1 New covenant believers are commanded to obey what is taught in the Psalms.

P2 The Psalms teach that we must sing new songs.

C New covenant believers are commanded to sing new songs.

See how the conclusion flows from the two premises? The problem here, for me, is that the two premises I set out above are not clearly supported. As Timothy and Ben have pointed out, there are a lot of unresolved considerations that would have to be resolved before we can say that either premise is true.

For example, are we sure that we are commanded to obey what is taught in the Psalms? Every single statement? We know that we are commanded to learn from them, but are we commanded, for instance, to dash infants on rocks?

And are we sure that the new songs of the Psalms are the same thing as new songs today? Not necessarily.

That's why I say the syllogism doesn't work. There are too many unresolved assumptions brought into the equation.

As for whether the EP argument is convincing, I leave that aside. I'm only stating that your anti-EP argument needs a lot of work.

Blessings.

Vic
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Vic, thanks - I have gotten some other council that my premises were compound and may be over-complicating the syllogism by trying to kill 2 birds with one stone.

On the other hand:

The problem here, for me, is that the two premises I set out above are not clearly supported. As Timothy and Ben have pointed out, there are a lot of unresolved considerations that would have to be resolved before we can say that either premise is true.

For example, are we sure that we are commanded to obey what is taught in the Psalms?
I feel safe in saying yes and would contend that the burden of proof otherwise would lie on the person asserting "no".
Every single statement?
Unless abrogated by the NC, yes.

We know that we are commanded to learn from them, but are we commanded, for instance, to dash infants on rocks?
I assume you refer to Psalm 137:

9How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones
Against the rock.

Does the Psalm positively command that one should dash little ones against rocks?

Is this activity abrogated by the NC?

And are we sure that the new songs of the Psalms are the same thing as new songs today? Not necessarily.
We can be sure that new songs mean new songs. Are the OC songs new songs for the NC believer? I am certain they have newness in the fullness of understanding the NC, but do they satisfy the requirements of the NC?

Ephesians 5:20
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
That's why I say the syllogism doesn't work. There are too many unresolved assumptions brought into the equation.
Hopefully, this has helped resolved them.
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The only time two prescriptions necessarily contradict each other is when they are stated as "either/or". They do not contradict each other when they are stated as "both/and".
It was a formal argument. A formal argument has to account for all the terms being used. You can't have both/and in a formal argument because it leads to equivocation.

Now if psalms means the biblical book of Psalms, and spiritual songs can mean Holy Spirit prompted songs in the undeniably "charismatic" era of the church, "hymns" can no longer necessarily be held to be another term for the biblical psalms over against its other known meaning, that of human composed texts. And if we cannot derive the conclusion that we are commanded to sing biblical Psalms only by necessary consequence from this text - (and against the evidence provided in this and the previous paragraph, we cannot do so) - then we must conclude that God has not required biblical Pslam only worship of the NT churches.
JD opened this thread with a criticism on his particular argument; here you introduce a new argument which is not relevant to his new songs approach. If you would like to put this argument forward then please open a new thread and we can discuss it there. Please note that any discussion of the exclusive psalmody position must approach it from the context of the regulative principle, and that means the exclusivity of the argument does not require a biblical prohibition of other songs but merely the omission of a biblical warrant to sing other songs. Blessings!
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
The only time two prescriptions necessarily contradict each other is when they are stated as "either/or". They do not contradict each other when they are stated as "both/and".
It was a formal argument. A formal argument has to account for all the terms being used. You can't have both/and in a formal argument because it leads to equivocation.
Yes you can if the argument is constructed properly to narrow the topic under discussion. The burden of this part of my post is to help JD do the necessary narrowing. As I read JD's argument, I think he will be able to effectively narrow his first premise to something like this:

"Scripture commanded during the OT era that God be praised both in older songs and in contemporaneously composed songs."

