Psalmody and Hymnody:

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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing:[4] which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;[5] those formerways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.[6]
This is pertaining to the canon.

...and if not - every word of worship should be Scripture? forget the creeds? no prayer but the Lord's prayer?

reductio ad absurdum?
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by jdlongmire
Exactly, and what better way to strive, then to obey the command to sing the PERFECT inspired psalms??
?? where is this command?
1Ch 16:9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!

Psa 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

Psa 105:2 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!

Jam 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by jdlongmire
and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing:[4] which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;[5] those formerways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.[6]
This is pertaining to the canon.
Exactly. ;)

Originally posted by jdlongmire
...and if not - every word of worship should be Scripture? forget the creeds?
Sure! In worship that is...

Originally posted by jdlongmire
no prayer but the Lord's prayer?
God never commanded us to "pray this prayer" did he? He gave us a model and told us to bring our thanksgivings and supplications and confessions before him.

He did regulate the content of song...specifically the psalms. :sing:

Originally posted by jdlongmire
reductio ad absurdum?
Not at all.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by jdlongmire
Psalms (old songs) vs. Hymns (old/new songs) vs. spiritual songs (new songs)
Most of the hymns today are older than you or I. How can this be considered "new"?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
A Bad Argument, or Establishment and Application are Distinct

A big problem with telling non-EPers to "produce biblical evidence for the singinging of non-inspired compositions," is that every single suggestion offered by the non-EPer is either 1) counter explained by the EP on other grounds, or failing that, 2) is explained as "well, its in the Bible, so therefore it's inspired!" In other words,, as long as I've been party to this debate, probably going on 15 years now, this is simply a "gotcha" argument.

No disrespect intended, Jeff, but now when I hear this from the EP side, I just ask, "Well, you tell me, what sort of thing would constitute evidence to you?" Typical answer? "That's not my job to tell you, you produce something new. Oh, and by the way, I'll shoot that down too with my magic bullets--see above."

ANd not surprisingly, so far, nothing cuts the mustard--no matter how much exegetical or hermeneutical work goes into it. So it really isn't a fair question from the EP side. Why? Because nothing in that vein is capable of moving the EPer from his position anyway. So a convinced EPer should stop asking for it.

To show the illegitmacy of this form, let's choose an example that hardly anyone will agree with:
Here's a person who is a convinced "Exclusive Biblical-prayer"--who believes that all the prayers we need are found inscripturated in the Bible, because though the circumstances change, all the prayers of the Bible are adaptable to every human condition; thus to pray something that we don't find already inspired is to question the sufficiency of Scripture. Are there any better prayers to pray than the inspired ones?

Now it doesn't matter what arguments you bring up to challenge him on this. As soon as you plead "circumstances change" he can bring the exact form of argument used for Exclusive Psalmody to defend his constraints on prayer. And counter's 1) or 2) from above will be the standard response to any evidence you can produce hoping to undermine him. So what if this view is held by only a few, or hardly anyone? That is no more the issue than that EP is a minority position. Look around at the church-at-large. The RPW is minority today--that fact doesn't invalidate it.

My purpose in this example is for one thing only: to show the dishonesty of the "gotcha" argument. Neither the EP, nor the "EBp" position is affected by further suggestions from the Bible. Its NOT that the argument for the RPW is not itself emminently Biblical. It is! However, once that has been established, the issue becomes one of application. And demanding examples--regardless of what is produced--you can plug into your own paradigm. Neither position is movable from that angle. Yet I do not think that either one of them is true.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by jdlongmire
Exactly, and what better way to strive, then to obey the command to sing the PERFECT inspired psalms??
?? where is this command?
1Ch 16:9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!

Psa 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

Psa 105:2 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!

Jam 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
You realize you are being deliberately exclusionary - the whole council of God includes psalms, hymns and spiritual songs...and new song.

Sorry - you are perpetuating a non-Biblical false dichotomy.