Now if psalms means the biblical book of Psalms, and spiritual songs can mean Holy Spirit prompted songs in the undeniably "charismatic" era of the church, "hymns" can no longer necessarily be held to be another term for the biblical psalms over against its other known meaning, that of human composed texts. And if we cannot derive the conclusion that we are commanded to sing biblical Psalms only by necessary consequence from this text - (and against the evidence provided in this and the previous paragraph, we cannot do so) - then we must conclude that God has not required biblical Pslam only worship of the NT churches.
JD opened this thread with a criticism on his particular argument; here you introduce a new argument which is not relevant to his new songs approach. If you would like to put this argument forward then please open a new thread and we can discuss it there. Please note that any discussion of the exclusive psalmody position must approach it from the context of the regulative principle, and that means the exclusivity of the argument does not require a biblical prohibition of other songs but merely the omission of a biblical warrant to sing other songs. Blessings!
Covenant theology takes as its general rule the proposition that any doctrine or practice not altered by the NT is assumed to continue throughout the church age since "there is unity and continuity in the covenant of grace throughout history" (s.v. "Covenant Theology, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology"). The regulative principle of worship in the OTallowed for contemporaneously composed worship songs in that era, so according to the general hermeneutic of covenant theology, the permission of contempraneously composed songs must continue unless it can be shown to be discontinued.

Also discussion of any Scriptural issue must commence approaching it, not on from a traditionally accepted theology but from the Scriptures that speak directly to it. If it can be shown, as I think I have shown, that the words "hymn" and "spiritual song" cannot be restricted to the meaning "biblical Psalm" in Eph. 5 and Col. 3, then Scripture gives positive warrant to for the church to sing other songs in addition to the biblical psalms in the New Covenant era.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Yes you can if the argument is constructed properly to narrow the topic under discussion. The burden of this part of my post is to help JD do the necessary narrowing. As I read JD's argument, I think he will be able to effectively narrow his first premise to something like this:

"Scripture commanded during the OT era that God be praised both in older songs and in contemporaneously composed songs."
That isn't going to help him. The minor premise -- the Psalms command new songs -- would then repeat in different words his major. Further, he would have no hope of establishing that "contemporaneously composed songs" were of a different nature than the older "inspired" songs. His argument requires that the "new songs" are seen as existing outside an inspired corpus.

Covenant theology takes as its general rule the proposition that any doctrine or practice not altered by the NT is assumed to continue throughout the church age since "there is unity and continuity in the covenant of grace throughout history" (s.v. "Covenant Theology, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology"). The regulative principle of worship in the OTallowed for contemporaneously composed worship songs in that era, so according to the general hermeneutic of covenant theology, the permission of contempraneously composed songs must continue unless it can be shown to be discontinued.
I have emboldened the word permission because it shows that equivocation on the idea of prescription is essential to JDs argument, and really requires that he abandon it altogether. As already noted, the RPW does not give permission, but commands.

As for the main thesis of the paragraph, the OT worship, so far as it is positive, is ceremonial and therefore abrogated. We sing Psalms because they are commanded under NT worship by a positive commandment, not because they carry over from the OT. The distinction between moral and positive is entirely overlooked by JDs "prescriptive psalmody" position, and is itself a clear indication of the unreformed nature of the position.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Yes you can if the argument is constructed properly to narrow the topic under discussion. The burden of this part of my post is to help JD do the necessary narrowing. As I read JD's argument, I think he will be able to effectively narrow his first premise to something like this:

"Scripture commanded during the OT era that God be praised both in older songs and in contemporaneously composed songs."
That isn't going to help him. The minor premise -- the Psalms command new songs -- would then repeat in different words his major. Further, he would have no hope of establishing that "contemporaneously composed songs" were of a different nature than the older "inspired" songs. His argument requires that the "new songs" are seen as existing outside an inspired corpus.

Covenant theology takes as its general rule the proposition that any doctrine or practice not altered by the NT is assumed to continue throughout the church age since "there is unity and continuity in the covenant of grace throughout history" (s.v. "Covenant Theology, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology"). The regulative principle of worship in the OTallowed for contemporaneously composed worship songs in that era, so according to the general hermeneutic of covenant theology, the permission of contempraneously composed songs must continue unless it can be shown to be discontinued.
I have emboldened the word permission because it shows that equivocation on the idea of prescription is essential to JDs argument, and really requires that he abandon it altogether. As already noted, the RPW does not give permission, but commands.
I am revising what I said above to more accurately reflect the situation; I should have written:

Covenant theology takes as its general rule the proposition that any doctrine or practice not altered by the NT is assumed to continue throughout the church age since "there is unity and continuity in the covenant of grace throughout history" (s.v. "Covenant Theology, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology"). The regulative principle of worship in the OT commands contemporaneously composed worship songs alongside an equal command to the retain the memory of older deliverances. Such retention was accomplished in those days by remembering older songs, so according to the general hermeneutic of covenant theology, the old covenant commands to employ both older songs celebrating past deliverances and contempraneously composed songs celebrating current ones must both continue unless either requirement or both can be shown to be discontinued in the new covenant.

As for the main thesis of the paragraph, the OT worship, so far as it is positive, is ceremonial and therefore abrogated. We sing Psalms because they are commanded under NT worship by a positive commandment, not because they carry over from the OT. The distinction between moral and positive is entirely overlooked by JDs "prescriptive psalmody" position, and is itself a clear indication of the unreformed nature of the position.
We have disagreed elsewhere as to whether or not the OT worship is ceremonial or necessarily abrogated. I find the "proofs" you supplied for both propositions insufficient. If the OT worship practices are neither ceremonial nor abrogated, as both JD and I affirm, JD's position stands, untroubled by the omission.
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
We have disagreed elsewhere as to whether or not the OT worship is ceremonial or necessarily abrogated. I find the "proofs" you supplied for both propositions insufficient. If the OT worship practices are neither ceremonial nor abrogated, as both JD and I affirm, JD's position stands, untroubled by the omission.
So far as this disagreement is concerned, the WCF states that God gave to Israel, "as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament." Both JD and yourself affirm an unreformed presupposition unworthy of a reformed discussion board.

Robert Shaw (Exposition, 196, 197):

The ceremonial law respected the Jews in their ecclesiastical capacity, or as a Church, and prescribed the rites and carnal ordinances which were to be observed by them in the external worship of God. These ceremonies were chiefly designed to prefigure Christ, and lead them to the knowledge of the way of salvation through him. – Heb. x. 1. This law is abrogated under the New Testament dispensation. This appears – (1.) From the nature of the law itself. It was given to the Jews to separate them from the idolatrous rites of other nations, and to preserve their religion uncorrupted. But when the gospel was preached to all nations, and Jews and Gentiles were gathered into one body, under Christ, their Head, the wall of separation was taken down. – Eph. ii. 14, 15. (2.) Because these ceremonies were only figures of good things to come, imposed upon the Jews until the time of reformation, and were abrogated by Christ, in whom they were realised and substantiated. – Heb. ix. 9-12. (3.) Because these ceremonies were given to the Israelites to typify and represent Christ and his death; and, since Christ has come, and has, by his death and satisfaction, accomplished all that they prefigured, these types must be abolished. – Col. ii. 17. (4.) Because many of these rites were restricted to the temple of Jerusalem, and the temple being now destroyed, these rites must cease along with it. (5.) Because the apostles expressly taught, that the ceremonial law is abrogated under the Christian dispensation. – Acts xv. 24. One chief design of the Epistle to the Hebrews is, to prove that this law must necessarily be annulled. – Heb. vii. 12.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I have been staying out of the discussion to allow focused debate, but popping in...

You keep beating up strawmen, Matthew - no one is arguing that the ceremonial laws concerning OT worship have not been abrogated.

It's the scope of that partly of worship around the ordinance of song we are debating.

BTW - your second quote could be used to completely refute EP:

Because these ceremonies were given to the Israelites to typify and represent Christ and his death; and, since Christ has come, and has, by his death and satisfaction, accomplished all that they prefigured, these types must be abolished.
One can certainly make the case that the Psalms were ceremonial components and were completely accomplished by Christ (Luke 24:44), which would require new psalms, hymns and spiritual songs in light of the NC in Christ, refuting the synonymic rationale and relegating the 150 Psalms to be used only as Scriptural archetypes - that is - just as the other abolished ceremonial components captured in the OT - to be remembered, read, referenced, taught and perhaps used, but not mandated for singing. Which would certainly refute the no "uninspired" song contention of the EP'er, since the NC believer is commanded to sing. What then, shall we sing? - why, "uninspired" psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, of course! All forms made available for easy reference in the 150 Psalms. :)

Finally:

I see that you are using ad hominem, casting aspersions and attempting to maneuver the conversation that non-EP is not in compliance with the confessions or goes against board requirements - remember, if you positively confirm and enforce what you are asserting against us, you are tacitly applying the ruling to all non-EP'ers on the board.

Blessings!
 