-JD

[Edited on 4-7-2006 by jdlongmire]
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
JD:

More specifically, then, do you believe that this hermeneutic approach, posted by Patrick, namely,

The hermenuetic key is that we can only understand how the Word applies to us, after we understand how it applied to the original hearer. The Scriptures were written to specific people at specific times. God was interacting with a particular worldview at the time he revealed himself to men. So in order to understand those verses, we have to, as best as we can, find out what the mindset of the original hearers were, and what they were suppose to learn from God's Word then, and once understanding those principles, then we build from there. Now, in some cases, this isn't difficult because many of our problems are the same as then. But in other areas, this is much more difficult. I think congregational worship is one of those problem areas. We don't have alot to go on, so we have to reconstruct the orignal conditions as best we can before we proceed to the argument of EP vs. non-EP for us today.
is capable of yielding the desired end of either establishing or disestablishing EP?
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by jdlongmire
Psalms (old songs) vs. Hymns (old/new songs) vs. spiritual songs (new songs)
Most of the hymns today are older than you or I. How can this be considered "new"?
*Bump*

Can you answer this question?

Should we be making up new songs every Lord's day?
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
No disrespect intended, Jeff, but now when I hear this from the EP side, I just ask, "Well, you tell me, what sort of thing would constitute evidence to you?"
No disrespect intended here either Bruce. :handshake:

1. A clear command from scripture.
2. Apostolic example.
3. Deductive argument from scripture (emphasis on deductive)

Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
Typical answer? "That's not my job to tell you, you produce something new. Oh, and by the way, I'll shoot that down too with my magic bullets--see above."
Maybe I'm wrong Bruce, but isn't this simply apologetics? I guess I'm not seeing the invalidity of the method of argumentation.

Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
ANd not surprisingly, so far, nothing cuts the mustard--no matter how much exegetical or hermeneutical work goes into it. So it really isn't a fair question from the EP side. Why? Because nothing in that vein is capable of moving the EPer from his position anyway. So a convinced EPer should stop asking for it.
So is this admitting that there is no clear command/example/logical argument that can uphold UH? I don't think that this is what you are saying...can you clarify?

Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
To show the illegitmacy of this form, let's choose an example that hardly anyone will agree with:
Here's a person who is a convinced "Exclusive Biblical-prayer"--who believes that all the prayers we need are found inscripturated in the Bible, because though the circumstances change, all the prayers of the Bible are adaptable to every human condition; thus to pray something that we don't find already inspired is to question the sufficiency of Scripture. Are there any better prayers to pray than the inspired ones?
The uninspired prayer objection and the uninspired preaching arguments are guaranteed to be brought up in this debate, but I don't think that these arguments hold any weight and have been satisfactorily explained by the proponents of EP.

Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
Now it doesn't matter what arguments you bring up to challenge him on this. As soon as you plead "circumstances change" he can bring the exact form of argument used for Exclusive Psalmody to defend his constraints on prayer.
I don't believe that this is true at all!

We have been given a spirit of prayer, an ordained office to preach..but where is our God given help in song?

We have nothing in scripture that says God will bless man in his composition of uninspired hymns in worship.

Isn't this what the RPW is all about? What worship will God bless? Will he bless the "sacrament" of pizza and pepsi? How far can we use our imagination and expect God's blessing on our worship?

Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
And counter's 1) or 2) from above will be the standard response to any evidence you can produce hoping to undermine him. So what if this view is held by only a few, or hardly anyone? That is no more the issue than that EP is a minority position. Look around at the church-at-large. The RPW is minority today--that fact doesn't invalidate it.
Have my above comments helped answer your objections?

If we were given a prayer-book and not a spirit of prayer...I could use the same EP arguments.

If we were given a manual of sermons and not an ordained minister...I could use the same EP arguments.

I think that these alleviate the "prayer objection" and the "sermon objection" from any validity in this argument.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by jdlongmire
You realize you are being deliberately exclusionary - the whole council of God includes psalms, hymns and spiritual songs...and new song.

Sorry - you are perpetuating a non-Biblical false dichotomy.