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timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
We have disagreed elsewhere as to whether or not the OT worship is ceremonial or necessarily abrogated. I find the "proofs" you supplied for both propositions insufficient. If the OT worship practices are neither ceremonial nor abrogated, as both JD and I affirm, JD's position stands, untroubled by the omission.
So far as this disagreement is concerned, the WCF states that God gave to Israel, "as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament." Both JD and yourself affirm an unreformed presupposition unworthy of a reformed discussion board.
This is a perfect example of begging the qestion, ignoring inconvenient counterarguments, and descending to unsupoprted invective. Covenant theology mandates continuity unless abrogated: it therefore requires, (alongside the continuing validity of the command to remember God's past deeds in song), the continuning validity of the biblical psalms' commands to sing newly composed songs to celebrate God's current deliverances — unless that command is abrogated in the new. The necessary consequence of this, contrary to your below quoted statment ...

... any discussion of the exclusive psalmody position must approach it from the context of the regulative principle, and that means the exclusivity of the argument does not require a biblical prohibition of other songs but merely the omission of a biblical warrant to sing other songs.
...is that in order to prove EP, you must prove the expiration of the command to sing contemporariously composed songs celebrating current deliverances, a command which, if it remains valid, is sufficient biblical warrant to sing other songs than the psalms.

Moreover, to the charge, supported by evidence earlier supplied to you, that your "proofs" for the propositions that the Davidic sung worship regulations are both OT ceremonial laws and expired are unsound, you commence your reply by repeating the confessional statement that God gave the church ceremonial laws which are now abrogated, a statement which says nothing to the point at the issue. The issue is not whether or not God gave ceremonial laws which have now expired, but whether or not the Davidic sung worship regulations are ceremonial laws. But God's command to sing biblical Psalms in the NT does not stand alone, he also commands "hymns" and "spiritual songs" and you are ignoring the proofs I supplied that these terms cannot be additional terms for the biblical psalms: that "charismatic" songs appear to have been permitted in the NT church alongside biblical psalms (1 Cor. 14:26), without God teaching that such were permitted or later that the permission was withdrawn, (an ommission which also necessarily leads to the conclusion that God is a God of confusion not of peace), and that Paul's placing sung worship under the element of teaching opens the way for human composed hymns in the same way that preaching allows for human composed restatements of biblical doctrine and the testing therof by the congregation. (By the way, this latter component of congregational testing is equally applicable to "charismatic" song and the biblical Psalms: Paul requires prophecies to be judged by those hearing and the congregtation accepts Christ's assessment of the biblical Psalms given us when he validated all Scripture for his people.)

Robert Shaw (Exposition, 196, 197):

The ceremonial law respected the Jews in their ecclesiastical capacity, or as a Church, and prescribed the rites and carnal ordinances which were to be observed by them in the external worship of God. These ceremonies were chiefly designed to prefigure Christ, and lead them to the knowledge of the way of salvation through him. – Heb. x. 1. This law is abrogated under the New Testament dispensation. This appears – (1.) From the nature of the law itself. It was given to the Jews to separate them from the idolatrous rites of other nations, and to preserve their religion uncorrupted. But when the gospel was preached to all nations, and Jews and Gentiles were gathered into one body, under Christ, their Head, the wall of separation was taken down. – Eph. ii. 14, 15. (2.) Because these ceremonies were only figures of good things to come, imposed upon the Jews until the time of reformation, and were abrogated by Christ, in whom they were realised and substantiated. – Heb. ix. 9-12. (3.) Because these ceremonies were given to the Israelites to typify and represent Christ and his death; and, since Christ has come, and has, by his death and satisfaction, accomplished all that they prefigured, these types must be abolished. – Col. ii. 17. (4.) Because many of these rites were restricted to the temple of Jerusalem, and the temple being now destroyed, these rites must cease along with it. (5.) Because the apostles expressly taught, that the ceremonial law is abrogated under the Christian dispensation. – Acts xv. 24. One chief design of the Epistle to the Hebrews is, to prove that this law must necessarily be annulled. – Heb. vii. 12.
Citing Shaw's quote is another example of begging the question. For it says nothing to the purpose of identifying the Davidic sung worship ordinances as inherently ceremonial stipulations of the Sinai covenant. They were not. They were instituted later, intstituted without a formal amendation of the Sinai covenant to include them, and, so far as we can determine, instituted because God's character and deeds are such that such praise was fitting, something even more true now than then. (If the earthy salvations and an unclear picture of God's salvation from sin were worthy of celebration in the OT because such was fitting, then much more it is fitting to celebrate the achievement of that salvation in songs that employ the additional details by which our sight of that salvation is now clearer). And while the temple sacrifices must cease, we as Christians remember a better sacrifice; which remembrance the the NT commands us to be accompanied by sung worship without saying anything about the expiration of the regulations governing such worship.