-JD
From Exclusive Psalmody FAQ

Objection:
5. "˜That there is, in the New Testament, authority for singing songs composed by men.´ First: we are referred to the fact that Christ and his disciples sung a hymn, Matt. 26:50.
Answer. "“
(1.) Let it be proved that the hymn sung by our Savior and the disciples was not one or more of the Psalms of David. It is supposed by the best commentators to have been the great hallel, consisting of the Psalms from the 113th to the 118th inclusive. (2.) Our Savior was better qualified, and had a better right to compose hymns than Dr. Watts, John Wesley, Philip Doddridge, etc. Second: It is argued that Paul enjoins the use of uninspired psalmody when he says, Col. 3:16, `Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs; singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.´ Some argue from the first clause of the verse, `Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;´ explaining the phrase, `the word of Christ,´ to mean either the whole Bible, or the New Testament; and alleging that the apostle enjoins the use of songs drawn from the whole word of God, or from the New Testament in particular. Answer. "“ (1.) Let it be proved that this expression means either the whole Bible, or the New Testament, and not simply, the principle of the gospel. (2.) Let it be proved that the Apostle enjoins upon the Church to compose songs, drawing the matter of them from what he denominates `the word of Christ.´
Others reason from the use of the three terms, `psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs´ in the latter clause of the verse. Answer. "“ (1.) No good reason can be assigned, why any one of the psalms of inspiration might not, in reference to different aspects under which it may be viewed, be denominated a `psalm, hymn, and spiritual song.´ Such a use of language is not uncommon. God says, Ex. 34:7, `forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin.´ (2.) If these three terms designate three distinct kinds of devotional poetry, let it be proved that the Book of Psalms does not comprise songs of these three different kinds. (3.) The Jews applied the terms psalms, hymns, and songs, indiscriminately to the Book of Psalms. "“ See Josephus, Philo, etc.; and the same may have been done by Paul and the primitive Christians. (4.) In the Septuagint, which was the translation of the Old Testament in use in the days of Paul, some of the psalms are, in their titles, designated psalmos "“ a psalm; others, ode "“ a song; and others, alleluia; which last is a word borrowed from the Hebrew, and when used as a noun in the Greek language, is equivalent to hymnos "“ a hymn. Why may we not suppose the Apostle has allusion, in this verse, to these three terms used in the Septuagint version, as titles of different psalms?
Third: it is inferred from 1 Cor. 14:26 that the Corinthians brought to their assemblies psalms composed by themselves, under a supernatural impulse of the Spirit, and of course not contained in the book of Psalms. Answer. "“ Let it be proved that the Psalms, by the unseasonable utterance of which they disturbed their assemblies, were composed by themselves under an impulse of the Spirit, and not selected from the Book of Psalms.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Originally posted by JohnV
JD:

More specifically, then, do you believe that this hermeneutic approach, posted by Patrick, namely,

The hermenuetic key is that we can only understand how the Word applies to us, after we understand how it applied to the original hearer. The Scriptures were written to specific people at specific times. God was interacting with a particular worldview at the time he revealed himself to men. So in order to understand those verses, we have to, as best as we can, find out what the mindset of the original hearers were, and what they were suppose to learn from God's Word then, and once understanding those principles, then we build from there. Now, in some cases, this isn't difficult because many of our problems are the same as then. But in other areas, this is much more difficult. I think congregational worship is one of those problem areas. We don't have alot to go on, so we have to reconstruct the orignal conditions as best we can before we proceed to the argument of EP vs. non-EP for us today.
is capable of yielding the desired end of either establishing or disestablishing EP?
Inarguably? No.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by jdlongmire
Psalms (old songs) vs. Hymns (old/new songs) vs. spiritual songs (new songs)
Most of the hymns today are older than you or I. How can this be considered "new"?
*Bump*

Can you answer this question?

Should we be making up new songs every Lord's day?
Again you create a false dichotomy - it's not yes or no.

Is there Scriptural support for new songs? Yes.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by jdlongmire
You realize you are being deliberately exclusionary - the whole council of God includes psalms, hymns and spiritual songs...and new song.

Sorry - you are perpetuating a non-Biblical false dichotomy.

-JD
From Exclusive Psalmody FAQ

Objection:
5. "˜That there is, in the New Testament, authority for singing songs composed by men.´ First: we are referred to the fact that Christ and his disciples sung a hymn, Matt. 26:50.
Answer. "“
(1.) Let it be proved ....
Well, if we are going to quote-mine...

From:

http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=63

How should we reply to such comments as these? First, it should be stated that even if the majority of the Westminster Assembly were exclusive Psalmodists, it does not follow that one is non-confessional if he is not an exclusive Psalmodist. Chapter XXI of the Confession does not denounce the use of inspired or uninspired hymns and songs; it merely refers to the "singing of psalms."

Gordon Clark points out that the word "psalm" originally referred to a tune played on a harp. Thus, when the word is used, it need not be considered as only referring to the inspired Psalms of Scripture. Stephen Pribble agrees. In his A Defense of Hymn-Singing in Worship, he says that Westminster claims that religious worship should include the "singing of psalms," not "the Psalms." Westminster here uses the term "psalms" in the general sense of the word, which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means "any sacred song...sung in religious worship." Perhaps this is why A. A. Hodge, in commenting on this section of the Confession, suggests that we can summarize the statement "singing of psalms," with the phrase "singing of praise."

.....


Jonathan Edwards is an example of an eighteenth century Puritan who, although he roundly endorsed the use of the Psalter, did not restrict himself to it in public worship. In Some 7houghts Concerning the Present Review of Religion in New England, he wrote:


"I am far from thinking that the book of Psalms should be thrown by in our public worship, but that it should always be used in the Christian church until the end of the world: but I know of no obligation we are under to confine ourselves to it. I can find no command or rule of God´s Word, that does any more confine us to the words of Scripture in our singing, than it does in our praying; we speak to God in both.

......

Second, in the Philippians 2:6-11 hymn, the first century church has properly taken the most sacred name of Jesus and incorporated it into a "spiritual song" (verses 9-11). It is a hymn of praise to the Lord Jesus, who, as the divine Kyrios, is the fulfillment of the Yahweh enthronement Psalms (93, 97, 99). The church gladly confesses in song that "Jesus Christ is Lord (Kyrios)." As Jonathan Edwards pointed out, an exclusive Psalmodist can never take the Savior´s name upon his lips in public singing, for the name "Jesus" is not found in the Psalter.
If one follows this theory of the exclusive Psalmodists, the syntax of the verse would require the Psalms and hymns to be specific kinds of "spiritual odes." This is highly unlikely. New Testament scholars such as Hendriksen, Bruce, Calvin, and Lenski maintain (with the translators of the KJV, NKJV, NASV, NIV, and RSV) that the most natural reading of the verse is that "spiritual" modifies only the noun songs (odais). The burden of proof here is on those adopting exclusive Psalmody; they must conclusively show that in Paul´s use of these three terms he limits the church to the use of the Psalter in formal worship. If this cannot be accomplished, then Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 stand as refutations of exclusive Psalmody. I suggest that their exegetical burden is too great to bear. The evidence, at best, is "flimsy."

The present writer is very much in favor of the singing of the metrical psalms, in public (as well as private) worship. The church needs to return to this practice, as a part of the regulative principle. It is a rich privilege, yielding spiritual blessings, to be able to sing the inspired songs of Zion as found in the Psalter. If we wish to learn how to sing "“ and how to pray "“ well, we need to study the Psalms. Gordon Clark is correct when he says that "a hymn book without a good proportion of Psalms is not fit for a church service." Yet, there seems to be no Biblical warrant for us to eliminate altogether the use of other hymns and songs, as long as they are theologically sound. Neither is it non-confessional to do so. The witness of church history is far from convincing us of exclusive Psalmody, and the Biblical evidence overwhelming supports the use of "hymns and spiritual songs," both inspired and otherwise, along with the singing of Psalms.
[Edited on 4-8-2006 by jdlongmire]

[Edited on 4-8-2006 by jdlongmire]

[Edited on 4-8-2006 by jdlongmire]
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by jdlongmire
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by jdlongmire
Psalms (old songs) vs. Hymns (old/new songs) vs. spiritual songs (new songs)
Most of the hymns today are older than you or I. How can this be considered "new"?
*Bump*

Can you answer this question?