While there is no doubt that EP was the original reformed view of the question, the reformed confessions requirement of Scripture proof or good and necessary consequence deductions from the same as their final authority makes it certain that they recognized that reformed folk can err in their understanding of the Scripture and can be corrected from the Scriptures properly understood. If you want to justify throwing throwing around the epithet "unreformed," you have to prove my arguments unbiblical. To do that, you will have to address arguments you are currently attempting to ignore: ignoring counterarguments is not a confessionally mandated means of settling doctrinal disputes.
 
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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
timmopussycat said:
On this point you ignore two additional problems for the EP thesis: that "charismatic" songs appear to have been permitted in the NT church alongside biblical psalms (1 Cor. 14:26), without God teaching that such were permitted or later that the permission was withdrawn, (an ommission which necessarily leads to the conclusion that God is a God of confusion not of peace), and that Paul's placing sung worship under the element of teaching opens the way for human composed hymns in the same way that preaching allows for human composed restatements of biblical doctrine.
Very good points.
 

TheFleshProfitethNothing

Puritan Board Freshman
I sometimes think that the "strange fire" argument is basically saying, we in the NC, are still indeed under some sort of Law Worship...if it isn't COMMANDED, you can't do it...and yet we are told that we shall neither worship in Temples but rather in Spirit and Truth...

I like the idea of the RPW, and yet I can't see why we can't use instruments as David invented, being we have the same Spirit He and the Levite Prophets did...

I will continue to observe and study this out...

Thanks and Carry On Guys!
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
I sometimes think that the "strange fire" argument is basically saying, we in the NC, are still indeed under some sort of Law Worship...if it isn't COMMANDED, you can't do it...and yet we are told that we shall neither worship in Temples but rather in Spirit and Truth...

I like the idea of the RPW, and yet I can't see why we can't use instruments as David invented, being we have the same Spirit He and the Levite Prophets did...

I will continue to observe and study this out...

Thanks and Carry On Guys!
Another good link dealing with this issue is:
www.puritanboard.com/f31/covenant-theology-rpw-musical-instruments-35673/index2.html -

This thread is where the earlier alluded to discussion with Armourbearer took place starting with post #85.
 

TheFleshProfitethNothing

Puritan Board Freshman
I just read on the other "closed" thread (thanks to timmo...), that Christ fulfilled all the things pertaining to the ceremonial laws.

I thought of a silly question...which instrument did Christ play perfectly, and that foreshadowed him in typology? Does Typology play any significant part in all this?
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
I just read on the other "closed" thread (thanks to timmo...), that Christ fulfilled all the things pertaining to the ceremonial laws.

I thought of a silly question...which instrument did Christ play perfectly, and that foreshadowed him in typology? Does Typology play any significant part in all this?
An unanswerable question either way.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
BTW - your second quote could be used to completely refute EP:

Because these ceremonies were given to the Israelites to typify and represent Christ and his death; and, since Christ has come, and has, by his death and satisfaction, accomplished all that they prefigured, these types must be abolished.
One can certainly make the case that the Psalms were ceremonial components and were completely accomplished by Christ (Luke 24:44), which would require new psalms, hymns and spiritual songs in light of the NC in Christ,
As stated earlier, the exclusive psalmodist position is established on the basis of positive New Testament precept and example, not on some vague notion that elements of OT worship carry over into the NT.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
This is a perfect example of begging the qestion, ignoring inconvenient counterarguments, and descending to unsupoprted invective. Covenant theology mandates continuity unless abrogated: it therefore requires, (alongside the continuing validity of the command to remember God's past deeds in song), the continuning validity of the biblical psalms' commands to sing newly composed songs to celebrate God's current deliverances — unless that command is abrogated in the new. The necessary consequence of this, contrary to your below quoted statment ...
Sir, with all due respect to you as a brother, your understanding of covenant theology is so over-simplified that it fails to account for some of the very basic concepts of the system, as is clear by your inability to distinguish positive and moral elements. As a moderator I rule your ritualistic line of argument out of order on a board which accepts the confessional position as standard, and urge you to desist for the sake of keeping the peace. As noted elsewhere and on this thread, if you have an argument to make against exclusive psalmody, it is welcomed on the basis that it maintains the principles of reformed thought as taught in the confessions. Failing your ability to present such a case, I am sure there are many other places on the internet where your unreformed presentation will receive a hearing. Blessings!
 
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