Should we be making up new songs every Lord's day?
Again you create a false dichotomy - it's not yes or no.

Is there Scriptural support for new songs? Yes.
My question was...how can you consider a hymn which is older than you or I to be "new?"

Do you not have an answer, or are you arbitrarily defining "new"?

It seems that if you want to use the command to sing "new" songs to refer to the hymns of our fathers, you have to concede at least partially to MY definition of "new."
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
O.K.

This discussion needs to be a tad more organized. I take responsibility for my share in the digression of this thread to a miriad of arguments composed in little or no systematic presentation.

If either side is going to gain fruitful discussion on this topic, certain topics/arguments should be hashed out on threads of their own (which at least in part has been done already).

I believe the topic to be of great importance, but I think that trading article for article and tit for tat is not beneficial with a complex subject such as this.

Those are my :2cents:.

Any suggestions?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
"Well, you tell me, what sort of thing would constitute evidence to you?"
1. A clear command from scripture.
2. Apostolic example.
3. Deductive argument from scripture (emphasis on deductive)
1. I think that in the absence of this verse: "Go ahead and sing songs in public worship that you compose out of biblical materials from anywhere in Holy Writ," this is not a meaningful request. Appeals to Eph 5 or Col 3 are pre-excluded from being "clear" (by EP, but not by non-EP).
2. The apostolic example of John? Rev 5, 14, 15--pre-excluded by EP, heavenly worship can't teach us anything about earthly worship. Paul's reference to singing 1 Cor 14:26, or example Acts 16:25? Pre-excluded by EP, there's a chance these could be Psalms from the Psalter.
3. If an ironclad case could have been made, it would have been made ages ago. God's people have been composing song unto the Lord at least from Moses on down without interruption, some of it even making its way into the text of Scripture. If the command to sing plus example of obedience (even before a Psalter existed) isn't warrant enough...
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
Typical answer? "That's not my job to tell you, you produce something new. Oh, and by the way, I'll shoot that down too with my magic bullets--see above."
Maybe I'm wrong Bruce, but isn't this simply apologetics? I guess I'm not seeing the invalidity of the method of argumentation.
A couple years ago at a GPTS conference, Brian Schwertley debated Ben Shaw on EP. It wasn't a fireworks show by any means, but the issue was aired. EP proponents there lapped up Schwertley, the other side liked Shaw. No one's mind was changed. But anything new Schwertley hadn't heard before, he just ducked Shaw the whole time. "Your appeal is in the Bible, and therefore it's Scriptural, and therefore it really just helps my position since my position is more Scriptural than yours." What a waste of time. So no, I'm not impressed with this line of apologetic.
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
ANd not surprisingly, so far, nothing cuts the mustard--no matter how much exegetical or hermeneutical work goes into it. So it really isn't a fair question from the EP side. Why? Because nothing in that vein is capable of moving the EPer from his position anyway. So a convinced EPer should stop asking for it.
So is this admitting that there is no clear command/example/logical argument that can uphold UH? I don't think that this is what you are saying...can you clarify?
Obviously I disagree with you, starting at the beginning with the "clear command." I think Eph 5 and Col 3 are abundantly clear. But the point of my post isn't even to argue for the non-EP side. My point is that as soon as someone attempts to cite Scripture to provide that "Scriptural command or example," the response I've heard is, "Ah, but you're taking that from the Bible, which is a reliance on the RPW, which just reinforces my position, because EP is the MOST RPW! Ha ha! You lose!"

But the actual example produced?! "Well, because the RPW is true, it must not be affecting my EP position! I just fall back on the conditional concede anything actualy inspired may possibly be sung (but I'm not convinced!) defense. You haven't proven anything non-inspired may be sung. Because I "gotcha"! you have to take your example from the Bible! Ha ha! I win!" This is just cheap, circular argumentation.

And lest you think I simply make this tactic up, I listened as Schwertley (referenced above) asked for "one instance," and Shaw produces an instance, obviously something that wasn't part of Schwertley's preparation for the debate, and Schwertley comes back with basically, "Well, your example is just biblical, and since my position is better than yours, it really just reinforces my position which is superior biblically; so I really don't even need to directly address any of your point from an argumentitive standpoint. Your example is from the Bible, therefore, at best you prove we may sing the inspired Bible." I was there. I heard it. I was not impressed.

Laying out a "criteria" that you have no intent to ever concede under any circumstance whatsoever is simply deceptive. It isn't a real criteria. No one can produce an "inspired example" of an "uninspired composition. Because as soon as it is inscripturated, it's inspired. Ha ha. Clever debate trick. I've seen it in action. Its disingenuous from the start. It shouldn't be asked when there is no intent to "study" even a new example you may never have considered previously.
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
To show the illegitmacy of this form, let's choose an example that hardly anyone will agree with:
Here's a person who is a convinced "Exclusive Biblical-prayer"--who believes that all the prayers we need are found inscripturated in the Bible, because though the circumstances change, all the prayers of the Bible are adaptable to every human condition; thus to pray something that we don't find already inspired is to question the sufficiency of Scripture. Are there any better prayers to pray than the inspired ones?
The uninspired prayer objection and the uninspired preaching arguments are guaranteed to be brought up in this debate, but I don't think that these arguments hold any weight and have been satisfactorily explained by the proponents of EP.
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
Now it doesn't matter what arguments you bring up to challenge him on this. As soon as you plead "circumstances change" he can bring the exact form of argument used for Exclusive Psalmody to defend his constraints on prayer.
I don't believe that this is true at all!

We have been given a spirit of prayer, an ordained office to preach..but where is our God given help in song?

We have nothing in scripture that says God will bless man in his composition of uninspired hymns in worship.

Isn't this what the RPW is all about? What worship will God bless? Will he bless the "sacrament" of pizza and pepsi? How far can we use our imagination and expect God's blessing on our worship?
I'm not using the "prayer" argument (or the "preaching"argument) to argue against EP. I'm not even arguing against EP at all right now, even though I don't agree with it! I am objecting to a line of argumentation that EPers would object to, and rightfully so, if it were used against them. And if you find it objectionable, then you ought to carefully frame your own arguments so that your manner of argument is not itself subject to this criticism.

Remember, this is not what I believe! This is the "devil's advocate" speaking. This is the fellow whose "commitment" to the RPW makes both of us (EP and non-EP alike) appear before the world like careless will-worshippers! He can so use poor EP-style arguments!
from the "fake advocate of EB-p"
Where in Scripture are we taught that we can simply rattle off something uninspired in prayer? GIVE ME A CLEAR SCRIPTURE COMMAND! We have short prayers, long prayers, joyful prayers, penitential prayers, doctrinal prayers, doxological prayers, a Model Prayer, etc. The Bible is full of prayers, and every one of them is inspired. Jesus' words in the most literal sense mean that we should not just pray "like" he told us, but exactly what he told us.

And of course, since he inspired all of Scripture, that may be expandable to include all the rest of the Prayers of Scripture. Why isn't there a "book of prayers" that we must be restricted to, if this is what is meant? Well, since there isn't one, the most obvious reason is that we were meant to use the whole Bible as prayer-book, and not simply one prayer ONLY, like the Lord's Prayer. Do you really think that God didn't give you the words he most wanted you to use to pray to him? We have nothing in Scripture that says God will bless man in his composition of uninspired PRAYERS in worship.

And as soon as you bring up any instance of biblical example of "uninspired prayer", I'll just use the "Brian Schwertley" move and point out that HA HA! your example is inspired prayer! Its IN the Bible!

If you don't agree with me, then you aren't really committed to the RPW! Do you even know what it says? "How far can we use our imagination and expect God's blessing on our worship?"
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If this style of argumentation is patently offensive (and I sure think it is) on account of its attributing a false ignorance of a key point of doctrine to one's erstwhile allies, then it ought not be used.


Jeff, I'll "gang-up" with you against attackers of the RPW almost anytime. But when EP advocates move onto the offensive against fellow RPW defenders, I see them use arguments that they would never accept as reasonable or valid when turned against themselves, for example, by our hypothetical "EB-p" guy. Surely it must be plain that something about the manner of persuasion must be adjusted when dealing with folks who agree with you in the main, yes?

And we've got to have honesty in how we offer categories for "falsification" of our respective positions. If we are immovable, let's not pretend that our "mind's are open."
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Bruce,

Thanks for the reply. At this point, I don't think I will respond to every jot and tittle because of the lack of systematic approach to this subject on this thread (I'm not pointing any fingers...just stating that in order to be edifying...it should probably be more organized, which on behalf of Josh, I believe he started it that way).

Suffice it to say, that while I believe I understand your critique of the methodology (i.e. the inspired prayer scenerio you presented), I do not see it to be a valid criticism.

Where's that RPW thread we're supposed to be defending? :p
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
My question was...how can you consider a hymn which is older than you or I to be "new?"

Do you not have an answer, or are you arbitrarily defining "new"?

It seems that if you want to use the command to sing "new" songs to refer to the hymns of our fathers, you have to concede at least partially to MY definition of "new."
so - no need to respond to this?

well, in the spirit of tidiness -

"new"

-Modern: used of a living language; being the current stage in its development

with a little of:

-other than the former one(s); different

and:

-having recently arrived, been produced, or come into existence

...depending on context...

from here

[Edited on 4-8-2006 by jdlongmire]
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Contra_Mundum
And we've got to have honesty in how we offer categories for "falsification" of our respective positions. If we are immovable, let's not pretend that our "mind's are open."
Bruce, I want to hopefully clarify (to myself and others) your line of thought on this issue, and what you really mean. While I'm not EP, I don't see this particular problem with the standard EP arguments. In other words, I think our answers to their questions (e.g. our exegesis of the Eph. and Col. passages, examples from Heavenly worship and Old Testament worship, etc.) do in fact hold up while they think they don't, that is where I see the heart of the disagreement - but I don't see an invalidity in their approach to the issue by means of the questions posed, the burden of proof, etc.

Regarding the flaw you seem to see in that approach, as stated in the quoted portion above (taking into consideration everything else you said on the issue that is represented by that statement as well), is there not a fine but real (and very important) distinction between 1) not honestly having any true standards for falsification of our position, and 2) honestly having certain real standards for falsification of our position, and at the same time truly believing that those standards are not met by Scripture? (To illustrate #2, we need only think of our shared belief in, say, the doctrines of grace. We can honestly say that we would concede our position if certain real evidences against it were presented from Scripture, and yet at the same time we are firmly convinced that no such evidences can actually be found to hold up in Scripture.)

Concerning the EP position, you seem to be saying that you get the impression that #1 applies to their case for EP and their denial of arguments for hymnody; but I want to make sure the real difference between #1 and #2 is recognized - and in light of that, why do you see the standard EP form of argument as being a case of #1 rather than #2? Again, I ultimately believe in the biblical warrant of uninspired hymns as much as you, Bruce - but I also think that this particular perception and evaluation you gave of the EP approach is not accurate, if I'm understanding it correctly.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Chris (and Jeff),
I'm only going to make this one post, and bow out of the discussion.

Here's how I see it. First, EPs are my brothers in Christ, and fellow-soldiers in contending for not only the faith, but the precious Reformed faith and purity of God's worship. I wish I could say I knew those sentiments were always returned, but at least they are some of the time.

Second, the three "criteria" are just RPW principles. When EPs appeal to them, they are just "appealing to the RPW." So in the end, either EPs are arguing about application of the RPW, or they are arguing that unless you are EP, you are not committed to RPW. I hate to say so, but Schwertley is unambiguously the latter, and he is not alone.

Everyone in this contest knows that non-EP+RPW have two battles to fight: one with those who have no standard, and the other with EP. Many of EP refuse to see a non-EP as a committed RPW defender and think it is sufficient to appeal to the RPW against a non-EP. "My ersatz-Presbyterian friend, until you understand the RPW, EP just won't make sense to you. And when you get it, you'll be EP!"

I would compare this (using your "doctrines of grace" analogy) to arguing against an Arminian by telling him Jesus alone is the Savior from sin; and when he says he knows that, you reply that until he's a Christian there's no point in trying to explain the doctrines of grace to him, he must be born again. After he's a believer, then of course he'll be a calvinist.

The above is my problem with a certain form of this argument. My purpose in all this is a feeble attempt to open up EP eyes to the fact that at some point they have to look in the other direction themselves. They do not have the luxury of finding themselves with only a single direction to fight.

Someone will come along who is a "stricter" EP than they, or who is committed to the "EB-p", and now the shoe is on their own foot--how did an EP come to have to defend himself as an upholder of the RPW! What gives this guy the right to say that an EP (of all people) is not "really committed" to the RPW? Just because he thinks he's applying it in a "more faithful" fashion?! He thinks all he has to do is appeal to the RPW to prove his stance?

So, no. I don't think it is sufficient to "appeal to the RPW" in defense of your position, when the ones you are debating with agree with the RPW point for point. Which is why what I'm saying is very diferent from what John Frame is saying. He redefines the RPW, and then says, "we just differ on application." Well, I'm not redefining the RPW.

Here, again, are those 3 criteria:
1) There is no verse in the Bible "clear enough" to change a convinced EP's mind. In fact, the cardinal texts "clearly teach" EP to the EPs.

2) There is no example in the New Testament (or Old) that will suffice for an example of "uninspired composition" to an EP. As soon as you find anything at all, "well, being in the BIBLE, that is inspired too!" There is NO uninspired example. So this is just a verbal game. It is not an honest suggestion that you are to try and find something that will convince them. They know this going into the argument, but most non-EP people who enter the contest with them don't know how its played.

3) As for deduction, you need some text to start with. The next person who discovers this argument that should persuade any convinced EP to change his mind will be the first.


How should the EP case be promoted within a RPW context? In the way that it always does best. Make a positive case. Offer proof (an argument) for it exegetically. Demonstrate hermeneutical, exegetical, or logical flaws in a case for the other side. Show that this or that argument used by a non-EP violates the RPW. In other words, don't assume EP owns the rights to a default position. Make your case, and leave the results to God.

I'm done. Blessings everyone...
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
oooo - the curse of the BlackBerry! :D

That's what i get for trying to follow and post to the conversation on an uninspired device...

:lol:
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
If I may say "I told you so" without trying to be annoying....

This is why the hermeneutical question must be worked on. Both sides are coming at the text with different assumptions and neither are willing to investigate those assumptions. Bruce is correct on this. Though, both are playing the verbal game. Until both sides can at least attempt to lay before eachother the hermenuetical grounds for their interpretations (of "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" for example), then there will be no dialog and therefore no progression into unity on this issue. If both sides were willing to do this, they would probably find much more to agree on about what God commands in song, and that their differences are not that far apart, even though it may not solve the differences completely. My goal (and probably Joshua's too) is to move the debate on more foundational footing so that both sides may grow in their understanding of proper worship song.

So the challenge is still before you, if you are willing to examine yourselves and grow with your brethren.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Here's a sample question to illustrate the kind of investigation that needs to be done.

The Hebrew word for "psalm" is mizmor. In it's most basic meaning, it means "a song sung to instrumental music." It has two normal uses; to describe a "worldly song," and as a technical term for "psalm" (i.e. psalms in the Book of psalms). HALOT pg. 566 .

So,
For EP-ers, on what grounds do you assume that when this word appears in the OT, it refers exclusively to the use of inspired psalms alone in worship? Why do you not see it as a more general command to sing with instruments?
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
So the challenge is still before you, if you are willing to examine yourselves and grow with your brethren.

I am still confused - I am perfectly willing to consider the EP rationale - and have found the debate to be very interesting.

Is your point that the hermeneutic must consider the other position's arguments and come to some hermeneutical consensus?

..or that there are elements that have not been covered in the debate that may lead to the disestablishment or fidelity of one or the other position?

Either way, I'm game.

[Edited on 4-9-2006 by jdlongmire]
 
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